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Windows 11 adds support for Bluetooth’s low-energy audio spec

Windows 11 adds support for Bluetooth’s low-energy audio spec


Plus, live captions now support 10 more languages and dialects.

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The Surface Pro 9 in laptop mode.
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Windows 11 now supports Bluetooth LE, the low-energy audio specification that allows users to wirelessly connect to devices while consuming less battery power. In an announcement during its Build conference on Tuesday, Microsoft said it launched the spec in partnership with Samsung and Intel.

Bluetooth LE, which the group behind Bluetooth launched last year, uses the LC3 audio codec that introduces support for multi-stream, or the ability to transmit audio to multiple devices at once. It also offers big improvements for use with hearing aids, allowing them to consume far less energy when in use throughout the day.

The live captions feature in Windows 11 now supports Japanese.
The live captions feature in Windows 11 now supports Japanese.
Image: Microsoft

In addition to Bluetooth LE, Microsoft says the upcoming Windows 11 update will bring support for 10 more languages to live captions, the feature that automatically transcribes audio in real time. That includes Chinese, Danish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, and additional English dialects.

The widgets panel in Windows 11 is also getting a small upgrade. The default view will now have a larger layout that has a dedicated spot for pinned apps and the personalized feed that Windows generates.

Another minor update includes a new privacy setting for its presence-sensing feature that automatically locks your screen when you walk away from your device and unlocks it when you approach. With the new settings, you can adjust which apps have access to presence sensor information and easily enable or disable certain presence-sensing features.

Lastly, there’s a new VPN icon, too, which will appear as a shield over your internet connection on your taskbar when you’re connected to a virtual private network (VPN). This should allow you to easily check whether you’re connected to a VPN and will become available to all users tomorrow. These features build upon the biggest Windows 11 change Microsoft announced at Build: a new AI-powered assistant called Copilot.