Windows 11 has now been out for 18 months, and the platform continues to move forward. With the latest updates, users now have access to a range of new features and improvements that make it easier to stay connected, productive, and secure. From enhanced voice assistant capabilities through Windows Hello to improved security settings for protecting data, there's been a lot of progress.
When Windows 11 first launched, it came with a major UI overhaul and a seeming loss of features. This was because the focus of Windows 11 was on streamlining the user experience. Microsoft aimed to make it easier to multitask, access basic functions, and get more out of their hardware.
The most significant improvement came in the form of Windows Snap, which allowed users to quickly rearrange window layouts and access different tasks. Additionally, Windows 11 featured an improved search feature that could be used to find files, settings, and applications faster. However, the actual UI for Search was terrible, as the Search box on the taskbar was a lie. It actually opened another UI where the Search actually happened.
This week, Windows 11 23H1 (known as Moment 3) was released to the public. With this release comes new features, including a fix for the Search UI. Rather than opening a new UI that had its own Search bar, the new interface allows you to type in the box on the taskbar with the search results appearing in the popup window.
Another nice new feature is the enhancements to the Snipping Tool. In addition to being able to grab screenshots of a limited section of your screen, you can now grab a video of that section. This is great for designers, engineers, and even journalists. Once the video is recorded, you can save it as an MP4 to be sent to be used as needed.
In addition to Windows 11 23H1, Microsoft also released a new Dev build to Insiders. This new build has a few new features in it, but most importantly, it finally updated the volume control UI in the Quick Settings (right side of the taskbar). The current build (23H1) offers the same simple volume control that we've had since launch.
But, the company is now testing out with limited users an interface similar to our favorite Windows tool - EarTrumpet. You'll get the ability to see each sound destination (such as speakers, headphones, etc.) and each application that targets that output. You'll be able to adjust the volume per app, rather than a single volume control for the output.
In addition to official builds, some unofficial releases have also happened in the past few weeks. The most interesting of these is Tiny11, a very small version of Windows 11 that runs on only 2 GB of RAM. Plus, it doesn't have any of the hardware requirements we have all become familiar with on Windows 11.
Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.
Avram's been in love with PCs since he played original Castle Wolfenstein on an Apple II+. Before joining Tom's Hardware, for 10 years, he served as Online Editorial Director for sister sites Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag, where he programmed the CMS and many of the benchmarks. When he's not editing, writing or stumbling around trade show halls, you'll find him building Arduino robots with his son and watching every single superhero show on the CW.