In less than a month, Microsoft will launch Windows 11, which will gradually replace the current “dozens”. Number promotion to system name is associated (as recently with macOS) with a significant change in design, which is obvious at first glance. However, this does not mean that this is the only change, there is a significantly greater amount of news under the hood, which we have described in detail in this article. Now let’s take a look at how Windows 11 behaves on tablets, because unlike Windows 10, there are no inverted stones in this area.
A little history
The fact that Microsoft cared about touch devices was first seen in 2012 on the system Windows 8. After a perfect desktop “set,” the Redmonds created a hybrid system that could be adapted to different types of devices. Windows 8 laid the groundwork for control on touch devices: the Start menu consisted of clear tiles, applications launched in full screen mode with the ability to “halve” the screen in two parts, modern settings appeared easier to touch , etc. the system on the tablets was facilitated with comfortable tactile gestures.
The glorious idea of introducing a hybrid system failed because the vast majority of users ran it on the desktop and all those tablet settings were just an obstacle, as they could not be removed or delayed at the system level. Although Microsoft did Windows 8.1 several changes (such as closing full-screen apps with a cross), but success did not come due to the small number of Windows tablets on the market.
Windows 10 they were a little different: there was a switch between desktop and tablet mode in the system, so owners of standard computers didn’t care about tablet devices (apart from the home menu tiles reduced, that almost no one used) the desktop anyway). In tablet mode, the home screen switched to full screen mode; in full screen, applications opened with the convenient option of halving the screen of two programs. The gestures changed a bit compared to the “eight,” but the usability of the system on the tablets didn’t diminish in any way.
But Microsoft found this dual use to be too confusing for users. So he started thinking again about how to make the system kind for both fields, but this time so that the environment and the form of control were the same for both modes.
Windows 11: There are no stones left on the tablets
If you’re used to touching control at “tens,” you’ll have to throw all the habits in your head at “eleven”. The behavior of the system has changed completely, as has the control itself. The switch between desktop and tablet mode is gone, as the environment looks pretty much the same in both modes; on tablets, the only difference is the increased space between taskbar icons as well as between controls for selected applications (such as Office). If you have a hybrid device, the transition is automatic and cannot be affected.
Due to the larger spacing of icons on the taskbar, you might not be able to see the icons for all apps fixed / open on your tablet at once. If you have many applications open in the “dozens”, you can use the arrows on the taskbar to scroll through them. “Eleven,” however, can’t do anything like that, recently opened apps just don’t appear on the taskbar and you have to look them up in the multi-tasking menu.
Start without tiles
However, you do not need to start the application only from the taskbar, there is also a Start menu. It’s the same on tablets as it is on computers, which on the one hand is consistent, on the other hand you have to point your fingers at smaller icons. Also, the Start menu is evenly sized, so you can’t stretch it to fill the tablet screen.
New “multi dit” gestures
In order to control the system on the tablet as comfortably as possible, the control gestures in Redmond have been completely redesigned. Tablet mode in Windows 10 only worked by dragging gestures from the sides of the screen; eleven adds gestures anywhere on the screen. The basic idea is simple: unify the form of control with touchpads on laptops. Unfortunately, the practice stays a bit; while you can adjust the touchpad gestures to your liking (for three and four fingers), you don’t have this option on the touch screen. Microsoft set it up like this:
- Drag three fingers up and down to show the area
- Three-finger swipe left / right: Switches between the last two applications
- Scroll from bottom to top: Displays the multitasking / maximize application window
- Swipe left / right to switch between faces
- Swipe up: Displays a list of open areas
Too bad there is no way to edit at least four-finger gestures. I don’t use virtual desktops, but I would appreciate the same gestures I would like to do as follows: volume up and down, left and right windows fixed to the sides. Well maybe next time.
Because the application change is provided by the gestures mentioned above, Microsoft has dared to explore the original gestures from the sides of the screen. They are doing the following activities:
- Drag from above: grab the open app by the header
- Drag left to open widgets
- Drag to the right to open notifications
- Pulling under: does nothing
I immediately admit that I preferred the “decimal” gestures and will explain right away why. In Windows 10 tablet mode, apps open in full screen mode, in Windows 11 they open in Windows (minimized / maximized, depending on the last time you closed the app). For this reason, the original gesture does not work when you drag the application from top to bottom; now you have to hit the cross with your finger. When dragging from above, just grab the maximized app in the title bar and you can scroll through the screen with its window; Fortunately, the fixation on the sides has been maintained and improved nicely; you can also use two applications side by side in portrait mode.
Dragging from the left opens widgets that I didn’t like either; I prefer to rely on my sources of information to subscribe to what artificial intelligence pushes me to do. The right gesture opens notifications associated with quick switches in Windows 10. Honestly, I liked to use this gesture precisely because of these switches (e.g., to quickly change the brightness of the screen), but I’m unlucky in the “eleven “; Use the network, volume, and battery icons to the left of the taskbar clock to open the switches.
The fact that the taskbar can’t be hidden on the tablet is also a touch for beauty; previously it was possible to do this by dragging from the bottom of the screen, at “eleven” this gesture does nothing.
Virtual keyboard in colors
A comfortable virtual keyboard is also suitable for comfortable tablet control. It has undergone several changes since Windows 10, although they are more or less visual; the design of the keys remains the same, so you can find letters with hooks and commas in an unconventional way to the right of the usual letters. You can color the keyboard with non-violent wallpapers, resize the captions, or remove individual keystrokes. There’s also a new line through which you can quickly access emoji, GIF animations, special characters, or clipboard history.
Work with the stylus
If you have a tablet with a pencil holder, you can also appreciate the new “Pen” menu on the left side of the clock. This is a simple guide to applications that support interaction with the stylus, as there are whiteboard and snippet applications from the manufacturer, but any modern or common application can be added to this list.
So what are Windows 11 on the tablet?
If you’ve read the text so far, you’ll probably understand that I’m pretty disappointed with the Windows 11 tablet environment. While I understand Microsoft’s efforts to unify desktop and tablet environments, I can think of some good ideas. they have stayed halfway and are looking for a way to the goal. For example, working with Windows is definitely not as comfortable with finger control as working with full-screen applications, which can be used to split the screen in two if necessary.
Even the touch gestures don’t seem as comfortable to me as before, I would appreciate the possibility of their adjustments, both for the shots from the sides of the screen and for the full screen gestures for several fingers. I would also like to go back to the option to hide the taskbar. On the contrary, I appreciate the more modern look, the success of the virtual keyboard and the new menu for touch pens.
Keep in mind that Windows 11 is not the slightest tablet system, after all, classic Windows tablets are like saffron. Most are hybrid devices, in which users work in 95% of cases, such as normal computers, and for the remaining 5% it makes no sense to learn a whole new form of control. That way, the look is more or less consistent, but those who have appreciated the touch control of previous versions of Windows will have to learn it all from the beginning, and yet many things are missing.