Here's what's new in the Microsoft Store app in Windows 11; a better design, ratings, screenshots in listings and more
One of the features that Microsoft highlighted during the reveal of Windows 11, was the new Microsoft Store. We are taking a closer look at what's new in the app.
The Microsoft Store app in Windows 11 has a very different interface compared to its Windows 10 counterpart. The new app uses side-bar based navigation for accessing the various sections; Home, Apps, Gaming, and Entertainment.
The Apps section sort of replaces the Productivity tab, it displayed featured apps, and best apps in various categories like Productivity, Photo and Video Editing, Creativity, etc. The Collections section remains unchanged.
The new App listings are perhaps the best improvement in the Windows 11 Store app. App pages now display screenshots, trailers and an expanded description.
You can also see the user ratings (stars) and reviews, which are similar to Google's Play Store. You can like or dislike, or flag reviews for apps.
The sections for the Features, What's New, System Requirements can be found if you scroll past the ratings. The permissions section replaces an infamous phrase; This app can "access all your files, peripheral devices, apps, programs and registry", with a more reasonable one "Uses all system resources". The Microsoft Store app in Windows 11 also displays the price range of in-app purchases on the app's listing.
The Deals tab isn't available anymore, but there is an Apps Specials section in the Apps tab, and likewise the PC Games Special has been moved to the Gaming tab. What's odd here is that the Apps Specials are right at the top of the Apps screen, whereas the PC Games Specials are listed at the bottom of the Gaming page.
Instead of a search button, there is now a long search bar at the top of the new Microsoft Store app. The Search function has been improved, in addition to searching for apps or games, you can now toggle filters which includes an age rating filter, and a type filter that lets you search for free apps, paid apps, and apps that are on sale.
Games that are available on Xbox Game Pass now have a more prominent banner.
The menu button with the user icon now has your username initials on it. The menu has options to manage your account and devices, payment methods, redeem codes or gift cards, and also allows you to access the app settings.
You can toggle automatic app updates, video autoplay, offline permissions, and purchase sign-in, just like the old store. The only option that's missing in the new Store app is the switch that notifies you when you're redirected to an Xbox app's listing.
The Live Tiles option still exists in the app, even though the actual feature has been removed in Windows 11. This may seem odd, but I'm guessing that it is a hint that the new Store app could be made available for Windows 10 users.
Click the Library Tab near the bottom left corner of the window, to manage installed apps, access your purchased apps, etc. This is also the place to Get Updates for all apps. The Library has some filters, to show only Apps, Games, Movies & TV, and Avatars. You may also sort the list by most recent or by name.
The Microsoft Store app in Windows 11 offers a much better experience than the Windows 10 app. You no longer have to switch tabs (Overview, System Requirements, Related) to view all the information about an app or game. The app supports Windows 11's built-in themes, aka light mode and dark mode. There is still no right-click menu in the Store app.
The app isn't without bugs, the featured app banners don't work. The app purchase dates for some apps seems to be incorrect, Candy Crush Saga for example, which was bundled on Windows 10 a long time ago shows up as purchased moments ago. It no longer displays the download size for app installs and updates.
I've said this about the centered Start Menu and Taskbar, I'll say it for the new Store app too, it seems to be designed for touchscreen devices, but it works well on regular PCs. Think about it, the persistent side-bar makes it much easier to navigate than before. I don't have a screenshot for this, but there was an option to wishlist apps and games from the store. I could access the wishlist on the day the first build of the Windows 11 Insider Preview Program was released, but both options disappeared later on the same day, perhaps Microsoft jumped the gun on the feature, and we'll see it in a future update.Advertisement