Windows 11 gets overhauled Your Phone app with a new name that people hate

Microsoft has announced that it's releasing an update for the Your Phone app from today (April 1) on PCs with Windows 11, which includes a new name – Phone Links – and a redesign that lines it up with other updated Windows 11 apps.

The Your Phone app has been a useful tool since its release in October 2018. It enables you to link up your Android phone with a Windows PC, where you can sync up your contacts, messages, and some apps that are compatible.

The new Phone Links app, available as a new update as well as a companion app on the Google Play Store, features the same new design that Paint and Windows Media Player have been given in other updates to Windows 11.

However, the new name has already proved to be divisive, and makes us wonder if Microsoft is coming up with  these terrible names on purpose.


Analysis: Another bad name from Microsoft

Phone Link app in Windows 11

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft has had a reputation over the years for having terrible names for its products. Whether it's Zune for its iPod-rival, or the Kin phone, which sounded outdated as soon as it launched back in 2010.

Microsoft's most recent naming confusion had been its Xbox Series consoles. Released back in November 2020, the Series S and the Series X made gamers wonder what the letters stood for. Microsoft still hasn't explained the reasoning, and probably never will.

Considering the Xbox has had '360' and 'One' to mark major releases, it's probably best to just go with the flow when it comes to Microsoft's gaming names.

To be fair, Your Phone wasn't exactly a good name to start with – users just accepted it, mainly due to how good the app has consistently been.

But, Phone Links carries on Microsoft's terrible naming tradition. Granted, your PC does link up with your Android phone, but it makes the name feel a bit on-the-nose.

Name it WinPair, Continuity, or Matchup, just to give the app some excitement at least.

But regardless, the app looks better thanks to its Windows 11 redesign, and there's still plenty of opportunities for how the app could improve for Android users in the future, especially with apps from the Amazon App Store coming to Windows 11 soon.

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Windows 11 gets overhauled Your Phone app with a new name that people hate

Microsoft has announced that it's releasing an update for the Your Phone app from today (April 1) on PCs with Windows 11, which includes a new name – Phone Links – and a redesign that lines it up with other updated Windows 11 apps.

The Your Phone app has been a useful tool since its release in October 2018. It enables you to link up your Android phone with a Windows PC, where you can sync up your contacts, messages, and some apps that are compatible.

The new Phone Links app, available as a new update as well as a companion app on the Google Play Store, features the same new design that Paint and Windows Media Player have been given in other updates to Windows 11.

However, the new name has already proved to be divisive, and makes us wonder if Microsoft is coming up with  these terrible names on purpose.


Analysis: Another bad name from Microsoft

Phone Link app in Windows 11

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft has had a reputation over the years for having terrible names for its products. Whether it's Zune for its iPod-rival, or the Kin phone, which sounded outdated as soon as it launched back in 2010.

Microsoft's most recent naming confusion had been its Xbox Series consoles. Released back in November 2020, the Series S and the Series X made gamers wonder what the letters stood for. Microsoft still hasn't explained the reasoning, and probably never will.

Considering the Xbox has had '360' and 'One' to mark major releases, it's probably best to just go with the flow when it comes to Microsoft's gaming names.

To be fair, Your Phone wasn't exactly a good name to start with – users just accepted it, mainly due to how good the app has consistently been.

But, Phone Links carries on Microsoft's terrible naming tradition. Granted, your PC does link up with your Android phone, but it makes the name feel a bit on-the-nose.

Name it WinPair, Continuity, or Matchup, just to give the app some excitement at least.

But regardless, the app looks better thanks to its Windows 11 redesign, and there's still plenty of opportunities for how the app could improve for Android users in the future, especially with apps from the Amazon App Store coming to Windows 11 soon.

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Twitter just made a big change to our timelines, and I hate it

It appears Twitter has just flicked a switch to let you slide between two feeds on iOS, where you can decide between a feed of top tweets or chronological tweets.

However, this feature has been available for a while, thanks to the star icon on the top-right corner of your screen. You could switch between the feeds through here, and one feed would display on the app instead.

But there's now an additional swipe required to go to your profile if you're on the 'Latest Tweets', and none of this makes sense. While it's rolling out to iOS for now, Twitter has said that it's soon coming to Android and the web in the coming weeks, but I'm hoping this change is rolled back and forgotten about as soon as possible.

An additional swipe is an additional annoyance

Twitter is the social platform I use the most. Granted, there's some tweets that are written just to drum up pointless discussion, or as an attempted joke to try and go viral, but in the majority of my time there, I've found it to be a good place, and I've met a lot of great people through it.

