Skip to main content

Windows 11 widgets could soon rival those on iOS, Android

Microsoft is making moves to bring a big improvement to one of the highlight experiences in Windows 11, which might bring it closer to what is already available on iOS and Android.

Shared on Twitter by reliable leaker FireCube, a supposed screenshot of code in Windows 11 points to users soon being able to download third-party widgets and updates for those widgets from the Microsoft store. This would be a big change, as all of Windows 11’s current widgets are ones that are only available from Microsoft, like sports, weather, or traffic.

Related Videos
The widgets experience in Windows 11.
Arif Bacchus/ Digital Trends

This has actually been rumored to be on the way for some time, but this tweet shows one of the first times that live code in Windows 11 points to it coming soon. Digital Trends can’t verify the authenticity of the code, but the leaker mentions “widget manifest update shows more evidence of being able to download third-party widgets and updates.” Microsoft also has yet to confirm or announce the feature, but Windows Central had reported that developers were already briefed on how third-party widgets might work.

If this holds up to be true, then widgets on Windows 11 could be a lot like what you already can get on iOS and Android. Meaning, that if you have a third-party app installed on your PC from a developer who opts to make a widget available, there could be a new option to add it when you enter Windows 11’s widget experience with Windows Key and W. 

On the iOS and Android mobile operating systems, select installed apps can give you a home-screen widget, so you can peek at the app without having to open it all the time. Examples on iOS include Flipboard, countdown and battery widgets, Pedometer++, and several others. On Android, there’s Google Keep, Battery Widget Reborn, 1Weather, and more.

Microsoft’s annual Build developer conference is coming up from May 24-26, so there is a chance this improvement to widgets might be announced then. Yet, also rumored to be announced for Windows 11’s widgets is a full-screen experience, where widgets take up the entire screen, rather than just one corner. Screenshots for this were recently spotted during a breakout session at Microsoft’s Windows Powers the Future of Hybrid Work event.

Editors' Recommendations

If your PC is running slowly, the latest Windows 11 update may be to blame
A laptop running Windows 11.

Microsoft may have a problem on its hands -- the latest Windows 11 update doesn't seem to be working as intended. According to various user reports, the update drastically slows SSD speeds, in some cases even cutting them in half.

If you've noticed that your PC is loading slowly or programs aren't running as quickly as you'd hoped, you might be affected by this problem. Here's how to fix it.

Read more
Microsoft’s Bing Chat waitlist is gone — how to sign up now
Microsoft Edge browser showing Bing Chat on an iPhone.

It appears Microsoft is doing away with the long Bing Chat waitlist. As originally reported by Windows Central, new users who sign up for the waitlist are immediately given access to the AI chatbot, without having to wait, and Digital Trends has confirmed this to be the case.

Microsoft hasn't officially killed the waitlist, but it should go away in short order. On Tuesday, Microsoft bolstered OpenAI's launch of the GPT-4 model by confirming that it was the model behind Bing Chat. Microsoft is also set to host an AI-focused event on Thursday, where we expect to hear about AI integrations in Microsoft's Office apps like Word and PowerPoint. It's possible Microsoft could remove the waitlist during the presentation.

Read more
Dell’s first Windows 11 ARM laptop is priced like a Chromebook
A woman using a Dell Inspiron 14 laptop.

Dell just launched a new Inspiron 14 laptop with a Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2, and it's priced like a Chromebook, costing only $500. The advantage of using a Qualcomm chip is the long battery life, and Dell claims the Inspiron 14 can last for 16 hours on a single charge.

The budget laptop includes a respectable 8GB of memory and 256GB of SSD storage, which should be sufficient for productivity and browsing. A 14-inch antiglare screen has an LED backlight and offers 1080p resolution.

Read more