Microsoft has been previewing third-party widgets for Windows 11 behind the scenes since October. The compatibility is now ready to graduate to public preview, with Meta's Facebook Messenger app the first to get the widget treatment.
Messenger is now available on the Windows 11 widget pop-out, the first third-party option. However, it is currently only available for users running the latest Windows 11 preview on the Insider Program.
Microsoft will hope that more developers take advantage of the WinAppSDK 1.2 that was released in November. This allows third-party creators to build their own widgets to work within the Windows 11 desktop.
Widgets were a major feature for Windows 11 when it launched, but so far options have been limited to Microsoft's own services. However, these have been generally good and could serve as inspiration for developers.
It seems Meta has seen the value and built a widget for Messenger. Currently in preview, the widget is slightly unstable and requires users to have the latest version of the Messenger app from the Microsoft Store.
Microsoft points out this is just the start and now that Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25284 supports third-party widgets, more will follow Messenger:
“You should expect to see additional new widgets as more developers create and release widgets for their apps,” Microsoft says.
At Build 2022, Microsoft confirmed Windows 11 will soon be able to support third-party widgets. Native Windows widgets include Calendar, Entertainment, Esports, Photos, Tips, To Do, News, and Weather.
Tip of the day: Do you get flooded by notifications from apps and want to disable them completely or just the notification sound? Our tutorial shows you how to do this. As an alternative, you can also configure Windows Focus Assist (Do Not Disturb Mode) and set quiet hours.