what you need to know
- A new Windows 11 preview build is now available to Insiders on the Dev Channel.
- The new version includes a handful of notable changes and features.
- One of those new features is the inclusion of a more useful sound settings menu.
It’s time for a new Windows 11 preview build, and this week Microsoft is rolling out build 25309 to Insiders on the Dev Channel. This build actually has a handful of cool new features and changes, including an updated sound output quick settings menu that now finally lets you adjust the volume of individual apps.
You can also now bring up the volume quick settings menu with a keyboard shortcut (WIN + CTRL + V) and the menu itself now also includes the ability to quickly turn on spatial audio if you’re using a PC or compatible peripheral.
Other new features in today’s preview build include an update to automatic color management, which now works in all apps, but requires an Intel 12th Gen series, AMD RX 400 series, or NVIDIA GTX series. 10 or later.
There are also improvements to voice access and other general improvements. The changelog is below, but be sure to check out the full blog post here.
Windows 11 build 25309 changelog:
- We’re introducing a new improved volume mixer in quick settings! The updated Quick Audio Settings experience brings a modern volume mixer that allows for quick customization of audio per app, with added control for swapping devices on the fly. We’ve also added a new keyboard shortcut (WIN + CTRL + V) to take you directly to the volume mixer for faster control of the experience. With this change, you can now better personalize your audio experience with more control and fewer clicks to better manage your favorite apps.
- After making some fixes, we’re reintroducing the new touch keyboard setting we originally introduced with build 25188 (and disabled with build 25217) that replaces the “Show touch keyboard when no keyboard is attached” checkbox in Settings > Time and language > Typing > Touch keyboard with a new dropdown with 3 options to control whether touching an edit control should launch the touch keyboard:
- “Never” suppresses the touch keyboard even when no hardware keyboard is attached.
- “When no keyboard is attached” will show the touch keyboard only when the device is used as a tablet without the hardware keyboard.
- “Always” will show the touch keyboard even when the hardware keyboard is connected.
- In October, we launched Auto Color Management (opens in a new tab) (hardware-accelerated system-level color management) on select qualified and specially provisioned SDR displays. Now, Insiders on the Dev Channel will be able to turn on ACM for their SDR displays and make all colors in all Windows apps, whether color-managed or not, appear accurately and consistently across all supported displays.
- Redesigned in-app command help page: We’ve completely revamped the in-app commands help page in Voice Access to make it easier to use and understand. The search bar allows users to quickly find commands and the different categories provide further guidance. Each command now has a description and examples of its variations, making it easier to understand and use.
- Voice access is available in English dialects: We have extended voice access to support other dialects of English such as UK English, Indian English, New Zealand English, Canadian English, Australian English.
- New text selection and editing commands: We’ve added some more useful commands to make it easier to select and edit text with voice access.
- Starting with build 25290, we’re starting a new exploration of the badges in the Start menu with two new treatments some Insiders will see on the Dev Channel. Starting today, we’ll be testing different text variants within these treatments. If you see one of these treatments, please send us feedback on what you think. As a reminder, it’s normal for us to test different concepts in the dev channel for feedback.
- We’re testing a more personalized second chance out-of-the-box experience (SCOOBE) with a small subset of Windows Insiders on the Dev Channel.
- The search box on the taskbar will be lighter when Windows is set to a custom color mode. Specifically, when Windows 11 mode is set to dark and app mode is set to light in Settings > Personalization > Colors, you’ll see a lighter search box on the taskbar.
- Windows Insiders will start to notice a “pizza” icon in the command bar in File Explorer. This icon indicates that an Insider is previewing the Windows App SDK version of File Explorer. The functionality in File Explorer remains unchanged, it just switches from using WinUI 2 to using WinUI 3.
- After pausing this with build 25300, we’re going to resume pausing with this build – we’re testing different treatments for snap layouts. (opens in a new tab) with Windows Insiders on the Dev Channel. We are investigating ways to improve the visibility and usability of Instant Layouts, such as decreasing the hover time required to invoke the flyout when you hover over the max/restore button on an app’s title bar. In addition to a few other tweaks, you’ll notice that some treatments will also display the icon of the application window you’re working on and add a descriptive title. If you see one of these treatments, please send us feedback on what you think. As a reminder, it’s normal for us to test different concepts in the dev channel for feedback.
- Starting today, we will be disabling the various treatments we’ve been testing for Windows Spotlight that started with build 25281 due to an issue that affects the experience Insiders will have with these treatments. We plan to re-introduce an updated Windows Spotlight experience to Insiders on a future flight based on Insider feedback on the use of these different treatments. As part of turning off these treatments, Insiders may need to go to Settings > Personalization and re-enable Windows Spotlight.
- We have updated the Simplified Chinese handwriting recognition engine to be faster and more accurate, as well as the supported characters defined in GB18030-2022. Currently, you can type GB18030-2022 Level 2 characters and some GB18030-2022 Level 1 characters in the handwriting panel or directly in the text field where supported. Give it a try and tell us what you think.
- We are starting to implement theme-aware icons for Widgets on the taskbar so that, depending on the user’s Windows theme (dark or light), Widget icons display a theme-aware icon that will have a higher contrast ratio. high which will make the information on the taskbar clearer for users, particularly those with low vision.
- Settings > Power & Battery has been updated to include settings for choosing what happens when you interact with your PC’s physical power controls.