A couple of weeks ago, Microsoft announced some new features that Windows 11 would soon receive. As part of the update, Microsoft said it would update the look and feel of two key apps: Notepad and Groove Music (now called Media Player). Now, weeks after the beta release, the new Notepad and media player have finally started rolling out to all users.
Starting this Wednesday, the new Notepad and Media Player will be available to all Windows 11 users through the Microsoft Store. Similar to previous updates released for native apps, Notepad and Media Player apps are getting the Fluent Design makeover and rounded corners for windows or buttons.
Since the redesigned apps are brand new, Microsoft has chosen to keep the classic version of the default Notepad or Groove Music apps for now. The new Notepad and Windows Media Player will be installed as the new default apps preloaded on PCs for millions of devices later this year or next.
A closer look at the new Notepad
Notepad’s big design update features a Fluent Design and WinUI makeover that brings the app in line with the rest of the Windows 11 interface. As mentioned, Notepad now uses WinUI controls, so you can expect better access to fonts, new animations for dropdown menus, and more.
Microsoft is also adding rounded corners to the windows, buttons, and other areas of Notepad.
More importantly, Notepad now comes with its own settings page, which allows users to customize the font of dropdown lists. The settings page even lets you switch between dark, light, and system themes.
While the rounded corners may seem like a minor change, Notepad’s settings page will come in handy in the long run as the tech giant adds more customization features.
Something as small as dark mode will also be welcome here.
It’s also worth noting that Notepad has retained its simplicity and users can still access features like “Search” and more.
A Closer Look at Media Player
After testing the new Media Player for nearly three months, Windows Media Player is finally available to everyone on Windows 11.
Media Player is replacing Groove Music, the app that was first added with Windows 10 and has been around for a while as the default audio player.
Interestingly, Microsoft isn’t calling the new Media Player a “sequel to the iconic Windows Media Player,” which was one of the most popular apps of its day. Media Player is promoted as a replacement for Groove Music. As a result, the Movies & TV app (which can only play media content) is here to stay for now.
To download Notepad and Media Player, you will need version 22000.346 or later. If you’re already using the latest production version of the operating system, you can head over to the Microsoft Store and check for updates to download both new apps.
While the Notepad interface is simply updated, Media Player requires data migration, which is completed automatically if you use Groove Music. After the app, you will find “Media Player” instead of Groove Music in the Start menu app list.
In our tests, we noticed that the new app updates are available on some, but not all, of our Windows 11 devices. We suspect that the updated Notepad and Media Player will be part of Windows 11 Sun Valley and most of users will have access to the updates by the end of the week.