Toward the end of 2021, the company brought out a feature to display your top tweets – this meant that any tweets with the most interaction at that time, whether it was likes or replies, would be shown at the top of your feed. But Twitter was adamant that the choice between this and a chronological feed would remain.

Overnight, it looks as though that train of thought has gone off the rails.

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Not only does it add an additional step to decide between two feeds, but I've already found myself to be confused as to which feed I'm looking at.

Not being able to unpin the algorithmic timeline feels backward, and puts the user into a corner, where you have to abide by Twitter's design, whether you like it or not.

The company has been trying different features and refinements in the last 18 months, with Fleets being a great example of something that didn't work, and it was soon scrapped.

I'm hoping the same repeats here, where Twitter will soon realize how irritating this change is, as I don't see how this benefits the user when the choice was already there, and had been designed in a better way for months anyway.

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Windows 11 doesn’t deserve the hate – but Microsoft needs to do more

A new report by AdDuplex reveals that Windows 11 is now installed on 19.3% of computers, suggesting that Microsoft is struggling to convince people to upgrade to its new operating system.

While that number may seem initially impressive – after all, nearly 20% of all PCs is still a large number – it’s only a small increase of the 16.1% share AdDuplex reported the month earlier.

Building momentum is incredibly important this early on in an operating system’s life, so the fact that upgrades are slowing down a few months after launch is going to be concerning for Microsoft. Meanwhile, Windows 10 21H1 is the most-used version of Windows with 27.5% share, a small drop from the previous month.

Interestingly, Windows 10 21H2, which was released around the same time as Windows 11, has 21% market share. It seems that many Windows 10 users are upgrading to the newer version of Windows 10, rather than switching to Windows 11.

That makes sense – many people would rather stick with what they know. It also highlights that Microsoft may not be making as convincing an argument for switching to Windows 11 as it needs to.

The fact that older version of Windows 10, including Windows 10 20H2 on 17.9% and Windows 10 2004 on 7.9%, make up the bulk of the rest of the market, highlights the struggle Windows 11 faces.

The data AdDuplex uses is from around 5,000 apps that use the AdDuplex v2 SDK on the Microsoft Store, and covers around 60,000 PCs. This means the survey only includes versions of Windows that come with the Microsoft Store (Windows 10 and Windows 11), so while this doesn’t give us a complete view of the operating system market, it does help us understand the popularity of Windows 10 and Windows 11.


Analysis: Why the Windows 11 hate?

Cartoon of a student getting angry at their laptop

(Image credit: studiostoks / Shutterstock)

Since its launch, there seems to be quite a bit of negativity surrounding Windows 11, and this may be why Windows 10 users are hesitant to switch. When Microsoft announced Windows 11, many people were surprised. Not because of past comments by Microsoft that suggested that Windows 10 would be the last version of Windows released, but because Windows 10 still feels relatively modern. With the release of Windows 10 21H2, it’s also an operating system that continues to get new updates and features.

For people using Windows 10 who are happy with the operating system, there doesn’t seem like a huge reason to switch to Windows 11. Windows 10 isn’t perfect, but that too might actually convince people to stick with the older OS.

Microsoft had a rough patch where it released numerous Windows 10 updates that appeared to cause more problems than they fixed. This affected people’s confidence in Microsoft, and some may think if the company can’t get an operating system update right, what kind of problems would an entirely new operating system bring?

Holding off from installing a new operating system as soon as it launches and sticking with your existing OS until early bugs and problems are fixed, is actually a pretty good idea. Once Microsoft corrects the Windows 11 problems (thankfully there aren’t too many) and addresses some of the complaints users have, we may see more Windows 10 users switch to Windows 11.

Another valid reason why people may not upgrade to Windows 11 from Windows 10 is the fact that they simply can’t. Microsoft made having TPM a requirement for Windows 11, and this has meant that many perfectly capable PCs can’t actually officially run the new operating system. We can’t see Microsoft changing its position on this (in fact, it’s made life harder for people running Windows 11 on unsupported hardware), so many people won’t upgrade to Windows 11 until they get new devices, and that could be years from now.

Unfortunately, there is a growing negativity about Windows 11 as well. Many of its detractors are very vocal online, which could make people wary of upgrading. Some of these grumbles are definitely valid, but I increasingly feel like some of the hate is undeserved.

Sure, Windows 11 has some frustrating quirks at the moment – the reduced functionality of the taskbar is particularly baffling – but Microsoft is continuing to add features and fix issues. The new user interface may take some getting used to, but it feels fresh and modern.

I’ve also found Windows 11 to run well, with boot times particularly improved. While I don’t love the operating system (Microsoft still struggles to make anyone feel particularly fond of its software), I don’t hate it either.

