Notifications provide a summary column of alerts that Windows and other apps send: new email, upcoming meetings, and so on

Notifications provide a summary column of alerts that Windows and other apps send: new email, upcoming meetings, and so on

In Windows 10, the Action Center hides all sorts of useful little functions, including VPN options, screen snip, the ability to connect to other screens and devices, and so on. In Windows 11, this has been pared down considerably, to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth toggles, Airplane mode, a Battery saver mode, Focus assist, and an Accessibility menu. You still have the option to add functions like Nearby Sharing, the blue-light blocking Night Light, and more, but you’ll have to manually add them by clicking the tiny little “pencil” icon at the very bottom of the Action Center.

Oddly, in Windows 11 part of this column has now been replaced by a non-functional calendar. Want to add an event to your personal calendar? In Windows 10, a small pane allows you to do this. In Windows 11, that pane is gone, and right-clicking or double-clicking a date does absolutely nothing to what is basically a bit better than wasted space.

To be fair, in Windows 11 notifications seem to be organized far more usefully than within Windows 10. That may be because the calendar reduces the available screen space for notifications, forcing Microsoft to be economical.

Revamped Windows Settings menu

I don’t really like how Microsoft scatters buttons throughout the Windows shell to point users to overflow menus like the Start menu’s “More apps.” In the redesigned Settings menu, however, Microsoft uses these buttons, drop-down menus, and “breadcrumb” navigation (placing, for example, a clickable System>Sound>Properties at the top of the screen) so that you can navigate back and forth) to much better effect.

That’s good, because Settings now oversees a ton of information. Yes, it can feel a trifle overwhelming in places as you dig down through layers of menus. (more…)

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