Windows 11 taskbar gets AI-powered Bing, also Notepad tabs and the ability to link to your iPhone

In short: A big new update is now available to Windows 11 users, with quality-of-life improvements and a new Bing integration that brings it more in line with the general direction of tech. industry where everything is more or less infused with AI.

Those of you who have been lucky enough to try out the new Bing chat feature powered by ChatGPT over the past few weeks are no doubt familiar with the way it serves up detailed and convincing answers to a variety of questions that can be answered using many pieces of information. available on the web. Now you can access the same search feature right from the Windows 11 taskbar, and it will be highlighted in the search box as well as the search flyout for people who have installed the latest update.

Earlier this month, Microsoft baked similar capabilities into the Edge web browser with features like Chat and Compose. The first is useful for extracting important takeaways from, say, a financial report, or comparing data from different sources. The second helps users create lists, emails, and social media posts by giving AI some prompts on what to write, what tone to use, and more.

Microsoft says that the search box in Windows 11 is used by “more than half a billion people on a regular basis,” which explains why it wants to use it as a vehicle for promoting Bing. of competing web search services. The company is also looking to integrate ChatGPT-like functionality into Office applications, although we don’t have a clear timeline for when that will be available for the general public.

That said, there’s more to the latest Windows 11 update than AI smarts. For example, you can use a preview of the Phone Link app that allows you to link a Windows PC to an iPhone. Integration may be more limited compared to Android devices, but you can read and send messages through iMessage, answer calls, and sync notifications.

Link to your iPhone will first be accessible to Windows Insiders in the Dev, Beta, and Release Preview channels and is expected to be available to most in the coming months. Android users with a Samsung phone also get new integration features such as the ability to sync a browser session with a Windows PC or activate the phone’s hotspot from Wi -Fi flyout in Windows 11.

One thing that is immediately available to all users is an improved widgets flyout that now includes Phone Link, Xbox Game Pass, as well as widgets from companies like Meta and Spotify. But more importantly, people using a 2-in-1 will get a more refined touch experience with a collapsible taskbar that fits with the presence or absence of a keyboard.

The Snipping Tool and Notepad have also been improved, although the latter is a bit buggy at the moment. Notepad now has tab support, but be careful about opening multiple instances of it because closing one will close all of them. Snipping Tool, which you can easily call with Win key + Shift + S, can now record any selected part of your screen.

Other notable improvements in the latest Windows 11 update are new energy-saving settings for laptops, Braille display support, and voice access for apps. The integrated Microsoft Teams experience makes it easy to watch your video or jump into a call, and the Quick Assist app has been redesigned to help your family and friends with technical issues.

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