Microsoft adds a new photo gallery to File Explorer in Windows 11
Arriving just in time for the weekend, the latest Windows 11 flight for Insiders in the Dev Channel comes with a new feature which will be appreciated by a lot of users.
Build 23435 introduces Gallery, a new addition to File Explorer, which is designed to make it easier to browse your photo collection.
What you see in Gallery is the same as you’ll see in the All Photos view in the Photos app.
Gallery is optimized for accessing your most recently taken photos. If you have OneDrive Camera Roll Backup set up on your phone, photos you take will show up automatically at the top of the view. You can choose which folders are shown in Gallery through the Collection dropdown. You can also add subfolders of existing sources to filter to a subset of your content, such as desktop backgrounds and SD card/camera imports.
Gallery also works from the file picking dialog, bringing that same ease of use to situations such as inserting attachments, building a PowerPoint deck, or crafting social media posts.
Other changes and improvements in this build include:
- Microsoft is continuing the exploration of badging on the Start menu with several new treatments for users logging in with local user accounts to highlight the benefits of signing in with a Microsoft account (MSA).
- Windows Insiders will begin noticing a "pizza" icon on the command bar in File Explorer. This icon denotes that an Insider is previewing the Windows App SDK version of File Explorer. Functionality in File Explorer remains unchanged, it just switches from using WinUI 2 to using WinUI 3.
- Narrator users who interact with Traditional Chinese characters are now able to do this with confidence while using Narrator and the IME candidate window in Windows. This was accomplished by creating a Traditional Chinese dictionary for detail reading. Narrator now consumes the dictionary to disambiguate each Traditional Chinese word. Users should be aware that Narrator detailed reading is only supported for the Taiwan language pack. The Hong-Kong language pack is not supported with Narrator.
- Microsoft is introducing new presence sensor privacy settings and APIs. If you have a device with compatible presence sensors, you can now manage your privacy and block/allow certain apps from accessing these sensors. No images or metadata is collected by Microsoft and all processing is done locally on the device hardware to maximize privacy. You will find these settings under Settings > Privacy & security > Presence sensing here if your device supports it. App developers with devices with compatible presence sensors can target apps to request and read user presence information after requesting a human presence capability. Learn more about the API here.
Fixes in this new build include:
[Taskbar & System Tray]
- Fixed a few explorer.exe crashes that were impacting taskbar reliability.
- Updated the TextInput/EnableTouchKeyboardAutoInvokeInDesktopMode MDM policy to allow "2" as a valid value to enforce showing the touch keyboard on tapping an edit control even when the hardware keyboard is attached.
- Fixed an issue which was causing Settings crashes when navigating to various Windows Update related pages in the last couple flights.
- Fixed the issue that caused enhanced speech recognition support installed through the Language & Region settings page to require restarting live captions if you switch languages in the live captions Caption language menu on Arm64 devices.
- Fixed the issue where you may not see install completion of "Enhanced speech recognition" (required by Live Captions) when adding a language through the Language & Region settings page, and language feature installation progress may become hidden.
- Improved the performance of the expand all / collapse all View options on the Processes page.
- Updated Narrator’s default for "Context level for buttons and controls" to "3 -- Immediate content name and type."
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 include:
[Search on the Taskbar]
- There is an issue where some people may not see the search box on the taskbar and/or the settings to adjust the search box experience on the taskbar after updating to Build 23403.
Insiders who have Gallery in File Explorer will see the following issues:
- [NEW] Gallery may require clicking twice on the node in the navigation pane for initial load.
- [NEW] Live updates (including filtering) are currently disabled and require using the Refresh button as a workaround.
- [NEW] Thumbnail loading performance for dehydrated cloud files and memory usage in large collections are known issues Microsoft is 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.
- [NEW] Photos from OneDrive for Business currently must be hydrated to work properly.
- [NEW] Some file types (e.g., HEIC) might not be rendered correctly or performantly.
Insiders who have access keys in File Explorer will see the following issues:
- Access keys will appear inconsistently if no button is pressed. Pressing a button will cause them to reappear.
- Shift + Right click on a file or folder is not opening "Show more options".
Insiders will have issues with the following commands on recommended files in File Explorer:
- Clicking on the Share command will currently bring up the Windows share sheet (non-OneDrive).
- [NEW] Live captions will crash on first launch due to an issue impacting registry data retrieval. A new fix is expected very soon.
- Certain languages shown on the Language & Region settings page will indicate speech recognition support (e.g., Korean) but don’t yet have support for live captions.
- Captioning performance may be degraded in non-English languages and missing out-of-language filtering in non-English (United States) languages which means that incorrect captions will be shown for speech not in the caption language.