The Spotify app and Microsoft’s Phone Link app are two new arrivals on the Windows 11 widget board.
For those who like using the Windows 11 widget board, Spotify’s arrival as a widget could be good news and follows Meta’s Messenger in becoming the first third-party widget to come to Windows 11’s widget board.
Also: How to change your username in Windows 11
The widget revival can be put in part down to Apple’s take on the concept since iOS 14. Google abandoned widgets in Android years ago, but it recently released Gmail, Chrome, Search, Maps, Drive, and Google News widgets for iOS 16.
Third-party widgets are coming to Windows 11 courtesy of the WinAppSDK 1.2 released in November. Like the Messenger widget, the Phone Link, and Spotify widgets are previews, so they could be unstable.
Not everyone likes widgets, so the widgets board can be enabled and disabled from the personalization section of the Taskbar in Settings. If enabled, Microsoft has made a “widgets collection” in the Microsoft Store where users can update to the latest version of these apps to test the widgets.
After that, users can open the widgets board from the left corner of the taskbar where the weather summary is displayed. There’s a widgets picker accessible via the “+” button at the top-right of the board.
To test the third-party widgets, users need to be running Windows 11 Insider previews in the Dev Channel. The latest release is Build 25290.
“You should expect to see additional new widgets as more developers create and release widgets for their apps,” Microsoft’s Windows Insider team notes in a blogpost.
Also: How to control Windows 11 with your voice
Microsoft is also running new experiments with badging on the Start menu. The badges contain reminders like ‘back up your files’, ‘lock the screen’, ‘log out’, and ‘change account settings’. It’s showing Insiders two different versions and is gathering feedback about the experience.