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Microsoft bids farewell to Windows 8-era brightness and volume indicators in the latest Windows 11 Insider Build

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Bottom line: Microsoft continues to modernize Windows components, aligning them aesthetically with its latest OS’ design language, alongside making other under-the-hood fixes and improvements. In the Insider Preview Build 22533 for Windows 11, these design changes are reflected in the new hardware indicators for brightness, volume, airplane mode and camera. The preview also brings small updates for the taskbar, WinX menu, and Microsoft’s Your Phone app.

The rounded corners treatment is coming to Windows 11’s hardware indicators, replacing the Windows 8-era vertical black bar for controlling things like volume and brightness that we’ve been used to for almost a decade.

Included in Microsoft’s latest Insider Preview, the modernized indicator removes the numerical value for added minimalism and now appears horizontally just above the Taskbar. The updated look for these controls honors OS dark/light modes and now closely matches their appearance under the Quick Settings panel.

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The preview build also allows users to uninstall the default Clock app and lets them search and/or pin Windows 11’s ‘Voice access’ accessibility feature to the taskbar or Start for easily interacting with the OS through voice commands.

A more subtle change involves the WinX menu (Win + X), where the “Apps & Features” label has been renamed to “Installed apps.” Additionally, Microsoft has updated the “in-progress” calls window for its Your Phone app with new icons, fonts, and UI, and also included over a dozen fixes in this preview build. 2022 01 13 image 4

Bug fixes in this build target the taskbar, general system stability, windowing, input, as well as the Photos and Settings app. Expectedly, there are also several issues with these components that Microsoft has acknowledged. Insiders may experience glitches when using the Search function or while switching input methods. Moreover, the signal strength of available Wi-Fi networks might be inaccurate, and the widgets feature can misbehave when aligning the taskbar or when using multiple displays.

There’s currently no time frame on when the aforementioned design changes and fixes on the dev channel will make it to the public release, but it could end up as part of a Windows 11 feature update that’s planned for the second half of this year.

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