Windows 11 is getting some awesome new accessibility features soon
What you need to know
- Microsoft is bringing new accessibility features to Windows 11 soon.
- These new features include a new Live Captions tool, Voice Access control, Focus mode, and more.
- These features are available now in the Insider Dev and Beta Channel.
Microsoft has highlighted several new accessibility features that are coming soon to Windows 11 during its Ability Summit 2022 keynote. The company is pushing hard on building features that are designed to make Windows 11 easier to use for everybody, including people with disabilities.
Windows Insiders have already been testing most of these new accessibility features in the latest Dev and Beta Channel builds. These new features include a new “Focus” mode, system-wide Live Captions, a new Voice Access tool, and more natural voices for Windows Narrator.
Additionally, Microsoft has also built a new Focus Sessions feature into the Notification Center, which makes it easy to set a “work” timer that will enable Focus mode for a certain amount of time. When enabled, Windows will turn on Do Not Disturb and also turn of taskbar badges to reduce distractions even further.
The feature is very customizable as well. It can be placed anywhere on the screen, whether that be at the top, side, or bottom of your display. You can also change the size, font, and transparency of text and captions panel. Plus, these Live Captions are locally analyzed and presented, meaning you don’t need to be connected to the internet for it to work (once initial setup has been completed.)
When enabled, the user can tell Windows to do things like “Open Start,” or “Switch to Edge” and then further interact with the app with common commands like “Scroll Down,” or if the user is unsure what commands they can use, they can ask “what can I say?” and Windows will present all the available commands to them.
Alongside these highlights, Microsoft has announced a new Inclusive Tech Lab designed to help it build future products that are accessible for all people. Additionally, it has announced a line of new adaptive PC accessories, highlighted new accessibility features in Edge, and outlined how Xbox game developers can build more accessible games.
Windows 11 is getting a new Sound Recorder app with updated design
Microsoft has today announced the rollout of a new Sound Recorder app for Insiders in the Dev Channel on Windows 11. The new Sound Recorder replaces the Voice Recorder app already present in Windows, with new features and an updated UI headlining the new experience.