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Microsoft today released a new Windows 10 preview for PCs with a huge number of improvements spanning Start, Edge, Cortana, various inputs, shell, settings, gaming, developer, accessibility, fonts, and more. This is the third build of the upcoming Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, which is slated to arrive later this year (likely in September).
Windows 10 is a service, meaning it was built in a very different way from its predecessors so it can be regularly updated with not just fixes but new features, too. Microsoft has released many such updates, including three major ones: November Update, Anniversary Update, and Creators Update.
Instead of listing everything new in this build, here’s a quick rundown:
- Start and Action Center: These features have received elements of Microsoft’s new Fluent Design System.
- Edge: You can now once again pin your favorite websites to your taskbar and use the full screen mode (F11). New features include the ability to annotate EPUB books and more highlight colors, and Ask Cortana now works in PDFs.
- Cortana: Camera roll insights allows Cortana to prompt you to create a reminder when she notices event posters in your camera roll, and the new lasso tool lets you circle relevant information for Cortana to help keep track of upcoming events
- Handwriting: The handwriting panel now lets you write as much as it converts text, make corrections by overwriting converted text, make corrections using ink gestures, and easily access emoji and symbols. It also has better palm rejection, can now appear next to where you’re writing by default, and the U.S. English recognition engine has better accuracy.
- Pen: Find My Pen lets you see where you were when you last inked on your computer, you can now scroll content directly with your pen, and the pen now has more control over the selection process.
- Hardware keyboard: There is now an emoji panel (accessible with Windows key + . or Windows key + ;) that can be navigated by both mouse and keyboard.
- Touch keyboard: There is a new XAML-based touch keyboard with enhanced text prediction, an improved emoji experience, one-handed touch keyboard option, shape writing, and new settings menu.
- Dictation: You can now use dictation to input English or Chinese text on desktop, as well as using voice commands to do basic editing or to input punctuations.
- Shell: A new option in the Share UI lets you copy links to your clipboard. Local media folder detection has been improved for the Photos, Groove Music, and Movies & TV apps.
- My People: You can now drop a file onto any of the contacts pinned in the overflow area, the sound made when you receive an emoji from one of your pinned contacts has been updated, and other improvements.
- Night light: Bug fixes and updated logic for using a quick transition into night light if applicable after rebooting or manually enabling night light.
- Settings: There are new Video Playback settings, a new HDR and Advanced Color settings page, Per-App Defaults Settings page, an updated Network connection properties page, and a new context menu for Wi-Fi networks in the View Available Networks flyout.
- Windows Update: Applied group policies will now show up, and the individual update statuses are now listed.
- Gaming: The Game bar (Win + G) now has a button to enable or disable Game Mode for the current game and now lets you to take screenshots of games running in HDR. Mixer has gained smoother bitrate changes during game broadcasting and lets you specify the language that you are speaking during the broadcast.
- Developer: UWPs now use per-application instanced Runtime Broker processes in Task Manager, Windows Subsystem for Linux no longer requires Developer Mode, Hyper-V has received virtual battery support, and Registry Editor is now per-monitor DPI aware.
- Accessibility: Scan Mode is now on by default, Narrator lets you learn the keys on your device, there are new hotkeys (Caps + R to Read where you currently are, Caps + Home to go to the beginning and Caps + End to go to the end), you can now perform Braille input for app shortcuts and modifier keys, and there are color filters for those with color blindness.
- Fonts: Improvements for Japanese and Chinese character inputs.
The desktop build includes the following bug fixes and improvements:
- Language Packs via Settings > Time & language > Region & language are available again starting with this build.
- The issue causing updating to the latest builds to get stuck at 12% should be fixed.
- Fixed the issue causing you to be unable to type in your password to log in to any UWP apps, such as Netflix, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Messenger apps.
- Fixed the issue causing Outlook 2016 to hang on launch due to an issue where the spam filter gets stuck reading the Outlook Data File and the UI waits indefinitely for it to return.
- Fixed an issue from the previous flight where Microsoft Edge would crash when enabling or disabling extensions.
- Removed the power option to “update and shutdown” for now, as it wasn’t working.
- The Recovery Drive tool, previously only accessible via Control Panel, is now available in the Windows Administrative Tools folder in Start.
- Fixed an issue where an unexpected Wireless Display Media Viewer app with a blank icon was visible in Start after upgrading on certain devices.
- Improvements to facial recognition, along with a new toast you’ll see prompting you to further train Windows Hello if having issues signing in when a large amount of backlighting detected.
- Fixed an issue resulting in Windows Hello Face failing to work on the previous flight for a large number of non-English languages.
- Fixed an issue resulting in games such as Civilization VI, Galactic Civilizations III, and Expeditions: Viking failing to launch on recent builds.
- Fixed an issue where inbox UWP app icons were overscaled in Cortana search results.
- Adjusted the text in the prompt to initiate cross device notifications from saying “Trust this PC?” to now say, “You got a message on your phone. Want to see phone messages on this PC too?”
- Fixed the issue causing some people to hit Error 0x8000ffff while trying to launch an isolated Edge session in Windows Defender Application Guard.
Today’s update bumps the Windows 10 build number for PCs from 16199 (made available to testers on May 17) to build 16215.
This build has 12 known issues, so make sure to check those before updating. Microsoft also released a new Windows 10 Mobile build today, but it’s not clear for whom.
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