Windows 11 could carry Live Tiles again from the lifeless — form of

A screenshot of Start Menu Companions on a Windows 11 Insider Preview build.
Albacore @thebookisclosed on X/Twitter

The newest Windows 11 Canary construct 26212 has quietly launched help for what’s being known as “Start Menu Companions.” These are small widget-like apps designed to look alongside your pinned apps or the “All apps” listing within the Start Menu.

By the appears to be like of it, these companions would supply at-a-glance info resembling climate updates, inventory costs, and extra. And sure, they share rather a lot in frequent with the now-defunct Live Tiles function from earlier variations of Windows. They lack the brilliant colours and blocky shapes, however they’d operate in a really related approach.

Interestingly, Microsoft has not formally talked about the introduction of Start Menu Companions within the launch notes for construct 26212. The discovery of this function was made by Albacore on X (previously often called Twitter), offering a peek into what might quickly be out there for testing inside the Windows Insider Program.

It's time for the Start menu to change into extensible!✨
Windows 11 β construct 26212 quietly introduces help for "Start Menu Companions." They're apps that present Adaptive Cards which show on a floating island (docked ➡️ or ⬅️) alongside Start
Used Widgets information as a fast demo 😊

— Albacore ☁️ (@thebookisclosed) May 9, 2024

It seems that builders can have the potential to create functions that provide widget-like content material utilizing adaptive playing cards — an method that allows the show of UI blocks of knowledge in a platform-independent method. Users can have the flexibleness to configure these companions from the Windows 11 Settings, the place they’ll set up a number of companions and use toggles to allow or disable them as desired. According to Albacore, these companions look like closely centered on internet content material, resembling the sidebar widgets already discovered inside Windows 11.

Start Menu Companions appear to be paying homage to the now discontinued Live Tiles, the animated icons initially launched with Windows 8. Back then, Live Tiles was launched by Microsoft as an effort to unify its platform with Windows Phone OS. They have been designed for fast and easy accessibility to important info with only a look at your cellphone or desktop. In Windows 10, they have been relegated to the Start Menu, after which finally discontinued completely in 2021 with the discharge of Windows 11.

The design of the Start Menu has been one of many greatest sticking factors of these updating to Windows 11 from Windows 10. The function has been criticized not just for its restricted usefulness, however even its functionality, with it lately being known as “comically bad” by a former Microsoft developer. Start Menu Companions wouldn’t repair these points, however it might definitely carry again a number of the familiarity of the Windows 10 Start Menu.

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