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Windows 11 will finally jazz up Widgets with third-party support

The Widgets tool sitting behind a dedicated taskbar button in Windows 11 will open the door to non-Microsoft apps later this year, the software company has announced.

During its Build 2022 conference, Microsoft revealed third-party developers will be able to create live widgets for their applications. They’ll be available for both Win 32 apps and progressive web apps.

The idea behind the Widget feature is to enable fast access to pertinent information without breaking the Windows user’s workflow. Content is personalised, so you should only see what you’re interested in, making perusing the widgets as brief as possible.

In a pitch to developers, Windows chief Panos Panay says users are already enjoying access to the widgets as a productivity aid that saves them picking up their mobile devices.

In a blog post, he wrote: “Widgets in Windows 11 provide a fresh, glanceable, and useful view into app content for users. We’re energized by the customer feedback on Widgets to date; people are enjoying the quick access to content most important to them seamlessly without breaking their flow. Beginning later this year you’ll be able to start building Widgets as companion experiences for your Win32 and PWA apps on Windows 11, powered by the Adaptive Cards platform.”

Right now there are first-party apps that help users keep tabs on their appointments, to-do lists, and relevant news, entertainment, and sports. There’s also a Traffic widget based on Bing Maps, as well as options for weather and stocks. However, they’re sure to become a little more useful once third-party developers begin producing the goods.

Do you engage with the Windows 11 Widgets? Does it keep you from picking up your phone and disappearing down the rabbit hole? Which apps would you like to see build new widgets? Let us know @trustedreviews on Twitter.

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