Hello everyone! We need to talk about Windows 11…
Windows 11, it “released” on October 5th but Samsung along with a lot of other PC manufacturers only just rolled it out. I now have it on my Galaxybook Flex Alpha and… let’s talk about it.
Design and Animation:
So, I want to start this part out with a highlight and basically the best part of Windows 11: the UI. Visually, this looks great. I have no big issue with the UI and think that it looks pretty great! How does it function in everyday use though?
What you are seeing above is the brand-new start menu. It looks great and definitely functions decently as well. It is just a reskinned Windows 10 start menu and so the search functions work the same. Keep an eye on those apps for later on though…
Let’s look at the new taskbar. Above, you can see approximately what my taskbar currently looks like. The taskbar has a colour that Microsoft called “glass” at their launch event, which makes it sort of shine through to the background. It looks pretty cool, but everything functions basically the same when actually using it. The changes are actually to the right of this taskbar.
You now see the connections bar, which just has a design overhaul. It does look suspiciously like an old style Android drop down menu… But, that isn’t the only somewhat copied thing about the UI (hem, hem- the centred task bar).
Above, you are seeing the new notifications bar. I honestly do like how it takes up less space. It doesn’t function much differently, but it is cool. I don’t remember if the clear all button was in the Windows 10 notification bar, but either way, I use it a lot on Windows 11 and maybe didn’t notice it on Windows 10. 😂
The Initial Impressions:
Now, I definitely have to bring up something that I couldn’t leave out of this post. This update is buggy. I am extremely disappointed that I didn’t screenshot what initial bugs there were, but I can explain them.
- Let’s start with the first thing that most people would do after an update. Open the app that says, Welcome to Windows 11! What could possibly go wrong?! haha. The app said that it couldn’t open, and I should try again, reinstall windows, or factory reset! Excuse me, WHAT?!
The good news is, that following that very bad start, things seemed okay. That is, until I realized that my apps had automatically updated… okay, fine. Right?
2. The entire Adobe Suite had updated. Adobe is soooo notorious for not having smooth updates because generally bugs will be added along with a minor change. Yep. Premiere was not working well with random strange things happening all over! Also, I was working on a Concert edit and needed to finish quickly, but before I could finish the edit, I had to “convert” the Premiere 2021 file to the Premiere 2022 format. It is the same file type!
What happened, while I ran Premiere, was probably the worst part:
3. Laaaag. So much lag. My computer shouldn’t run slow, with Windows 11 supposedly bringing “improved performance”. I have never had Premiere run that slow on this machine; EVER.
The new and the old…
4. Finally, the OS was not complete. We know this from the media coverage of the OS and from the way things ran. The entire Emoji keyboard was gone last week… GONE! I had mentioned that in last week’s post, and had to do my emoji’s like this *happy smile face*. 😂 Also, keyboard shortcuts were mostly broken, the high-quality snipping tool was non-existent, and so much more was wrong.
As you can see by the Emoji there and throughout this post. Things did improve. Now, after numerous updates to my machine, most of my everyday-use features are back. The Emoji keyboard, the Snipping Tool, Paint, and more.
The Re-introduced Features:
Now that the features are back and functioning, let’s take a look at them.
Emoji’s came back in a newly designed system. The Emojis are bigger, and slightly different in design (although not by much).
Tenor is now introduced natively in Windows. You’ll get the same suite of GIF’s seen in Discord on the native Windows 11 Emoji Menu. That is unfortunately it for this Emoji keyboard; very little change, but I welcome it back after a week without it 😂.
Is the snipping tool any different? Other than in design, no.
This is how Microsoft Paint looks now. I have to apologize because I literally never use the main Paint app. I think that Paint 3d is just way better for my uses, and therefore don’t really know if this is much different.
Let’s talk personalization!
I am not going to talk about settings in this post, since they are only rearranged and redesigned. This is what the new settings look like, though. I am in the personalization settings and for the purpose of this post, I am using the default Windows 11 background. As you can see, there are themes and there are settings moved here that were in different places in Windows 10. Microsoft stole the Material You concept from Android 12 with the accent colours to match the different wallpapers.
What I want to talk about is the Microsoft Store and personalization briefly because I think that it is kinda interesting. I clicked the browse themes button, and went to the Store. Look at this:
You can buy taskbar themes, wallpapers, cursors, and more personalized settings. I don’t know how to feel about this… Now, I did pick three out of a selection with over a hundred entirely free themes. Microsoft is really trying to make money with $19 to $99 developer accounts, and selling themes for the OS is something I don’t really know how to feel about it.
In general, though, personalization is great (just a bit copied from Google).
More Default Apps:
What else do you often use on Windows? I of course use Photos a lot!
The redesign is cool, but there is no new photo editor which I am super bummed about, and the only notable change is the better integration with 3rd party editors. The catch is, this is 3rd party editors FROM the Microsoft Store. This is, Photoshop Elements (not full) and PicsArt.
Windows 11 does have a video editor that I do want to talk about and I am going to do so in a dedicated post soon, so stay tuned for that.
My oh my. I’ve put it off to the end of this post, since this is the most anticlimactic part of this post. Android Apps are a huge letdown and were literally seconds after they said that Android Apps were coming to Windows. As soon as they said that Amazon was making it happen, we all knew that this was going to suck. The feature is still in beta, with only around 50 available right now outside of beta. Instagram is literally the equivalent of the Browser based one if you go to Inspect, switch to mobile, and reload to post. It is not as great as any of us wished for. It works fine, but doesn’t feel like a new feature.
You saw TikTok and Facebook up there, but something was strange and out of place… Let’s look again.
Amazon Prime Video. I don’t have Prime and don’t really intend on paying for it, but here it is. Why, oh why. I have yet to try the Microsoft Word, Excel, & PowerPoint for the new update since I don’t actually use them any more. Keep an eye on that ClipChamp for the upcoming Video editing post.
What else is there to say, bigger touch points, new keyboard, not much else. I am glad to have the new tablet mode, it is easier to use, but it is not a ton different to Windows 10.
Finally, Widgets are another letdown. They already exist in Windows 10 and now they are just in a less annoying place.
They are here, but are basically just the weather from the newer Windows 10.
Yeah, that is Windows 11. This OS is incomplete with the gaping whole in Android Apps, lack of new features beyond a redesign, and there isn’t really much else to say. I am excited about ClipChamp for a future post, but nothing else is really exciting. I do need to mention that after some updates, I now have better performance than on Windows 10 with less lag and overall better loading times. Let me know what you think of Windows 11 in the comments down below!
Have a great week all!
-Digital Wonders & Smiles