Microsoft today released a new Windows 10 preview for PCs with new features, as well as improvements across settings, keyboard, and handwriting. This build is part of the RS4 branch, which represents the next Windows 10 update the company has yet to announce.
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 four major updates so far: November Update, Anniversary Update, Creators Update, and Fall Creators Update.
First and foremost, Edge is finally getting the option to mute a tab that’s playing audio. Just like on competing browsers, there are two ways to access this functionality: The audio icon that displays when a tab is playing media is now clickable and will mute or unmute audio, and there’s a new mute option in the right-click context menu. Edge also now lets you save free EPUB books and has new context menu options for books (View in Microsoft Store, Pin to Start, and Refresh books).
Near Share is a new Bluetooth feature that lets you wirelessly share files and URLs to nearby PCs. To try it out, follow these steps:
- Ensure that Near Share is turned on for your PC and the one you are trying to share with (build 17035 and up) in the Action Center.
- Look for the Share icon in first-party apps like Photos, Microsoft Edge, and File Explorer (right-click a file and choose Share).
- From the list of devices displayed at the top, select the one you want to share to.
- Once the recipient accepts (they will get a notification via Action Center to accept or decline), your file will transfer wirelessly.
Next up, Settings has received improvements to Windows Update (you can now limit the download bandwidth that is used in foreground downloads), sound (you can now access common options such as switching devices and troubleshooting in Settings => System => Sound), and under Ease of Access, new sections on Display, Audio, Speech Recognition, and Eye control (beta) have been added.
As for input, the touch keyboard now has an acrylic background, the standard touch keyboard layout option has arrived for over 190 languages (all languages except Korean, Japanese, Traditional Chinese, and Simplified Chinese), there are text suggestions (opt-in and English-only) and new animations, and the handwriting panel’s button layout has been updated. Speaking of handwriting, re-recognition of words has been improved — there’s a new split gesture for creating space between two words.
This desktop build also includes the following general bug fixes and improvements:
- Fixed an issue where launching an app with a debugger attached caused it to hang at the splash screen. Debugging UWPs now works again.
- When the default location is set on your home or office PC, Cortana now knows to show you location-based reminders in the area on your PC. Your default location can be set in the Maps app.
- Updated Cortana Collections to now support light theme.
- Changes to the Data Usage settings page under Settings > Network & Internet. You’ll notice some differences in this build. Not everything is working, so stay tuned for an announcement when everything is up and running.
- Fixed an issue where some Store download errors were unexpectedly displaying on the Windows Update history page.
- Updated the Action Center to now use Fluent Design’s Reveal. You’ll also notice we’ve updated “Clear all” to now say “Clear all notifications” to improve discoverability.
- Fixed an issue where it wasn’t possible to swipe to clear notifications from the Action Center in the last few flights.
- Fixed an issue where dismissing an alarm notification above lock resulted in the alarm sound continuing to play despite being dismissed.
- Fixed an issue where after uninstalling an app, its pinned tile might still exist on the Start Menu.
- Fixed an issue where after connecting via Remote Desktop, the first local launch of Start menu would show Start briefly clipped to the top half before animating in the bottom.
- Fixed an issue where after upgrading, the Start Menu might contain multiple listings of apps with only the name “NoUIEntryPoints-DesignMode” and a grey tile.
- Fixed an issue where it wasn’t possible to rename files in File Explorer when using the Small Icons view.
- Fixed an issue where using the File Picker from a UWP app would show an error saying “multiple selections aren’t allowed” when attempting to pick multiple images from a phone connected to the PC via USB.
- Fixed an issue resulting in “Occasionally show suggestions in Start” being reset after upgrading.
- Fixed an issue resulting in a drop in Start menu reliability in the last two flights.
- Fixed an issue where notifications with progress bars wouldn’t update while the Action Center was open.
- Fixed an issue where valid characters in the touch keyboard were unexpectedly disabled in password fields for certain keyboards.
- Fixed an issue where you couldn’t switch to alpha mode when using the touch keyboard using a third-party Japanese IME, since the key wasn’t available.
- Fixed an issue where the input indicator state wouldn’t be preserved across reboot if set to something other than the default value.
- Fixed an issue resulting in the touch keyboard coming up unexpectedly after setting focus to Start when in tablet mode.
- Fixed an issue resulting in ink strokes in OneNote sometimes unexpectedly changing thickness after interacting with buttons in the app.
- Fixed an issue resulting in the touch keyboard not coming up in certain text fields with the keyboard docked in tablet mode.
- Fixed an issue where words would sometimes get duplicated when using the handwriting panel in certain apps.
- Fixed an issue resulting in screen flickering in the last flight after bringing up the game bar, volume slider, or other on-screen UI when playing fullscreen DirectX9 games.
- Fixed an issue resulting in Forza Horizon 3 unexpectedly failing to run with an “unsupported graphics card” error on some laptop configurations.
- Fixed an issue where pressing Shift + Del while editing the URL of a favorite would delete the favorite entry instead of performing a Cut action.
- Fixed an issue from the previous flight where changes made to About:flags in Microsoft Edge wouldn’t persist.
Today’s update bumps the Windows 10 build number for PCs from 17025 (made available to testers on October 25) to build 17035.
This build has four known issues:
- If you are experiencing broken functionality in Mail, Cortana, or Narrator or missing some features, like Windows Media Player, please see this Feedback Hub post.
- There’s a noticeable screen flicker when using hotkeys or the touchpad to switch between Virtual Desktops.
- You might notice checkboxes missing from certain Win32 apps.
- A bug is preventing testers from installing this build on PCs with AMD processors, so if you’re in that boat, you’ll have to wait for the next one.
As always, don’t install this on your production machine.