Microsoft has recently released new Windows 11 Builds to both Dev and Canary channels. Microsoft has introduced a richer weather experience on lock screen in the Dev channel Build 23612. Both the Dev and Canary channel builds also bring extended languages, multi-display support, and custom commands for voice access.
Canary channel Build 26020 also brings improved process grouping in the processes page for Task Manager. Microsoft has also added the ability to pause and resume print jobs in print queue for printers under Settings > Bluetooth & devices > Printers & scanners.
Here is what’s new in Windows 11 Build 23612 that was released to the Dev channel.
Richer weather experience on the lock screen
We are introducing a richer weather experience to your lock screen. This includes dynamic, interactive weather updates. So, as you hover over the weather experience on your lock screen, you will see more information. When you tap or click on the weather card and sign in, Microsoft Edge opens with the full forecast in MSN Weather. If you already use Weather under Settings > Personalization > Lock screen > Lock screen status, there is nothing for you to do. Also, this new experience will be on by default. Should you not want to see this experience, you can change your lock screen status to “None.” This rich weather experience is available when you lock your screen no matter which personalization option you select (Windows spotlight, Picture, or Slideshow).
[We are beginning to roll this out starting with EN-US only, so the experience isn’t available to all Insiders in the Dev Channel just yet as we plan to monitor feedback and see how it lands before pushing it out to everyone.]
FEEDBACK: Please file feedback in Feedback Hub (WIN + F) under Desktop Environment > Lock screen.
Extended languages, multi-display support, and custom commands for voice access
Extended language support: We have extended voice access to support other languages such as French (France), French (Canada), German, Spanish (Spain) and Spanish (Mexico).
When voice access is turned on for the first time, you will be prompted to download a speech model to enable on-device recognition of voice data. In case voice access does not find a speech model matching your display language, you can still choose to proceed ahead to use voice access in English (United States).
You can always switch to a different language by navigating to Settings > Language on the voice access bar.
Multi-display support: You can now use all voice access features on multiple displays, including number and grid overlays which were previously unavailable on any display other than the primary one.
The grid overlay feature has been further developed to allow you to not only interact with the screen you are currently using, but also quickly switch to another display. You can also use the drag and drop feature to move files, apps, and documents from one display to another.
After invoking the grid overlay, use to quickly shift to focus to another display. You can use either the alphabet or NATO phonetic in your command; for example, “B” or “Bravo” would both be valid as shown in the above screenshot.
You can also use the accelerated command “mouse grid ..” to quickly move your mouse to a specific point on a specific display. In this case we used “mousegrid A 114” as shown in the above screenshot.
Voice shortcuts: We are introducing voice shortcuts or custom commands to enable you to create your very own command. This is currently available if you use voice access in English.
Creating commands that map to single action, such as opening a URL, or a series of actions performed in sequence, is easy. To get started, say “what can I say” and click on the “Voice shortcuts” tab on the left panel, or use the command “show voice shortcuts” to directly launch the voice shortcuts page. Then, click on the Create Command button to begin the process.
Create a command by using either voice or any other input modality. Give it a name, select one or multiple actions, fill in the necessary information and then click “Create”. Your command is now ready to be used.
You can view all the voice shortcuts you have created either from the command help page or by using the command “show voice shortcuts”.
FEEDBACK: Please file feedback in Feedback Hub (WIN + F) under Accessibility > Voice Access.
Changes and Improvements
- Optional features previously listed under Settings > Apps has moved to its own page under Settings > System.
- Fixed an issue which was causing the text input indicator to appear floating when you opened Start menu.
- Made a change to help fix an issue which could cause the spacing between your desktop icons to become extremely wide.
- Fixed an issue which could cause explorer.exe to crash when opening the context menu in file explorer if multiple files were selected.
- We fixed the issue causing a loading delay when the Microsoft Start feed is reenabled.
- We fixed the issue causing the Widgets Board to not automatically close and reopen when enabling or disabling feeds.
NOTE: Some fixes noted here in Insider Preview builds from the Dev Channel may make their way into the servicing updates for the released version of Windows 11.
Here is what’s new in Windows 11 Build 26020 that was released to the Canary channel.
Natural Voices Previews in Narrator
We are introducing previews for natural voices of 10 new locales launched in September 2023. As a reminder, those natural voices include Chinese, Spanish (Spain), Spanish (Mexico), Japanese, English (UK), French, Portuguese, English (India),German and Korean.
These previews will allow the users to listen to the natural voices before downloading the voice model. Natural Narrator voices use modern, on-device text to speech and once downloaded are supported without an internet connection. Please note to listen to the previews, an internet connection is required.
To use one of the natural voices, add it to your PC by following these steps:
- Open Narrator Settings by pressing the WIN + CTRL + N hotkey.
- Under Narrator’s voice, select the Add button next to Add natural voices.
- Select the voice you want to install. You can install all voices, but you must install them separately.
- The preview will play automatically once you navigate through the list.
- If you like the preview , click on “Download and Install”. The new voice will be downloaded and ready for use in a few minutes, depending on your internet download speed.
- When the new voice has downloaded, in Narrator settings select your preferred voice from the drop-down menu in Narrator’s voice > Choose a voice.
FEEDBACK: Please file feedback in Feedback Hub (Win + F) under Accessibility > Narrator.
Changes and Improvements
- Starting with this build, the WordPad and People apps will no longer be installed after doing a clean install of the OS. In a future flight, WordPad will be removed on upgrade. WordPad will not be reinstallable. WordPad is a deprecated Windows feature. For more information on the future of the People app, click here.
- Steps Recorder will not receive further updates and is planned for removal in a future Windows release. Starting in this build, Steps Recorder (PSR.exe) will display a new banner notification to guide users towards alternative options. We encourage our users to explore other options in Windows 11 such as Snipping tool, Xbox Game bar or Microsoft Clipchamp. For more, see this article.
[Taskbar & System Tray]
- For PCs that are plugged in and do not have batteries (such as desktop PCs), when you turn on energy saver, we are trying out a new energy saver icon that is shown in the system tray to indicate energy saver is on. For PCs with batteries, there is no change to the experience, and you will continue to see the leaf icon overlayed on top of the battery icon in the system tray. As a reminder, battery saver is now energy saver with extended capability as of Build 26002.
- [ADDED] We improved process grouping in the processes page for Task Manager.
- We have added the ability to pause and resume print jobs in print queue for printers under Settings > Bluetooth & devices > Printers & scanners. This allows you to pause printing when maintenance is required for your printer such as replacing a printer cartridge. Jobs submitted are held by the spooler until the print queue is ‘un-paused’ by clicking resume in Settings. The ability to rename your printer directly here in these settings is coming in a later flight.
- The Windows share window will now only show apps under “Share using” that are tied to the account you are signed into Windows with – either Microsoft account (MSA) or Microsoft Entra ID (previously Azure Active Directory). If you are signed in with an MSA, you will see Microsoft Teams (free) instead of Microsoft Teams (work or school) and not both for example.
- The Windows share window now supports sharing with WhatsApp under the “Share using” section. If you don’t have WhatsApp installed, you can choose to install it from Windows share window directly. Over time, we plan to try this experience out with other apps as well.
- We are introducing the ability to quickly give your device a more friendly name to identify sharing to and from with nearby share under Settings > System > Nearby sharing.
- [ADDED 1/4] If you turn on nearby sharing via quick settings or directly in Settings and you have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth off, it will turn Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on so nearby sharing will work as expected. If you turn off Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, it will also turn off nearby sharing.