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c’t 3003: What does the first feature update for Windows 11 bring?

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The first feature update for Windows 11 can be installed. Among other things, it comes with Android support – c’t 3003 took a look at the new features.

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One year after the release, Microsoft released the first major feature update for Windows 11. c’t 3003 was able to try out the Windows 11 2022 update (aka 22H2) for a few weeks and discussed five advantages and two disadvantages of the new version in the video. Because although there are some clear improvements in the 2022 update for Windows 11 with Android support, a fresh task manager and a more individual start menu, Microsoft has not taken all the criticisms of its current OS to heart.

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transcript

Folks, folks, exciting: Windows 11 just got its first major feature update! It’s officially called Windows 11 2022 Update.

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Now Android support is finally officially available, without any frills, and you can now at least adapt the start menu to your own taste. Plus lots of little things. Unfortunately, even heavily criticized issues have still not been resolved. I’ve been able to try out the preview version of the update for a few weeks now and I’ll show you what we think are the five most practical innovations — and the three biggest points of criticism. So that you can decide whether you want to update immediately or wait. I’ll also show you how to get the update if it’s not automatically suggested to you. Stay tuned.

Windows 11 is now a year old and Microsoft is rolling out the first really big feature update. With Windows 10, Microsoft had released two major updates per year, which were then cryptically called Windows 10 21H2, for example. From now on there is only one update per year, which is then simply named after the year: So Windows 11 2022 Update. The naming is definitely easier. By the way, smaller updates are still available in between as part of the normal patches.

So what are the improvements now? Here are what we think are the five practical innovations:

Number 1: Android support, officially.

Windows can now not only run Linux applications, but also any Android apps. So far, this has only been possible in this country with tinkering, we made a video about it at the time. In the video you can also see how to use any Android app store like the Aurora Store.

This is also possible in Windows 11 2022 Update, but the official way is via the Amazon Appstore. You can easily find it in the Microsoft Store. As soon as you install it, you also get the so-called Android subsystem directly on the system, which is the emulation layer for Android. From then on you can either easily install apps from the Amazon app store or integrate any Android apps into the system as APKs. The apps fit very harmoniously into Windows. If you don’t look closely, you won’t even notice that these are Android apps and not Windows programs. To be honest, we haven’t found many really useful areas of application for Android on Windows yet – but as purely nerd-wise as it is, it’s just cool that Windows now not only has a Linux subsystem, but also one with Android.

Number 2: Built-in subtitles

There is now a live subtitles feature!

yes, good Fazoli’s video, hmm, that’s only available in English so far. But that is also quite practical if you want to listen to English-language podcasts, for example, and find it more pleasant if you can read along at the same time.

In fact, it all works surprisingly well. Take a look here, in comparison with the automatically generated YouTube subtitles: YouTube simply pops everything out in lower case and without punctuation marks, while Windows uses upper-lower case and period and comma.

What I find particularly fascinating is that in most cases the subtitles really only start to play when English is actually spoken. With music and conversations in other languages, the subtitle line simply remains. However, a bit of fine-tuning would still do the function good: “Ready for lettering” is translated very strangely, but the worst thing is when you set the font to “Modern”. One thinks that something future-like is coming, but in reality it is: COMIC-SANS. uhh

Number 3: Start menu a bit more customizable

The previously very rigid start menu can now be adjusted a little bit more. Here in Settings, under Personalization / Home, there are three options to choose from: “More Pinned Items”, “Default” and “More Recommendations”. By default, there are three lines of pinned programs at the top and three lines of “recommendations” at the bottom – meaning recently used files. Yeah, and with the other two options there’s just one more line each. Very nice. In addition, you can now create folders in the pinned programs: Simply slide one icon onto another and you have already produced a folder.

Number 4: Even more UI odds and ends

Not very noticeable, but definitely something I use regularly now: The improvements in Snap Assist, or STOP THIS SO AUTOMATICALLY CLICKING IN WINDOWS, as we Windows experts say. It has been possible for a long time to touch a window and then go to the corners of the screen so that it is then opened up to exactly half or a quarter of the area. Now, not only can you longer click on the zoom in icon up here to see more window layout presets, but you can also drag the window onto this narrow white bar up here. Then you get a lot of options as to how you want to organize it. I honestly find it super practical.

Also practical, but actually a standard function since Windows 10 is drag & drop on the taskbar. For example, drag a text file to an editor in the taskbar to open the file in that editor. This used to work, but for some inexplicable reason it was no longer possible in Windows 11. Now it’s back in. Incidentally, the whole thing only works if the software, in our case the editor, is already open.

Otherwise, there are a few small improvements in the quick settings at the bottom right, for example you can now adjust the volume by simply going over it with the mouse and turning the mouse wheel. You used to have to click first.

In addition, you can now see information about OneDrive cloud folders directly in Explorer, which is nice, but of course only works with OneDrive, not with other cloud services.

Number 5: New task manager

The task manager now has the fresher Windows 11 design, including these icons on the left instead of at the top. But there is also a new function: With the “efficiency mode” a resource-consuming task can be slowed down a little, for example to save energy. You could set the priority of a task earlier, but the efficiency mode does something else than just setting the lowest priority: it also turns on the so-called EcoQoS, i.e. Eco Quality of Service. The technology can, for example, clock the processor slower – but the program used must then explicitly support EcoQoS.

So, and now the two negative points.

Number 1: Even more account coercion

The Pro version of the first Windows 11 version could still be installed officially without a Microsoft account. After the update you officially need an account, just like before with the home version. If you don’t want that, you can still enter a blocked word like “Microsoft” as a user name and something as a password, then you can only install with a local account. However, some new Microsoft tools can definitely only be used with an account, for example the otherwise very nice video editing software Clipchamp. No account no video editing.

Number 2: Microsoft is still not listening to customers

We had already made several videos in which we criticized some aspects of Windows 11. According to your feedback, the forced grouping of icons in the taskbar is a major annoyance. Well, and nothing has changed with the 2022 update either: The strange grouping can only be switched off with additional tools. And the widget page, made up mostly of crappy clickbait, is also unchanged. The pre-installed Teams – confusingly called “Chats” on the taskbar – still doesn’t work with corporate accounts, so you’ll still need to install a second Teams, which has the same name and icon that looks almost exactly the same.

Alright. But there are new wallpapers, and this compensates me personally at least a little bit. Windows 11 has these very nice paper strip flower stacked chip images, now there is the Pantone Color of the Year 2022 theme with four images in the color, Attention, VERY PERI, i.e. light purple. That’s really quite.

Oh yes, I wanted to explain how you can get the Windows 11 2022 update. This is really super simple, as it is delivered via Windows Update as usual. If you click on “Check for updates” in the settings under Windows Update, you may see this directly. If not, go to Microsoft’s Windows 11 download page and download the Windows 11 installation wizard. Just start it and the update will begin.

Yeah, and what do you think, have you installed it yet? Or rather not yet? Do you like the changes? Or more like that? Feel free to write in the comments. And of course like to subscribe, you know. Bye!


c’t 3003 is c’t’s YouTube channel. The videos on c’t 3003 are independent content and independent of the articles in c’t magazin. Editor Jan-Keno Janssen and video producers Johannes Börnsen and Şahin Erengil publish a video every week.


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