Microsoft has unveiled possibly the last preview version of its Windows 11 operating system before it is fully launched to customers.
Windows 11 preview build 22000.194 has been released to participants of Microsoft's Insiders Beta Channel and to commercial PCs in the Release Preview Channel.
Among the changes in the latest preview are several bug fixes and changes to its Snipping Tool, Calculator, and Clock apps, as well as the Mail and Calendar apps.
In Windows 11, both the classic Snipping Tool and Snip & Sketch apps have been replaced by a new Snipping Tool app. This change has brought added functionality, including a WIN+SHIFT+S keyboard shortcut to take screenshots, with the Snipping Tool providing editing tools for annotations, improved cropping, and more. It now also features support for dark mode.
The Clock app also features “Focus Sessions”, which let users set timers to maintain focus and get more done within a session. The feature also supports connecting with a Spotify account to prevent users from getting distracted. Focus Sessions also integrates with Microsoft To Do, enabling users to manage their To Do tasks without having to switch context.
According to a blog post, several bugs have also been fixed. These include fixing a problem where if users enabled then disabled a contrasting theme, it would lead to graphical artifacts in title bars, in some cases making the minimize/maximize/close buttons hard to see and use.
Other problems fixed include Bluetooth connectivity issues, subtitles not displaying properly, and an issue that caused certain PCs to bug check during standby.
In a tweet last week, Panos Panay, chief product officer at Microsoft, unveiled a redesigned version of the OS’s Photos app, which sports edge-to-edge views of photos. There is also a new “filmstrip” that appears at the bottom of the photo viewer that shows all the items from a location and allows users to jump around their photos directly within the viewer.
The Photos app also introduces a new “multi-view” experience which allows users to compare photos in the same window. This can be activated by selecting multiple items from the filmstrip at the bottom of the photo viewer. There is also an updated photo editing toolbar to enable adjustments to photos such as crop, rotate, touch-up, view metadata, save favorites, and draw on images using a mouse or pen on supported devices.
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Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.