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Windows 10 Redstone 4 (Spring Creators update): Release Date & all changes, new features so far (Massive categorized changelog)

On this page, we have collated all the changes and new features brought by all Spring Creators update aka Windows 10 Redstone 4 (Version 1803) insider builds so far. We will keep this page updated with new changes/features brought by newer preview builds.

You can bookmark this page to refer back to see the collated changelog for Windows 10 Redstone 4 (Version 1803) aka Spring Creators update.

Windows 10 Redstone 4 (Spring Creators update) Release Date

As per our sources, Microsoft will start pushing Windows 10 Redstone 4 aka Spring Creators update officially in April 2nd week. The roll-out will however be in phases and it will take around 2 months for Spring Creators update to become available for everyone.

Redstone 4 Top New features

Timeline:

  • Timeline is here! We know that it can be difficult to get back to stuff you were working on in the past. If you’re like us, you might sometimes forget which site or app you were using or where you saved a file. Now you can finally close apps without worrying—with Timeline, you can get right back to where you left off.
  • Timeline introduces a new way to resume past activities you started on this PC, other Windows PCs, and iOS/Android devices. Timeline enhances Task View, allowing you to switch between currently running apps and past activities.
  • The default view of Timeline shows snapshots of the most relevant activities from earlier in the day or a specific past date. A new annotated scrollbar makes it easy to get back to past activities.Task view has been enhanced to include a Timeline of past activities.

Figure 1. Task view has been enhanced to include a Timeline of past activities.

  • There’s also a way to see all the activities that happened in a single day—just select See all next to the date header. Your activities will be organized into groups by hour to help you find tasks you know you worked on that morning, or whenever.Browse all your activities for a single day.

Figure 2. Browse all your activities for a single day.

  • And if you can’t find the activity you’re looking for in the default view, search for it.Search Timeline to find exactly what you are looking for.

Figure 3. Search Timeline to find exactly what you are looking for.

  • Timeline Activities
    • In Timeline, a user activity is the combination of a specific app and a specific piece of content you were working on at a specific time. Each activity links right back to a webpage, document, article, playlist, or task, saving you time when you want to resume that activity later.
    • App developers are working hard to enhance their apps by creating high-quality activity cards to appear in Timeline. In this Preview release, you can see and resume web-browsing activities in Microsoft Edge, files you opened in apps like Microsoft Office including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, and updated UWP versions of Maps, News, Money, Sports, and Weather.
    • We encourage app developers to update their apps to support timeline.
    • The new activity history settings page allows you to control which accounts appear in Timeline. This is most relevant for users with multiple accounts, such as a personal Microsoft account, and a work or school account. Settings here also let you disable activity collection and clear your activity history.

The activity history settings page lets you choose which accounts you want to appear in your timeline.

Figure 4. The activity history settings page lets you choose which accounts you want to appear in your timeline.

  • Cortana
    • In addition to resuming past activities through Timeline, your personal digital assistant Cortana will suggest activities you might want to resume to help you stay productive as you switch between your phone, laptop, and other Cortana-enabled devices. This experience is powered by the same activities that appear in Timeline.

Cortana helps you resume activities when switching between devices.

Figure 5. Cortana helps you resume activities when switching between devices.

  • Getting started
    • Use your PC normally. After a while, select the new Task view icon in the task bar. (You can also open Task view by pressing Windows logo key Tab.) Below your running apps, you’ll see past activities in Timeline.

The Task view icon has been updated to reflect new timeline capabilities.

Figure 6. The Task view icon has been updated to reflect new timeline capabilities.

    • If you have more than one PC, try using Timeline on all of them—you’ll see the same activities no matter which PC you’re using. And if an activity from one PC used a modern app that you don’t have installed on another PC, Windows will help you install that app.
    • We’d love to hear your feedback, so please press the feedback button in the upper-right corner of Timeline if you have any problems or suggestions.

Timeline Improvements

To make it easier to delete activities from Timeline we added the option to delete everything from a given hour or day from the context menu.  When you are in the default view, you will see a new “clear all from day” option when right-clicking on an activity.  If you clicked “see all” to see activities for just one day, this option changes to allow you to “clear all from hour” instead. Because this option can clear a lot of activities at once, we will ask you to confirm this choice before deleting the activities.

A picture of the context menu that will appear when you right click an activity in timeline, “Clear all from Yesterday” is highlighted.

We made it easier to clear all activities for an hour or day. The second change gives you more granular control of the privacy of your activities. A new setting allows you to sync your activities to the cloud for a seamless cross-device experience. You can enable “Let Windows sync my activities from this PC to the cloud” in the settings app, or you can enable it via an option provided at the bottom of Timeline. Until new users enable this setting, Timeline will only show four days of activities. (If you are upgrading from an earlier WIP flight, you may not see this option as the setting is already enabled.)

Introducing Near Share: 

  • Say you’re in a meeting with your boss and need to quickly send them the report you’re looking at on your screen? Or you and a sibling are hanging out on the couch using your laptops, and you want to send him a screenshot of your latest Minecraft creation? You can now wirelessly share files and URLs to nearby PCs using the new Near Share feature.You can now wirelessly share files and URLs to nearby PCs using the new Near Share feature.
  • So how do you use it? If your PC supports Bluetooth: Ensure that Near Share is turned on for your PC (and the PC you are trying to Share with – that means both PCs will need to be on RS4 Build 17035+) – there’s a new quick action in the Action Center that will need to be set to ON. If the quick action isn’t immediately visible and your PC has Bluetooth, check if it’s enabled under Settings > Notifications & Actions > “Add or remove quick actions”.
    Near share quick action.
  • Look for the Share icon in any of your favorite apps – e.g. Photos, Microsoft Edge, and or even File Explorer (right-click a file and choose Share).
  • Click on Share! You will now see a list of devices at the top – select the one you want to share to, any nearby PCs in Bluetooth range with the feature enabled should show up.
  • Once the recipient accepts (they will get a notification via Action Center to accept or decline), watch your file magically transfer wirelessly!
  • Near Share Improvements: Thanks everyone who’s shared feedback about Near Share – we’ve made some important reliability fixes to the feature with this build, so please give it a try once you upgrade.

    For those who haven’t seen Near Share already, here’s a demo:

    Note: Please update all of your Insider PCs to the latest flight to nearby share between them. PCs running older Insider Preview builds won’t be discoverable by those running the latest flight.

Font Settings and Fonts in the Microsoft Store

Fonts are an important asset for your visual creativity. In this build, we’re introducing new experiences for managing your fonts in Settings, and for acquiring additional fonts from the Microsoft Store.

You may be familiar with the Fonts control panel, which you could use to see the fonts that are currently installed, or to install or uninstall fonts. That control panel hasn’t been able to show off newer font capabilities, such as color fonts or variable fonts, and a refresh has been needed. In Build 17083, we’re providing a new Fonts page within Settings.

Fonts page in Settings showing a preview of each font family.

The initial page for Fonts settings provides a short preview of each font family. The previews use a variety of interesting strings that are selected to match the primary languages that each font family is designed for together with your own language settings. And if a font has multi-color capabilities built into it, then the preview will demonstrate this.

Font previews reflect the primary languages a font is designed for, as well as multi-color fonts.

When you click on one of the family previews, it will take you to a details page that provides previews for each of the fonts within that family, along with other information about each font. There is a default preview string, but you can enter your own, custom preview string as well.

Font family d etails page showing default or custom previews for each font in that family.

For Web developers and advanced typographers that want to make use of OpenType Variable fonts, there is a separate variable-font details page that allows you to explore the continuous, variable-design capabilities of the font.

Along with the new Settings experience, we are introducing fonts as a new content type in the Microsoft Store. To find them easily, there is a link from the Fonts page in Settings directly to the Fonts collection in the Store.

New Fonts collection available in the Microsoft Store.

Note that you need to be running build 17040 or later to be able to install the font packages in the Store. For now, we have a small set of curated offerings from Microsoft’s library of fonts, but this will grow over time. Make sure to come back regularly to see what’s new!

We hope you’ll find the new font experiences in Settings and in the Store will enhance your own creativity. We’d love to hear your feedback via the Feedback Hub, or your reviews of the font offerings in the Store.

Eye Control Improvements

We first released eye control for the Windows 10 Fall Creator’s Update back in October 2017 and we’re excited to share some of the new capabilities we’re adding with today’s flight to enable a richer eye control experience. We’ve received a lot of great feedback requesting improvements to eye control – like easier controls for scrolling and quicker access to common tasks. All up, here are three areas we’re updating based on your feedback:

Navigate more easily: We’re adding the ability to more easily scroll content, like email and websites. We also heard the need for a quicker way to click with the mouse, so in addition to precise mouse control we’ve incorporated direct left click and direct right click capabilities into the launchpad.

Get there quick: Accelerate to common tasks with quick access to Start, Timeline, Settings, and device calibration, now available right from the eye control launchpad.

Pause when you need to: We also received feedback on the importance of pausing or hiding the launchpad when not needed to avoid accidental clicks, so we’ve added a pause button on the launchpad. Eye control users now have the flexibility to hide the launchpad for uninterrupted reading, streaming, or relaxing without accidental clicking. Re-engaging the launchpad is simple too – just glance at the pause button in the top or bottom middle of the screen.

Eye control is still in preview, and we welcome your feedback to help improve the experience!

The eye control launchpad. Shows reposition the launchpad, direct left click, direct right click, scroll, text to speech, precise mouse control, keyboard, calibration, Start, Timeline, Settings, and Pause button.

New features for Windows 10 Pro for Workstations:

Last year, as part of the Windows 10 Fall Creator’s update, we announced a new edition of Windows designed for demanding mission critical scenarios targeting advanced users. As part of RS4, we are adding two more features for our most advanced users running these mission critical scenarios:

A new power scheme – Ultimate Performance: Demanding workloads on workstations always desire more performance. As part of our effort to provide the absolute maximum performance we’re introducing a new power policy called Ultimate Performance. Windows has developed key areas where performance and efficiency tradeoffs are made in the OS. Over time, we’ve amassed a collection of settings which allow the OS to quickly tune the behavior based on user preference, policy, underlying hardware or workload.

