The Microsoft Power Platform is constantly being updated to provide app makers with new features and capabilities. And the next update (Power Platform 2021 release wave 2) will be available for all subscribers from October 1st.

Staying on top of the Power Platform product roadmap can be challenging – if you’re already busy, you probably won’t have time to read about all the updates coming down the line!

To save you time, we’ve looked at all the new features announced in the Power Platform 2021 release wave 2, to bring you a summary of the most exciting experiences you can look forward to.

6 new updates coming to Power Apps this October

Here are the new Power Apps features coming to the Microsoft Power Platform this October that we think are going to be particularly helpful to app makers and end users.

1. A better app design experience

In terms of experience for the maker, the new app designer in Microsoft Power Apps will be one of the most noticeable changes that directly impacts your daily work. Microsoft has refreshed the entire app designer interface by providing several new features, including:

  • A live preview of your app so you can see what it will look like
  • Better integration with other authoring experiences
  • Ability to take advantage of canvas apps

2. Improved data search experience

Microsoft has also made real efforts to improve the experience of finding and using datasets when you are building Power Apps. In the past, searching through the Microsoft Dataverse could be quite time consuming, and so Microsoft has made it easier to hunt for the information you need.

From October 1st, you will notice that the search bar in the header of the Power Apps interface has been improved to make it easier to find data:

  • Zero query search: This lets you view recent search queries within the search bar, making it quicker to find data you’ve already looked for.searched for previously
  • Suggested results: AI will suggest results based on the first few letters you type, saving you time when looking for data.
  • Results page: An updated results page will help you browse through information more easily.
  • Intelligent search technologies: Smart search will use AI to interpret natural language terms, misspellings and synonyms to help you find data more efficiently.

3. Automatically generating formulas

For basic apps in Power Apps, the app maker does not need to have advanced knowledge of formulas. However, for more advanced tools, you normally need some knowledge of have to learn formulas and how to write them correctly.

With the Power Platform 2021 release wave 2, Microsoft will be enhancing the platform with artificial intelligence which can recommend formulas for the app maker to use. You can simply search for formulas using natural language and the AI will suggest formulas that are appropriate.

What the Power Platform 2021 release wave 2 means for your Power Apps

4. Reuse component libraries

From October, Microsoft will allow app makers to create UX components that can be reused in multiple apps. You’ll first need to create component libraries, and you can then add components to your new apps and save time when building apps out.

5. Accessibility improvements

Microsoft announced several new features in Power Apps which will make the experience for end users more accessible and in line with modern app design standards. Some of these accessibility improvements include:

  • The ability to zoom by up to 400%
  • Collapsible side panes and site maps which reduce distraction for end users
  • New scrolling bars which will feel consistent with scrolling in Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams
  • Keyboard support assist

6. More general user experience improvements

There are several other UX improvements coming in the Power Platform 2021 release wave 2 update that will make it easier for end users to interact with the apps you build. These feature improvements include the ability to:

  • Share records: If a user needs to share data from a row in your application (such as a customer email address or an inventory item), they can now click on that information and share it directly with their co-workers.
  • Bulk edit: If users need to edit multiple rows in your app at the same time, the new bulk edit feature will make it much easier to do so. If, for instance, a user needs to change contact details for all staff at one of your supplier companies, the bulk edit feature will let end users do this in one step, rather than having to make the changes over and again for each individual contact.

We can’t wait to use the new Power Platform features

At Bauen, our teams use the Microsoft Power Platform to help customers build apps that boost productivity every single day. Power Apps have already revolutionised app development at all kinds of organisations, and we believe the Power Platform 2021 release wave 2 will only improve this experience and make it quicker and easier to build great apps.

If you need support building apps with Microsoft Power Platform, we can help! Learn how we support you to build better Power Apps.