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Microsoft today updated Windows Holographic, which lets developers turn Windows 10 apps into holograms for the company’s HoloLens headset. This is the first major update to the platform, which was first announced at the company’s Build 2015 developer conference.

The update contains 20 new features and 31 fixes for major issues. Microsoft chose to highlight five new features in particular: The platform now supports running multiple applications, connecting a Bluetooth mouse, new voice commands, tabs in Microsoft Edge, and pinning pictures “without any borders or chrome.”

This video does a decent job showing off some of the improvements visually (this is an augmented reality platform, after all):


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Here are the 20 major feature additions:

  • You can now run multiple flat apps, up to three at the same time. This enables endless use cases for multitasking in HoloLens. Have the new Feedback Hub with the list of Quests open, while exploring the new features on this flight.
  • New voice commands: Try looking at a hologram and rotate it by saying “Face me”, change its size by saying “Bigger” / “Smaller”, and move an app by saying “Hey Cortana, move Name here.”
  • You can now browse, upload, and download files through the Windows Device Portal. You can access the Documents folder, Pictures folder, and the local storage for any app you side-loaded or deployed through Visual Studio.
  • The emulator now supports logging in with a Microsoft Account just like you would on a real HoloLens. You can enable this from the Additional Tools menu “>>”.
  • 2D Apps now hide the holobar and cursor when watching video full screen to avoid distraction.
  • You can also pin photos without the app bar in your world.
  • File picker works just like you expect it to on HoloLens.
  • You can now run multiple instances of the Edge browser. There’s also a custom HoloLens new tab page, tab peek, and open in new windows, along with power & performance improvements.
  • Groove Music app is now on HoloLens, though you have to download it from the store. It can play music in the background.
  • You can easily customize how apps are arranged in your world. Try rotating your holograms in adjust mode by simply click and drag on circle in the middle vertical wireframes. You might notice holograms have tighter fitted bounding boxes to ensure maximized interaction. You can also resize all flat apps vertically (except Photos and Hologram apps).
  • You can connect a regular Bluetooth mouse to HoloLens. The clicker has been fine tuned to enable resizing & moving holograms with a clicker. Keyboard improvements have also been made.
  • Now you can take mixed reality pictures by simply pressing down the volume up + volume down simultaneously. You can also share your mixed reality captured photos & videos to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
  • The maximum recording length of mixed reality videos has been increased to five minutes.
  • Photos app now streams videos from OneDrive instead of having to download the entire video before playback.
  • Holograms will be right where you left them. You will also be presented the option to re-connect to Wi-Fi and try again if HoloLens cannot detect where they are.
  • The keyboard has an improved layout for entering email address with keys that allow you to enter the most popular email domains with a single click.
  • Faster app registration and auto detection of time zone during the first experience.
  • Storage sense allows you to view remaining and used disk space by the system and apps in the settings app.
  • The Feedback App and Inside Hub have been merged, just like in Windows 10 Insider builds.
  • An updated ”’HoloLens Emulator”’ build is available.

For details on all the fixes, check out the full release notes. If you’re a developer, make sure to skim the known issues.

Microsoft today also shared that HoloLens devices have begun shipping to developers from its second wave of applicants. The first wave started going out in February.

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