Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23506, now live on Dev, previews the new Outlook app

July 20, 2023

It’s that time of the week. Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23506 just arrived on the Dev channel, and we’re more than eager to unpack all the features and improvements that come with it. 

The hotly-anticipated build includes a preview of the new Outlook app. Starting from this update onwards, The new Outlook app combines the Mail and Calendar apps into a single, unified app. It is also now an inbox app, which means that it will be preinstalled on Windows 11 devices. This makes it easier for users to get started with Outlook and to keep their email and calendar organized.

In addition to the update for the new Outlook app, a range of features has been gradually introduced. These include Windows Hello for Business offering password-less sign-in, alerts for unsafe password copy-and-paste actions, and improvements in local file sharing.

During the previous update (Build 23493), Microsoft introduced Copilot, its latest AI assistance tool, to all Dev insiders. Recently, at the Inspire 2023 event, the company unveiled the pricing details for Copilot, offering it at approximately $30 per user per month. 

What other fixes and improvements that Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23506 brought to the table, you may ask? Here’s everything we’ve noted from Microsoft’s official release note.

Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23506: What to expect?

[Emoji]

  • With the update of our color font format to COLRv1, Windows is now able to display richer emoji with a 3D like appearance with support coming soon to some apps and browsers. These emoji use gradients to bring the design style that our customers have been asking for. The new emoji will bring more expression to your communications.
Before and after of the updated color format for emoji.
Before and after of the updated color format for emoji.

[Voice Access]

  • Voice access is now available via the accessibility flyout on the Lock screen.

[Backup and Restore]

  • In addition to the new Windows Backup app, now you can configure your backup preferences in second-chance out of box experience (SCOOBE), so your apps, settings, creds, and files are backed up in the cloud just the way you want them. You’ll have peace of mind knowing the data you care about is protected and ready for you to restore from any PC.
Configure your backup preferences in second-chance out of box experience (SCOOBE).
Configure your backup preferences in second-chance out of box experience (SCOOBE).

[Settings]

  • We have temporarily disabled the new Settings homepage that began rolling out with Build 23493 due to a bug that could cause some instability on Insider’s PCs. We plan to re-enable and roll this back out once that bug is fixed in a future flight.
  • We’ve added 2 additional energy recommendations under Settings > System > Power & battery > Energy recommendations for turning on dark mode and adjusting refresh rate to conserve energy.
2 additional energy recommendations for turning on dark mode and adjusting refresh rate to conserve energy.
2 additional energy recommendations for turning on dark mode and adjusting refresh rate to conserve energy.

Fixes

[File Explorer]

  • Fixed an issue where explorer.exe might crash when dragging tabs.
  • Fixed an issue which could cause explorer.exe to crash when opening Gallery.

We fixed the following issues for Insiders who have the modernized File Explorer address bar that began rolling out with Build 23475:

  • Fixed an issue which was causing explorer.exe to crash when trying to access an FTP address.
  • Fixed an issue where selecting the dropdown arrows in the address bar was opening a blank menu in the last flight.

We fixed the following issues for Insiders who have the modernized File Explorer Home that began rolling out with Build 23475:

  • Fixed an issue where File Type icons are displayed in place of file thumbnails for ‘Recommended’ section (applicable to Enterprise users).
  • Fixed an issue where Insiders signed in with an AAD account who tried to navigate the Recommended section on File Explorer Home with the tab key on the keyboard may have experienced an explorer.exe crash.
  • Fixed an issue where if you navigated from another group to the Recommended section using a keyboard, focus will not appear on the group header or files appropriately.
  • Fixed an issue where opening Home was crashing for some Insiders.

We fixed the following issue with commands on recommended files in File Explorer that began rolling out with Build 23403:

  • Fixed an issue where if you clicked on the Share command, it would bring up the Windows share sheet instead of the OneDrive share experience.
  • Fixed an underlying issue believed to be the cause of certain apps hanging when trying to use the open file dialog.

[Notifications]

  • Fixed an issue where the copy button for quickly copying two-factor authentication (2FA) codes in notification toasts was not working as expected.

[Taskbar & System Tray]

  • Fixed an issue where the notification badge on the widgets icon in the taskbar could get out of place.

[Search on the Taskbar]

  • We fixed the issue causing text scaling to not work in the search flyout.

[Dynamic Lighting]

  • Fixed an underlying ctfmon.exe crash (which could impact the ability to type) related to the Dynamic Lighting work.
  • Fixed an issue where all-device settings changes were not propagating to per-device settings.

NOTE: Some fixes noted here in Insider Preview builds from the Dev Channel may make their way into the servicing updates for the released version of Windows 11.

Known issues

[Windows Copilot]

  • You can use Alt + Tab to switch out of Windows Copilot, but not back into it. Windows + C will move focus back to Windows Copilot
  • When first launching or after refreshing Copilot while using Voice Access you’ll need to use “Show grid” commands to click in the “Ask me anything” box for the first time.

[Dev Drive]

  • There might be variable performance on different hardware. If you notice slower performance on your machine, please file feedback!

[File Explorer]

  • In some cases, the context menu background in File Explorer may appear transparent.
  • Insiders may experience a File Explorer crash when dragging the scroll bar or attempting to close the window during an extended file-loading process.
  • Copying files out of large archives or using “Extract All” might be slower than expected for “solid” .7Z or .rar archives.
  • Thumbnail loading performance in Gallery for dehydrated cloud files and memory usage in large collections are known issues we are focused on improving. Please capture Performance traces in Feedback Hub for any performance-related issues. Rebuilding your Indexer can help if thumbnails are missing for cloud files; Search for “Indexing Options” and look in Advanced settings to find the rebuild tool.
  • [UPDATE] ALT + D, CTRL + L, and F4 do not consistently set focus to the address bar. We’re investigating.

Insiders who have the modernized File Explorer address bar that began rolling out with Build 23475:

  • Windows Insiders may notice missing craftmanship polish with the modernized address bar and search box. The team greatly appreciates the use of Feedback Hub to help call out important details to address.

[Dynamic Lighting]

  • Switching user accounts can turn off device LEDs.

[Windows Ink]

  • The address box in Microsoft Edge might not work correctly.
  • Windows Ink does not convert handwriting to text into the main content (e.g., Word documents and Excel spreadsheets) in Microsoft 365 applications.
  • Search boxes in Microsoft 365 applications (e.g., Microsoft Word) might not work correctly.
  • Comment fields in Microsoft 365 applications (e.g., Microsoft Word) might not work correctly.

Have you downloaded Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23506 and taken these features out for a spin? Let us know in the comments!

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