Ken's Korner Newsletter Logo January 2023
Things to Remember about Windows

Windows has a great many features. A discussion about all of them would fill a book so we won’t go into that here. Just a brief mention of some of the features of Windows that might be interesting and maybe even a timesaver.

Windows 11
We’ll start with Windows 11 since it is the newest and still a mystery to a lot of people.

Windows 11.

Android Apps
While you can run the usual software on your Windows 11 device you can actually run Android apps as well. Microsoft and Amazon got together and reached an agreement. As a result, you can download real Android apps from a special section of the Microsoft store known as the Amazon Appstore

The first thing you will need to do is download the Amazon Appstore from the Microsoft Store. When you install it you will be prompted to download and install the Windows Subsystem for Android. That is the secret ingredient that provides an Android environment within the Windows operating system.

After you have done that and restarted you PC you can log into your Amazon account where you’ll find a bunch of Android apps ready to be downloaded and installed. The selection is somewhat limited compared to the Google play Store but there is a pretty good selection including most of the popular Android apps.

These can be very handy features. You can use Widgets to see the latest news, local traffic, stock market trends, your Outlook calendar, weather forecasts and more.

To start the Widgets board, press the Windows key + W. A number of items are already there by default but you can add more to this list by clicking, (or tapping) the + in the top right corner of the popup.

Snap Layouts
With Snap Layouts you can arrange open windows on your display in a more efficient way. Rather than have multiple windows open on top of each other you can divided the screen into two, three or more sections and put the windows in them. Now you can see them all at once. Granted this works better on larger displays but it can also be very useful on whatever size display you are working with.

To set up Snap Layouts hover over the minimize or maximize button in the upper right corner of any open window. You will be presented with four or six different preset layouts. Choose the layout that best suits your needs.

To cancel Snap Layouts, click the maximize button to full screen and then back to partial screen. Your windows will be arranged as before.

Customizing your desktop
OK, so customizing your desktop is more a “vanity thing” than a productive modification but if you are going to spend a lot of hours sitting in front of a monitor shouldn’t it be pleasing to you? There are plenty of ways to add your personal touch to your desktop.

You can change the theme, background and color scheme add your own pictures. You can change your Start Menu items or the apps shown on the lock screen.

There is one handy menu that shows the various customization options. To access it right click a blank area on your desktop and click Personalize. If you are not sure what you need you can get some ideas from Device Usage. To get to device usage click the Start button, then Settings, (the gear icon) then Personalization and select Device Usage. You can turn usage settings on or off by checking the box next to each option.

Windows 10

Voice Typing instead of using the keyboard.
Voice Typing is one of the most underused features of Windows 11. There are very few people who can claim to be really good typists. Most of us fall into a group of poor to terrible typists as we pound away at the keyboard with the skill of an inebriated Orangutan.

To activate Voice Typing Press the Windows Key + H and click the microphone icon that appears in the popup window. Then just start talking. It is not always one hundred percent accurate so watch what it types. But it will probably make fewer mistakes that you do with the keyboard. You will have to be online because it uses speech recognition which is powered by Azure Speech Services.

You can change some of the settings in Voice Typing by clicking the gear icon that appears next to the microphone in the popup window. Turning your head while talking can confuse the fixed microphone due to varying sound levels. If you are planning to do a lot of writing I recommend a headset mounted microphone. That way the microphone is always the same distance from your mouth.

Windows 10
Don’t write off Windows 10 just yet. It is still a very popular operating system and it will be around for a number of years yet. Microsoft has announced the “End of Life’ for Windows 10 will be October 14 2025. Remember that Microsoft has list the EoL date for previous operating systems and then extended that date many times. At any rate Windows 10 will be with us for years to come.


And remember — always back it up!



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