A couple of weeks ago, Microsoft debuted a revamped Bing search engine powered by a next generation version of OpenAI’s large language model, with Microsoft calling it even more powerful than ChatGPT. After a very successful launch of the new Bing preview, Microsoft has now announced that it’s coming straight to your computer, or Windows 11 to be exact.
In the latest Windows 11 update, Microsoft has implemented the new AI-powered Bing directly into the Windows search box, putting all your search needs for Windows into a single, easy to find location—at least, according to Microsoft. The Redmond company says that the search box is already one of the most widely used features on Windows, with over half a billion users every month. With the new Bing powering the search box, Microsoft hopes that it can help you find the answers you’re looking for faster than ever.
Another major new feature coming in the latest version of Windows 11 is a new preview of Phone Link for iOS. While perhaps not as full fledged as the current Phone Link sync available to Android users, Phone Link for iOS finally allows you to sync your iPhone to your Windows 11 PC, meaning that you can concentrate on your computer without having to check your phone every now and then.
Phone Link for iOS will also finally allow iPhone users to send and receive messages via iMessage directly off their Windows computer. There are some limits though. Users can’t send pictures nor can they use group messages, and their iMessage conversation will appear as a very simplified UI. You can’t see the full history of your conversations either, as you’re limited to just the messages sent and received when you had Phone Link for iOS turned on. This limitation seems to be down to Microsoft using Bluetooth to sync your iPhone with your laptop. Phone Link for iOS will be only for Windows Insiders for the time being, but you can expect it to arrive to the stable release of Windows 11 soon.
There’s a bunch of smaller, quality of life improvements too. Phone Link for Samsung users in particular should find that it’s much easier to activate your personal hotspot with just one click from the WiFi drop down menu now, similar to how seamless it is to share your hotspot off your iPhone when you use a Mac. Samsung users can also transfer your browser sessions from your smartphone over to your PC for seamless and effortless browsing.
On top of that, the integrated Microsoft Teams function has been improved, with this update making it easier for users to preview your video and head into a call, or to share a call link through any app. There’s also a new, redesigned Quick Assist app, making it easier for you to provide tech support to your less than tech literate friends and family. The new Quick Assist can be opened straight off the Start Menu, allowing you to connect, screen share and take full control of the person you’re helping easily.
Microsoft has expanded their Widgets feature too; it now includes Phone Link, Xbox Game Pass as well as widgets from their partners such as Meta and Spotify. Other new improvements include a new built-in screen recorder tool in Snipping Tool, tabs in the Notepad app, a bunch of new accessibility features such as Braille display support as well as the Windows 365 app coming to the Microsoft Store.
This latest update to Windows 11 has already begun rolling out from today onwards via Windows Update, and users with eligible devices already running Windows 11 version 22H2 can get the new update by checking for updates in the Settings app. Full availability of the new update meanwhile should be delivered in the March 2023 monthly security update release.