Microsoft needs to counter the negative opinion people are forming of Windows 11 as quickly as possible, and show people why they gain from upgrading to the new operating system. What it certainly doesn’t want to happen is for Windows 11 to be spoken about in the same way people talk about Windows Vista or Windows 8.

Those two versions are widely derided as embarrassing failures – a fate that Windows 11 doesn’t deserve.

Via Xda Developers

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MacBook Pro notch complainers: Don’t hate it, decorate it, with this app

Apple’s new MacBook Pro models arrived with gorgeous Mini-LED screens, but the displays also carried something that proved more controversial – the notch, of course – but haters of that feature might find this new app lightens their mood around the iPhone-style notch. Briefly. Maybe.

The free ‘Notchmeister’ app, spotted by MacRumors, is essentially a fun and gimmicky piece of software which “spruces up your notch” with a choice of different effects.

That small selection includes a festive option, whereby when the mouse is moved under the notch, sparkly holiday lights drop down to fill your heart with cheer (or at least elicit a smile – hopefully).

Other effects comprise of a Cylon setting with a red ‘scanning’ light that sweeps across from side to side, but sticks to the cursor if it’s moved up to the notch, and a nifty looking ‘plasma leak’ which represents the mouse “breaking down the magnetic containment field that keeps the M1’s power in check.”


Analysis: Even no-notch MacBooks aren’t left out of the festive fun

This is an amusing and nicely tongue-in-cheek application made by The Iconfactory, and as pointed out by the readers of MacRumors, even those who have a MacBook without a notch can use the software.

How? With the Notch Simulation Mode which puts a mock notch (a black block) at the top of the screen, which you can dangle your virtual festive lights from. This is a ‘genuine replacement notch’ as the app calls it, though it doesn’t interact with the mouse the same as with a new MacBook Pro.

Back in the real world, as to the notch debate, while there are still those who dislike it (or even detest it), we’ve observed something of a softening of mood around it. More folks seem to be talking about how the notch might take a bit of initial acclimatization, but it becomes not really noticeable or an issue after you’ve had a little time with your new MacBook Pro.

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Hate Windows 11? Microsoft is trying to fix it

Since launching a few months ago, Windows 11 has had a bit of a mixed reception, with several bugs – and even deliberate design decisions – annoying users. Now it looks like Microsoft is looking to address some of these issues.

As The Verge reports, a new update that’s rolling out to Windows Insiders – users who’ve signed up to help test early versions of Windows – has added the clock and date to the taskbar on multiple monitors.

Many users who have more than one monitor had complained that the date and time wasn’t shown on the taskbar in their secondary monitors – only the main one. This may sound like a small complaint, but it annoyed a lot of people. It led some to use third-party apps to bring the time and date back, but now it looks like Microsoft will be including an official option to add time and date info to multiple monitors.

Start me up

The Verge also reports that a new Insider build – it's not clear if the update and the new build are the same thing – is tweaking the Windows 11 Start menu, giving users more configuration options regarding pinned app shortcuts and recommendations.

The Start menu is one of the most-used elements of Windows, which means people can be very protective over it. Any changes Microsoft makes to how it works could annoy a lot of people – which is what happened with Windows 8 – and Windows 11 also brought some unwelcome changes.

The Settings app has also been expanded to offer more options that you’d usually find in Control Panel, including network discovery and printer sharing. This is part of Microsoft’s ambition to phase out Control Panel, which has been a part of Windows since Windows 1.0 back in 1985, and replace it with the modern Settings app.

Of course, removing a feature that some people have been using for 36 years could once again cause friction between Microsoft and its customers. It’ll need to proceed with caution – which it appears to be doing with the slow migration of tools from Control Panel to the Settings app.


stressed businessman destroying his desk and laptop with a baseball bat

(Image credit: Stokkete / Shutterstock)

Analysis: righting wrongs

When Windows 11 launched, a number of changes the operating system made over its predecessor, Windows 10, frustrated many users.

To Microsoft’s credit, it has been listening to feedback, and for some of its more controversial changes, it's added options that allow users to revert to the way things worked in Windows 10. This is undoubtedly a good thing, as it gives users more choice as to how they use Windows 11, rather than just undoing any changes; after all, there will be some people who like the changes Windows 11 brings.

There’s still work to be done, however. Some of Windows 11’s most annoying – and baffling – changes, such as the inability to drag and drop app shortcuts onto the taskbar, have yet to be addressed, though it does appear that Microsoft is working on a solution to that.

As we observed in our Windows 11 review, the new operating system feels like a work in progress, and that's a positive thing. So if there’s something about Windows 11 you don’t like, be patient, as Microsoft may look to change it in an upcoming update.

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