This new policy builds on the current High-Performance policy, and it goes a step further to eliminate micro-latencies associated with fine grained power management techniques. The Ultimate Performance Power plan is selectable either by an OEM on new systems or selectable by a user. To do so, you can go to Control Panel and navigate to Power Options under Hardware and Sound (you can also “run” Powercfg.cpl). Just like other power policies in Windows, the contents of the Ultimate Performance policy can be customized.

The Ultimate Performance Power plan is selectable either by an OEM on new systems or selectable by a user. To do so, you can go to Control Panel and navigate to Power Options under Hardware and Sound (you can also “run” Powercfg.cpl).

As the power scheme is geared towards reducing micro-latencies it may directly impact hardware; and consume more power than the default balanced plan. The Ultimate Performance power policy is currently not available on battery powered systems.

We’ll continue to tune and evaluate the power plan settings. To submit feedback please use the Feedback Hub and file your feedback under Power & Battery > Setting category.

Redstone 4 UI changes & Settings Improvements

  • See your UWP app version numbers: We’ve heard your feedback, and in addition to the other work we’ve been doing on the UWP app settings pages in Settings we’ve also updated them to include the app version number for easy reference. As a reminder, the easiest way to get to the app settings page for a particular UWP app is to right-click the app in Start and select More > App settingsPicture of the Minecraft app settings in Settings. Shows Version 1.2.901.0 under Specifications
  • New options for sorting your startup apps: Based on your feedback we’ve added a dropdown to the Settings > Apps > Startup settings page so you can choose to sort the apps listed by name, state, or startup impact.
  • Reveal in Light theme: Reveal will now show up by default with dark borders in light theme, but will continue to have a white hover Reveal:
  • Reveal in light theme now has dark borders.
  • Improved NavigationView: We’ve stabilized and added animations for item headers, pane opening, and item selection events. We’ve fixed several bugs with the Back Button in NavigationView.
  • Border Reveal in Lists: Based on feedback we’ve made the decision to removal Border Reveal in lists. It will be removed for ListView and TreeView. It will still be visible in NavigationView.
  • That means that ListView and TreeView will now only have the borders on hover, but no approach behavior will be applied to them.Comparing approach and hover for dark and light theme as described in the above changes blurb.
  • CommandBar Margins: We’ve added a 2px margin between AppBarButtons by default when they are in a CommandBar. This also applies to the AppBarButtonRevealStyleThis can be seen below:Showing the new wider CommandBar margins.
  • We’ve updated the reveal effect in the Taskbar’s Clock and Calendar flyout such that the day with focus now has a lighter background.
  • Improved Storage Settings: If you head to Settings you’ll find that Disk Cleanup functionality has been rolled over into Storage Settings as part of our efforts to consolidate our settings experience.Temporary files section in Settings – scanning for temp files, shows Thumbnails, Temporary files, Recycle Bin and more things that can be cleaned up.
  • Sound Settings Improvements: Continuing our work to make the new Sound Settings page a one stop shop for your audio needs, we’ve made some more design tweaks and have added some more helpful links. We’ve also added a brand new “App volume and device preferences” page to help you customize your audio experience to best fit your needs and preferences! Please explore these pages and share your feedback as we continuously work on improving them.Sound settings landing page, showing these two new options under Other sound options.
  • About Settings Improvements: We’ve updated About Settings so you can now select and copy your device name. We’ve also added a link to System info and updated our search strings so that if you search for “computer name” you’ll now see a link that takes you to About Settings.
  • Manage app execution aliases from Settings: UWP apps can declare a name used to run the app from a command prompt – we’ve added a new page under Apps & Features Settings where you can turn these execution aliases on or off (particularly in the case where multiple apps use the same alias, and you want to choose which to give preference to).
  • Based on your feedback we’ve been working on evolving the My People experience and taking it to the next level. This build brings with it a number of requested features, improvements and changes including:
  • Reimagined Windows Internationalization: We have redesigned localization of Windows in this release. Now you can find your desired language (Local Experience Pack – or “Language Pack”) through the Microsoft Store and Region & Language section of the Settings app. The Settings app provides improved discoverability of features supported for each language. We have also started utilizing Artificial Intelligence (AI) and neural network-based Machine Learning (ML) for Windows localization. Having the Local Experience Packs in the Microsoft Store allows us to take advantage of ML improvements and user feedback via Language Community App to release better translations more frequently. This will consistently improve the experience of our international customers with Windows.
  • Drag and drop rearrange: Checking off one of our top feedback requests – you can now drag and drop contacts to rearrange them in the taskbar! You can also drop contacts into and out of the People flyout. Note: as part of this feature change, when you upgrade, if you have multiple contacts pinned to taskbar you will notice that their order will reverse direction on the taskbar
  • You decide how many contacts to show in the taskbar: With the Fall Creators Update you could have a maximum of 3 people pinned to the taskbar, with any additional pins appearing in the People flyout. We’ve heard your feedback and today’s build brings a new setting so you can decide how many you’d like to show – from one to ten, or you can choose to show them all in the overflow. You can find the setting with the other People settings under Settings > Personalization > Taskbar.
  • Animations for people in overflow: To improve discoverability you’ll now see an animation across the People icon to let you know when someone is pinned to the overflow list in the flyout. In addition, previously you could only receive emotive notifications from contacts that were directly on your taskbar – with today’s flight this experience is now available for people pinned within the People flyout as well! Here’s a glimpse of how it looks (showcased using our favorite “windows10” Skype emoji). Want to try it? Get one of your pinned contacts to send you a “(poke)”, or add, pin, and ping our emoji bot.
  • Fluent in the flyout: As part of our larger ongoing effort to reach our Fluent Design goals, you’ll notice that the People flyout now makes use of acrylic, reveal, and light effects.
  • Improving app discoverability: As developers work to integrate My People support into their apps, we’ll now suggest apps that you might be interested in. There’s an option to turn this on or off in the People settings under Settings > Personalization > Taskbar.
  • Windows Update Improvements: You can now limit the download bandwidth that is used in foreground downloads. Foreground downloads take place when you interactively start a download, for example – you click on “Check for updates” or start downloading an App from Windows Store.
  • Sound Settings are moving to Settings: You can now change some of your common sound settings, such as switching devices and troubleshooting, in Settings > System > Sound. Head on over for a preview of how sound settings are moving out of the legacy Control Panel and into the Settings app. We still have some things to add and fix on this page, so stay tuned!
  • Updated Ease of Access Settings: This build adds additional Ease of Access settings to further round out the revamping of settings which flighted for the first time with Build 17025. New sections on Display, Audio, Speech Recognition and Eye control (beta) have been added to group related settings. (NOTE: Eye control settings are not yet in this flight but coming soon.)
  • Screenshot of updated Ease of Access settings home page showing addition of new Display, Audio, Speech Recognition and Eye control (beta) sections in left-nav
  • Also updated were Narrator settings to include a setting to control verbosity of text characteristics. And the layout in Color filters settings has been revised to provide filter descriptions.
  • We’ve updated the touch keyboard so that the margin between each key is visual only. This change will be noticeable if you accidentally overshoot the key press by just a tiny bit – before it might seem as if key presses were being dropped in this scenario.
  • Based on your feedback, the feature to restore applications that have registered for application restart after you reboot or shutdown (through power options available on the Start Menu and various other locations) has been set to only occur for users that have enabled “Use my sign-in info to automatically finish setting my device after an update or restart” in the Privacy section under Sign-in Options Settings.
  • We’ve added settings that let you view and manage your activity history, which Cortana uses to let you pick up where you left off. Find these settings in Settings > Privacy > Activity history.
  • Startup Settings: The list of apps that are configured to run at startup or user log-in is currently maintained via the Startup tab in Task Manager. As part of our ongoing effort to consolidate our settings experience, now you can configure them in Settings! In our new Startup page under Settings > Apps, you can see all startup tasks installed for the current user, and enable/disable each of them. We will also display the impact they have on your startup time, as shown in the below picture.Startup apps in Settings.
  • For more info about how UWP apps can appear listed as startup apps, see here. For more info about how win32 apps can appear listed as startup apps, see here.
  • Revamped Ease of Access Settings: This build adds new Ease of Access settings to make your device easier to use and fit your needs. We also grouped related settings together which help you see, hear or interact with your computer to assist in discovering settings more quickly. Additionally, we heard your feedback and improved setting descriptions to help you more easily understand the available accessibility features. Go to the Ease of Access section in Settings to see what’s available to make your computer easier to use!
  • We have grouped related settings together which help you see, hear or interact with your computer to assist in discovering settings more quickly under Ease of Access.
  • Controlling your Startup tasks: Continuing our work from the previous flight, with today’s flight we’ve updated the Advanced options under Settings > Apps & Features so that UWP apps that are configured to run at startup will now have a new option to see all available tasks specified by the app developer and their status will now have a new option to see all available tasks specified by the app developer and their status.
  • We have updated the Advanced options under Settings > Apps & Features so that UWP apps that are configured to run at startup will now have a new option to see all available tasks specified by the app developer.
  • Adjust the brightness of SDR content on your HDR display: Starting with Build 17040, Windows now lets you adjust how bright SDR content appears when running in HDR mode on the desktop. On an HDR capable system, you will see a slider in the “HDR and advanced color settings” page under Settings > System > Display. This is one of the improvements to HDR image quality that we have planned based on feedback from Insiders.
  • Windows now lets you adjust how bright SDR content appears when running in HDR mode on the desktop. On an HDR capable system, you will see a slider in the “HDR and advanced color settings” page under Settings > System > Display.
  • New Cursor, pointer, and touch feedback section in Ease of Access Settings:Continuing our recent efforts to reorganize this section in Settings, you’ll notice that “change cursor thickness”, “Change pointer size and color”, and “Change touch feedback” have been moved to this new place.
  • This build brings a new “edit in Paint 3D” button to the Snipping Tool so you can take your snip to the next level via Paint 3D.  Move (or remove) objects with Magic select, augment and annotate with a variety of options, bring in 3D objects from Remix 3D, and more!
  • Windows Settings Improvements
  • Settings gets a new look: You’ve already seen we say “bring on the Fluent!” in other areas of Shell, and Settings is no different. With today’s build you’ll find not only have we refreshed the Settings UI leveraging Fluent Design principles, but we’ve also taken a look at the Settings homepage and redesigned it with an eye for visual acuity. As you explore the plethora of new and improved settings below, take a moment to get a feel for the updated design as a whole and let us know what you think.
  • Security questions for local accountsWith the Fall Creators Update, we started working on self help solutions for password recovery from the Lock screenToday, we’re adding this functionality to local accounts as well, through the newly available use of security questions for local accounts. If you already have a local account, you can add security questions by going to Settings > Accounts > Sign-in Options > “Update your security questions”. If you’re installing a new PC using a local account, setup will walk you through adding these questions and answers right there in the workflow. Once your security questions are set up, if you find yourself unable to remember your password on the lock screen, you will see a link to reset your password, whereupon clicking you’ll be prompted to enter the answers to your security questions.
  • View your display info in one convenient location: Beginning with Build 17060, you can now view detailed information about your display by visiting the new “Advanced display settings” page linked at the bottom of Settings > System > Display.
  • Most of the information should be self-explanatory, but here are a couple of pieces that you might want more detail on:
  • Desktop resolution vs active signal resolution. Typically, your desktop resolution and your active signal resolution will be identical. To provide a smoother experience, Windows prefers to keep your display running at its native signal resolution. If you change your display resolution under Settings > System > Display > Scale and layout > Resolution, you may see a difference between your desktop resolution and your active signal resolution.
  • The mysterious 59 Hz refresh rate. Display enthusiasts may remember this conversation from the Windows 7 days. You may see 59 Hz listed as your refresh rate even though you have set it to 60 Hz, but rest assured that this is by design for monitors and TVs that report only 59.94 Hz but not 60 Hz. Learn more about it here.
  • Stay tuned for more improvements to display settings! Your feedback is important to us – if there are new features you would like to see in display settings in the coming releases, please let us know through the Feedback Hub. Search for and upvote your favorite features, or file your suggestion under the Desktop Environment > Settings.
  • Improving your scaling experience: In this flight we’ve made it easier for you to fix apps that become blurry if you dock/undock, RDP, or change display settings. Some desktop apps can become blurry in these scenarios. When this happens, you have to log out and back in to Windows to have these apps render properly. In this flight, you can turn on a feature that will enable these apps to be fixed simply by re-launching them. There are three components to this feature:
  • A new setting in the Display Settings page: Under Settings > System > Display > Advanced scaling, you’ll find a new section called “Fix scaling for apps” where you can enable a setting to let Windows try and fix apps so they’re not blurry.
  • A toast that pops up when we detect that you might have blurry apps on your main display.
  • A per-app override of the global setting. By right clicking on the exe for a desktop apps and choosing properties, you can select “Change High DPI Settings”, then “Override System DPI”, then configure the behavior.
  • NOTE: This won’t work for all desktop apps and it only improves blurry desktop apps while they’re on the main display. If you’re using multiple displays with different scale factors and running in “Extend” display mode, these apps might still be blurry on secondary displays.
  • A new Keyboard Settings page: We’re introducing a new Keyboard Settings experience on PC! Now found under the Time & Language Settings, you’ll be able to easily add new keyboard layouts, switch between Japanese 106/109 and English 101/102 keyboard layouts, turn on and off settings like key sounds and autocorrect, and other advanced keyboard-related settings. Additionally you can now change the default keyboard independently of the display language, for example using the French display language and having English as the default keyboard (this option was previously available in Control Panel, but has now been moved to Settings). Duplicate settings from Control Panel have been removed.
  • A new and improved Region & Language Settings page: As part of our ongoing effort to converge Settings and Control Panel, as well as improve Settings usability, you’ll find with today’s build that we have reimagined the Region & Language Settings. We’ve added icons to each language entry to indicate when language support is installed for display language, text-to-speech, speech recognition, and/or handwriting. We’ve also added an entirely new language selection experience – enabling you to quickly identify available language features per language. This also marks the initial integration of Local Experience Packs, native AppX packages, that with Microsoft Store to enable us to regularly update language resources with translation improvements collected from Windows Insiders and other feedback channels. We’re still fine-tuning the UI, so expect some small changes over the next few flights.
  • Set data settings to prefer cellular usage: In Cellular Settings you can now choose to use cellular instead of Wi-Fi always or when Wi-Fi is poor. This updated Windows feature allows people with fast LTE connections and large/unlimited data plans to favor cellular whenever available and avoid being stuck on poor Wi-Fi connections.
  • NOTE: The Cellular Settings page will only be visible for people using PCs with cellular connections.
  • Improved Data Usage Management: You can now configure data limits and/or place background data restrictions to Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections, in addition to cellular connections, in the Data usage page. The updated settings page aims to support a diverse set of devices and users. Whether you have a PC with cellular connectivity or a metered ethernet network connection, tailor your data usage to your budget and needs. Want to see your data usage at a glance? Right click on the Data usage tab in Settings and pin it to the Start menu to see a data usage live tile.
  • Reset your Game Mode Settings: Under Settings > Gaming > Game Mode there is a new option called ”Reset Game Mode Settings” that allows you to restore Game Mode settings for their PC back to the default values for the feature.
  • Game bar Improvements

