Microsoft is currently experimenting with a new audio control feature on Windows 11 which allows users to control the volume of multiple apps from quick settings.
Volume Mixer, as it is called, is currently available in Preview of build 25281 (opens in a new tab) from the dev channel on the Windows 11 Insider Program. It is compared to software like Discord and EarTrumpet due to similar capabilities of adjusting volume levels for different audio sources. For example, you can keep the volume of a Skype call loud while silencing the music on Spotify and having WhatsApp somewhere in between for notifications. This is a level of management that is not currently seen as Windows 11 currently only offers universal tweaks. Users typically use third-party apps, like EarTrumpet, to gain this level of control.
What’s most interesting, however, is that Microsoft made no mention of Volume Mixer in the Preview Build announcement. It was only discovered after users searched through the release files and found the hidden feature. Hopefully the tool becomes a reality, as being able to individually adjust the volume on each app would be fantastic. Windows 11 needs a better audio tool.
We say “hopefully” because this is an experimental feature and there is no guarantee that it will ever be released. As noted in a 2022 Windows Insider Program post, some “concepts will never ship…” It’s possible that Microsoft will bring Volume Mixer back to the drawing board to improve it, but at this point, who knows?
New features and a redesign
As for what was revealed in Preview Build 25281, Windows Spotlight is getting a little overhaul. The interface will display more detailed information about an image like the subject name and a brief description. Developers are also experimenting with different methods of image switching; for example whether or not it should be a “full screen experience”. Adjusting graphics settings will be easier to do, according to Microsoft. Certain configurations such as the GPU preference will now be displayed in the foreground in the Graphics section of the Settings menu.
Moreover, the Notepad app now supports multiple tabs so users can manage multiple files on one window. As with browsers, you can drag one of the tabs (opens in a new tab) be its own instance. And there’s a new Notepad setting that lets users decide “whether files open in new tabs or a new window by default.”
Other new Notepad features include additional keyboard shortcuts and the ability for the app to automatically create file/tab names based on the content present. The Notepad update appears to be separate from preview build 25281, so you’ll need to download both.
Microsoft is working hard to lay the groundwork for Windows 11 to eventually become the one and only enterprise-supported operating system. In addition to the timeout Windows 7 and 8.1the company recently announced that it will no longer sell Windows 10 Home or Pro licenses on its website from January 31.
Be safe to check out TechRadar’s guide to how to upgrade to windows 11if you are finally considering taking the plunge.
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