Windows 11 just received its first major update since launch. Version KB5010414 offers improvements to the taskbar, two redesigned native apps, and a public preview of native Android app support. The update starts rolling out on February 15, but it will take some time to be available on all eligible devices.
Microsoft first revealed the news in a blog post in late January, before confirming the update’s release three weeks later. Adding simpler window sharing, mute/unmute calls, and weather integration won’t solve all taskbar problems, but they will prove useful to many. . Elsewhere, both the Notepad and Media Player apps get a new, simplified aesthetic that better aligns with Windows 11’s Fluent design language.
But native Android app support is the big new feature. It was announced alongside Windows 11 in June, but initial builds have been exclusive to the Windows Insider Program so far. That has now changed, with the public preview of the feature rolling out to everyone. It’s still not the final version, but should give you a good idea of what to expect.
Downloaded Android apps are fully compatible with Windows 11, though you’re limited to the Amazon Appstore for now. However, Microsoft has said it intends to add the Epic Games Store at some point in the future. An alternative also allows you to access the Google Play Store, but there is little chance that this will be officially supported any time soon.
However, the update that recently appeared in the Beta and Release Preview channels of the Windows Insider Program caused problems for many who downloaded it. Users reported problems during printing and unusually high CPU loads, resulting in overheating. If the update hasn’t arrived on your device yet, maybe you should be patient – the final version is said to have solved these issues.
There is no sign of it in KB5010414, but
Windows Latest has spotted another upcoming taskbar feature. The Microsoft Your Phone companion app will now be integrated into the taskbar, giving you quick access to the three most recently used apps on recent Samsung phones. The screenshot below gives you an idea of how it should look:
The February update is not expected to affect Windows 11’s first feature update, scheduled for the second half of 2022. It is rumored to add drag and drop support to the taskbar and support for third-party add-ons, but the news is relatively thin. ground so far.
At the end of January, Microsoft also confirmed that Windows 11 was entering the final stage of readiness. That’s ahead of the original target of mid-2022, although all compatible devices have been able to download it since October.