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Windows 11 – Pen and Voice Improvements
Devices are becoming more and more flexible in how they can be used – Windows 11 sees Microsoft make some interesting changes to help improve user experience.


Being able to use more methods than just a mouse or other pointing device for input is a must for many portable devices in 2022; Microsoft’s latest efforts are centred around pen, voice and touch.



Voice Control and Dictation

While almost everyone will know about Siri, Google and Alexa, not everyone will be aware that Microsoft has its own voice assistant – Cortana. Microsoft have made some improvements to their voice assistant with Windows 11, though the main voice changes are actually not related to Cortana at all; they’re centred around accessibility and providing a better hands-free experience.

While many of these options will provide some convenience for all users, these changes could be of the most use to those with a physical disability or visual impairment, since the expanded list of commands allow you to control everyday elements of your Windows 11 device with only your voice.

Voice recognition and dictation (voice typing) has also been improved in Windows 11, perfect for those who prefer to talk rather than type, or those who need an alternative, more accessible input method.


Pen Support and Inking

Since its first incarnation, Windows Ink has improved dramatically, and the jump from Windows 10 to Windows 11 is no different.

Handwriting recognition is improved, and devices are now able to change the screen refresh rate to give a smoother writing experience. Added to this is the ability for devices to provide haptic feedback – much like the vibrations you feel on a smartphone when performing certain actions. This feedback can range from a full vibration to a small knock or bump feeling on the stylus when using it as an input method.

This kind of feedback can be helpful for many reasons – such as acknowledging that a command such as a long press has been recognised by the device – and help to create a more immersive experience.

Windows Ink (Microsoft’s suite of tools for using a pen as an input method) is of course still available, and apps like Word have native support for pen input now.


Pen, voice and touch support seems to be the way forward; making an interface as intuitive to use and as accessible as possible will bring benefits to all users.


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