    • We’ve given Game bar a makeover so it’s even easier to find what you’re looking for.
    • Go to your captures, toggle your microphone and camera, and edit the title of your Mixer stream—all from new buttons on Game bar.
    • Quickly check the time using the new clock.
    • Choose a theme—Dark, Light, or your current Windows theme.
    • Game bar settings are easier to use.

    Game bar in light mode.

    Game bar in light mode.

  • Improved Per-app Settings: When we added a new context menu option to go straight from the app in Start to the per-app settings in Settings, we mentioned turning this page into a one stop shop for settings related to each app. In today’s build you’ll notice that we now bubble up any permissions the app has asked for, along with an easy option for you to toggle them. We’ve also added links to check background usage, lock screen notifications, and defaults, and options to terminate and/or uninstall the app.

Ease of Access Improvements:

New setting to turn automatically hiding scrollbars on or off: We’ve heard your feedback and have added a new setting for those who would prefer their scrollbars stay always visible. It’s available under Settings > Ease of Access > Display. Turning this setting off will result in the scroll bars in UWP (XAML) apps persisting as scrollbars in their full expanded size, even when not interacting with them.

Note: In this build Start won’t follow the setting – we’re working on it.

You choose whether to enable or disable the color filters hotkey: In order to help reduce accidental invocation of this hotkey, we’ve added a new checkbox for this under Settings > Ease of Access > Color filters settings page. The default state is disabled.

We’ve made a number of other Ease of Access improvements in Settings, including:

  • We’ve added Narrator landmarks throughout Settings to quickly move between search, navigation list, and main landmarks. And for Narrator users, the page heading (shown visually at the top of each page) will no longer read out as being at the bottom of each page.
  • In Settings > Ease of Access, we’ve shortened the name of the “Cursor, pointer and touch feedback” page to “Cursor & pointer size”.
  • We’ve swapped the positions of Color Filters & High Contrast in the Settings > Ease of Access navigation list.
  • In Settings > Ease of Access > High Contrast, we’ve switched the default theme to be “High Contrast Black”.
  • We’ve added links to Settings > Ease of Access > Narrator Settings for learning how to use Narrator and for adding more voices. Also the cursor movement mode combo box in the “Use Narrator cursor” sub-section has been removed.
  • We’ve updated the Settings > Ease of Access > Speech page to present information & settings about Dictation, Cortana, as well as Windows Speech Recognition.
  • We fixed an issue where Settings > Ease of Access > Eye control was a blank page.
  • We’ve updated the Ease of Access search terms & results to better align with the available settings. Duplicate search results have been removed.
  • Throughout Settings > Ease of Access you’ll find new “Related settings” links.

Redstone 4 Windows Shell Improvements

Streamlined Pairing and Connecting to Certain Bluetooth Devices: Starting with this build, Windows enables users to start pairing and connecting supported devices in a single click. When these devices are ready to pair and detected to be in range, Windows shows a notification to the user allowing them to quickly and conveniently start the pairing process. We want to thank the Surface Accessories team for partnering closely with us and having the first device available on the market supporting this great new experience, the Surface Precision Mouse. We are working with many other partners to grow the list of supported devices, and a number of them are on the way. To learn more, check out our blog post here.

Graphics Improvements

HDR Video on more Windows PCs: Many newer devices are capable of HDR video, but needed to be calibrated in the factory to enable HDR. Now, we are expanding HDR video access to more users via new functionality via Settings > Apps > Video playback. If the “Stream HDR video” toggle can be switched to “On”, your device can be calibrated for HDR video.

To try our experimental calibration tool, click the link “Change calibration settings for HDR video on my built-in display”. This allows you to change the way HDR video appears on your device, allowing you to find your preferred balance between details in dark scenes and details in bright scenes. This tool is still early stage, and we’d love any feedback you might have as we are getting this tool ready for release with RS4.

We are expanding HDR video access to more users via new functionality via Settings > Apps > Video playback. If the "Stream HDR video" toggle can be switched to "On", your device can be calibrated for HDR video.

Note: By default, HDR video uses the full brightness of your screen, so it consumes a little more battery. Fear not: if you want the best of both, just check the box “Don’t increase display brightness when watching HDR video on battery” under “Battery Options” in Settings > Apps > Video playback.

New Graphics settings for Multi-GPU Systems: In this build we’re introducing a new Graphics settings page for Multi-GPU systems that allows you to manage the graphics performance preference of your apps. You may be familiar with similar graphics control panels from AMD and Nvidia, and you can continue to use those control panels. When you set an application preference in the Windows Graphics settings, that will take precedence over the other control panel settings. Find the page by going to Settings > System > Display and scrolling down to the “Advanced graphics settings” link. (In future flights, you will see this link as “Graphics settings”.)

The first step is to choose an application to configure. Choosing a “Classic app” will let you browse to an application on your system. Choosing a “Universal app” will let you choose a Store application from a list. By default, the application added to the Graphics settings page is given a “System default” preference. System default means that the system decides the best GPU for your application.

