Skip to main content

Windows 11 updates: Live Captions, improved touch controls

The Windows 11 and Windows 365 updates have been announced as part of Microsoft’s April 5 event. Updates include Focus Timer, Do Not Disturb, Live Captions, and Touch Snap Layouts.

Many of these features were previously tested by beta users in the Windows Insider Program, but they will now be officially rolling out to the public through a software update.

The latest Windows 11 update includes many accessibility and productivity features.
Microsoft

Focus and Do Not Disturb work well to keep users set on the task at hand. Focus, in particular, has been developed quite a bit from its debut in Windows 10 as a feature that minimizes “visual distractions and reduces clutter on the desktop.” It’s evolved into a Viva Insights-based tool that helps you automatically schedule time into your week when you need time free from distractions.

Other features in Focus include a countdown, which allows you to time your experience without distractions. Meanwhile, Do Not Disturb allows you to track and personalize your Focus experience even more.

Live Captions is an accessibility feature that is especially beneficial for deaf users, in addition to language learners. It is a feature that can pair with other apps, as well as web-based audio. Video streaming websites are a particularly useful method for this feature.

Snap Layouts was a new multitasking feature introduced in Windows 11, allowing for up to four different projects to run at the same time. On touchscreen devices, you can now use your finger to “snap” together related windows, which drastically improves navigation on a device without a keyboard or mouse.

All these features focus primarily on how Microsoft’s major software platforms and cloud services can continue to aid the professional sector, specifically in remote or hybrid offices.

Microsoft also took time to highlight details from its 2022 Work Trend Index, which found that 73% of employees favor flexible or remote options moving forward. The survey included 31,000 people in 31 countries globally.

Microsoft did not give a release date for these features or mention which update they would be rolling out as a part of.

Editors' Recommendations

Fionna Agomuoh
Fionna Agomuoh is a technology journalist with over a decade of experience writing about various consumer electronics topics…
Windows 11 may bring Live Tiles back from the dead — sort of
windows 8 1 everything you need to know live tiles

The latest Windows 11 Canary build 26212 has quietly introduced support for what is being called "Start Menu Companions." These are small widget-like apps designed to appear alongside your pinned apps or the "All apps" list in the Start Menu.

By the looks of it, these companions would offer at-a-glance information such as weather updates, stock prices, and more. And yes, they share a lot in common with the now-defunct Live Tiles feature from previous versions of Windows. They lack the bright colors and blocky shapes, but they would function in a very similar way.

Read more
Scores of people are downgrading back to Windows 10
The screen of the Galaxy Book4 Ultra.

Microsoft continues to struggle with the adoption of Windows 11 among its users. Recent data from Statcounter reveals a notable decline in the operating system’s market share, specifically compared with Windows 10.

After reaching an all-time high of 28.16% in February 2024, Windows 11 has experienced a drop, falling below the 26% mark.

Read more
The latest Windows update is breaking VPN connections
Windows Update running on a laptop.

Microsoft has acknowledged that the Windows security updates for April 2024 (KB5036893 for Windows 11, KB5036892 for Windows 10) are causing disruptions to virtual private network (VPN) connections across various client and server platforms. According to information on the Windows health dashboard, devices running Windows may experience VPN connection failures following the installation of either the April 2024 security update or the April 2024 non-security preview update.

The company has also stated that it is actively investigating user reports regarding these issues and will share more details in the coming days. The impacted Windows versions include Windows 11, Windows 10, and Windows Server 2008 onward.

Read more