Microsoft unveils Spotify and Phone Link widgets for Windows 11

Windows 11 Widgets Hero
(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • Windows 11 build 25290 is now available for Insiders in the Dev Channel
  • It includes new widgets for Spotify and Phone Link apps
  • There's also a new Start menu alert for incomplete account settings

Microsoft has unveiled two new widgets for Windows 11 users that are now available to test in the latest Windows 11 preview build 25290, which just rolled out to Insiders in the Dev Channel. The two new widgets are from Spotify and Phone Link, which give the user quick access to recently played music, and recent phone notifications.

In addition to the new widgets, which can be accessed by installing Windows 11 build 25290 and updating both Spotify and Phone Link apps via the Microsoft Store, the company has also announced a new user account alert that will appear in Start when the user has incomplete account settings.

Such alerts include things like setting up OneDrive cloud backup for local files, and will appear as a badge above the user account profile picture within Start. Below is the full changelog for Windows 11 build 25290:

Windows 11 build 25290 changelog:

Windows 11 Spotify and Phone Link Widgets

Spotify and Phone Link widgets (Image credit: Microsoft)
  • Last week, we promoted a preview of the widget for the Messenger app. Spotify and Phone Link are now rolling out preview versions of their widgets as well. To give them a try, go to the widgets collection in the Microsoft Store and update to the latest version of the apps. Then open the widgets board and navigate to the widgets picker by clicking the “+” button at the top-right of the board to pin your widgets.
  • Back in October with Build 25227, we started trying out a small change to the Start menu where some Insiders saw badging on their user profile notifying them that certain actions need to be taken. We concluded that initial exploration in November. Starting today, we are starting a new exploration of badging on the Start menu with two new treatments that some Insiders in the Dev Channel will see. If you see one of these treatments, give us feedback on what you think. As a reminder, it is normal for us to try out different concepts in the Dev Channel to get feedback.
  • We fixed the issue causing Arm64 devices to fail to resume from sleep/hibernate when running Build 25281 and getting stuck at the OS boot logo.
  • Fixed an issue where some Insiders may have issues accessing websites and other resources via VPN connections. If you used the workaround documented in this forum post, please reverse those changes once you have this new build installed.
  • Fixed an issue causing some Insiders to experience freezes when using the browser and certain other apps in recent Dev Channel builds.
  • Fixed an explorer.exe crash which could cause the taskbar not to load for some Insiders.
  • Fixed an issue where the search box would randomly disappear sometimes when you clicked it (leaving a blank space on the taskbar).
  • Fixed an issue where the search box was shifting to the side slightly when you clicked it.
  • Fixed an issue where the data content area of the Processes page might flash once when theme changes were applied in the Task Manager Settings page.
  • Fixed an issue where some dialogs did not render in the correct theme when applied from Task Manager Settings page.
  • Fixed an issue where properties in the Memory section of the Performance page were getting truncated even though there was space to display them.
  • Reduced the transparency of graph colors in the Performance page, and adjusted the borders, to help make them stand out more.
  • Fixed a few issues causing Task Manager crashes.
  • Typing F in the search box should work again now.
  • You now shouldn’t have to make Task Manager be as wide before the navigation pane appears.
  • If text scaling has been increased, the search box shouldn’t overlap with the title bar text anymore.
  • Made some tweaks to address cases where text in dialogs was getting cut off when text scaling was increased.
  • Fixes an issue where certain parts of the title bar couldn’t be used to drag the window.
  • We fixed the issue causing some people to not get a consistent refresh of images on a daily basis.
  • Fixed an issue where the preview for Sans Serif Collection in Personalization > Fonts was displaying broken glyphs.
  • Fixed an issue that was preventing Narrator from announcing dropdown lists in Excel.
  • Fixed an underlying issue which could cause Snipping Tool screenshots to become stretched out and distorted in the last few builds if you had multiple monitors.
  • Fixed an issue which could cause a bugcheck with SYSTEM_SERVICE_EXCEPTION.
  • Fixed an issue which could make the Open With dialog crash on launch.
  • Fixed an issue where the Open File dialog would hang if you clicked it while using an IME after having selected “Choose an app on your PC” from the Open With dialog.
  • Fixed an issue which could cause Group Policy Editor to unexpectedly show “An error has occurred in the script on this page” with an invalid character error when editing a group policy.
  • If you have OpenSSH Server set to start at boot (instead of manual), that preference should be remembered across OS upgrades now. Please note, you need to be on a build with this fix before it will take effect with your next upgrade.
Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

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