Picture of advanced graphics settings page in Settings. You can choose an app to select graphics performance preference – there’s a dropdown to choose between classic app and universal app.

Once you’ve chosen the application, click on the application in the list and then click the “Options” button. The “Power saving” mode is a request to run the application on the most power saving GPU available. The “High performance” mode is a request to run the application on the most high performance GPU available. Generally, the power saving GPU is the integrated GPU on a system, and the high performance GPU is the discrete GPU or external GPU. If you have both a discrete GPU and an external GPU on a system, the external GPU is considered the high performance GPU.

Remove an application from the list by clicking the application and clicking the “Remove” button. Removing an application is the same as choosing “System default”.

Graphics specifications popup, showing the option to switch graphics preference between system default, power saving, and high performance.

Applications are always allowed to have the ultimate choice of which GPU to use, so you may see additional applications that do not follow the preferences you set. In that case, look for a setting within the application itself to choose a preference.

If you have feedback about the feature, please reach out to us directly on the Feedback Hub.

  • Quiet Hours gets a new name and more! With the expanding feature set in this area, we will now be calling it Focus Assist. Speaking of which, you can now also switch between the three Focus Assist modes by right-clicking the Action Center icon in the taskbar.A picture of the context menu that appears if you right click the Action Center button. Now contains an entry for each of the 3 focus assist states. “Set focus assist to priority only” is selected, and reflected in the little focus assist moon shown on the Action center Button
  • Making Windows Hello setup easier: We’ve made it easier for Microsoft account users to set up Windows Hello on their devices for faster and more secure sign-in. Previously, you had to navigate deep into Settings to find Windows Hello. Now, you can set up Windows Hello Face, Fingerprint or PIN straight from your lock screen by clicking the Windows Hello tile under Sign-in options.
  • Quiet Hours: Are there certain times when you don’t want to be interrupted or just need to stay focused on what you’re doing? Be more productive with Quiet Hours. With this build you can automatically choose those times when you don’t want to be bothered with Quiet Hours automatic rules.The new Quiet hours experience coming in RS4.
  • Quiet Hours will automatically turn on when you are duplicating your display. Never get interrupted during presentations again!
  • Quiet Hours will turn on automatically when you are playing a full screen exclusive DirectX game.
  • You can set the schedule that works for you so that Quiet Hours are always on when you want them. Go to Settings > Quiet Hours to configure your schedule.
  • Customize your own priority list so that your important people and apps always breakthrough when Quiet Hours are on. People pinned to your task bar with always break through!
  • See a summary of what you missed while you were in Quiet Hours.
  • If you’re using Cortana, you can also have Quiet Hours turn on while you’re at home.
  • Making your folders more discoverable: In response to your feedback, especially for those upgrading to Windows 10 for the first time, we’re making it easier to navigate to the things you care about by showing links to the Documents and Pictures folders in the Start menu by default. If you’d like to customize the folders that appear here, just right click an item and there’s now a link directly to the customization settings. We love the feedback!  Let us know if this helps and continue to tell us if there are ways we can make it easier for you to quickly get to the stuff you care about in Windows!

Start menu with context menu showing saying “personalize this list” that would appear after right-clicking the Photos folder icon on the left side of Start.

  • Bring on the Fluent! Today, Start and Action Center support acrylic to align with Fluent design principles. And now we’re bringing the next wave of Shell UI to the party by applying acrylic to the taskbar, Share UI, Clock & Calendar flyout, Network flyout, Volume flyout, and Input flyout. Try it out and let us know what you think!
  • Note: The acrylic background is disabled if you enter battery saver mode. We’re also investigating an issue where if you have scaling > 100% the blurred background may appear distorted.
  • Save notification drafts: Notifications are inherently transient – one thing we’ve heard from you is how it can be frustrating to have started writing a response into a notification (such as one from Skype), only to have the response disappear if you didn’t submit it before the notification went away. Well, no more! If a toast gets dismissed with unsubmitted text, we will now save the draft; open the action center and your text will now be saved with the notification.
  • Simplified letter grouping in Start for East Asian languages: One of the top feedback items from our users is that it’s too hard and takes too long to find apps in the all apps list because of the way the apps are grouped when using East Asian languages. We hear you, and we’re happy to announce that with this build we’ve simplified the grouping of apps in the all apps list for Chinese (Simplified), Japanese, and Korean. This change is most noticeable for Chinese (Simplified) and Japanese, where we’ve reduced the number of groups by 29 and 36, respectively. If you use Windows in these languages, please take a moment to check it out once you get the build and let us know how it feels.
  • Chinese (Simplified) previous and new all apps list sections
  • Japanese previous and new all apps list sections
  • Cloud states for the Navigation Pane: In an effort to further keep you informed about the state of your OneDrive files and folders on demand, we’re looking at adding a state icon to use in File Explorer’s Navigation Pane. If you’d like to turn this off, there’s an option in the File Explorer ribbon View tab – click the Options button, then in the dialog that appears go to the Navigation Pane section of the View tab and uncheck “Always show availability status”.
  • A consistent Network flyout on the login screen: Continuing our work to modernize all the elements of Windows 10, we’ve now updated the network flyout on the login screen to use the same familiar network flyout you’ve grown to love in the taskbar.
  • Improving your update experience: In an effort to keep you informed about the state of your PC, if Windows Update Settings shows a warning or alert, we will now echo that via a new Windows Update system tray icon. If you right click the icon, you will see options relevant to the current state, such as restart, schedule the restart, or go to Windows Update settings. If visible, this icon can be turned off from within Taskbar Settings.
  • Access advanced UWP app options right from Start: We’ve added a new quick way to get to advanced options! Rather than click through Settings > Apps > Apps & Features > (finding your app) > Advanced Options, if you right-click a UWP app or UWP app tile in Start with this build you’ll find a new Settings option under More which will take you straight there, where you can repair, manage app add-ons, and see startup tasks (if available). We have a goal to make this page the one stop shop for all of the app-related settings you can find across Settings – the Startup taskswork was the first part, but there’s more to come, stay tuned!If you right-click a UWP app or UWP app tile in Start with this build you’ll find a new Settings option under More which will take you straight there, where you can repair, manage app add-ons, and see startup tasks (if available).

Redstone 4 Microsoft Edge Improvements

Evolving full screen mode (F11): With the Fall Creators Update we added F11 support to Microsoft Edge, to enable you to take full advantage of your screen real estate. Full screen removes the Edge frame so that only the webpage is visible. You can enter this mode by pressing the F11 key, and exiting using the same key. We’ve heard your feedback, and with this build we’re updating this experience so that without leaving full screen you can now access the address bar and navigate to other sites, add a site as a favorite, and more. To do this, simply hover your mouse at the top of the screen while in full screen mode, or using touch drag a finger down from the top of the screen, and the familiar controls will appear. As always, don’t hesitate to provide feedback so we can continue improving this feature.

Clutter-free printing: Now you can print webpages from Microsoft Edge without ads and unnecessary clutter from the web. Enable the “Clutter-free printing” option in the print dialog and print only the content you want. Note: this option will only be visible for certain type of webpages.

The print dialog opened from Microsoft Edge, with the clutter-free printing option highlighted.

  • Hub improvements: We’ve revamped the Hub view in Microsoft Edge to show more content and to be easier and more intuitive to use. You’ll now find the different Hub sections listed with the full name visible in the Navigation view to the left of the content. This view can be collapsed to show icons only if you prefer to save space.Screen capture showing the new Hub opened in Microsoft Edge, with the Navigation pane expanded to show Favorites, Reading List, Books, History, and Downloads.
  • Autofill cards on web forms: Microsoft Edge can now save and automatically fill your card information on payment web forms. On submission of a form with card information, Microsoft Edge will prompt you to save card information. In the future, you can simply select the preferred card from a drop-down menu to autofill necessary fields. Microsoft Edge securely saves your card information. CVV information is never saved. All cards linked to your Microsoft Account are also made available for automatically filling card information.
  • New reading experience for EPUB, PDF, and Reading View: We’ve overhauled the look and feel of the reading and Books experiences in Microsoft Edge, bringing a new, consistent, more powerful experience across all your documents, whether they’re EPUB or PDF books, documents, or web pages in Reading View. Screen recording showing the Reading View in Microsoft Edge toggling between Dark and Light modes.

 

