New Windows 11 build improves Narrator voices and media controls
Albeit a day later than usual, Microsoft has released its weekly build of Windows 11 to Insiders enrolled in the Dev channel. This time, we’re getting Windows 11 build 22543, and it’s packing a few changes users might appreciate.
The biggest improvement is for accessibility, with new natural voices for Narrator. As you’ve probably guessed, these new voices should provide a more natural and comfortable listening experience while using the Narrator in Windows 11. The new voices are available to download once you install the new build, and if you choose to install them, they use on-device text-to-speech technology, so they work without internet access. These new voices are called Jenny and Aria, and they’re only available for English-US versions of Windows.
Along with this, there are a couple of new keyboard shortcuts that let you quickly switch between Narrator voices and reading modes, so you can always choose what’s most comfortable for you without going back into the Settings app.
Another improvement is for media controls, following the new volume and brightness indicators that were introduced recently. There’s a new design for media controls in the Windows 11 lock screen, which aligns a bit better with other Windows 11 design elements.
On the desktop, you’ll notice that when you resize a window in a Snap Group, the active window will stay visible, while other windows will fade out and only show the app icon on a translucent background. Microsoft has also made it so that if you mute your microphone in Teams with the Win + Alt + K keyboard shortcut, you’ll see an indicator that you’ve muted yourself above the taskbar.
Additionally, Microsoft has finished rolling out the new acrylic design for the input switcher to all Insiders in the Dev channel, there’s a new progress animation when installing a new build, and the design of Disks & Volumes and Storage Spaces pages in Settings have been updated to better fit in Windows 11.
Aside from that, Windows 11 build 22543 comes with the usual array of fixes, which you can see below.
Fixes in Windows 11 build 22543
- Task Manager shouldn’t crash when switching to the Performance tab.
- The updated flyout for the hardware indicators for volume will now show the level.
- Fixed an issue where certain characters (like characters with umlauts) weren’t allowed when naming your PC in OOBE, even though it was allowed in Settings after finishing OOBE.
- Addressed an issue which was leading to OneNote crashing in recent builds when trying to open pages with inserted PDFs.
- Mitigated an issue that was leading to unresponsive UI after enabling HDR.
- Fixed an issue that could lead to explorer.exe crashing when dragging and dropping a file out of a zipped folder in File Explorer.
- The context menu in File Explorer now shows a CTRL + Shift + C keyboard shortcut next to Copy as Path.
- Fixed an issue which was leading to the cursor unexpectedly disappearing in certain apps.
- Fixed a crash in Quick Settings when opening the input switcher from there.
- Addressed an issue which was leading to the candidate window customization being unexpectedly missing from Personalization > Text Input for Chinese Simplified IME users sometimes.
- We fixed the issue causing two arrows to appear for the hidden icon flyout and the Quick Settings icons, and the date and time were misaligned.
- Mitigated an issue leading to Settings getting stuck in a suspended state and couldn’t be launched.
- If you’ve opted to turn off the startup sound, that setting should persist upgrades going forward.
- Fixed the icon in the notification that shows if you have chosen to postpone finishing setting up your device.
- Tabbing through Quick Settings should no longer set focus to an invisible element.
- Fixed an issue that was sometimes causing the media controls above Quick Settings to be off-screen.
- The underline indicating the active desktop in Task View will now follow your chosen accent color instead of being blue.
- Mitigated a WER issue which was leading to DWM crashes in recent flights.
There are also some known issues, as per usual. It’s a fairly short list this week, though:
Known issues in Windows 11 build 22543
- The taskbar will sometimes flicker when switching input methods.
- 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.
- On a UAC prompt, the IME candidate window doesn’t show up.
- With the taskbar left-aligned, information such as temperature is not shown. This will be fixed in a future update.
- Restart Narrator if the voice is not automatically switched after downloading Microsoft Aria (Natural) from voice selection combo box.
If you’re not a Windows Insider, there is still some exciting Windows 11 news this week. Microsoft just announced that Android apps will be available to the general public next month, along with a few changes Insiders have been testing for the past few weeks.