A better preview for your widgets on Windows 11 is finally happening thanks to a recent Insider build that is available for download.
If you are a member of Windows Insider Program (opens in new tab) on the Dev Channel (which lets you install Windows 11 updates made up of features that are in testing), you can try a new widget preview where they cover your desktop on build 25201.
Widgets are all the rage these days, with Google and Apple also implementing them in new and different ways to help us manage important information quickly. Right now, the iPhone 14 lineup features them as a standout feature on the lock screen, but there’s a lot of untapped potential on desktop PCs, something Apple hasn’t yet done in macOS Ventura.
That’s probably why we’re seeing widgets improve in Windows 11, not just to get there first, but to do it in a way that makes sense for the OS on desktops and laptops.
Widgets in Windows have been around since Windows Vista, when they were called ‘Gadgets’. They were slow, stuck on the right side, constantly crashed on my laptop and almost none were useful; Eventually, they were dropped by Microsoft as soon as Windows 8 arrived.
Fast forward to Windows 11 and the next big update and widgets are coming back. It is revealing that Microsoft is already working to improve the way widgets work and look. With the release of macOS Ventura scheduled for October with no improvements to widgets on the Mac, it’s an opportunity for Microsoft to set the standard for how widgets can work on a PC.
This expanded view will go a long way in proving this further, especially as the Game Pass widget improvements will show you the latest games available to play.
It’s true that we may see this feature pushed back to a future update such as the release of ‘Moment’, but it’s encouraging to see the widgets progress already and that Microsoft isn’t ready to let go of them again.