  • The new reading experience uses Fluent Design System elements like motion and Acrylic material to provide a fluid, delightful experience that keeps the focus on the page.
  • In Books, we’ve added a new pop-over menu for “Notes,” making it a snap to navigate between annotations, notes, or highlights. We’ve also updated the Seek bar, so you can scrub through your document more easily, including Go-to-page (Ctrl-G) to find a specific page in the document. Go-to-page supports PDF Page Labels or EPUB Page List, so the page numbers can correspond to a print source that may be numbered differently.
  • Grammar Tools for EPUB books and Reading View: When viewing reflowable EPUB books or Reading View for websites, you can now use the new Grammar Tools button to enable new comprehension aids. Grammar Tools can break the words on the page into syllables, as well as highlight different parts of speech such as nouns, verbs, and adjectives.Screen capture showing the an EPUB book in Microsoft Edge. The Grammar Tools pane is open with “Split words into syllables” and “Highlight all Verbs” turned to “On.” In the background a page from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland shows with words split into syllables and verbs highlighted in red.
  • New Full-screen reading experience: You can now take Books, PDFs, and Reading View pages full-screen, for a distraction-free reading experience.
  • Improved roaming for progress and notes across devices: For Store books, reading progress, notes, bookmarks, and annotations will roamed much faster across devices on the same account in near-real-time via WNS. Screen capture showing the Notes and Table of Contents views open over a Book in Microsoft Edge.
  • The new “Notes” and “Table of contents” let you navigate between chapters or highlights, notes, and annotations with ease.
  • General Improvements: We’ve made many improvements to fixed layout EPUB books, so content should be arranged more predictably on the page. Users of assistive technology will also find several improvements to viewing PDFs or Books with a screen reader, including more explicit narration when opening, loading, and navigating books.
  • Improved Library experience: We’ve built on the library improvements in Build 17035 with new changes in response to your feedback. Now, in addition to refreshing your library or pinning books to your Start menu, you can see recommendations for new books (when your library is empty) or filter expired rentals from the current library view. When you’re reading a book, we now show a Books icon and the title, rather than the URI, for a clearer and less cluttered presentation.
  • Audio Narrated Books: We’ve added support for EPUB Media Overlays, enabling support for a tailored narration experience, including custom audio and highlight styles. On supported books, you can now hear the book read aloud with custom narration, with the publisher’s chosen style applied to the highlight as the book is read. We’ve also made accessibility improvements when using Narrator to browse, search, or load a book.
  • Favorites bar improvements: The Favorites Bar will now automatically show on Start and New tab pages, if you have at least one favorite in it. When you navigate, the Favorites Bar will automatically hide to give you the most space for browsing. You may still choose to always show the favorites bar if you wish, via a context menu on the favorites bar “Show bar”, or via settings “Show the favorites bar”. The Favorites bar also now supports hiding names for individual favorite bar items, instead of having to either hide none or all names.
  • Option to never save passwords for domains: One of the top pieces of Windows Insider feedback was to provide an option to never save password for certain sites. When you choose to never save passwords, you shall never be prompted with a save password notification for that site.
  • Autofill passwords when InPrivate: Microsoft Edge now supports auto-filling of saved passwords when browsing InPrivate. To view list of available credentials for a site, click on the username field and it would populate all saved credentials for the website. No user credentials will be saved or updated when the windows is InPrivate.
  • Use Extensions when InPrivate: We’ve heard your feedback and have added the ability to load extensions when Microsoft Edge is in an InPrivate window. You can grant individual extensions permission to run in InPrivate from the options menu for the extension. We’re working with extension developers to enable more features when InPrivate.
  • Variable Fonts: Microsoft Edge now supports CSS extensions for OpenType Font Variations, which allows single “variable” font files to behave like multiple fonts, with a range of weight, width, or other attributes. You can see examples of variable fonts in practice at the Axis-Praxis Playground in Microsoft Edge.

Screen recording of a web page in Microsoft Edge, displaying an animation of a cartoon horse with a rider galloping.

  • Demo page from Axis-Praxis showing an animation of a horse using OpenType Variable Fonts.
  • Vertically dock the Microsoft Edge DevTools: The Microsoft Edge DevTools can now be docked vertically, fulfilling a a top web developer feature request. Click the new “Dock Right” button in the top-right corner of the tools to toggle the location. In a future update, we plan to improve the UI and flow of DevTools content when docked vertically.Screen Capture showing the Microsoft Edge DevTools docked to the right of a web page.
  • Fluent updates in Microsoft Edge: Microsoft Edge now supports an updated Dark theme, with darker blacks, and much better contrast with all colors, text, and icons. This addresses many accessibility contrast issues, making the Microsoft Edge UI easy to navigate and more visually pleasing. As well, Microsoft Edge now supports Reveal on our navigation buttons, action buttons, buttons in the tab bar, as well as on lists throughout Microsoft Edge (such as in the HUB: Favorites, Reading, History, Downloads), making navigating Edge UI even easier. We’ve heard your feedback and have also updated the Acrylic in the tab bar and in-active tabs, allowing more color to show through.
  • Bookmark button and flyout become one: With this build, Microsoft Edge has also simplified adding and managing bookmarks for EPUB and PDF books. Based on your feedback we now allow you to add bookmarks and manage your list of bookmarks from the same location. This provides a very consistent experience across the different book formats and makes it really easy for users to manage their bookmarks from one location.
  • Offline web sites and push notifications: Microsoft Edge now supports Service Workers and the Push and Cache APIs. These new web standards allow web pages to send push notifications to your Action Center or refresh data in the background, even when the browser is closed. In addition, certain web pages can now work offline or improve performance, by using locally cached data when the cache is up to date, or when your device has a poor connection. You can learn more about these features in our post Service Workers: Going beyond the page. These features lay the technical foundation for Progressive Web Apps on Windows 10 – we’ll have lots more to share about this topic soon on the Microsoft Edge Dev Blog!
  • Web Media Extensions Package: This build installs the Web Media Extensions package for Microsoft Edge, which extends Microsoft Edge and Windows 10 to support open-source formats (OGG Vorbis and Theora) commonly found on the web. Try out your favorite OGG content (such as Wikipedia videos or audio)! We will be monitoring feedback from this feature in Insider flights to eventually expand to broader availability to Microsoft Edge customers in the Current Branch.
  • Gesture Improvements for Precision Touch Pads: This build introduces a new gesture experience for Precision Touch Pads (found on Surface and other modern Windows 10 devices). You can now use gestures like pinch and zoom, or two-finger panning, to achieve the same interactions on web sites that you can do with a touch screen today. For example, you can now pinch-to-zoom on a map in Bing Maps to zoom in the map without zooming the entire page. Developers can learn more about how this change is implemented and how to make sure your sites are ready for modern input experiences over at our blog post, Building a great touchpad experience for the web with Pointer Events.
  • Mute-a-Tab! This build introduces a new experience for muting a tab playing audio. The audio icon that displays when a tab is playing media is now clickable and will mute the audio streams that tab is playing when clicked. The tabs audio will unmute when clicked again. This feature is also available from the context menu via the right click action on the tab. Thanks everyone who shared feedback requesting this! Have an opinion on what we should implement next? Please log feedback!The audio icon that displays when a tab is playing media is now clickable and will mute the audio streams that tab is playing when clicked. The tabs audio will unmute when clicked again.
  • Save free EPUB books: If you’re reading a free EPUB book from the web in Microsoft Edge and want to save it, you can now do that.If you’re reading a free EPUB book from the web in Microsoft Edge and want to save it, you can now do that.
  • New context menu options for books: For your convenience, we’ve added a few new options when you right-click books in the Book pane, including View in Microsoft Store, Pin to Start, and Refresh books. Remove from here has been renamed Remove from device.For your convenience, we’ve added a few new options when you right-click books in the Book pane, including View in Microsoft Store, Pin to Start, and Refresh books.
    • Form Fill for Address fields: Microsoft Edge can now save and automatically fill your preferred information in addresses and related forms. When filling in fields on a form, such as an address or other contact information, Microsoft Edge will prompt to save your form information. In the future, you can simply select the preferred information from a drop-down menu to complete all the related fields.
    • Addresses you save will be roamed between your Windows 10 devices, and you can manually add or remove form entries in Advanced Settings.
    • Text Spacing comes to Reading View: Much like when reading an EPUB book, you can now adjust the text spacing when you’re in Reading View. To enter Reading View, open an article or blog post you’re interested in, then tap the book icon next to the address bar. Adjusting the page to use wider spacing can improve reading fluency.

Redstone 4 Keyboard, Input & Font improvements

Emoji design updates: Based on your feedback and to improve consistency, we’ve made adjustments to the design of some of our emoji. Examples of updated emoji include:

Before:
Before emoji update.

After:

After emoji update.

Emoji search comes to more languages: Earlier in RS4, we updated the Emoji Panel to support browsing and picking emoji in many new locales. With today’s build, we’re bringing search support to more locales too! Now you can find an emoji by keyword in over 150 locales, including English (Great Britain), French (France), German (Germany), Spanish (Spain), and more. This will help you get the emoji you want easily and quickly. As a reminder, to bring up the Emoji Panel set focus to a text field and press WIN + (period) or WIN + (semicolon).

Emoji Panel in view above Sticky Notes, with the text “chat” in French searching for cat emoji

Multilingual text support in Windows: If you type in more than one Latin script languages on Windows, you’re going to like this new feature. With the Touch Keyboard, you do NOT have to manually switch the language anymore! Simply continue typing in multiple languages and Windows will assist you by showing predictions from multiple languages to make you more productive.

The additional step of manually switching between languages creates a barrier for users that are multi-lingual. We’re hoping that this feature can reduce that barrier and allow you to easily type in multiple languages.

With this build, Windows supports up to 3 Latin script languages for multi-lingual text predictions. It picks the top 3 installed languages from Language Settings while suggesting predictions. You can turn the feature off by going to Settings > Devices > Typing > Multilingual Text Prediction.

Text Prediction support for a bunch more languages! If you’re using the touch keyboard in any of the following languages, you’ll now see words suggested as you type: Assamese, Bashkir, Belarusian, Greenlandic, Hawaiian, Icelandic, Igbo, Irish, Kyrgyz, Luxembourgish, Maltese, Maori, Mongolian, Nepali, Pashto, Sakha, Tajik, Tatar, Tswana, Turkmen, Urdu, Uyghur, Welsh, Xhosa, Yoruba, Zulu.

