Microsoft to ship new Taskbar and Android app preview on Windows 11 next month

Windows 11 Android App Store
Windows 11 Android App Store (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft will bring new improvements to Windows 11 next month.
  • Improvements include updates to Taskbar, in-box apps, and Android support (in preview.)
  • No word yet on what day these updates will begin rolling out.

Microsoft has today announced that it plans to begin shipping a handful of new updates and experiences for Windows 11 customers next month, including improvements to the Taskbar, new Notepad and Media Player experiences, and even a public preview of Windows 11's Android app support feature. All of these improvements are already available to test in the Insider Program Dev Channel, meaning next month these features will become generally available for all users runnig Windows 11.

The news was unveiled by Chief Product Officer, Panos Panay:

Next month we're bringing new experiences to Windows that include a public preview of how you can use Android apps on Windows 11 through the Microsoft Store and our partnerships with Amazon and Intel, taskbar improvements with call mute and unmute, easier window sharing and bringing weather to the taskbar, plus the introduction of two new redesigned apps, Notepad and Media Player.

This news also confirms that Microsoft is willing to ship new features and improvements on Windows 11 outside of major feature updates. The next major feature update for Windows 11 (known as version 22H2) is currently in development, and isn't expected to ship until the second half of this year. So it's good to see that Microsoft is willing to bring some of those new features to users running the production build of Windows 11 sooner.

So, to recap, here's everything that will be made available on the shipping build of Windows 11 next month:

  • A public preview of how you can use Android apps on Windows 11 through the Microsoft Store.
  • Taskbar improvements with call mute and unmute.
  • Easier window sharing.
  • Bringing weather to the taskbar.
  • Introducing two new redesigned apps, Notepad and Media Player.

Microsoft hasn't provided a date for when these updates will begin rolling out next month. We'll keep you posted on news regarding availability. In the meantime, Microsoft has also announced that Windows 11 is entering its final phase for rollout, meaning almost everyone who is eligible for the free Windows 11 update has been offered it.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

  • Please no more slow and heavy tech in WIndows
  • You don't need to install the Amazon app store. You're not forced to use it, and by not using it, you don't engage WSA.
  • Looking forward to this coming out finally.
  • Great news. Thanks to Start11 I'm actually enjoying the whole windows 11 experience, but it is good to know that Microsoft will be pushing features more often than annually
  • Start11 is a must-have for W11
  • Looking forward to trying out Android apps without having to play Russian roulette on Insider Preview builds just to test them (I'd rather stick to stable builds since I use Windows 11 for work).
  • Was hoping to see the ability to view the taskbar clock on all screens. Sadly, I don't see that on the list.
  • At least now I can get the taskbar to show on my desktop monitors. I have it set to auto hide.
  • Android apps remains US only?
  • Yup, for now.
  • As someone responsible for ~18K machines I do not like them shipping new features like this. At least with the H1 and H2 cadence I could get it tested well in advance
  • On the taskbar, are multiple active instances of a given app still forcibly grouped and unlabeled?
  • I hope they fix the taskbar calendar in the bottom right does nothing now.