The Redmond software giant pushed out Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22518 to the Dev Channel with the following new features:
- The ability to set Spotlight as your desktop background
- A new weather forecast button at the left corner of the taskbar.
- Voice Access - a new feature that allows managing Windows 11 with voice commands.
- The keyboard layout switcher now has touches of Fluent Design.
- The option to show the clock on all displays and secondary taskbars are now available to all Insiders.
What's new in Windows 11 Build 22518
Let's review the above mentioned changes in detail.
Set Spotlight as your desktop background
By opening Settings > Personalization > Background, you will now be able to select the Spotlight option. It will rotate stunning images downloaded from the Internet on your Desktop, similar to how it works for the lock screen.
Additionally, it will also place an icon to the Desktop, which you can right-click and switch to the next image, learn more about the current spotlight, and a few more options.
Weather forecast in the taskbar
In today's build, the taskbar can optionally display a weather forecast on the left side. It receives updates in real time. Hovering the mouse cursor over the forecast button will open the widget panel.
If your taskbar is aligned to the left, then the weather button will appear to the right of the Task Views icon.
This new feature that allows everyone, including people with disabilities, to control their computer and use their voice to type. For example, Voice Access supports scenarios such as opening applications, switching between them, browsing the web, reading e-mail, and writing texts. It uses modern technology for speech recognition and can work offline, without an Internet connection.
This feature currently works with US English only, for those who have US English set for the Windows interface.
You will find Voice Access under Settings > Accessibility > Speech. The official blog post has a lengthy description of the feature, including a huge number of the available voice commands.
Keyboard layout switcher improvements
Microsoft is improving the input support on Windows 11, including the language switching subsystem. There are a number of performance and stability improvements made for Insiders using multiple keyboard layouts. In addition, the layout switching flyout now has an acrylic background.
The change is not yet available to all insiders, as Microsoft wants to collect feedback before rolling out the feature to all users.
You can finally install the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) from the Microsoft Store. Installing WSL from the Store will faster deliver latest WSL updates in the future.
Microsoft has changed the behavior of the
wsl.exe –install by using the Store as the default source for WSL files.
There are also some other improvements to the wsl.exe tool. For example, the
wsl –install –no-launch command will install a distro, but won't immediately launch it.
If you want to get started with the Store version right now, and have WSL installed, then simply run
wsl –update to switch your WSL the Store version.
File Explorer and Taskbar
The File Explorer app has got a refined look of the context menu with a few commands rearranged as requested by users. The following are the new top level commands in the right-click menu.
- “Install” when right clicking on font files and .inf files.
- “Install certificate” when right clicking on .cer files.
- “Map network drive” and “Disconnect network drive” when right clicking on This PC.
- “Disconnect” when right clicking on network drives.
Besides the new weather icon, the taskbar can now display your clock and date on the secondary monitor or monitors. This is now available to all Insiders in the Dev Channel.
The ability for personalized combinations of emoji based on face and skin tones of family members, couples with heart, kissing, and people holding hands which we began rolling out with Build 22504 is now available to all Insiders in the Dev Channel.
There is also a huge list of fixes in this build. You'll find it in the official announcement.
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