Windows 11 revamped the touch keyboard — it now features GIFs, voice typing and more

Windows 11: Your guide to Microsoft's next Windows OS
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Windows 11, the new operating system dubbed called the "most significant" update in a decade, was revealed on Thursday at the highly anticipated virtual Microsoft event. A new-and-improved Windows touch keyboard also got unveiled; Microsoft made it more intuitive to use by drawing inspiration from smartphone keyboards.

The revamped touch keyboard now has emojis, so if you ever need to zip over a quick expression to a loved one, you can use one in a cinch. You can also use the swipe-and-drag gesture, typically featured on phones, to type in Windows 11.

Microsoft revamped the touch keyboard in Windows 11

Microsoft Product Marketing Lead Phillip McClure introduced the new-and-improved Windows 11 touch keyboard. McClure noted that the touch keyboard will have new themed backgrounds that users can choose from. The themes were leaked last week by @ChangeWindows. Check out some of them below.

The revamped Windows 11 touch keyboard, typically used for 2-in-1 laptops such as the Microsoft Surface Pro 7, now has more familiar gestures that many people already use with their phones. This includes swiping and dragging your finger to type a word — without needing to lift a finger.

Windows 11 touch keyboard

Windows 11 touch keyboard (Image credit: Microsoft)

You can also use the spacebar as a cursor, and most fun of all, you'll have easy access to your favorite emojis and GIFs to make virtual conversations much more engaging.

There's a new voice-typing feature that's accessible via the new touch keyboard. As you speak, the new Windows 11 software will type what you're saying, allowing you to send messages to others hands free. It also automatically punctuates, so you don't have to interrupt your flow to add in periods and question marks. It features voice commands, too. For example, you can say "delete that" to remove the previous sentence.

Windows 11 voice typing

Windows 11 voice typing (Image credit: Microsoft)

In addition to the touch keyboard, using gestures on touch displays are purportedly a lot more smoother with Windows 11. "We know how important [touchscreen gestures] are, especially when you don't have a keyboard" McClure said. Now, the same gestures you use on your trackpad today can now be applied to any Windows 11 touch display.

If you're excited about Windows 11 as much as we are, you're probably anxious to find out how you can get your hands on the new operating system. Unfortunately, we don't have an exact release date yet, but we know Windows 11 will arrive during the latter half of 2021.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!