Microsoft Announces Windows 11 February 2022 Preview Update with Taskbar Improvements, Android Apps Support, And Updated Core Apps


The wait is finally over, as Microsoft announced the big February update for Windows 11 users that the company talked about last month, which brings a bunch of new features to Microsoft's latest operating system for the first time since its launch the last October.

In addition to the Windows 11 Annual Update, Microsoft promises to release new features in Windows 11, similar to this February update, to end-users frequently via Microsoft Update or the Microsoft Store.

This new update is called KB5010414 in the Microsoft Knowledge Base, and it is a non-security update preview for Windows 11 operating systems that upgrades the OS to build number 22000.527 after installing it.

The February 2022 update comes with a public preview of Android app support on Windows 11, which Microsoft has been working on improving with Windows Insiders for months.

This feature is depends on a new component on top of Windows 11 called Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA), which powers the Amazon Appstore and its apps catalog.

This publc preview is only available to US users currently, and requires a device with the following specifications:

  • RAM: 8 GB (minimum), 16 GB (recommended)

  • Storage type: Solid State Drive (SSD)

  • Processor:

    Intel Core i3 8th Gen (minimum) or higher

    AMD Ryzen 3000 (Minimum) or higher

    Qualcomm Snapdragon 8c (minimum) or higher

  • Processor architecture: X64 or ARM64

  • Virtual Machine Platform Enabled

If your PC meets these requirements, update the Microsoft Store (open the Microsoft Store, click Library > Get Updates) and you'll find a new section on the home page with some popular Android apps and games to try, such as Audible, Kindle, and Subway Surfers, Lords Mobile and Khan Academy Kids.

Choose an app from it and click "Get from Amazon App Store" to start downloading it. Installing the first Android app or game will take some time because the system will load the Android system container that it will use to run these apps.

Next, this update brings some improvements to the taskbar, as it turns the widgets button from a useless button to an icon that displays the weather in the far left of the taskbar.  If your Taskbar is currently left-aligned, this new entry point for Widgets will be to the right of the task view icon.

When you hover over the weather, the Widgets panel will appear on the left side of the screen and will disappear when you stop hovering over the area.

The February Security Preview update adds a microphone button to the taskbar that appears when you make video calls or meetings in the Microsoft Teams app and enables muting and unmuting with one click.

Additionally, during Microsoft Teams chats, a new "Share this window" button will appear when you hover over the app's icon in the taskbar, allowing you to share your app window with your meeting attendees. When you are done sharing your content, hover over the window again and click Stop Sharing, or choose another window and click Share this window.

Last, this update also adds the clock and date display on the second monitor in the taskbar, a useful feature for those who use more than one monitor while working or studying.

Two core Windows apps have been receiving a complete design refresh with this update to match Windows 11 modern look, Notepad, and Media Player.

Media Player is a new multimedia player for Windows 11 that replaces the Groove Music app and allows you to browse and play music, as well as create and manage playlists. 

All your content in the music and video folders on your PC will appear automatically in your library, and you can also tell Media Player where to look for additional content in the app settings. If your music collection is in Groove Music, your library and playlists will migrate automatically to this new app.

The built-in Notepad also got an updated design as well as configurable dark mode support, simplified menus, multi-level undo, colorful emojis, and a modern search and replace experience.

Last but not least, the KB5010414 update brings the option to share cookies between Microsoft Edge and Microsoft Edge Internet Explorer mode. This update also allows opening Microsoft Office files that are in the Start menu's recommended section in the browser if the user does not have a valid Office license.

The February non-security update KB5010414 is available as an optional update via Microsoft Update, and it can be installed by going to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update. In the Optional updates available area, you'll find the link to download and install the update. This update requires restarting your device once done, so it's a good idea to save your work before downloading and installing it.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post