Microsoft today released a new Windows 10 preview for PCs with a long list of features and improvements spanning Edge, emoji, OneDrive, keyboard, handwriting, sound, gaming, settings, shell, My People, calculator, accessibility, security, Hyper-V, and mixed reality. This is the fourth 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 are the highlights:
- Emoji: Support for the latest Unicode update 5.0. Emoji pickers can now access the profession emoji and gender diverse options for some actions. The Emoji Panel now has a search feature and a dark theme.
- OneDrive: Files on Demand was turned on for Windows Insiders last week. When an app tries to download files stored only in the cloud, Windows now shows a message saying what’s being downloaded and which app is requesting the download, with options to dismiss the message, cancel the download, or block the app from downloading.
- Keyboard: Shape writing and text prediction is now available in 30 more languages. The touch keyboard now supports Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. The one-handed curve-flick touch keyboard works for Japanese. A clipboard icon now shows up when you have text to paste, you can use the shift key to cycle between capitalization states, and the design of the settings flyout has been updated.
- Handwriting: You can now erase words in the handwriting panel with the back of your pen, and pen scrolling now works in Win32 apps.
- Sound: Windows Sonic is now even easier to enable. Plug in a pair of headphones, right-click the sound icon in the notification area, and select Spatial sound to choose your preferred format.
- Gaming: There’s a new “Xbox Networking” section in settings, and the Task Manager has been updated to include GPU info.
- Settings: Storage Sense has a new look and lets you delete previous versions of Windows. Remote Desktop is now available under Settings => System. Best of all, failed updates now result in a plain text error message and error code that can be easily copied.
- Shell: Presumably as part of Fluent Design, there’s a new Reveal Highlight behavior enabled by default on ListView and other XAML collection controls. You can now also Share a file in File Explorer via the right-click context menu. “Share with” in the context menu has been changed to “Give access to.”
- My People: The People flyout more clearly indicates the people listed there are pinned and the “Switch apps” now uses a hamburger icon. You can easily turn the feature on or off when right-clicking the taskbar.
- Calculator: As you can tell in the headline, this one is my favorite. The Calculator now has a Currency Converter function, including an offline mode. My muscle memory will still want to just Google it though.
- Accessibility: The Narrator now uses artificial intelligence to generate descriptions for images that lack alternative text (Capslock + Shift + D). Magnifier has gained an improved bitmap scaling option so text now appears smoother when magnified.
- Security: As part of a multi-year security plan, the SMB1 networking protocol is being removed from Windows 10 by default. The change only affects clean installations of Windows, not upgrades. The change is being made to reduce the attack surface of the OS.
- Hyper-V: The new VM Sharing feature will compress your VM into a “.vmcz” file, which you can simply double click on your destination machine to start importing the VM.
- Mixed Reality: A bunch of bug fixes, as well as a new teleportation model that only uses the left joystick, speech improvements, and headset reliability improvements.
The desktop build includes the following bug fixes and improvements:
- If you were impacted by the issue causing your upgrade to get stuck or hung at around 33 percent trying to update to Build 16215, this should now be fixed.
- Fixed the issue causing PCs to bugcheck (GSOD) with inaccessible boot device on install, and the Windows Update error 0x80070643 after rollback.
- Fixed an issue preventing PDFs from opening in Microsoft Edge on some devices with enterprise configurations.
- Fixed the issue causing some PDFs and sites to open in a cropped view (zoomed in) in Microsoft Edge, causing part of the content to be inaccessible to the user.
- Fixed an issue from the previous flight where accented characters couldn’t be input properly into Win32 apps using the hardware keyboard.
- Fixed a Hyper-V issue resulting in some Insiders not being able to connect to VMs in the last flight.
- Fixed an issue resulting in Start now working for a small percentage of Insiders on the last flight.
- Adjusted the application of Fluent Design in Start and Action Center to now be a touch more transparent and let more of the underlying color through. The Action Center also now uses the newer conscientious XAML scrollbar design.
- Fixed an issue where notifications in the Action Center lost their outline if acrylic fell back to having no transparency, for example on battery saver. The issue where the Action Center background might become 100 percent transparent has also been fixed.
- Fixed an issue from the previous flight wherein you couldn’t expand notifications displayed in the Action Center.
- Fixed an issue resulting in some inbox apps unexpectedly appearing to be missing after upgrading to 16215 (although Store said they were installed).
- Snipping tool is now natively per-monitor DPI aware! That means it should no longer be blurry when used in mixed DPI environments, or when changing DPI.
- Unneeded XMP metadata have been removed from all image resource files.
- Fixed an issue where some of the older control panel dialogs were unexpectedly showing grey sections instead of white.
- Fixed an issue from recent flights where selecting “Restart” in the power options list with a pending update had the same effect as “Restart and Update.”
- When you right-click the network icon in the system tray, “Open Network and Sharing Center” will now open Network & Internet Settings.
- Fixed an issue where the Start Fresh page was included in Microsoft Edge’s recovery store, leading to potentially multiple Start Fresh pages being visible in each window after Microsoft Edge was reopened.
- Fixed an issue where the red heart emoji was displayed in superscript.
- Fixed an issue resulting in ink lag and short ink strokes not being detected in recent flights.
- Fixed an issue where there was an unexpected Microsoft Text Input Application visible in Start after using the touch keyboard.
- Fixed an issue from the last flight where Chinese IMEs would hang when typing into Cortana or typing in general.
- Fixed an issue for some input methods in the last flight resulting in certain apps crashing if you switched to that input method while the app had focus.
- Fixed an issue where Cortana’s search box could end up in the wrong place if you set focus to it then brought up the Emoji Panel.
- Updated the casing of the Settings category “Update & security” to now be “Update & Security” and fixed an issue from the last flight where it might hang when you tried to open this category.
- Fixed an issue where the OS Build Info link on Windows Update Settings didn’t do anything when clicked.
- Fixed an issue resulting in the top border of UWP apps sometimes being an unexpected color.
- Fixed an issue from 16215 where our mini-surveys (we call SIUFs) weren’t popping after the computer had been locked and unlocked.
- Fixed an issue from 16215 where any external monitor connected to a DisplayLink dock wasn’t working and you’d just see a static logon screen.
- Fixed an issue from 16215 due to a driver issue where Wi-Fi wasn’t working on certain devices, like the Surface Pro 1 and Surface Pro 2 and some USB devices.
- Fixed an issue from 16215 where printing wasn’t working, due to having multiple copies of each printer after upgrading.
Today’s update bumps the Windows 10 build number for PCs from 16215 (made available to testers on June 8) to build 16226.
This build has seven known issues, so make sure to check those before updating. Microsoft also released a new Windows 10 Mobile build today, but nobody cares.