Microsoft is continuously working on Windows 11 updates and testing preview builds in different channels. And this week there are some new Windows 11 preview builds for Beta Channel and Dev channel. But here I will focus on Windows 11 Build 22631.2129 and 22621.2129 which are out to Beta Channel.
This week’s beta channel update is a big one and comes with many features and you may have heard some of them already. And if it matters to you, the August 2023 Bug Bash starts today and will run until August 7th at 11:59 pm PDT.
Windows Copilot which was available as a preview before is now finally available to Windows 11 Insiders in the Beta channel. This is not the complete rollout, but Microsoft promised to add additional functionality in the coming builds. Well to use this you need Microsoft Edge version 115.0.1901.150 or higher along with the latest Beta channel update.
Users can launch the Windows Copilot from the new icon in the Taskbar or press the Windows + C button.
In the latest Windows 11 preview build, Beta channel users can now create Dev Drive which allows Developers to host project source code, working folders, and package caches. Users can set up the Dev Drive following this page.
The latest Windows 11 Beta build brings two new text authoring experiences. You can say correct [text] or correct that to correct specific text or the latest text. If there are options, you can say click [number] and the text will be replaced by it. You can also ask to spell non-standard words such as usernames, and topics by saying “spell that” or “spell out”.
Voice Access is now available in the Lockscreen using which users can log in to PC and control other options in the Lock screen. To enable Voice access in the Lock screen users need to click on Accessibility flyout and turn on the Voice Access toggle.
Windows 11 Beta Build 22631.2129 also brings passwordless experience with Windows Hello for Business, Automatically dim screen in Presence Sensing, and Improved screen casting experience.
Below you can find other Improvements and bug fixes that come in the latest beta build. You can also find them in the official Windows blog.
Changes and Improvements in Build 22631.2129
- For people logged into a Windows 11 Pro or Enterprise editions with an AAD account, we are providing a richer preview when hovering over files such as Word documents under Recommended on the Start menu. For this initial release, thumbnails will not be available for all files and a later update will enable the experience for more files and for MSA users. Additionally, when right-clicking on cloud file recommendations, there is now an option to quickly share these files.
[Taskbar & System Tray]
- Notifications will now show as a bell in the system tray and when new notifications come through, the bell will colorize based on your system accent color. When there are no notifications and the clock is visible, the bell will be empty. Notification counts are no longer shown.
- The updated API for pinning as mentioned here in this blog post are now included in this build for preview.
- We’ve updated the Task Manager settings page to match the design principles of Windows 11. The design has a similar look and feel to the Settings in Windows 11 and provides a cleaner UI separating categories into different sections. We will also be enabling this in the Dev Channel soon.
- We are improving the user experience when changing time zones, including cases of low confidence in location data. It displays a non-dismissible notification for accepting or rejecting the change and prompts the user for confirmation before adjusting the time zone.
- We are also improving the user experience while changing the time zone via Settings > Time & language > Date & time. If location settings are disabled, a warning is now shown to the user, urging them to enable location settings to ensure accurate time zone adjustments. This warning provides helpful information to the user, helping them understand why their time zone may not be correct and guiding them towards resolving the issue.
Fixes in Build 22631.2129
- The keyboard shortcuts to set focus to the search box (CTRL + F, CTRL + E, F3) should work now.
- Fixed an issue where the dropdown in the address bar could appear totally blank.
[Taskbar & System Tray]
- Fixed an issue that was causing quick settings not to open when selecting the network, volume, and battery icons in the system tray.
- Fixed a few issues causing explorer.exe crashes and leading to taskbar reliability issues.
- Fixed an issue causing Insiders to unexpectedly see a notification suggesting you turn off notifications for an app named NotifyiconGeneratedAumid_*.
- Fixed a high hitting ctfmon.exe crash in the last two flights, which could impact the ability to type.
[Task View & Desktops]
- Adjusted the desktops switching animation to ease into the animation a little more.
- Fixed an issue where some of the app icons in the Startup Apps section of Task Manager were very tiny.
- Fixed an issue where the selection color wasn’t displaying correctly if you were using a contrast theme.
- Fixed an issue where focus wasn’t getting set correctly to search if the Task Manager window was small enough that search was collapsed to an icon.
- Fixed alignment of Task Manager icon and name in the title bar.
If you are an Insider in the Beta channel, you can receive either Build 22631.2129 or 22621.2129. The build 22631.2129 comes with all features enabled by default and the opposite for the other build. So if you get 22631.2129, you will still have the option to upgrade to the main build. You can check for the update in Settings > Windows Update.
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