Microsoft today released a new Windows 10 preview for PCs and phones. This is the second build reflecting the Windows 10 Anniversary Update coming this summer; the first one arrived earlier this month.
Windows 10 is a service. As we wrote in our deep dive on how Microsoft is still building Windows 10, this means Windows Insiders are getting new builds even though the operating system launched in July 2015.
Before we dive into the features, it’s worth noting that Microsoft says “there isn’t a lot new for Mobile.” That’s because the last Windows 10 Mobile build arrived just two days ago.
First up, this build includes the new Windows Ink experience. Windows Ink is Microsoft’s latest attempt to let you to write on your device as you do on paper. Windows Ink is integrated into apps like Maps, Microsoft Edge, and Office.
If you have a Windows device with an active pen, Windows Ink Workspace is enabled by default and accessible via the pen button in the notification area of your taskbar. If you don’t have an active pen but want to try out this feature anyway, right-click on the taskbar and choose “Show Windows Ink Workspace button.”
Next, Microsoft has made improvements to the Start menu. The Most used apps list and the All apps list have been merged into a single view. You can now access all your apps with one click on the Start menu. Power, Settings, and File Explorer are now always visible in the left rail. The Recently added section will now show three entries instead of just one, and can be expanded to see the entire list of new apps. Any additional folders you have chosen to appear on Start (Settings => Personalization => Start) will no longer be hidden behind the hamburger button.
For the Start screen on tablets, Microsoft has brought back the full-screen All Apps list, per requests from testers. You can now toggle between your pinned tiles and All Apps list on the Start screen directly in the left rail. You can also choose to only auto-hide the taskbar in tablet mode (Settings => System => Tablet Mode).
As announced at Build 2016, you can now finally place Cortana on your Lock screen (Cortana’s settings => “Lock screen options” => “Let me use Cortana even when my device is locked”). For sensitive tasks or those that launch applications, Cortana will prompt you to unlock your device.
There are two new types of reminders you can set in Cortana. You can now create a photo reminder in Cortana by taking a picture of something you want to be reminded about, and set reminders on content from UWP apps that utilize the share contract in Windows.
Cortana is now also easier to start using. Without any set up or sign-in, you can ask her simple questions, conduct a web search, have her tell you a joke, or search documents on your device.
Speaking of search, you can now quickly search your files whether they are on your PC or your personal OneDrive in the cloud. Just search for something you need and click one of the search filters (documents, photos, music, or videos) and it will show you content from your OneDrive.
The Action Center icon has moved to the far corner of the taskbar, and it displays the number of notifications you have missed. There’s also now a subtle animation to the icon that shows the sender app’s logo whenever you receive notifications that do not show a toast.
Furthermore, individual app notifications in Action Center no longer show the app icon repeated for each notification, there are more Cortana notifications to ensure you don’t miss anything important, and you can now add, remove, and rearrange the Quick Actions that show up (Settings => System => Notifications & actions). The Wi-Fi Quick Action now directly takes you to the “View Available Network” flyout instead of turning your Wi-Fi on or off.
The taskbar clock now integrates with the Calendar app. If you click on an event in the flyout, it will redirect you to that event’s details in the Calendar app, and you can add a new event by clicking the “+” button. You can also manage multiple playback devices from the Taskbar: The volume flyout has been updated to allow you to switch between multiple audio output devices.
Speaking of the taskbar clock, it can now be set up on all monitors. This was specifically requested by the gaming community, Microsoft said.
You will now see badges (lightweight notifications that are contextual and specific to individual apps) appear on the taskbar. The Mail apps badge shows you the number of unseen emails (not unread), the Alarms & Clock app’s badge shows you that you have an active alarm, and the Weather app’s badge lets you know when there is a weather alert in the area.
Taskbar settings have been moved to the Settings app, and are now discoverable by searching with Cortana.
Speaking of the settings app, it has gained icons for individual settings pages, the ability to reset an app if it gets into a bad state, and a separate page for the Windows Insider Program. Also, the Pen settings page has been updated to include the ability to adjust your pen shortcuts, a new option to ignore touch input when using the pen, and Windows Ink Workspace settings.
