Microsoft brings back the weather taskbar button in the latest preview version of Windows 11

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It’s a Wednesday, which means it’s time for the Windows Insiders of the Dev Channel to start downloading a new preview version of Windows 11! Today’s build is 22518, and has some notable new features and additions that we think are worth talking about. Starting with the Widgets panel, which has been updated with a new entry point that brings back the live update weather information button that was first introduced on Windows 10, but this time placed at the far left of the taskbar.

Windows 11’s new taskbar design left the left side blank, so this change is finally using that space. The button displays the current temperature and weather conditions and will update in real time. Clicking on the button will open the widget panel as usual, where you can access more than just weather information.

In addition, this version also has a new feature that allows you to set Bing daily wallpaper as your desktop wallpaper. Believe it or not, this is a feature that Windows has lacked until now. The feature is called Spotlight and will place an icon on your desktop when enabled, allowing you to learn more about the wallpaper or switch to another projector image.

There is also more to this build. Here is the changelog detailing the new features:

  • Keep your office fresh and inspiring with the Spotlight collection. Every day you will get beautiful new desktop pictures from all over the world and fun facts about each picture.
  • We’re trying to display the Widgets entry point on the left side of your taskbar with live weather content. You can also open the widget table by simply hovering over the entry point.
  • Voice Access is a new experience that allows everyone, including people with limited mobility, to control their PC and write text using their voice. For example, voice access supports scenarios such as opening and switching between applications, browsing the web, and reading and creating mail. Voice Access leverages modern voice recognition on the device to accurately recognize speech and is supported without an internet connection. Voice access only supports English-US language. Windows display language must therefore be set to US English, otherwise voice access may not work as expected.
  • Starting with today’s release, we are deploying an underlying platform change to improve the overall performance and reliability of the input selector for insiders using multiple languages ​​and keyboard layouts. On top of that, we’re updating the input selector so that it now has an acrylic background.
  • Updated the context menu in File Explorer to create the top level options “Install”, “Install Certificate”, “Map Network Drive” and “Disconnect”.

As always, new fixes are also to be tested:

  • Fixed explorer.exe crash related to pinning websites to taskbar.
  • Did work to help resolve an issue where an invisible window frame for the recent searches context menu could get stuck on the screen, consuming entries in that area.
  • When you hover over items in the recent searches context menu, truncated text in the context menu (for example, when you use the accessibility setting to make text larger) will now have a tooltip so you can see the text integral.
  • Improved the visibility of text in the context menu of recent searches if a contrast mode was activated.
  • The recent searches context menu now has a name that is accessible when a screen reader focuses on it, instead of just saying button.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the search icon in the recent searches icon to become a trash character for people using the Chinese display language.
  • Fixed a high impact research crash.
  • Did some work to help reduce the likelihood of keystrokes getting deleted if you run your search by pressing the Windows key and start typing.
  • If you are using Find to run commands, the ‘Run as administrator’ and ‘Open file location’ options should be visible again for you to select from the side of the search window. Additionally, CTRL + Shift + Enter should work again now for commands.
  • Mitigated an issue that could lead to the inability to add network drives as a source in Media Player.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause an unexpected blank icon to display after compressing a file, instead of the one corresponding to your default application for handling that type of file.
  • Right-clicking on a folder and then quickly closing and reopening the File Explorer window should no longer cause explorer.exe to crash when the “Run as separate process” option is enabled.
  • Removed some unexpected characters from the dialog box when moving user account folders to another location.
  • If you right-click on files like .htm in File Explorer, the icon next to Microsoft Edge Canary, Beta, or Dev should now display correctly (if installed) under Open With, instead of displaying a generic icon.
  • Addresses an issue that could cause icons to be missing / invisible for application inputs (such as Windows Terminal) in the context menu.
  • Improved the consistency of the background color of the command bar and drop-down menus when contrast mode was enabled.
  • Some small additional improvements have been made to improve the browsing performance of File Explorer folders.
  • If you pressed WIN + Period and navigated to the emoji or gifs section with a search term, when you return to the main page, we will now clear the search query so you can start from scratch.
  • The IME candidate window should now appear more reliably when typing into the search immediately after starting your PC.
  • Fixed an issue where u-mode / v-mode / name-mode would not display candidates when typing with Simplified Chinese IME.
  • Fixed an issue where the Japanese IME would unexpectedly display candidates in horizontal mode instead of vertical mode.
  • Fixed an issue where the IME toolbar could appear randomly on the lock screen.
  • Fixed an issue where the keyboard focus was not always in the right place after pressing WIN + Period, depending on where you left the focus the last time the window was used.
  • When customizing your family emoji in the emoji panel, the UI should no longer close unexpectedly when clicking on white space.
  • Clicking on your custom family emoji in the most recently used list in the emoji panel should no longer unexpectedly invoke the Personalization UI.
  • If you try to start voice typing (WIN + H) without first setting focus to a text box, the pop-up suggesting you move focus should work again now.
  • Fixed an issue where snapshot groups thumbnails were not updating in real time in task view after moving a group window to another desktop.
  • Fixed an issue that caused settings to crash when opening options for added languages ​​for some Insiders.
  • Fixed some issues on the text entry page under Personalization, including:
  • The preview image of your current configuration should now appear.
  • Added some keywords to make this page easier to find.
  • Improved page reading for screen reader users.
  • Search for the word widgets should return to the corresponding Settings page with this toggle now.
  • Addressed an issue that could cause Insider Bug checks with some devices with the SYSTEM_SERVICE_EXCEPTION error in recent flights.
  • Fixed an issue where users updating versions 22000.xxx or earlier to newer Dev Channel versions using the latest Dev Channel ISO received the following warning message: The version that you are trying to install is signed by theft. To continue the installation, activate the flight signature.
  • Removed excess padding to the left of the boot logo, which made it appear off-center to the progression wheel.
  • Fixed an issue where UAC would unexpectedly display “Unknown Program” when attempting to elevate certain programs, even though they have proper names.
  • Fixed an issue causing Narrator to unexpectedly say “No items in sight” sometimes when tabbing to win32 text boxes.
  • Fixed a crash that caused problems signing in in OOBE (if you had to reset your PC), as well as problems resetting your PIN from the lock screen on the last 2 flights.
  • Fixed an issue that caused Acrylic to not work unexpectedly in some places in Preview Flight.
  • Mitigated an issue that led some people to unexpectedly see “Something went wrong” when trying to click the “stop recording” button while recording a message in the voice recorder.

As always, check out the Windows Blog for the full changelog which includes a list of known issues. Additionally, this version is not available for Windows on ARM PCs due to a crashing bug.


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