Monday, November 28

Windows 11 can’t make me switch from a Mac – here’s why

Windows 11 has just been released, and as someone who uses both Mac and PC, I was curious what Microsoft’s software update would look like and what’s in there. Microsoft had a full event this summer to spread the word about Windows 11, and the energy surrounding Windows 11 system requirements created such fervor that it felt like Windows 11 could be a game changer. Or at least people believed it was that important.

Then I saw all the nice bright colors of Windows 11, its rounded edges and opaque panels. It felt like Mac.

And since I hope to need a new computer soon, a small part of me hoped that Windows 11 could be that new home for all my computing. Buying a new gaming PC and a 2021 MacBook Pro will take a lot of money. Although I have used a Mac in my adult life, I want to go with everything on Windows; I use it to stream games that are not available for Mac, which makes me wonder why I’m sticking with the Mac.

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Looking at Windows 11, I remembered that “why” over and over again. So, I put together a list of the top five reasons why Windows 11 isn’t doing it for me. This list could be very long (the way to write an electronic script “-” is still absurd on Windows, although easy on a Mac), but I thought I should keep my reasons for the important things linked (or relevant to) Windows 11 .

IPhone integration is more important than Android apps

This, at the core of it all, is one of the main reasons Microsoft probably won’t appeal to me. I’m an iPhone user (I tried using Android, it didn’t click), and the Your Phone app just doesn’t do anything for me. It’s just for Androids, and I get it. Due to all Apple software and hardware restrictions and limitations, Microsoft cannot access the iPhone. However, you didn’t expect Microsoft to crack that code, so don’t take it as a disappointment.

But there is no such limitation on the Mac-iPhone integration, allowing me to answer text messages from a MacBook or make FaceTime calls on an iMac. And that kind of agility, where you can leave the phone charging and stay productive with your Mac, is what I love. And I love that Android users get a little bit of that with the Your Phone app. I love that for them. Seriously.

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(Image credit: Microsoft)

But I also don’t care at all about the Android apps that will arrive on the PC in Windows 11 (not that they are present at launch). This is partly because I am an iPhone user and prefer those apps are available (more on that below).

It’s also because Windows 11 is getting the least attractive spinoff from the Google Play Store (and its 3.5 million apps) in the form of the 500,000 apps on the Amazon Appstore. This means you don’t get any apps from Google, including Gmail or YouTube, which are glaring exceptions for those of us who think Android is Google’s world.

It can be fixed? I’m not sure, but getting the real Google Play Store integrated with Windows would be a start.

The widgets are here in Windows 11 and I am really disappointed with the first batch. The only calendar widget included is Outlook Calendar, which (you guessed it) requires you to use Outlook. Is there no way that Microsoft has created a widget that is also compatible with its own Calendars app? Windows 11 needs third-party widgets and it urgently needs them.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

The only other included widgets that piqued my interest were Weather, To Do (I have my own preferred productivity app, but this is a nice touch), and Entertainment. The other apps like Watchlist Stocks, Sports, Esports (LOL), Traffic, and Photos didn’t help me much, and the so-called “Entertainment” app is just a very basic, bland, and unremarkable app. set of recommendations on what to watch. (It is not very suited to my interests; I have not done anything to suggest that I would like to see Trolls World Tour.)

Then there’s the section below the widgets, which appears to be a holdover from something else. It is a series of news that, if shared on Twitter, would generate a series of derogatory responses. Stories like “Amal Clooney wore a beautiful cropped dress with George to the premiere of ‘The Tender Bar’,” “BREAKING: The starting defensive lineman will miss the rest of the season” and “Bindi Irwin shares sunny snapshots of ‘Princess’ Grace , 6 months, smiling with the tongue out «.

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I try to do my best to avoid this error: In the “interests followed” section on Microsoft’s MSN site, I have only marked TV, Movies, Music, and Coronavirus. But still a friend like the previous one serves me.

How to fix it: More widgets, less fluffy news.

The third-party Apple apps I want are not on Windows

A lot of good things are being done in the Windows Store, the app store within Windows. It’s opening up to outside vendors, like Epic Games (whose dispute with Apple led to Fortnite being kicked out of Apple devices).

But this is not really something that matters much to me personally. My favorite apps like the productivity-focused Due reminder app, package tracking deliveries, the excellent Pixelmator image editor, and the Overcast podcatcher are not on the Windows store. That’s not a blow to Windows, except that the developers in question don’t create Windows versions of their applications.

How to fix it: I don’t know if Microsoft can get those developers to build Windows 11 apps, but that would be a great help to me.

I don’t care about teams

Microsoft’s rebranding itself as a services company is a bit over the top if you ask me, because they really expect people to care about Microsoft Teams, a service that we as individuals don’t have much control over if we do. we wear at work or not. .

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft seems so proud of Teams that it wants us to make it and the Teams Chat app the crux of all our messages. “Forget Skype, messaging and everything else,” Microsoft seems to say, “You should use Teams!”

But what if I like what I was using before? I trust Discord, and that doesn’t really seem to have an integration (it and Teams Chat seem to be two completely separate worlds, so it probably won’t work like that). Shouldn’t you be able to easily remove the Teams Chat app that Microsoft stuck on the taskbar?

At first it doesn’t seem like it can as there is no option to unpin it when you right-click the Teams / Chat app (which appears when you right-click other apps in that area). However, my colleague Alex Wawro explained how to do it. Open the Settings app, select Personalization, and select Taskbar. Then slide the switch next to Chat to the off position. That’s too much work if you ask me, and I bet a lot of people won’t poke around in the settings and find this. Instead, they will end up being intimidated by Microsoft into using this app or taking up space.

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How to fix it: Make teams more obviously optional.

Edge still pushed too hard

One of the many holdovers from Windows 10 is that Edge is still the default built-in web browser for when you do something within Windows. Searching the web in the Start menu or in Widgets? You are opening in Edge. It’s a really weird thing for Microsoft to force, especially when you can set Chrome as your default web browser.

Speaking of which, Windows 11 makes it harder than ever to change your default web browser. Microsoft took the old method (look for “web browser” in the Default Applications section of System Preferences) and discarded it because… was it too easy? I’m not sure why Microsoft did this, but you should now open the same Default Apps section, but scroll down through a list of apps to find the browser you want to use. For me, due to the requirements at work, that’s Chrome.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Once I click on Chrome, I have to change each single existing web page format: .htm, .html, .pdf, .shtml, .svg, .webp, .xht, .xhtml, FTP, HTTP, HTTPS and many more.

I get the .pdf option but… what was wrong with just a “web browser” setting? Did someone really say that I need to open .html links and HTTP links in different applications?

How to fix it: Go back to the default Windows 10 web browser settings and let those settings apply to Start menu actions as well.

Outlook the Windows 11

I can’t say if Microsoft will ever achieve the Windows that allows me, a Mac user, to switch full time. Breaking the locks on the iPhone door is probably too far off a question, but if it could appeal to app developers who aren’t even on Windows, would it make widgets worthwhile and stop pushing Teams and Edge so hard? ?

Maybe I could get away with a new computer, and not two, this year.

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