Email apps, in particular, have gotten smarter so that references to a webpage or an embedded phone number can be turned into links. Now Windows 11 comes into play, but as part of a new experimental feature called “Suggested Actions.”
Windows 11 Build 25115 for the Windows Insider Dev Channel, released this week, doesn’t offer many new features or fixes, although Windows’ speech platform has been tweaked to provide better voice activity detection and better guesses of where to insert punctuation while dictating. . But Suggested Actions is something new.
Note that as this is a Dev Channel release, there are no guarantees that this feature will be released for Windows 11’s Stable Channel. It also currently only works for US users.
Here’s how it works, although in only two scenarios at the moment.
When you copy a phone number, an inline, lightweight, removable UI appears that suggests ways to call the phone number using Teams or other installed apps that offer click-to-call features, Microsoft said in a blog post. It will look like this:
Second, Microsoft will use the same light, throwable user interface when you copy a date. Here, Windows suggests creating a calendar event (in Outlook, Calendar, or another app, depending on your preference). Windows will then populate the calendar app with an appointment that automatically fills in the date and/or time you selected.
Back in the day, you could imagine Windows Mobile for phones making calendar entries from dates sent via text message or messaging app. And we’ve seen Outlook allows you to highlight names and link to their profile pages, for example. If this takes off, we imagine you’ll see a “smarter” UI appear in many different Microsoft apps, so highlighting a word does more than just search for it in Bing. The question, of course, is what actions Windows will take and how well they will work under those scenarios.