Hands-on with Windows 11 build 22518 (video): Voice access, weather button, desktop Spotlight, and new Notepad

Windows 11 Weather Widget Button
Windows 11 Weather Widget Button (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft recently released Windows 11 build 22518 to Insiders in the Dev Channel.
  • The build has several changes, including the return of the weather widget button and voice access.
  • Our hands-on video looks at the changes in build 22518 as well as the recently updated Notepad app.

Microsoft recently rolled out Windows 11 build 22518 to Insiders in the Dev Channel. The build includes several new features, including the return of the weather widget button and the ability to control your PC with speech. Our senior editor Zac Bowden runs through all of the new features in our latest hands-on video.

Bowden also takes a look at the new Notepad app, which was recently updated for Insiders.

Here's what's new in Windows 11 build 22518:

  • Keep your desktop fresh and inspiring with Spotlight collection. You will get beautiful new desktop pictures from around the world every day and fun facts about each picture.
  • We are trying out showing the Widgets entry point on the left side of your taskbar with live weather content. You can also open the Widgets board by simply hovering over the entry point.
  • Voice access is a new experience that enables everyone, including people with mobility disabilities, to control their PC and author text using their voice. For example, voice access supports scenarios like opening and switching between apps, browsing the web, and reading and authoring mail. Voice access leverages modern, on-device speech recognition to accurately recognize speech and is supported without an internet connection. Voice access supports English-U.S. language only, so the Windows display language should be set to English-U.S., otherwise voice access may not work as expected.
  • Starting with today's build we're rolling out an underlying platform change to improve the overall performance and reliability of the input switcher for Insiders using multiple keyboard languages and layouts. In addition to this, we're updating the input switcher to now have an acrylic background.
  • Updated the context menu in File Explorer to make "Install," "Install certificate," "Map network drive," and "Disconnect" top level options.

You can read about the build's known issues in our post covering its initial launch.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.