  • Personalize the handwriting panel: In this release you can now change the font that your handwriting converts to in the handwriting panel! Go to Settings > Devices > Pen & Windows Ink > “Change the font of the handwriting experience”, select your preferred font from the dropdown, then write in the handwriting panel to see your chosen font.
  • You can now use the Emoji Panel in more languages! Based on your feedback, we’ve been working diligently on more added support for more languages and as of today’s build you can now use the emoji over 190 locals – 152 of which have tooltip support when you hover over each emoji. This includes English (Great Britain), French (France), German (Germany), Spanish (Spain), and more! You can open the Emoji Panel by pressing Windows logo key + period(.). Currently you can only browse and use mouse/touch/keyboard to pick an emoji in these languages, however we’re working on adding search. Stay tuned!
  • Single or multiple emoji at a time – you choose: With the previous flight we added support for inputting multiple emoji at a time. Today we’re adding a setting so that you can decide which behavior is best for you. Simply check or uncheck the new “Don’t close panel automatically after an emoji has been entered” setting under Settings > Time & Language > Keyboard > Advanced Keyboard Settings.
  • Emoji data update: Last flight we shared our initial emoji data update across multiple languages for this release – as promised with today’s flight we have the second bulk of the payload. We’ve added a number of additional words you can use to find the emoji you’re looking for in your language – use the touch keyboard and search for things like hedgehog, vampire, and pretzel.
  • Hardware keyboard suggestions update: Since our first flight with this new feature, we have two updates to share with you:
  • Firstly: We now support dark theme! Use Color Settings to switch between light and dark and see how your text suggestions will now follow suit.
  • Secondly: We’ve moved the settings for how to enable this feature, you can now find it under Keyboard Settings > English (United States) > Options > Hardware keyboard > “Show text suggestions as I type”. 
  • Split layout comes to the touch keyboard: As many of you know we redesigned the touch keyboard to be XAML-based for the Fall Creators Update. We’ve been hard at work addressing your feedback, and are happy to announce that with this build the touch keyboard now supports the split layout – an ergonomic layout designed to be used with both hands, one on each side of your tablet.
  • Note: Korean, Japanese and Simplified Chinese languages aren’t yet supported for this layout, but we’re working on it.
  • The standard touch keyboard layout for Japanese, Korean, Quick and ChangJie for Traditional Chinese: Now the standard keyboard layout for East Asian languages are available except Simplified Chinese and Bopomofo for Traditional Chinese (which we’re still working on). Japanese Kana layout is also supported. If you want to switch between wide, one-handed, and the standard touch keyboard layouts, just tap the button in the top left of the keyboard.
    • Evolving the Microsoft Yahei Font: As our Insiders from China likely know, Microsoft Yahei is the font we use to display Windows UI text in the Chinese (Simplified) language. We’ve heard your feedback, and with this build we’re updating this font to improve the legibility, symmetry and appearance.
    • We’ve added three additional weights for Microsoft Yahei: Semilight, Semibold and Heavy. The additional weights will be installed by default in ZH-CN builds, and available as an optional feature to download for non-ZH-CN builds.
    • We’ve scaled the glyphs to improve inter-character spacing. This makes reading easier and increases character recognition.
    • We’ve tuned the fonts with our new hinting algorithm so that the glyphs will be less jagged at small sizes.
    • We’ve redesigned all punctuations and symbols in the new fonts per customer feedback.
    • Here’s a sample of the updated font – the blue is the new version, the grey is an outline of the previous font:
  • Introducing the Embedded Handwriting Panel: In this Insider release, users get to experience a new way to handwrite on Windows. Typically handwriting is done in a panel that’s separate from the text field and requires users to split their attention between the handwriting in the panel and the text in the text field. Our new handwriting experience brings handwriting input into the text control! 
  • To invoke the experience, just tap your pen into a supported text field and it will expand to provide a comfortable area for you to write in. Your handwriting will get recognized and converted into text. If you run out of space, an additional line will be created below so you can continue writing. Once you’re done, simply tap outside the text field.
  • If something gets misrecognized or you’d like to edit what you’ve written, the same gestures that are available through the handwriting panel are also available, like the new insert gesture we added recently. Overall, we believe moving handwriting into the same location as the text will create a more comfortable, confident, and direct experience. Try it out and let us know what you think!
  • If you’d like to turn this experience off, there’s an option to do so in Pen & Windows Ink Settings, although if you do, please take a moment to log feedback about why you made this decision.
  • Note: This experience currently works in all XAML text fields except the Microsoft Edge address bar, Cortana, Mail, and the Calendar app. These teams are working on making the experience more tailored to their applications. This embedded experience will *only* appear if you’re using a pen to tap the text field – if you use touch, the existing handwriting panel will be invoked.  

Handwriting Recognition Updates:

  • Windows can now recognize Hindi handwriting: We’ve expanding our handwriting capabilities to new languages including Hindi, Welsh, Sesotho, Wolof and Maori!
  • To install one of these languages, go to Settings > Time & language > Region & Language and click “Add a language”. Select the language name and click Next. Make sure to select the “Handwriting” checkbox and select “Install.”. Reboot the machine for the changes to take effect.
  • Now switch to the input language of your choice – Hindi for example. Writing in that language will show handwriting recognition results in that language and convert it to text.  If you speak these languages, please give it a try and share feedback in the in the Feedback Hub, under Input and Language > Handwriting Recognition. As a reminder, if you’d like to use the handwriting panel with touch, you’ll need to enable it – it’s an option in Pen & Windows Ink Settings.
  • Writing Namaste in Hindi using the handwriting panel.
  • In addition to the handwriting panel, any app that uses the Ink Analysis APIs will now be able to recognize ink in these new languages without any additional changes!
  • Emoji data overhaul for the touch keyboard: We’ve taken a look at the emoji data across all of the languages we support and have updated it so that more of the emoji you love will appear as you’re typing related words with the touch keyboard. We’ve also added support for a number of languages that didn’t previously support emoji candidates. Please give it a try and let us know how it goes! Try typing words like unicorn, kiwi, artist, or turtle (in your language, of course ????) – primary candidate will be listed in the candidate list, any secondary candidates will be listed in the candidate list once you tap the emoji button. We still have a bit more work to do on the data that will come with a later flight, but you should see a noticeable improvement with this build.
  • This flight includes new and updated emoji data for over 150 languages including: Arabic (Saudi Arabia), Danish (Denmark), German (Germany), Greek (Greece), English (Great Britain), Spanish (Spain), Spanish (Mexico), Finnish (Finland), French (France), Hebrew (Israel), Hindi (India), Italian (Italy), Dutch (Netherlands), Norwegian (Norway), Polish (Poland), Portuguese (Brazilian), Portuguese (Portugal), Russian (Russia), Swedish (Sweden), and Turkish (Turkey).
  • NOTE: To see the emoji predictions as you type in a particular language, as well as typing predictions, you will need to have the optional typing feature applied for that language. It should download on its own as long as you have internet connection when you add the language to your language list, or once you connect to the internet thereafter. If you’re not seeing predictions and have internet connectivity, try removing the language and then adding it back again.Now you can use Emoji Panel to insert a bunch of emoji at once! Based on your feedback, we’re adjusting the design of the Emoji Panel so that after opening up the panel by pressing hotkey Windows logo key + “.” or “;”, you could browse, search and then select more than one emoji. The panel won’t go away until you click close button or press “Esc” key.Based on your feedback, we’re adjusting the design of the Emoji Panel so that after opening up the panel by pressing hotkey Windows logo key + “.” or “;”, you could browse, search and then select more than one emoji. Note: The Emoji Panel is currently only available when the en-us keyboard is active.

Keyboard Improvements:

  • Bringing inclusive design to the hardware keyboard: We’re introducing the ability to see text suggestions while typing on a hardware keyboard. You can see three text suggestions near caret while typing and choose candidates in text suggestions if you find a word you want to insert. Set focus to the first suggestion by tapping the up arrow key on your keyboard and using the left/right arrow keys to change focus. To select the desired candidate, tap space or enter.We’re introducing the ability to see text suggestions while typing on a hardware keyboard. You can see three text suggestions near caret while typing and choose candidates in text suggestions if you find a word you want to insert.
  • This is an opt-in feature targeting English language learners, education and accessibility. We only support en-US at this time. To enable the feature, make sure English (United States) language is added in Settings > Time & languages > Region & languages, then set this feature to On by enabling the “Show text suggestions as I type on hardware keyboard” setting under Settings > Devices > Typing.
  • 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.
  • We’ve updated Cortana Collections to now support light theme.
  • We’re making some 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 in a later flight when everything is up and running.
  • We’ve 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.
  • Now with Acrylic! With this build we’ve updated the touch keyboard to now have an acrylic background. This change is reflected in all keyboard layouts hosted in the XAML touch keyboard, including the wide layout, the one-handed layout, and the handwriting panel. Thanks everyone who logged feedback about this!With this build we’ve updated the touch keyboard to now have an acrylic background.
  • The standard touch keyboard layout option comes to 190+ more keyboards:We’ve been hard at work addressing your feedback, and we’re happy to announce the touch keyboard now supports the standard keyboard layout for all languages except Korean, Japanese, Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese (which we’re still working on). If you want to switch between wide, onehanded, and the standard touch keyboard layouts, just tap the button in the top left of the keyboard. This includes adding the standard keyboard layout to the following keyboards and more: English (United Kingdom), Irish, Czech, Danish, Greek, Canadian French, Finnish, Hebrew, Hungarian, Latvian, Dutch, and Polish. More details about touch keyboard usage hereif you need it.
  • Streamlined text insertion: In this release, we’ve added some slick new animations and changed the button layout of the handwriting panel based on your feedback. Ink some words in the panel and watch them appear in your selected text field!In this release, we’ve added some slick new animations and changed the button layout of the handwriting panel based on your feedback. Ink some words in the panel and watch them appear in your selected text field!
  • Improved re-recognition of words: Write a letter on top of another, and the handwriting panel will recognize your corrections more accurately than ever before.
  • Use a gesture to create more space between words: Draw a “split” gesture between two words in the handwriting panel by drawing a vertical line between them. More space will be created where you drew the line so that you can write more in the newly-created space. As a reminder you can also draw a split gesture inside a word to break apart the word and ink more characters in the new space.
  • Shape-writing with wide touch keyboard: With the Fall Creators Update we introduced shape-writing input for one-handed keyboard. We’ve heard your feedback, and with today’s build we’re happy to announce that it’s now also available when using the wide keyboard!With the Fall Creators Update we introduced shape-writing input for one-handed keyboard. We’ve heard your feedback, and with today’s build we’re happy to announce that it’s now also available when using the wide keyboard!
  • As a reminder, shape-writing is currently available for the following languages: Catalan (Catalan), Croatian (Croatia), Czech (Czech), Danish (Denmark), Dutch (Netherlands), English (India), English (United States), English (United Kingdom), Finnish (Finland), French (Canada), French (France), French (Switzerland), German (Germany), Greek (Greece), Hebrew (Israel), Hungarian (Hungary), Indonesian (Indonesia), Italian (Italy), Norwegian, Persian (Iran), Polish (Poland), Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Romanian (Romania), Russian (Russia), Spanish (Mexico), Spanish (Spain), Swedish (Sweden), Turkish (Turkey), and Vietnamese (Vietnam).
  • Improved Insertion Gesture: Based on your feedback about gesture recognition, we’ve updated the insertion gesture (to add space between words or letters) to now be a small caret (see below gif for a demo of what it looks like, along with a cameo of our joining gesture).
  • A New Commit Gesture: We’ve added a new gesture so you can automatically commit your text and clear out the text in the handwriting panel. This gesture looks like a 90 degree angle bracketing the end of your text – see gif below for an example of how it works.
  • Improved button layout for Chinese (Simplified) Handwriting: If you use Chinese (Simplified), you’ll now see a layout similar to the one announced for other languages with Build 17035. The buttons in the handwriting panel are collapsed by default – tap the button with the ellipsis to expand them.
  • We’re introducing a new keyboard for Tamil language called Tamil 99, as well as updated Sinhala, Myanmar, and Amharic keyboards
  • Tamil 99 keyboard (hardware keyboard, touch keyboard) is now available on Windows PC! We’ve added a new Tamil keyboard – if you speak this language and would like to try it out, make sure Tamil (India) is in your language list. Click that language entry in Region & Language Settings, then select Options > Add a keyboard > Tamil 99. Here’s an example of how it looks on the touch keyboard: Tamil 99 keyboard (hardware keyboard, touch keyboard) is now available on Windows PC!
  • The Sinhala and Myanmar keyboards have been updated to support more comprehensive ways of inputting sequences, forexamplethese now work: Sinhala: ෙ + ක -> කෙ, Myanmar: ေ + မ = eမ
  • In order to improve the Amharic typing experience, we’ve fully updated the Amharic keyboard so that you can now input compositions more comfortably. Instead of seeing English letters and a dropdown list of candidates while you type, you’ll now see the Amharic script directly inserted into the text field.

