Microsoft announced a couple of new builds for Windows 11 Insider Preview channels today—and yes, you might see something in File Explorer that makes your stomach churn.
Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25309 for the Dev Channel introduces a number of interesting Windows tweaks, including a better volume mixer, voice access improvements, and more—including a surprising decision to include the pizza icon in File Explorer. The only hitch? Content builds for the Dev Channel are considered experimental, so they won’t appear in the final build. Not all Insiders will see these new features, though—that’s the problem with Dev builds.
Here’s what the new build includes:
A new volume mixer in Quick Settings: This addition looks really useful, with very granular, informative details about what audio device your PC is using, and what spatial enhancement technology it supports. Microsoft’s mixer experience is limited, so this extra detail on the flyout seems useful.
Keyboard touch options: When you use a Surface Pro or Surface Go and remove the keyboard, the tablet makes a choice: It can display the touch keyboard in anticipation of you continuing to type; or hide it, assuming you want to use the screen to watch movies. Don’t you wish you could make that decision yourself? Now you can, with a new one Time and language > Typing option within the Windows Settings menu.
Expanding Auto Color Management: Last October, Microsoft outlined plans to expand Windows color management, essentially allowing Windows to reach more advanced, managed color displays. Now you can turn it on: go to Settings > Display > Advanced displayselect the correct display and turn on “Automatic color management for apps.“
Start with badging options: This is not good news for those of you who don’t like the “ads” inside Windows that promote different features. What Microsoft seems to be suggesting here is that Microsoft wants to show more ads within the Start menu, and is looking for (less annoying? More informative?) ways to do it.
Second time for you: Microsoft really wants you to set up your PC that way IT want, by linking your phone to your PC, using OneDrive, and making Edge your default browser. It is not only done during the Windows setup, but now in a “second time” that calls you by name.
Different Snap options: Microsoft is considering changing the time it takes for a new Snap orientation to fire, and may also show you a descriptive title.
Good day, Voice Access: Microsoft now accommodates UK, Australian, and Canadian accents in Voice Access, and has redesigned the in-app help page to make it more informative. If you want a complete list of Voice Access commands and more information about them, Microsoft recommends that you visit this page. Microsoft has also added better text selection support, which you can find more details on in its blog post on the new build.
Higher contrast Widgets and Search: New icons make your local weather widget easily accessible on the Taskbar. Ditto for the Search box.
Oh, and the pizza: Windows Insiders will begin to notice a “pizza” icon in File Explorer’s command bar, Microsoft said. This icon means that an Insider is previewing the Windows App SDK version of File Explorer. If you don’t know what that means, don’t worry – all we take from this is that Microsoft can use the pizza icon to highlight a new UI in use. Nothing wrong with that!