Windows 11 Moment 3 update is packed with cool features – here are 5

Microsoft’s latest feature update for Windows 11 is now rolling out and is full of big changes. Dubbed “Moment 3”, the release brings long-requested features and quality-of-life improvements that make it an update worth installing straight away.

Seeing as Moment 2 was released late in February, it’s quite a pleasant surprise to see how quickly the next release has arrived. These Moment updates are part of Microsoft’s approach to improving Windows 11 – instead of dropping a huge update every year, the company has shifted to putting out new features as part of more frequent cumulative updates. So, without further ado, here’s our pick of the five coolest features coming our way with Moment 3.

1. Taskbar and Notification Improvements

Windows veterans will be happy to find a few improvements to the taskbar, like a network icon that will indicate an active VPN connection with a small lock icon – helpful if you’re one of those people who often forget whether or not you’ve got your VPN turned on. Keep in mind, though, that the icon will only appear when you use ‘native’ VPN connections set up in the settings app, and won’t pop up if you’re using third-party VPN applications. So that’s a bit of a bummer.

Most people might find the updated taskbar clock to be the best change in the Moment 3 update, as the clock can now display seconds! It’s about time (pun intended).

The most helpful change to notifications is the ability to copy two-factor authentication codes from desktop push notifications with one click. This feature is already present on Android and iOS, so it’s good to see Microsoft finally bringing it to the desktop operating system – so no more opening emails just to copy a few numbers!

2. An improved widget board

The updates to Windows Widgets in Moment 3 are a little sparse, but what we do is get a redesigned widget picker so you can preview a widget before pinning it to the board. This is a bonus for those of us who are a little particular about how our widget boards look, so at least now you can properly plan the layout of your board instead of finding out after the widget is in place that it messes up your widget feng shui.

Again, it’s not a huge update, but it does give you a little more creative freedom when laying out your space, and could possibly leave room for bigger changes to Windows Widgets in the future as more updates roll out.

3. This new Task Manager feature

Task manager will now support live kernel memory dump, a feature for gathering data to troubleshoot issues in the background while the operating system keeps running. This may not mean a lot to the average user, but if you’re a developer that needs to investigate unresponsive applications or weed out the source of other issues, it’s a pretty useful addition.

Once you have the update installed, you can create a live kernel memory dump by heading to the Task Manager and right-clicking the System Process, where you’ll find the ‘create live kernel memory dump file’ option.

4. A better Settings menu

There are quite a few changes and improvements to Windows Settings with Moment 3, but we’ll just go into the more interesting ones for now.

Tab hoarders and multitaskers rejoice, Snap Assist has now been bulked up to help with your numerous open tabs! Normally you can press Alt + Tab or trigger Snap Assist by dragging your window to the top of the screen, and you can split the screen into a maximum of four tabs. But with Moment 3, you can now head over to a new section of the Settings menu and choose between three, five, and 20 tabs. You have been heard, and your many tabs are valid.

The Settings app also has a dedicated new section for all of your OneDrive subscriptions and a better breakdown of the stored content on each one. This will no doubt come in handy for cloud storage users when keeping tabs on your files, helping you get a proper breakdown of what exactly is eating up your cloud capacity.

5. Bonus Wallpapers!

Of course, we can’t talk about the Moment 3 update without mentioning the snazzy new wallpapers! The iconic Windows 11, uh… swirly pattern now comes in wonderful shades of pink, magenta, and purple, which stand out even more in the darker versions of the new wallpaper. 

Hopefully, these new wallpapers signify a fresh new era for Windows 11 that’ll be packed with more aesthetic positives. The cheerful wallpaper tones really are the cherry on top of a solid, well-thought-out feature update. 

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The DualSense PS5 controller is packed with fancy features – but they won’t get used

In a blog post that came seemingly out of nowhere, Sony finally revealed the new DualSense PS5 controller. It marks a radical departure from the DualShock 4, but the redesigned pad will share one thing in common with its predecessor – developers will continue to ignore almost all of its unique features. 

And that’s a shame, as the DualSense is stuffed full of exciting and potentially game-changing technology. Sony wants to tingle your fingertips and massage your palms in a variety of interesting ways using haptic feedback and adaptive triggers – and I’m all for it.

We’ve seen the tech used effectively in VR controllers, but if you’re new to haptic feedback it basically means you’ll feel more of what you see on screen – the sludginess as you drive a car through mud or the tension of pulling back a bow string as you shoot an arrow, for example.  

The problem is – and I hate to admit this – that these features will largely be ignored by everyone but Sony’s first-party studios. History has shown us time and time again that even if you design a console entirely around a distinctive input device (hello, Nintendo Wii), third-party developers will still find a way to ignore 95% of a controller’s special qualities.

Ignored and underused

Let’s take a look at the DualShock 4 as our primary suspect. It’s got a lovely light bar which can change color to reflect what’s happening in a game, such as flashing white if you’re using a torch, or turning red if your health is low. How many games use it in this way, though? The answer is: barely any.

Next up, the DualShock 4 touch bar. If you ever needed a more concrete example of developer apathy in full effect, it’s that battery-draining touch bar. We saw Killzone: Shadowfall, a PS4 launch title, use the touch bar in some interesting ways – as did Infamous: Second Son. But how many other games can you name that transform the experience in any meaningful way using this feature? Probably no more than a handful, because basically every game just uses it as an oversized map button. Brilliant.

What about the PS4 accelerometer? A feature that’s been around since the SixAxis controller, which launched with the PlayStation 3. When did you last play a video game that used the accelerometer for something other than a silly gimmick? Yeah, didn’t think so.

Features schmeatures

But hold on. Maybe it’s because those features were rather superfluous. I mean, come on, a flashing light that you can’t even see most of the time? Who cares! Members of the court, may I present to you exhibit B: HD Rumble on Nintendo Switch.

The masters of cramming quirky technology down gamers’ throats, Nintendo always tries to introduce some bizarre new input system into their consoles. With Nintendo Switch it was no different. We were promised the sensation of feeling ice cubes in a controller – because of course we were. Despite the technology genuinely wowing in games like 1-2-Switch, it’s basically been ignored by even Nintendo themselves, and hasn’t come close to reaching the potential we were promised. 

Still in denial? Okay, let’s wrap this up with one more sorry example. You might not know this, but the Xbox One controller has impulse triggers. And they’re freaking awesome and never, ever get used.

Do yourself a favor and play any of the Forza Motorsport games on Xbox One and you’ll experience a fingertip-defining moment that will make every other racing game seem a little sad in comparison. The triggers rumble and respond according to where your tyres are on the track, so you can physically feel the sensation of a wheel locking up, moving over gravel and responding to torque. It’s so damn good, but clearly not a priority for any developers.

One feature fits all

So why does this worrying trend constantly happen? Truth be told, it all comes down to time and money. Video games are extremely expensive to make, and require a lot of resources to do so. There’s no monetary benefit to developers spending the extra time to code for features that are specific for one console. Occasionally it can happen, but it’s an anomaly. 

The odds are stacked against the DualSense controller, then. There’s no doubt that we’ll see some truly awe-inspiring moments from Sony’s first-party studios (firing Aloy’s bow in Horizon: Zero Dawn 2 is a given for the adaptive triggers), but try not to feel too disappointed if half the time these features come as a pleasant surprise, rather than a new standard moving forward.

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