By Delia / Last update January 11, 2022

The first big update of Windows 11 the year is mainly about application updates. Microsoft is pushing the new Notepad, Media Player and the new Image Editor to more users. Currently, Notepad is only open to Beta channel users, but regular users can also experience the new image editor and media player.

As we've learned before, Windows 11 has made sweeping design improvements, and Microsoft has been working hard to make its applications match the new look and style. At the time of Windows 11's release, some applications didn't fit so perfectly, such as Notepad and Groove music player, which didn't fit with Windows 11's UI. Now, Microsoft will bring more new designs to update the apps and give them a new UI that matches the system.

windows 11

Redesigned Windows 11 Notepad

Let's start with the new Notepad. This week, Microsoft pushed out the new Notepad app in the Beta channel, which means the new version of Notepad can be installed on Windows 11 Build 22000 or later. Notepad is still the preferred software for many users on a daily basis, and in the new version it gets dark mode support, a redesigned menu, and a dedicated settings page.

Windows 11 Notepad retains the familiar layout while introducing WinUI and Fluent Design elements. Notepad now uses rounded corners for the context menu, top-level windows, menus, pop-up notifications, and the Find tool.

Microsoft has enabled support for the new WinUI icons and new animations in Notepad. A dedicated settings page allows users to change the font and theme of Notepad, and the theme also includes a dark mode. Users can also modify the built-in settings to allow Notepad to access more file types.

With the new version, Notepad becomes an updateable application in the Store, and it has its own page in the Microsoft Store.



New Photos app and Image Editor

Let's talk about the new photo app and image editor. Microsoft's newly designed Photos app is now open to everyone, with an accompanying image editor that has new crop tools, aspect ratio options, and other new features. In the Photos app, users can easily customize photos, make adjustments to lighting, and use new marker options.

The crop tool in the Photos app can now be opened in the image preview screen, and thanks to the new bottom bar, browsing images in the Photos app can be done directly without additional switching.

new photos app

New Windows Media Player

Finally, let's take a look at the new media player. Microsoft plans to replace Groove Music with a new Windows Media Player, which is designed to be based on Groove Music, but can play videos including MKV and MP4.

The new version of Media Player is an extremely important update to the player that comes with Windows in recent years, and its status is equivalent to the update of Windows Notepad. However, the overall performance of the new Media Player and the video formats supported will not change significantly, this is due to the fact that the new Media Player is still based on the concept of Groove Music and the Movie and TV App, it is not intended to replace media players such as VLC and MPV which are known for their powerful performance.

new media player

The new Windows 11 Media Player is currently available for the beta channel, but user reports indicate that non-Insider testers can also download and use it.