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 known, is currently available in Preview Build 25281 (opens in a new tab) from the Dev Channel on the Windows 11 Insider program. It is compared to software such as Discord and Ear Trumpet due to similar possibilities to adjust volume levels for different sound sources. For example, you can keep the volume high on a Skype call while turning off the music playing on Spotify and have WhatsApp somewhere in between for notifications. It’s a level of management that’s currently unseen, as Windows 11 currently only offers universal tweaks. Users typically use third-party apps, such as EarTrumpet, to gain this level of control.
What’s most interesting, however, is that Microsoft didn’t mention Volume Mixer in the Preview Build announcement. It was only discovered after users dug around the file’s files and found the hidden feature. Hopefully the tool becomes a reality, because being able to adjust the volume individually on each app would be amazing. 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 Microsoft will take 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 actually revealed in Preview Build 25281, Windows Spotlight is getting a slight redesign. The interface will display more detailed information about an image such as the name of the subject and a short description. The developers are also experimenting with different methods of switching images; for example, whether it should be a “full screen experience.” Adjusting graphics settings will be easier to do, according to Microsoft. Certain configurations such as GPU preference will now appear front and center in the graphics section of the Settings menu.
In addition, have The Notepad app now supports multiple tabs allowing users to manage multiple files in one window. Like browsers, you can drag one of the tabs (opens in a new tab) out to 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 make it possible for Windows 11 to eventually take over as the company’s only supported operating system. In addition to sunset Windows 7 and 8.1The company recently announced that it will no longer sell Windows 10 Home or Pro licenses on its website starts on 31 January.
Be sure to check out TechRadar’s guide on How to upgrade to Windows 11if you’re thinking about finally taking the plunge.