Windows 11 Adding AI-Powered Bing to Taskbar and introducing iPhone Link Preview

After over a year since its introduction, Microsoft is bringing new features to Windows 11. The new feature set includes additive features to the company’s AI-powered Bing suite and a preview of the company’s iPhone Link. Additionally, many additive improvements are on their way to Windows 11.

In a blog post, Microsoft announces that the company is bringing the new AI-powered Bing to the taskbar for Windows 11 PCs. According to Microsoft, the search box sees over half a billion users interact with it monthly. With so many eyes on the Windows feature, Microsoft is taking advantage of that by placing its AI-powered Bing at the forefront of the taskbar. Users will soon be able to find answers and information “faster than ever before.”

For those in the Bing preview, a Windows update will be available to install today. This will grant access to the new search bar. For those wanting to enroll in the preview, Microsoft offers a waitlist to sign up for.

Microsoft is also introducing a preview for Phone Link on iOS. The feature has been available for Android users. Now, Microsoft is looking to break down barriers for iOS. Phone Link enables users to sync a phone to Windows 11. Using this feature, users can reply to texts on their keyboard, answer calls using a headset, and even receive notifications. All of these feature help create synergy between a user’s phone and their PC. 

Microsoft’s Phone Link for iOS is available to Windows Insiders as a preview. It will later be available to a wider user base.

Microsoft is also adding an array of Windows 11 features, enhancing productivity on PC. For instance, Windows Studio Effects, a collection of audio and video effects, is gaining a great quality-of-life update. Effects like eye contact, background blur, and voice focus can now be found through the taskbar. Users can apply them to their video chat apps like Microsoft Teams on the fly and adjust them through quick settings. 

Microsoft’s Chat feature is also being updated. Now, users are able to preview their video and jump into a call or share a call link through other apps. Plus, access to all conversations is available within one window as is the ability to hop between conversations.

Additional highlights include Microsoft’s redesigned Quick Assist, which can be opened from the Start menu. It enables users to switch between screen sharing during a session. Plus, there’s a new laser pointer feature if users want to highlight anything on the screen. Widgets are also being expanded. Microsoft is adding new Widgets for Phone Link, Xbox Game Pass, Spotify, and Meta apps. 

Microsoft is also integrating further touch improvements on relevant devices. For touch-enabled Windows 11 devices, the taskbar will collapse when using the device without a keyboard. This will allow users to gain more screen real estate for touch navigation. Swipe commands simply expand it in the event it is needed.

The Snippet Tool is gaining access to a built-in screen recording feature. Users can launch Snipping Tool via the taskbar and select ‘Record’. Video recordings are then saved to the default folder, similar to screenshots taken on the PC.

Other notable Windows 11 features include new braille display support as well as enhanced voice access across key apps. Users can close an application, apply bold formatting to text, move the cursor, and other useful commands using voice access. Windows 11 is also integrating new energy recommendation features to reduce the user’s carbon footprint. Access to Cloud PC is also available through the new Windows 365 app on the Microsoft Store.

Full availability of these features is expected to start today via Windows Updates.

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