Redstone 4 New Privacy tools & improvements

Windows App Permissions

UWP File System Access: With this build we’re giving you more control so you can now decide which UWP apps can access your full file system. Particular UWP apps will be granted permission to have broad file system access. This capability will be granted on a per app basis by Microsoft. If a UWP app has the broad file system access restricted capability, you will receive a consent dialog prompting you to accept or deny the request. If at any time you change your mind about the decision, you can go to Settings > Privacy where you’ll find a new Settings page for File System Access. On this page, you can turn access on or off globally, and if it’s on you can also turn it on or off for each app that has requested the capability. UWPs with broad file system access will not appear in the Photos, Videos, or Documents privacy settings pages. If you grant broad file system access, this includes Photos, Videos and Documents.

Updated Privacy Settings navigation pane: To improve visual acuity, we’ve added new categories to the Privacy Settings navigation pane – here’s what it looks like:

Privacy Settings, with the nav pane showing Windows permissions and app permissions grouped.

View user dictionary: We’ve added a new section to Speech, Inking, & Typing settings under Privacy so that you can new view your user dictionary and easily clear it if need be.

Diagnostic Data Improvements

Last week, we announced some new privacy tools as part of Data Privacy Day which included the Diagnostic Data Viewer that showed up for Windows Insiders in Build 17083. With our commitment to transparency and control, users can now delete the Windows Diagnostic Data that Microsoft has collected from your device. In SettingsPrivacy > Diagnostics & feedback, you will find a delete button that deletes the Windows diagnostic data associated with your device.

You can now delete the Windows Diagnostic Data that Microsoft has collected from your device.

Note: The backend cloud system is currently under development and will be available to complete the Delete requests prior to public release of RS4.

Microsoft uses Windows diagnostic data to focus our decisions and efforts to provide you with the most robust and valuable platform possible. By participating in our diagnostic data programs, you have a voice in the operating system’s development, improving the overall product experience and quality through your insights.

We value your privacy. Our commitment is to be fully transparent on the diagnostic data collected from your Windows devices and provide you with increased control over that data. As part of this commitment, we’re adding two new features in this build for Windows Insiders which can be found under Settings > Privacy > Diagnostics & feedback.

Diagnostic Data Viewer

The Diagnostic Data Viewer is a Windows app that lets you review the diagnostic data your device is sending to Microsoft, grouping the info into simple categories based on how it’s used by Microsoft.

To get started, navigate to Settings > Privacy > Diagnostics & feedback. Enable the Diagnostic Data Viewer Toggle and then click the button below to launch the app.

View your diagnostics events: In the left column, you can review your diagnostic events. Selecting an event opens the detailed event view, which shows the exact data uploaded to Microsoft. Microsoft uses this info to continually improve the Windows operating system.

The Diagnostic Data Viewer shows the event details sent to Microsoft

Search your diagnostic events:  The search box at the top of the screen lets you search all of the diagnostic event data. The returned search results include any diagnostic event that contains the matching text. Selecting an event opens the detailed event view, with the matching text highlighted.

Filter your diagnostic event categories: The app’s Menu button opens the detailed menu. In here, you’ll find a list of diagnostic event categories, which define how the events are used by Microsoft. Selecting a category lets you filter between the diagnostic events. More details about these categories can be found here.

Diagnostic data can be filtered by category

Provide diagnostic event feedback: The Feedback icon opens the Feedback Hub app, letting you provide feedback about the Diagnostic Data Viewer and the diagnostic events.

Provide feedback about diagnostic events and the app

Opt-in for Standard User

With our commitment to transparency and control, a standard user can now make changes to the Diagnostic Data levels. When an administrator sets the Diagnostic Data level, a user can choose to update the Diagnostic Data setting . This control also provides notifications when these settings have been changed by another user or an administrator.

  • Control access to your pictures, videos, or documents folders: With this build we’re giving you more control so you can now decide which UWP apps can access your pictures, videos, or documents folders. If a UWP app needs access to any of these, a consent dialog will pop up prompting you to accept or deny the request. If at any time you change your mind about the decision, you can go to Settings > Privacy where you’ll find 3 new Settings pages (one for each of the folders). If you deny access to a particular folder, to protect your privacy that UWP app will revert to only being able to access its local app folder.

Redstone 4 Windows Defender Improvements

Windows Defender Application Guard (WDAG) Improvements

The Windows Defender Application Guard (WDAG) Team has introduced new improvements for users to have a better experience with our upcoming release. We have combed through our user feedback and acted to ensure your needs are met. On top of significant performance improvements, we have added an ability to download documents highlighted below.

Performance improvements: The teams at Microsoft are constantly working to improve performance for our users. Windows Defender Application Guard is no different. In this upcoming feature update, you will notice an improvement in the launch time for Application Guard. We have made the start process lighter and faster, which will provide our users with a better experience when accessing Microsoft Edge in Windows Defender Application Guard.

Download files to the host: One of the items our users voiced was an inability to “download files from within WDAG” to the host. This created an inconsistent experience for Edge overall as downloaded files were stuck inside the container. In this release, users can turn on a feature to download files from their WDAG browsing session onto the host file system. This feature is available in the Windows 10 Enterprise edition and must be turned on. Once the feature is enabled, users will be able to download files into a folder created in their Downloads folder and open all files on the host.

How to enable and configure the Download to host feature:

Requirements:

  • Latest Windows 10 Enterprise RS4 Builds.
  • Windows Defender Application Guard feature is installed.
  • Network isolation policies are configured.

Steps:

1. Navigate to Local Group Policy Editor > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Defender Application Guard.

Navigate to Local Group Policy Editor > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Defender Application Guard.

2. Select Allow files to download and save to the host operating system from Windows Defender Application Guard

3. Select Enabled and Apply

Select Allow files to download and save to the host operating system from Windows Defender Application Guard and then select Enabled and Apply.

After this policy is enabled, you can download files from your Windows Defender Edge session to your Downloads folder. The files from Application Guard will be saved in a folder called “Untrusted files” nested inside the Downloads folder. This folder is created automatically when you first download a file from Application Guard after enabling the policy.

After this policy is enabled, you can download files from your Windows Defender Edge session to your Downloads folder.

Notes:

  • This feature is off by default.
  • Users will need to assess the files they downloaded and assume any risks of opening on the host.

We encourage you to try our new download feature and assess our improved launch performance. Your feedback and suggestion are important to us as we continue to improve our products. You can click here to open Feedback Hub to give feedback on WDAG.

We’ve also made updates to Windows Defender System Guard.  With Windows Defender System Guard, we are making a leap forward in platform security with memory integrity by default and bringing a born secure device promise to our user base.  To learn more about these changes and talk with product team, see their post in the Windows Insider Technical Community.

Windows Defender is now Windows Security in Settings: We have renamed the settings page under Settings > Update & Security from “Windows Defender” to “Windows Security. This settings page has also been redesigned – putting emphasis on the various protection areas to keep you safe and secure on your PC.

We have renamed the settings page under Settings > Update & Security from “Windows Defender” to “Windows Security. This settings page has also been redesigned – putting emphasis on the various protection areas to keep you safe and secure on your PC.

Account Protection Pillar in Windows Defender: We’ve made it easier for users to protect their identity when signing in to Windows with the new Account Protection pillar in Windows Defender Security Center.  Account Protection will encourage password users to set up Windows Hello Face, Fingerprint or PIN for faster sign in, and will notify Dynamic lock users if Dynamic lock has stopped working because their phone or device Bluetooth is off.

DeviceSecurity Pillar in Windows Defender: We’re giving you greater insight into the security features integrated in your Windows device. The Device Security page provides you with status reporting and management of security features built into your devices – including toggling features on to provide enhanced protections.

  • Windows Defender Application Guard (WDAG) update: You spoke, and we listened. Microsoft is bringing Windows Defender Application Guard to Windows 10 Professional in the next feature update of Windows 10. Now, like Windows 10 Enterprise users, Windows 10 Pro Users can navigate the Internet in Application Guard knowing their systems are protected from even the most sophisticated browser attacks.
  • Windows Defender Application Guard provides unprecedented protection against targeted threats using Microsoft’s industry leading Hyper-V virtualization technology. Check out this recent RSA talk on Window Defender Application Guard if you’d like to understand this feature in some more detail.
  • It is available now to our awesome Windows Insider community to give it a try and we would like to hear your feedback.
  • For more details please see our tech community page.
  • Quick access from the context menu: You can now right-click on the Windows Defender icon in the notification area and get an updated context menu that lets you quickly do a quick scan, update your Defender definitions, change the notifications and open Windows Defender Security Center.

