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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Hands on: Microsoft leaks Windows 11’s first AI feature smart snap layouts

One of the major new features in the upcoming fall update to Windows 11, Snap, is expected to be powered by artificial intelligence. There will soon be an AI-powered revamp of the snapping and windowing user experiences. Smart Snap, which intends to modify the OS’s snap assist behavior, is one of the first new features to be implemented.

A smart snap layouts feature powered by artificial intelligence has been spotted in Windows 11 preview builds, suggesting a release later this year. Microsoft has been quietly developing Smart Snap internally, and it has recently begun to show up in the preview. It’s still obscured and seemingly inoperable in most circumstances.

The Snap feature in Windows 10 allows you to arrange your app windows in a variety of sizes and shapes, increasing your productivity by making it easier to switch between them. This facilitates the efficient use of screen real estate during targeted tasks.

After snapping the first window in Windows 11, the “Snap Assist” window pops up, showing thumbnails of all open windows so you can pick and choose which ones to include in the new layout.

Selecting and dragging the dividing lines between layout boxes allows you to make optimal use of the available real estate on the display screen.

Windows 11 Snap Layouts AI
Windows 11’s Smart Snap; Photo: TheWindowsFan.com

To enhance the user experience, Windows 11 will soon add smart snapping capabilities to the Snap feature. Windows 10’s newest iteration recognizes that this functionality, which remembers and comprehends a user’s snapping behavior, is analogous to artificial intelligence.

Microsoft’s new feature, codenamed “Smart Snap” internally, will allow the OS to remember Snap Layouts for specific app groups and restore them with a single click.

Windows11 AI
Snap Layouts in Windows 11 with Artificial Intelligence [Courtesy: TheWindowsFan.com]

You can see how Windows 11’s snap assist remembers previous layouts and makes suggestions in the GIF up top.

Power users who frequently switch between the same apps will appreciate Snap Layouts’ ability to save their preferences. When you close apps or restart your device, you will lose any previously saved snap layouts. Windows 11’s introduction of AI-powered snap layouts will improve efficiency and user friendliness during the restoration process.

Furthermore, Integration of Microsoft 365 into File Explorer is currently being considered by Microsoft and displaying suggestions in near-real time.

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