Microsoft releases new Windows 11 preview with voice access improvements

Microsoft releases new Windows 11 preview with voice access improvements

It’s Wednesday, and that can only mean one thing. It’s time for a new Windows 11 Insider Preview build. This week’s build is number 22538, and as usual, the changes are pretty modest.

The main new feature is an improvement to voice access, which was first shown in build 22518. The feature is being added to the touch keyboard, so you’ll be able to use it to spell words, enter numbers, enter punctuation, and even enter emojis. You’ll just have to say, “Show keyboard”, and then say to click a number that corresponds to a key.

There are some other changes. Another thing that happened with build 22518 is that Microsoft introduced a new Widgets icon that shows the weather, but unlike what’s promised to users in the Dev channel, it was only available to some Insiders. It’s now available for everyone that enrolls to test out the latest features.

XDA VIDEO OF THE DAY

In updated design, ALT + TAB, Task View, and Snap Assist will all show your accent color in the focus rectangle. There’s some other low-level stuff too, such as HTTPS boot for Hyper-V Generation 2 VMs.

And as always, there’s a long list of fixes, improvements, and known issues to be aware of.

Windows 11 build 22538 Fixes

[General]

  • Pressing the hardware buttons for volume up/down should no longer cause explorer.exe to crash for some Insiders.
  • We believe that the issue causing some Insiders to see text in Settings and other places mixed up in the previous flight should no longer repro in this build.
  • Fixed an issue that was causing Narrator to crash in text boxes when using scan mode.
  • Mitigated an issue where for some PCs, after resuming from sleep or hibernate, video playback would resume instantly but the audio could take 10 seconds to start playing.

[File Explorer]

  • Folders named Advanced should no longer unexpectedly open the Advanced Sharing Settings page in Settings.

[Search]

  • We’ve done some work to address an issue wherein typing when using Search from Start or after clicking the Search icon Taskbar would not actually start a Search, as no text was input. If you continue to experience this issue after upgrading, please file a new piece of feedback under Desktop Environment > Search in Feedback Hub.

[Taskbar]

  • Taskbar’s date and time in the long format should no longer cut off on secondary monitors.

[Settings]

  • There should no longer be a random blank entry under Bluetooth & Devices.
  • Fixed an issue where Narrator was reading the Resume updates button as “Check for updates” in the Windows Update page.
  • Settings should no longer crash when going to System > Display > HDR.
  • Fixed an issue believed to be the root cause of Settings crashing sometimes when using the clear location history option.
  • Mitigated an issue that was causing Settings to crash for some Insiders when viewing the properties of a Wi-Fi network.
  • The “private” and “public” controls in network properties should no longer flicker for people with dual network cards.
  • If you search for “network reset” the Settings page for doing that will now appear in the search results.
  • When viewing the list of available Wi-Fi networks in Quick Settings, the signal strength indicators should now reflect the correct signal strength instead of all showing full strength.

[Input]

  • Removed the “try out your setup” box from Personalization > Text Input > Custom Theme, since it didn’t work.
  • The customized text color from Settings > Personalization > Text input > Custom theme” should actually apply to the text in the candidate window / clipboard history/ emoji panel now.
  • Mitigated an issue which was impacting the performance for Insiders with the new input switcher when rapidly switching input back and forth.
  • Tapping the search box in the expressive input area of the touch keyboard should no longer cause the touch keyboard to immediately dismiss the first time you do it after switching input language.
  • Fixed an unexpected 1-pixel gap between the side of the touch keyboard and edge of the screen when docked.
  • Adding missing inverted interrobang (⸘) to the general punctuation section of WIN + Period.

[Windowing]

  • For those using the custom mode in Settings > Personalization > Colors, the background of ALT + Tab, Task View, and Snap Assist should now follow the default Windows mode for light or dark and not the default app mode.
  • Dragging and dropping windows in Task View while using an Arabic or Hebrew display language should drag in the correct direction again now.
  • exe shouldn’t crash now when closing snap groups which include 3 or 4 apps.

[Widgets]

  • We fixed the issue where if you changed the taskbar alignment, it would cause the Widgets button to disappear from taskbar.
  • Widgets content on taskbar should not get out of sync between monitors when multiple monitors are connecting to your PC.

[Voice access]

  • Fixed an issue where recently removed microphone shows up as the selected microphone.
  • An issue was addressed to ensure the microphone state changes are announced for screen reader users.
  • Fixed an issue to ensure microphone names are read out for screen reader users on the microphone selection page while setting up voice access for the first time.
  • Fixed an issue to ensure microphone labels communicate the current microphone state for screen reader users.
  • Fixed an issue where duplicate number labels were showing up on Microsoft Edge home page with the command “show numbers”.
  • Fixed an issue where the command “lowercase previous character” was not working as expected.
  • Fixed an issue where voice access would give an incorrect message to say “voice access wake up” even when no microphone is connected.
  • Fixed an issue where the command “switch to Edge” was not prompting for input when two Microsoft Edge windows are open with one of them maximized.
  • Fixed an issue where the command “go to font” didn’t give expected results in Microsoft Word.
  • Addressed an issue where the command “voice access wake up” was not activating voice access microphone when you speak continuously without any pauses.
  • Addressed an issue where dictation was not working as expected on the desktop and File Explorer.
  • Addressed an issue where the command “show numbers” was not showing number labels on the window in focus.

[Task Manager]

  • Fixed an issue that was impacting Task Manager reliability.
  • Update App History tab column name in Task Manager from “Tile updates” to “Notifications”.

NOTE: Some fixes noted here in Insider Preview builds from the active development branch may make their way into the servicing updates for the released version of Windows 11 that became generally available on October 5th, 2021.

Windows 11 build 22538 Known Issues

[Taskbar]

  • The taskbar will sometimes flicker when switching input methods.

[Search]

  • After clicking the Search icon on the Taskbar, the Search panel may not open. If this occurs, restart the “Windows Explorer” process, and open the search panel again.

[Input]

  • On a UAC prompt, the IME candidate window doesn’t show up.

[Widgets]

  • With the taskbar left-aligned, information such as temperature is not shown. This will be fixed in a future update.

As usual, this build can be obtained through Windows Update if you’re on the Dev channel. If you’re not, you can enroll through the Windows Insider Program page in Settings.

About author

Rich Woods
Rich Woods

Managing Editor for XDA Computing. I've been covering tech from smartphones to PCs since 2013. If you see me at a trade show, come say hi and let me ask you weird questions about why you use the tech you use.

We are reader supported. External links may earn us a commission.