Voice access improvements arrive with Windows 11 preview build 22538
New build now available in the Dev Channel.
What you need to know
- Build 22538 is rolling out in the Insider Dev Channel.
- It includes improvements to the new voice access feature.
- There's lots of new fixes to test as well.
It's another Wednesday, which means it's time for Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel to prepare for a new Windows 11 preview build! Today's build is 22538, and is rolling out now with improvements to the new voice access feature, in addition to other minor changes and enhnacements.
Voice access was introduced in the Insider Program a handful of weeks ago, and allows users to control their PC just with their voice. In today's build, the feautre now works with the on-screen touch keyboard, allowing you to type and initiate keyboard commands directly with your voice.
Here's the changelog:
We first introduced voice access in Build 22518. Voice access is a new experience to control your PC with just voice. With today's build, we have some updates for voice access for Windows Insiders to try out.
You can use the touch keyboard with voice access to:
- Spell words e.g., names and email addresses.
- Enter numbers e.g., phone numbers and addresses.
- Enter punctuation marks and symbols.
- Enter emojis.
You can only use the following voice access commands while using the touch keyboard:
- Voice access on/ off commands e.g., "voice access wake up", "voice access sleep", "turn off microphone", "turn off voice access".
- Commands to use touch keyboard e.g., "hide keyboard," "click 2".
Other changes and improvements:
- The updated entry point for Widgets with weather on the taskbar first introduced with Build 22518 should now be available to all Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel.
- In ALT + TAB, Task view, and Snap assist, the focus rectangle that shows what is selected will now use your chosen accent color on your PC.
- Our updated IMEs and touch keyboard designs will now show on the Lock screen and where you enter your account information such as username and password. This change is currently rolling out to a subset of Windows Insiders at first and we'll expand over time based on feedback.
- We are beginning to roll out the ability for voice typing to download Speech Packs from the Microsoft Store for device-based speech recognition that provides a better performance of transcription.
- We're experimenting with improving the discoverability of certain input features in various areas across the OS.
- For those who need it, you can access ncpa.cpl directly again.
- We have added HTTPS boot for Hyper-V Generation 2 VMs. The feature is enabled by default.
- For PCs that support it, display calibration is now directly available under Settings > Display > HDR instead of having to open a separate Settings page.
- 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.
- Folders named Advanced should no longer unexpectedly open the Advanced Sharing Settings page in Settings.
- 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's date and time in the long format should no longer cut off on secondary monitors.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Explorer.exe shouldn't crash now when closing snap groups which include 3 or 4 apps.
- 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.
- 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.
- Fixed an issue that was impacting Task Manager reliability.
- Update App History tab column name in Task Manager from "Tile updates" to "Notifications".
As always, you can check out the Windows Blog for the list of known issues.
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Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.