Microsoft is sending out a massive Windows 11 preview build that is bringing in a bunch of new features. One of them is yet another chance for File Explorer, with Microsoft adding its “Recommended” section.
This is rolling out as part of Windows 11 Preview Build 23404. In January I reported on the “Recommended” feature being in development. At the time it was unclear how exactly the feature would work. It could either be a folder recommendation component or a way for Microsoft to advertise other services within File Explorer.
Available in the Dev Channel for Windows Insiders, the feature shows files and content that is curated by Microsoft based on your user habits. However, the Recommended section is only available to devices that use Azure Active Directory. Although, Microsoft may expand it in the future.
Users can see recommended items such as deadlines, shared documents, meetings, and recent files.
Microsoft is also working on a Gallery feature for File Explorer, which I reported on last month.
Of course, File Explorer can already display images in the “Pictures” folder mainly, but also in any other folder. Currently, these are displayed as icons or thumbnails. It seems the new feature will be much more like a proper gallery, showing larger images instead of just small thumbnails.
It will also offer more functionality, such as being able to sort through images in a timeline. It will also allow users to customize which photos they see.
Full Windows 11 Preview Build 23404 Changelog
- “Live captions help everyone and people who are deaf or hard of hearing read live captions in their native language. The first release of live captions in the Windows 11 2022 Update provided captions in English, with a focus on English (United States). In this build, live captions gains the ability to also provide captions in Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese (Brazil), Spanish and other English dialects. We will add more languages as they become available.
- We are adding access key shortcuts into the XAML context menu in File Explorer. An access key is a one keystroke shortcut that allows a keyboard user to quickly execute a command in context menu. Each access key will correspond with a letter in the display name. It's part of our effort to make File Explorer more accessible. To try this out, you can click on a file in File Explorer and press the menu key on your keyboard.
- File Recommendations are coming to File Explorer Home to bring users the most relevant file content right to their fingertips. This feature (as pictured below) will be available to users signed into Windows with an Azure Active Directory (AAD) account. Files that are recommended will be cloud files associated with that account, either owned by the user, or shared with the user.
- Redesigned in-app command help page: We have completely renovated the in-app command help page in voice access to make it simpler to use and comprehend. The search bar allows users to quickly find commands and the various categories provide further guidance. Every command now has a description and examples of its variations, making it easier to understand and use.
- We are introducing updates for the new touch keyboard setting that replaces the “Show the touch keyboard when there's no keyboard attached” checkbox under Settings > Time & language > Typing > Touch keyboard with a new dropdown menu with 3 options to control whether tapping an edit control should launch the touch keyboard:
- “Never” suppresses the touch keyboard even when no hardware keyboard is attached.
- “When no keyboard attached” will show the touch keyboard only when the device is used as a tablet without the hardware keyboard.
- “Always” will show the touch keyboard even when the hardware keyboard is attached.
- Narrator will now retrieve updates to its Outlook support (opens in new tab) when Narrator is started. You can learn more about the work we did for Outlook in Chapter 5 of the Narrator User Guide (opens in new tab). We have not added any additional functionality to our Outlook support, but this work will allow updates to the Outlook experience to be made through the Microsoft Store. You will receive a notification after the download is completed to inform you that the update has been retrieved. With this change, Narrator's Outlook support is limited to U.S. English only. Other languages will be supported in a future flight.
- Multi-app kiosk mode is a lockdown feature for Windows 11 that allows an IT administrator to select a set of allowable apps to run on the device, while all other functionalities are blocked. This enables you to create multiple different apps and access configurations for different user types, all on a single device.
- Users will now see a copy button for quickly copying two-factor authentication (2FA) codes in notification toasts from apps installed on the PC or from phones linked to the PC. We make a best effort to determine if a notification toast has an authentication code but please send us feedback if we got it wrong or if we failed to detect the code in a notification toast. This change is beginning to roll out, so not all Insiders in the Dev Channel will see it right away.
- We have added a glanceable VPN status into the system tray when connected to a recognized VPN profile (opens in new tab). The VPN icon, a small shield, will be overlayed in over the active network connection. Currently, the overlayed VPN icon does not use your system accent color but will do so in a future build.
- The search box on taskbar will be lighter when Windows is set to a custom color mode. Specifically, when the Windows 11 mode is set to dark, and the app mode is set to light under Settings > Personalization > Colors you will see a lighter search box on taskbar.
- We have updated the Simplified Chinese handwriting recognition engine to be faster and more accurate as well as supported characters defined in GB18030-2022. Currently you can write characters in GB18030-2022 Level 2 and some of characters in GB18030-2022 Level 1 in the handwriting panel or directly into the text field when it's supported. Please try it and let us know what you think.
- Right-clicking on a Win32 app in Start, or searching for the app, and choosing “Uninstall” will now take you to the Settings to uninstall the app.”
Tip of the day: The Windows Clipboard history feature provides the functionality across device, space, and time, letting you copy on one computer and paste the text days later on a different PC. All of it is possible via the Windows 10 clipboard manager, which lets you view, delete, pin, and clear clipboard history at will.
In our tutorial we show you how to enable the feature, clear clipboard history, and enable/disable clipboard sync to meet your preferences. You can also create a clear clipboard shortcut for quick removal of stored content.