Windows 11 Functional Update Released: Enhanced Copilot, Widgets, Improved Photo Cleanup, and More

This week, Microsoft has started distributing another functional update for Windows 11 23H2 and Windows 11 22H2. The update will bring several interesting features such as an expansion of the AI-assistant Copilot’s capabilities for user’s PC control, addition of the Generative Erase function in the ‘Photos’ app, improved Snap layouts, and much more.

Even though Microsoft has commenced the mass distribution of the aforementioned update, the tech giant has warned that some features may remain inaccessible even after its installation. For instance, new features connected with the AI-assistant Copilot will start being implemented towards the end of March.

Expanding Capabilities of Copilot

This concerns new skills which would, for instance, allow a user to ask Copilot to activate the battery-saving mode, show available Wi-Fi networks, clear the bin, activate the ‘Screen narrator’ or ‘Screen magnifier’, enable the high-contrast mode, and more. Moreover, new plugins will allow the AI-assistant to interact with various services such as OpenTable and Shopify.

Introducing Generative Erase in ‘Photos’

Another feature is the Generative Erase function in the ‘Photos’ app. It is based on an AI-algorithm that allows easy removal of unnecessary objects in photos. Users simply need to highlight the objects that they want to remove, initiate the photo processing procedure, and the algorithm does the rest. Removed objects are replaced by generated pixels which seamlessly fit into the overall colour scheme, giving an impression that the photo wasn’t edited.

Improved Widgets Panel and Snap Function

Developers have also revamped the ‘Widgets’ panel. Users may now group the widgets by categories. While the Microsoft News feed remains available, users now have the option to disable it, removing it from the widgets panel.

The Snap function, which allows for window-scaling of applications, becomes smarter. Intelligent suggestions have been added in the window layout menu, which assists in grouping several windows of applications based on the frequency of user interaction with each software product.

Windows 11 new update features

Touch Screen Based Device Improvements

For devices running on Windows 11 with touchscreen functionality, an opportunity to perform handwriting insertions directly above the editable fields using the Windows Ink function has been implemented. In addition to this, developers have expanded the number of apps where the Windows Ink tool can be used.

Enhanced ‘Share’ Feature

The ‘Share’ feature, allowing for file exchange, has also been improved. Now users can send files to WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Instagram. In the future, the number of supported services will continue to increase. The ‘Nearby Share’ feature now offers a higher data transfer speed when users share files within the same network.

Windows 11 sharing feature update

Phone Link Tool and Enhanced Accessibility Features

The Phone Link tool in Windows 11 will allow for quick access to photos and screenshots on a synchronized smartphone. In addition to this, users will be able to use their smartphones as a camera in video conferencing apps.

Microsoft also continues to enhance the special features of Windows 11 available to users with limited abilities. The ‘Voice Access’ feature would permit interaction with the Operating System via voice commands, also allowing users to create their own voice commands for various actions such as opening folders, pasting text, launching apps, links and more.

Although the update distribution has already started, it might take some time before it becomes available on all compatible devices. To speed up this process, one can activate the option ‘Receive latest updates as soon as they become available’ in the ‘Windows Update Centre’, and then check for any available updates.

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