Microsoft announced a pair of new builds for the Windows 11 Insider Preview channels today—and yes, you may see something in File Explorer that will cause your stomach to growl.
Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 25309 for the Dev Channel introduces a number of interesting tweaks to Windows, among them a better volume mixer, voice access improvements, and more—including the odd decision to include a pizza icon in File Explorer. The only hitch? Insider builds for the Dev Channel are considered experimental, so they may not show up in a final build. Not all Insiders will see these new features, either—that’s the trouble with Dev builds.
Here’s what the new build includes:
A new volume mixer in Quick Settings: This addition looks genuinely useful, with more granular, informative details about what audio device your PC is using, and what spatial enhancement technology it’s being backed by. Microsoft’s mixer experience has been a little sparse, so this additional flyout detail seems useful.
Touch keyboard options: If you use a Surface Pro or a Surface Go and detach the keyboard, the tablet makes a choice: It either shows the touch keyboard in anticipation of you continuing to type; or hides it, believing that you want to use the screen to watch movies. Wouldn’t you like to be able to make that decision yourself? Now you can, with a new Time & language > Typing option within the Windows Settings menu.
Auto Color Management expansion: Last October, Microsoft tipped plans to expand the color management in Windows, essentially allowing Windows to catch up with more advanced, color-managed displays. Now you can turn it on: go to Settings > Display > Advanced display, select correct display and turn on “Automatically manage color for apps.“
Start badging options: This isn’t great news for those of you who don’t like “ads” within Windows that promote various features. What Microsoft seems to be proposing here is that Microsoft intends to show more ads within the Start menu, and is looking for (less annoying? More informative?) ways to do it.
A second chance for you: Microsoft really wants you to set up your PC the way it wants, by linking your phone to your PC, using OneDrive, and making Edge your default browser. Not only does it do it during Windows setup, but also now in a “second chance” that addresses you by name.
Different Snap options: Microsoft is considering altering the time it takes for a new Snap orientation to fire, and may show you a descriptive title as well.
G’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 an exhaustive list of Voice Access commands and extra information about them, Microsoft recommends you visit this page. Microsoft has also added better support for selecting text, which you can find more details on its blog post on the new build.
Higher contrast Widgets and Search: New icons will make your local weather widget easier to pick up on the Taskbar. Ditto for the Search box.
Oh, and the pizza: Windows Insiders will begin noticing a “pizza” icon on the command bar in File Explorer, Microsoft says. This icon denotes that an Insider is previewing the Windows App SDK version of File Explorer. If you have no idea what that means, don’t worry—all we took away from it was that Microsoft may use the pizza icon to highlight a new UI that’s in use. Nothing wrong with that!