New Windows 11 updates are rolling out now with improvements to the Notepad and Media Player apps as well as introducing limited Android app support through the Microsoft Store.
For the Android apps, the Microsoft Store will soon be integrating Amazon's Appstore marketplace, which will introduce thousands of Android apps into the Windows 11 environment for the first time.
"Today we are adding over 1,000 more apps and games in partnership with the Amazon Appstore," Panos Panay, Microsoft's Chief Product Officer for Windows and Devices, said in a Microsoft blog post (opens in new tab). "Windows 11 users in the U.S. can access the Amazon Appstore Preview1 in the Microsoft Store, and popular apps like Audible, Kindle, Subway Surfers, Lords Mobile, Khan Academy Kids and many more."
To update the Microsoft Store to access these apps, open the Microsoft Store app, navigate to the Library tab, and click Get Updates.
This will also update two of Windows most popular apps, Notepad and Media Player.
Media Player will replace the Groove app and is optimized for accessibility with improved keyboard shortcuts and access keys for dedicated keyboard users as well as those using other assistive devices and technology. The update automatically migrates over any music and playlists you might have in the Groove app, so you don't need to worry about losing anything in the process.
As for Notepad, Microsoft finally brings the Windows 11 Dark Mode interface to the iconic text editing app. If your system is set to dark mode, Notepad will automatically adopt the theme, so you don't need to do anything.
In addition to the new theme, the Notepad update also makes some under-the-hood improvements to the app experience. "Menus have also been simplified to make it easier to find the actions you want to take in the app," Panay said, "and we’ve added new highly requested features like multi-level undo, colorful emojis, and a modern and efficient find-and-replace experience."
Analysis: Windows 11 updates promise a better experience, and it's about time
There's no question that Windows 11 has had a bit of a tough roll out. As we noted this morning, the latest beta Windows 11 update for the Windows Insiders has some real issues with CPU overheating (while fixing other issues like inaccurate taskbar tooltips), so things are still being ironed out.
Of course, Windows 10 had similar problems when it was first introduced years ago, so it's not like any of this is surprising. But a lot of these issues have kept users from making the jump from Windows 10 to Windows 11, including yours truly.
Offering new and improved features should go a long way to helping spur adoption, though, which will hopefully help sus out bugs and improve the overall Windows 11 experience for everyone.