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Windows 11 beta makes it possible for apps to know when you're near your PC

This update will extend presence detection to apps and add privacy settings.

Published onApril 13, 2023

HP Dragonfly Pro 14 Windows laptop at CES 2023 5
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
  • A new Windows 11 preview build is rolling out to members of the Beta channel.
  • The update introduces new APIs for devices with presence sensors.
  • This update makes it possible for apps to deliver unique experiences built around presence detection.

Insiders in Microsoft’s Beta channel are getting a new Windows 11 preview build. The new update will make it possible for apps to detect when you’re in front of your PC.

Microsoft announced in a blog post that it is releasing Windows 11 Insider preview build 22621.1610 and build 22624.1610 to the Beta channel today. Build 22621.1610 is for if you want the new features turned off by default. The update introduces new privacy settings and developer APIs for devices with presence sensors.

Presence detection isn’t new, Windows 11 has had this capability for a while. For example, PCs that have presence sensors built-in have the ability to wake up when you’re next to them and go to sleep when you walk away.

However, this update will extend this functionality to apps. This would make it possible for developers to create unique experiences built around this capability in their apps. And as mentioned earlier, it will also add new privacy setting options. These options would allow you to configure which apps have access to the presence sensor API.

As an extra precaution, the apps that want to use your device’s presence sensor will have to ask for permission first. You’ll also be able to check which apps are sensing your presence and toggle access on or off. To do this, you just have to head over to Settings, click on Privacy and Security, and then go to Presence sensing.

The update also brings a few fixes and improvements. You can check out the full changelog in the blog.

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