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Windows 11 is getting more useful first-party widgets

A Windows 11 logo next to MSN Weather and News logos

Windows 11 users are finally getting more widgets. The Messenger app recently became the first third-party widget to hit the Microsoft Store, and now the software giant has a new widget for those using the Phone Link app in the Dev Channel.

You can add the Phone Link widget after installing the app version 1.23011.73.0 or newer (via Deskmodder) from the Microsoft Store. It is available in three sizes and allows checking notifications and various status indicators, such as battery level, network, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi. Clicking a message on the widget launches the Phone Link app and gets you to the notification section.

The Phone Link widget in Windows 11

It is great to see Microsoft adding more useful widgets to the operating system, not just using the area to promote MSN and various tabloids. However, one problem remains unchanged: accessing widgets requires extra action, such as a click, key shortcut, or hovering the cursor over the Widget icon. Some argue that opening Windows Widgets to check out Phone Link notifications is no different from launching the app from the taskbar. It undermines the primary idea of widgets providing quick, glanceable information without extra actions.

Users want Microsoft to allow placing widgets directly on the desktop, and it is one of many popular requests we covered in our "Top 10 features users want in Windows Widgets" article. Although Microsoft remains reluctant to turn Windows 11's widgets into gadgets from the Windows 7 era, the company at least tries to make Windows Widgets a little better with third-party support and more first-party widgets.

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