Windows 11 Build 22518 Brings Big Changes to Voice Access, Widgets, and WSL

Deepak Gupta December 9, 2021
Updated 2021/12/09 at 1:51 PM

Windows 11 Build 22518 Brings Big Changes

On schedule, Microsoft today released a new preview of Windows 11 Insider for Windows Insiders in the development channel. While more recent versions offered minor updates for testers, Windows 11 version Build 22518 is making significant changes that will impact shipping versions of Windows 11 in 2022.

One of the biggest changes is voice access, which Microsoft says is beneficial for anyone who uses Windows 11.

Voice Access uses voice recognition on the device allowing you to open / switch apps, read / compose messages, and browse the internet (among other things) just using your voice.

And since all processing takes place on the device rather than in the cloud, you don’t need a constant internet connection to take advantage of voice access.

Microsoft provides dozens of commands via his blog which you can operate via voice, including right-clicking / double-clicking on an item, scrolling in a specific direction,

inserting text into an area, etc. Activating voice access is done by saying “Reactivating voice access” and you can put it on standby by saying “Standby voice access” or “Mute”.

If you want to prevent voice access from responding completely to commands, just say “Mute microphone”.

We can see how much of a boon this would be for visually impaired Windows users, and we applaud Microsoft for continuing its accessibility efforts across all of its platforms.

For users who love the eyes, you can spruce up your desktop with the Spotlight collection. This is a relatively simple addition that will pick up new “from around the world and fun facts about every picture” wallpapers every day.

For example, the first background presented by the Windows team features the Australian beach of Whitehaven.

“If you hover over the Spotlight icon, you can read more about each image,” write Microsoft’s Amanda Langowski and Brandon LeBlanc.

“Right-clicking on the Spotlight icon on the desktop opens a context menu where you can switch to another background image and tell us whether or not you like any of the images. “

Widgets are now accessible from the left side of your taskbar by hovering over the entry point.

Microsoft says the Widget Update will be rolled out to a smaller subset of testers before a larger rollout, as with many new features in Windows Insider.

Microsoft also makes it easy to install Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) through the Microsoft Store.

As is usually the case with these new insider previews, Microsoft has implemented dozens of fixes across multiple areas (e.g. search, file explorer, settings, etc.), and there are still more a dozen “known issues” to resolve. by the Microsoft development team.

Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22518 should wait for the installation of the Dev Channel Testers through Windows Update now.

However, a key thing to note about this version is that Microsoft says it is not available for Arm64 systems “due to an issue that causes these devices to roll back when attempting to update. to this version ”.

Microsoft hopes to fix this problem in a future release.

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