Microsoft has recently launched two new preview builds of Windows 11 for Insiders on the Canary and Dev Channels. The Canary build 25915 introduces various new features that have been tested on the Dev Channel, while the Dev build 23511 brings changes to Windows Spotlight, notifications in the System Tray, and Phone Link.
Let’s dive into what’s new in the Canary build 25915. Alongside the Dev Channel features, this build includes modifications to the Dynamic Refresh Rate (DRR) feature. Furthermore, the Windows Insider team has resolved the compatibility issue that previously prevented Insiders with Asus devices or Asus motherboards from installing the previous build.
Now, moving on to the main changes in this build:
1. Modernized File Explorer Home: The revamped UI showcases a carousel displaying Recommended files for users who sign into Windows with an Azure AD account. Microsoft has also redesigned the Quick Access folders, Favorites, and Recent sections.
2. Passkeys support: Windows Insiders can utilize Windows Hello to create and sign in using passkeys on any app or website that supports them. The Settings app allows users to manage saved passkeys for various apps and websites.
3. Taskbar never combined mode: This highly requested feature enables Insiders to view each window of their applications individually on the taskbar. The feature is being gradually rolled out and can be enabled by navigating to Settings > Personalization > Taskbar > Taskbar behaviors.
4. New Outlook for Windows: The web-based Outlook for Windows is now available as an inbox app. It is set to replace the Windows Mail and Calendar apps in 2024.
5. Graphics improvements: Windows 11 now supports varying refresh rates across different monitors. The Dynamic Refresh Rate feature has also been adjusted to maintain a lower refresh rate when Battery Saver is enabled on laptops and tablets.
Moving on to the Dev build 23511, we have the following noteworthy changes:
1. Windows Spotlight: Microsoft is introducing an enhanced Windows Spotlight experience that allows users to preview images in fullscreen and learn more about each image.
2. Camera notifications: Insiders will now receive notifications when Windows 11 detects issues such as a camera failing to start or a closed camera shutter.
3. Notification bell in the system tray: The system tray in Windows 11 will now display a notification bell that will change color when new notifications are available.
4. Richer previews in Start Menu: Insiders logged in with an Azure AD account will now experience richer previews when hovering over files in the Recommended section of the Start Menu.
5. Disable Phone Link: Microsoft is rolling out a new option to completely disable Phone Link on Windows 11. Users can access this option under Settings > Bluetooth & devices > Phone Link.
That sums up the major changes brought by today’s releases for Insiders on the Canary and Dev Channels. Additionally, Microsoft has recently released bug-fixing updates for Beta Channel testers. Next week, the company will initiate the next Windows Insider Bug Bash on Wednesday, August 2. All Insiders from the Canary, Dev, and Beta channels are encouraged to participate and report any bugs they encounter in the latest features available in Windows 11 preview builds.