We’ve caught a glimpse of how a part of the Windows 11 interface could work in the future, thanks to digging in a new preview build.
Another demo of the smart snap assist suggestions feature rolling out with build 23493, now with tooltips and snap bar snapping working properly! To get it, enable SnapFlyoutAndBarSuggestions (replace X with 1 or 2)vivetool /enable /id:42500395 /variant:X pic.twitter.com/XBmj3tqWF5July 3, 2023
You can see the results (this is in preview build 23493 in the Dev channel) in the video clip provided in the tweet above.
As noted by the leaker, the snapping process and tooltips are now working properly, so Microsoft is making progress with this part of the interface.
For the uninitiated – those who don’t use snap layouts – it’s a part of the interface that allows you to easily ‘snap’ multiple apps together in different layouts, with the suggestions providing predefined templates of how you might want those apps to sit on the screen.
Microsoft is also adding icons to the snap flyout carrying the suggested layouts, so you can see which windows will carry which apps (as the icon of the application is present in its relevant window).
We’re seeing Microsoft do a lot of work in build 23493, and it makes a big move in terms of the introduction of Windows Copilot (although the AI is very barebones to begin with), plus there’s some interesting work on the Settings app (yes, it’s an app, and yes, it just got improved in a major way).
Analysis: Heading for a multitasker’s paradise?
On top of all that other work on the UI (there’s a new volume mixer in 23493, to boot), this is a promising glimpse of how snap suggestions is coming along. It looks pretty slick even in this still early stage of the game, as remember, the feature isn’t even functional yet. (Not without using the aforementioned Windows configuration tool, ViVeTool, to turn it on).
As ever, features in testing may change, and as PhantomOfEarth points out, Microsoft is currently testing two variants of snap suggestions with the available layouts arranged somewhat differently, trying to work out which is optimal no doubt.
There’s even a chance that features in testing won’t make it to release at all – especially hidden functionality like this – but in the case of snap suggestions, we’re thinking this is a pretty safe bet for eventual inclusion in Windows 11. Particularly as snap layouts is an area Microsoft has been tinkering with a fair bit in recent times.
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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).