Windows 11: the new major version is available, here are the news

After months of testing with members of the Insider program, the Windows 11 2022 update, also known as Windows 11 22H2, is officially available for download for all users with a compatible machine.

On the program of this new version, Microsoft is introducing many new features, some of which are particularly expected, such as the Windows subsystem for Android. Announced as soon as Windows 11 was released in October 2021, it was already deployed in certain countries, but not in France. The problem is now solved and you can now download, install and enjoy your favorite Android apps directly on your PC.

Microsoft has also taken advantage of this update to improve a number of elements in Windows 11. Among the most notable is the Start menu which now allows applications to be stored in folders. Microsoft has not forgotten the file explorer which inaugurates (finally!) Tabbed browsing. Other improvements, such as window docking, which now offers more choice for arranging open windows on the screen, are also on the program. Here is in detail, everything you need to remember from this Windows 11 2022 update.

A more customizable start menu

By unveiling the new version of its Start menu, centered by default, when Windows 11 was released, Microsoft had somewhat shaken up the habits of its users, some of whom had not hesitated to criticize this choice. With the 22H2 update, Microsoft hopes to get everyone on board by giving users more freedom when it comes to customizing the Start menu. It is now possible to modulate the elements to be displayed there, for example by choosing to put more or fewer pinned elements, or by favoring automatic recommendations, for example.

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Also, Microsoft had the rich idea of ​​integrating a system allowing, finally, to properly store the different icons that appear there. You can now drag and drop app icons on top of each other to create a folder that you can then rename.

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The task manager is modernized

If File Explorer gains tabs, Task Manager drops them for its navigation. The new interface of Windows 11 Task Manager now relies on a collapsible menu system, displayed on the left of the window. Each icon provides access to monitored items: Processes, Performance, Application History, Startup Application, Users, Details, and Services.

Another novelty, Microsoft introduces an Efficiency mode which, when activated on a running process, reduces its priority so that it does not cannibalize all the resources of the machine.

Finally, Task Manager now adapts its interface to that used for navigating through Windows 11 menus. The menus and data displayed should therefore adopt the same accent color as those configured in the system customization options.

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Android applications, still in Preview, but finally available in France

Available for almost a year in the United States, the Windows Subsystem for Android, which allows you to run Android applications directly in Windows 11, is finally accessible in our latitudes. If it is still in Preview, Microsoft has chosen the deployment of Windows 11 22H2 to extend its availability internationally. The Redmond firm, which has partnered with Amazon for the occasion, therefore allows you to download, install and run Android applications like any other program. The applications, available in the Amazon Appstore, the e-commerce giant’s mobile application store, operate independently (to be downloaded from the Microsoft Store), and run, like native applications, in dedicated windows. .

Note that the installation of the Amazon Appstore automatically leads to that of the Windows subsystem for Android. Moreover, in addition to the Amazon application store, it is possible to manually install Android applications using the APK files directly or by opting for third-party stores such as F-Droid.

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Window anchoring comes of age

Introduced as soon as Windows 11 was released, the window anchoring system, which allows you to reorganize the positioning of open windows on the screen, is evolving. If it only offered four predefined organizations until now, it now offers six by default. Enough to leave enough flexibility to choose how to display several windows simultaneously on the same screen.

Windows 11 22H2 Docking windows
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The return of drag and drop to the taskbar

This was one of the big complaints against Microsoft. When Windows 11 was launched, the taskbar no longer allowed you to drag and drop items, for example to open them in an application. The removal of this operation, however common, had created a real outcry among users. Microsoft, which had initiated its return to the beta versions of Windows 11 with Insiders, has finally restored it to Windows 11 22H2.

Faster connections for Bluetooth devices

The Windows 11 Quick Settings pane now allows you to connect to Bluetooth devices faster. Microsoft has indeed integrated a quick connection system that allows you to connect to your devices by clicking directly on the corresponding icon, as you currently do to connect to a Wi-Fi access point.

Windows 11 22H2
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Live subtitles, but only English

Windows 11 22H2 is also an opportunity for Microsoft to highlight the efforts made to improve the accessibility options of its operating system. With this new version, Windows 11 is now able to generate on the fly subtitles for all content broadcast on your computer, regardless of the source. You will be able to follow the transcription of a video played on your PC or of a conversation operated from a videoconferencing tool for example. The option, which can be activated using the keyboard shortcut Windows + Ctrl + L, works without an Internet connection. Unfortunately, it is only available, at least for now, in English.

Windows 11 22H2 live subtitles
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AI to boost the performance of your audio and video calls

This new version of the Microsoft OS also introduces Windows Studio Effects, a tool designed to improve your audio and video calls. For this, the utility offers various effects to filter ambient noise to focus on the voice of your interlocutors, or to blur the background of the place from which you make your videoconference. As Apple already offers with FaceTime, Microsoft is also introducing a visual contact function that allows your interlocutors to have the impression that you are looking into their eyes even if you are looking elsewhere on the screen. Finally, Windows Studio Effects can automatically crop the image on you when you move.

Windows 11 22H2 Windows Studio effects
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While Microsoft is rolling out many new features for users who immediately download Windows 11 22H2 update, some expected features won’t arrive immediately. It will therefore be necessary to arm yourself with a little patience. In his blog post, Panos Panay listed them as follows:

Tabs land in File Explorer

This is without a doubt one of the most requested features, for many years, at Microsoft. With the 22H2 update, the Redmond company will catch up on ergonomics in File Explorer. No longer need to multiply the File Explorer windows to keep several directories open on the screen, it is now enough to open each folder in tabs.

You can choose to open a tab like in a web browser using the keyboard shortcut CTRL + T, or right-click on a directory and choose to open it in a new tab. Be careful though, the File Explorer tabs will not be available immediately. In his blog post, Panos Panay, the boss of Windows, indicates that they will officially arrive during the month of October.

Windows 11 2022 Update tabs file explorer
© Microsoft

Suggested actions

Windows 11 gains a handy new feature when trying to copy items to the clipboard. With this update, the Microsoft OS is now able to suggest actions. If you happen to copy a phone number, or even a date, Windows 11 will automatically offer you to call your correspondent via Skype or Teams, or to create an event in the calendar and in Outlook.

A new photo gallery

The Photos app as you know it now will also evolve. In October, Microsoft will update it to offer “a new photo management experience”. The application will thus inaugurate a new gallery, and will see the search and management of your photo library simplified. Photos can be synchronized more easily with OneDrive, and it will even be possible to rediscover your memories using the new dedicated module. Like what exists on iCloud Photos and Google Photos, you can find your memories in the form of stories, short montages of your photos and videos from the past.

Windows 11 22H2 update is available now for all users. However, its installation should take place over several weeks. If you don’t want to wait, you can already download and install it. To do this, you must go directly to the Settings of Windows 11, within the section Windows Update where an option to perform the update should be displayed.

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