Virtual desktop users can now switch quickly between desktops by swiping four fingers left or right on their touchpad. If you want to refer to two adjacent desktops, you can keep your fingers down and drag back and forth.
The lock screen has received two improvements: email addresses are now hidden by default (you can change this in Settings => Accounts => Sign-in options => Privacy), and media controls are now embedded at the bottom right corner, along with a picture of the album art from the song currently playing.
Last but not least, there are two visual changes worth noting.
The credential and UAC dialog boxes have received a refresh:
There’s a new File Explorer icon:
This build also includes the following bug fixes:
- An issue causing the Visual Studio emulator for Windows 10 Mobile and Hololens to fail with “An authentication error has occurred. The Local Security Authority cannot be contacted”. Developers should be able to use the emulator on this build.
- An issue causing the Xbox One Controller to lag and become hard to use when connected to your PC.
- An issue where the two factor authentication dialog wasn’t formatted correctly after an error is received.
- When you open a second app in tablet mode, it will appear side-by-side with the first app (split-screen). When you close one of these apps, it should become full screen.
- An issue where default column widths for Task Manager were too narrow on high DPI devices.
- An issue where restarting your PC might become stuck on “Restarting…” screen rather than prompting “Are you sure you want to Restart?” when unsaved work is present.
- We’ve updated the Shutdown Windows dialog to use a modern icon.
- An issue where you couldn’t see the Chinese Input Method Editor candidate list while in full screen mode for games, as well as resolved an issue where using it in the Settings search box would cause Settings to crash
- An issue that might result in a notification that cannot be dismissed.
- An issue resulting in overlapped icons and clipped text in File Explorer when display is using a very large font size.
- An issue causing Quicken to not launch. However, you will need to uninstall and reinstall Quicken to get out of a bad state.
Microsoft is aware of 15 issues in this build on PC:
- Your PC may enter Connected Standby and show a bluescreen (bugcheck). For more mitigation instructions, see this forum post.
- After updating to this build any extensions installed in Microsoft Edge will be removed.
- Feedback Hub is not localized and the UI will be in English (U.S.) only, even with language packs installed.
- Feedback Hub takes about 20-30 minutes after updating to this build to download and hydrate itself. It will be broken in the meantime.
- The Desktop App Converter Preview (Project Centennial) will fail to run. If you are a developer utilizing the converter tool to convert your desktop app to UWP, skip this build.
- All Tencent online games no longer work in current builds from the Development Branch.
- The updated UAC UI breaks the ALT + Y keyboard shortcut to choose “yes”.
- If you are in an app and click on a link with a URL longer than 260 characters, it will bring up the “Open with…” dialog instead of opening with your default browser.
- Groove Music will crash on launch at the splash screen.
- Playing music in the Groove Music within 2 minutes after logging into your PC will result in 0xc10100ae playback errors.
- In Microsoft Edge, some large downloads may appear to get stuck at 99 percent completion. You can work around this issue by renaming the file in your downloads after closing Edge.
- If you have BitLocker/Device Encryption enabled and try go back to a previous Insider Preview build via “Go back to an earlier build” under Settings > Update & security > Recovery – the app will crash and you will be unable to rollback.
- Settings will crash if you try to pin one of the pages to Start, resulting in page not being pinned
- You may see square boxes in certain apps when using some of the new emoji.
- If you upgraded from 14316, you may see stuck apps in the Store. Those apps will also be duplicated in Start’s all apps list (one real, one pending). To resolve this: 1) Start downloading some other app. 2) Pause the download, then go to the downloads and update view. 3) Click the “Resume All” button.
Today’s update bumps the Windows 10 build number from 14316 for PC (made available to testers on April 6) to build 14328. Because this is such a big release, Microsoft is holding a “Bug Bash” next week. For testers, that means Quests inside the Feedback Hub that will highlight different areas of the product each day.