New in Win11: Phone as Webcam, Better Power Saving

Windows 11: What’s New and Coming Soon

On April 17th, Microsoft rolled out a functional update for Windows 11, dubbed “Moment 5.” While this update introduces few changes, there are a handful of noteworthy additions and minor tweaks. However, the real excitement awaits with the upcoming 24H2 version slated for release in the latter half of 2024.

New in Win11: Phone as Webcam & Better Power Saving

Though the full feature list for Windows 11 24H2 is yet to be disclosed, we already have insights into many new features heading to this operating system. Here are the top five updates that users are eagerly anticipating:

1. Phone as Webcam

Windows 11 will support using Android smartphones as wireless webcams. Modern smartphone cameras boast excellent quality, often surpassing many expensive dedicated webcams. Future updates to Windows 11 will allow users to utilize their phone’s camera for video calls on their PCs, offering additional effects adjustment such as HDR.

Phone as Webcam

Microsoft aims to make this feature as user-friendly as possible. Windows 11 will provide a dedicated floating window containing all control options and additional information like connection status and battery level. Currently, the functionality to use an Android smartphone as a webcam for Windows 11 PCs is open to all Windows Insider testers who have installed Link to Windows app version 1.24012 or higher.

2. Enhanced Copilot Integration

Windows 11’s current AI assistant, “Copilot,” has felt more like an afterthought, with very limited practical Windows-related functionalities. However, Microsoft is working to make its new AI assistant more robust in interacting with hardware. Users will soon be able to have “Copilot” scan Wi-Fi networks, display device information, report battery levels, switch power-saving modes, clean up storage space, take screenshots, and use accessibility features, among others.

While these features may not sound groundbreaking, they can certainly make it easier for users less familiar with computers to navigate Windows 11.

3. Built-in QR Code Generator

This is a relatively minor feature update, but such subtle enhancements often improve the convenience of an operating system. One of the future updates for Windows will allow users to generate QR codes when sharing links, making it easier to transfer websites from a PC to a mobile device.

Built-in QR Code Generator

4. Power Saving Mode for Desktops

Microsoft is expanding the existing power-saving mode to more devices, including desktop computers that traditionally do not rely on rechargeable batteries. The new power-saving mode will extend battery life at the cost of reduced performance, allowing computers to conserve energy even when reaching a certain battery level or plugged into a power source.

Upon activating the power-saving mode through app settings or the quick settings floating window, the notification area will display a new leaf icon, indicating that the system is operating at reduced performance to save power.

5. Richer Lock Screen Widgets

Windows 11’s lock screen interface will soon display more useful information. While the current version allows users to place weather widgets, future updates will add more options such as stocks, traffic conditions, sports events, and more. Of course, these widgets will be optional, and users can still opt for a clean and minimalistic lock screen interface on their Windows 11 PCs.

Richer Lock Screen Widgets

Bonus Surprise: Wi-Fi Refresh Button

The network settings interface will finally feature a dedicated refresh button, allowing users to easily rescan for available networks when unable to find the desired one. It’s unclear why such a simple feature took Microsoft so long to implement, but better late than never.

Source: IT Home

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