Microsoft launched Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22610 on Friday, a new build with a resurrected feature that many appreciated years ago: an “estimated time to empty” associated with the battery icon in the taskbar.
The new build was released to both the Dev and Beta channels, so that there’s a good chance that these new features will be released to the general public.
This latest preview build doesn’t offer many new features. Instead, the emphasis is on fixes to the existing Windows 11 experience: some important, others not. But the change to the battery icon is a small but significant twist — if your PC supports it.
At one point, Windows 10 PCs would tell you both the percentage of your laptop’s battery as well as the estimated “time to empty” just by hovering over the battery icon, but Microsoft pulled the feature early in Windows 10’s life — probably because the estimate can dramatically change based on your user behavior. It appears that that will change: “If your PC supports it, we will now show estimated battery life timing in the tooltip for the battery icon in the system tray with the most recent Insider Preview builds,” the build notes for Windows 11 Build 22610 say.
Unfortunately, our test machine, a Surface Laptop 3, doesn’t include the capability, so we can’t show you how this works. Hopefully many more laptops will begin supporting it in the future.
Microsoft is also making a couple of tweaks to its icons, including the new Windows 11 icons that the company added to its File Explorer menu. The “rename” icon is receiving a makeover so that it’s clearer what it does. Others, including the “properties” wrench icon, are being tweaked. (These were one of our complaints in our original Windows 11 review.)
Microsoft has turned off the feature that spaced out taskbar icons a bit from each other while devices like the Surface Pro 8 are in tablet mode. Microsoft said it plans to refine the experience, then bring the feature back.
Task Manager’s highlighted heat maps will now reflect your accent color.
Microsoft has also pulled SMB1 support from the Dev and Beta channels. SMB1, an insecure networking protocol used by some old legacy consumer NAS devices, is being removed from Windows. It’s disabled by default, and the binaries will be removed from a future release as well. Microsoft’s Ned Pyle announced this on April 19.
“I had to save this Home edition behavior for last, it’s going to cause a consumer pain among folks who are still running very old equipment, a group that’s the least likely to understand why their new Windows 11 laptop can’t connect to their old networked hard drive,” Pyle wrote. (The link links to an informal list of consumer NAS devices that use SMB1.)