Microsoft released its first major update for Windows 11 on Tuesday. The update includes new security, productivity, accessibility and gaming features. 

The operating system is fast approaching its one-year anniversary. At launch, the new operating system brought dozens of new features to life, including a redesigned interface, widgets, a more accessible Microsoft Teams experience, multiple desktops and Snap Layouts and Groups, as well as Android Apps.

Here’s what’s new: 

The Windows 11 update makes your PC easier to use

The new Windows 11 update adds a faster, more accurate search to the Start menu, Quick Settings, as well as better local and current events coverage on your Widgets board. In October, Windows 11 will get a long-requested feature — tabs in File Explorer.

Windows 11 now has more productivity tools

Windows 11 launched with features geared towards multitaskers and users who wanted more organization. With this new update, Snap Layouts, which neatly arrange open Windows on your desktop, are more versatile with improved touch navigation and the ability to snap multiple browser tabs in Microsoft Edge. 

The Windows 11 update adds new accessibility features

Narrator, Windows 11’s built-in screen reader, will receive more natural voices, improving the text-to-speech function.

In addition, new system-wide live captions will go beyond individual apps’ live caption features. System-wide live captions will display at the top of the screen and under the camera by default, but users can switch up the caption location to the bottom of the screen or a separate floating window. Also, by capturing microphone audio, live captions can now transcribe in-person conversations.  

Smart App Control and security

Smart App Control should give you more confidence when downloading apps on Windows 11, according to Microsoft. The tool blocks untrusted or unsigned apps, script files and potentially malicious macros from invading your machine. Essentially, the tool predicts the safety of an app in real-time. The feature, built on the same AI used in Windows Defender Application Control, is available for personal use or business use.

Better video calls and creator content tools 

At launch, Windows 11 made Microsoft Teams more accessible. The latest update introduces Windows Studio Effects, which can improve audio and video calls. The new Windows Studio camera uses Voice Focus to filter out background noise, a background blurring tool, Eye Contact, for making it look like you’re always looking at the camera, as well as Automatic Framing that keeps the camera with you as you move.

Gaming and Android apps

The Edge Browser's new Gaming home page has streams, tournaments, rewards, new releases, recently played Xbox Game Pass games and more.

The Windows 11 update makes accessing games easier with the new Controller bar. This also provides an updated view of the Xbox Game Bar for quicker access to recently played games and launchers. According to Microsoft, the update will also boost gaming performance optimizations that improve latency and unlock Auto HDR and Variable Refresh. 

Greener features

The latest Windows 11 update aims to make it easier to reduce your device’s carbon emissions.

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