Redstone 4 Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)

Note about launch speed: The first launch of each distro will be slow on this build.  Some of our updates require sizeable changes to the Linux file system directories; applying those changes may take a few minutes. This should only happen once for each distribution you have installed from the store.

WSL is more configurable with wsl.confWe added a method for you to automatically configure certain functionality in WSL that will be applied every time you launch the subsystem. This includes automount options and network configuration. Learn more about it in our blog post.

AF_UNIX allows socket connections between Linux processes on WSL and Windows native processes: WSL and Windows applications can now communicate with each other over Unix sockets. Imagine you want to run a service in Windows and make it available to both Windows and WSL apps. Now, that’s possible with Unix sockets. Read more in our blog post.

Better file handling via folder level case sensitivity: One of the tricky problems sharing data between Linux and Windows comes down to file case handling.  Windows isn’t case sensitive, Linux is.  In the past WSL used exclusively process-based case sensitivity.  Starting in 17089, NTFS has a new flag that can be set on directories to indicate all operations in those directories should be treated as case sensitive, which allows Windows applications to correctly open files that differ only by case.

  • WSL can run background tasks: Processes that set themselves up to run in the background such as sshd, tmux/screen, etc. will now continue running after the last console window has been closed. Read this blog for more information and a demo.
  • Elevated and non-elevated WSL instances can run simultaneously:  Previously WSL instances all had to all run as elevated or all unelevated.  Now you can run some elevated and some non-elevated instances.  You can also use Scheduled Tasks to run WSL.
  • WSL runs in remote connections: WSL is now supported when connected via OpenSSH, VPN, Enter-PSSession, and/or other similar Windows remoting tools. Previously this would only work in cases where the user logged in interactively and started a WSL instance before connecting remotely. to the remote host and then launch WSL. With background processes you can background sshd in WSL so it persists in the background without having any open windows.
  • Tool to convert Linux paths to Windows-friendly paths: Wslpath is a tool that allows you to convert Linux paths to their Windows equivalent. Here is a quick reference for how you can use the wslpath tool:
  • -a    force result to absolute path format
    -u    translate from a Windows path to a WSL path (default)
    -w    translate from a WSL path to a Windows path
    -m    translate from a WSL path to a Windows path, with ‘/’ instead of ‘\\’
  • More Changes:
  • When you use the split gesture to add more space between two words in the handwriting panel (a caret, as showcased here) that space will now close back up after a pause.
  • We’ve added a top level link to Storage Settings to “free up space” now, so you can get at it faster if you need it, rather than having to open Storage Sense first.
  • We’ve made some small tweaks to the design of the Windows Update Settings page and subpages.
  • To improve discoverability, when you have an update pending reboot in Windows Update Settings, beside the restart now button you will now also see a button for selecting other restart options.
  • We’ve updated the touch keyboard to now have an animation when invoking and dismissing.
  • We’ve updated the wide touch keyboard such that if you double tap the Shift key to turn on caps lock the key will now stay in a visual pressed state so you can see that caps lock is engaged.
  • We’ve updated the full touch keyboard so that you can now use keyboard shortcuts that contain 3 keys (for example, WIN + Alt + D).
  • We’ve made some small design changes to the dictation UI that appears when you press WIN+H.

Redstone 4 Cortana improvements:

Introducing Cortana Show Me

Ever wanted to change a setting, but didn’t know how? Enter Cortana Show Me, your guide to Windows 10 settings, which is now available for download in the Microsoft Store through this link. In our preview app, Cortana will show you how to change settings step-by-step. In this release, you can launch guides directly from the app homepage, but check back soon for voice entry points. For Insiders, the app is available in English (US and UK) and in German. We’ve created guides for 15 settings so far but stay tuned for further improvements and additional offerings. While we know this experience isn’t specifically designed for Insiders, it’s for all the friends and family we have who need a pointer – please share it with them.

If you click the link in Store and can’t download the app, wait a few hours and give it another try. It’s still rolling out!

Note: If you’re using keyboard navigation with your device, you will need to use Alt + T ab to move between Settings and Cortana Show Me.

A new profile page! We’re introducing a new server-powered profile page in Cortana for you to add and edit your favorite places. The places you add are used to give you traffic updates for your daily commute, and let you easily set reminders when you arrive or leave your places. To get to this page, head to the Notebook section of Cortana and click the button to the right of your name. This is available for all Cortana markets*.

Cortana notebook, next to Cortana About Me page.

This will soon extend beyond places to cover your Interests, Family, Accounts and more. Stay tuned for updates!

Cortana’s new Notebook goes international with improved performance: We’ve received some great feedback about our updated Notebook design announced with Build 17063, and are happy to share that this new design is now available for all markets* and languages where Cortana is supported. In addition several performance improvements have been deployed that should make Notebook load faster. Note, some experiences may vary depending on the market you are in.

Learn to use a Skill in Notebook: Default Skills in Cortana’s Notebook (like Weather, Sports, and News) now come with a set of tips for questions you can ask Cortana to get you started – either click the suggestion, type it out yourself, or just talk to Cortana and she’ll pull up the information you requested.

Default Skills in Cortana’s Notebook (like Weather, Sports, and News) now come with a set of tips for questions you can ask Cortana to get you started.

Starting today, these changes will be rolling out to all Insiders in supported markets who are on RS4 and RS5 builds.

*Cortana markets: United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Canada, India, Spain, China, Mexico, France, Italy, Japan, Brazil

  • Cortana’s Notebook has a new look: Notebook has undergone a UX transformation to be more responsive to Cortana’s evolving capabilities and allow users to easily complete their tasks.
  • Your content has a new home called Organizer that lets you access your lists and reminders with ease. And all Skills are together, so you can easily configure Cortana to suit your needs. Configuration experience has also been significantly simplified.
  • Tabbed view to cleanly segregate your content and configuration and single page to manage Cortana’s Skills and easy way to discover more.
  • Simplified configuration experience page with easy interest management.
  • This is a server side change currently rolling out for those using English (United States) and will be rolled out to other markets with time.
  • Account entry point in the navigation menu: To improve discoverability and consistency, we’re moving the account entry point out of Cortana’s Notebook and into the navigation menu (that’s the side bar that contains elements like Home, Notebook, and Collections).
  • Lists and Collections – better together! Cortana Collections have been merged with Lists, so you get personalized suggestions and help with List creation – all in a rich, attractive interface. Cortana helps you track your To-Do’s and manage Grocery lists. She also suggests items of interest –  restaurants to try out, recipes to make, books to read, movies & shows to watch, things to shop for – and makes it easy to add them to your lists.  See and use your Lists and suggestions in the List home:
  • You can access it from Notebook:
  • For now, this feature is only available for Insiders using English (United States), who are logged into both Windows and Cortana with their Microsoft Account.
  • A note about Collections: We’ve made an underlying breaking change to how Cortana’s Collection works – if you’ve been using this feature in previous builds we need to migrate your data to our new collection APIs. Because of this, once you upgrade to this build you’ll notice all of your existing saved list items have moved under suggestions. If you want to keep these suggestions, please drag and drop them back into the list. Thank you everyone who’s given us feedback so far about the Collections experience – please continue doing so!
  • Cortana loves music: You can now use Cortana to control music playback on more of your favorite music apps (EN-US only). Starting with this build, we are enabling natural language compatibility for Spotify just like the Harman Kardon Invoke! This will work on both, above the lock screen (PC is locked) as well as below! You can try queries like…
    • Play Christmas music on Spotify
    • Play my discover weekly playlist on Spotify
    • Play <Artist/Track/Title/Genre/Mood> on <AppName>
    • Play some Drake
    • Play focus music
    • Play rock music
    • Play my tracks
    • Once music is playing you can ask Cortana what’s playing like this:
    • Hey Cortana, what’s playing?
    • Cortana will keep you posted on your tracks.
    • To start rocking to your favorite tracks just get the latest app update and sign into Spotify in the notebook under the music section.
    • NOTE: For the above to work, you need to have a Spotify account (free or premium).
  • We’ve added settings that let you view and manage your activity history, which Cortana uses to let you pick up where you left off. Find these settings in Settings > Privacy > Activity history.
  • We’ve updated the icon for Collections in Cortana.
  • Introducing Cortana Collections: Cortana now saves you time and stress by noticing and remembering things for you and putting them at your fingertips. Cortana can gather things you’re interested in such as items you shop for, restaurants, recipes, and books you’d like to check out, movies and TV shows you want to watch – and puts them all into neatly organized lists from which you can pick the ones you like best. Cortana is always learning, so the more you let Cortana help you, the more Cortana does for you. Check out the quest we’ve set up for more info on how to try this out and let us know what you think! (Available for EN-US Insiders only.)
  • Add a movie you were checking out in your browser to your Collection! Cortana Collections.
  • Simplifying actions between Cortana and Action Center: In the previous feature updates of Windows 10 (including the Fall Creators Update), there were two places to go to see the next action you might need to take: Cortana and Action Center. We heard feedback that this was confusing as it wasn’t clear where to go. The fact that Cortana’s insights and recommended actions lived outside of Action Center also made it impossible to focus Cortana’s user interface on Cortana’s natural language and search capabilities. To fix both of these problems, Cortana’s proactive content is going to migrate to Action Center so that you have one place to go to find out what action to take next and to see the important insights Cortana has for you. This frees up Cortana’s user interface to provide tips, educating customers about what can be said to Cortana, and to provide tools for search so that you can get the information you need as quickly as possible. You will see the first part of this change starting with this build with Cortana no longer offering proactive content. Over time, you will see the proactive content that used to be available in Cortana show up in Action Center.

Redstone 4 new Developer Tools & improvements

  • Windows Command line Toolchain includes bsdtar (tar) and curl.
    bsdtar and curl, two popular command line tools from the Unix shell, are now available in Windows and Windows Server.  bsdtar provides handy extraction/creation of compressed files and curl offers data transfer capabilities so you can download files from a remote location.  Read this blog to learn more about the addition of these two new tools and see how they’re shaping the developer experience on Windows.
  • Unix style sockets (AF_UNIX) are available on Windows
    AF_UNIX is an address family which has enabled inter-process communication on Unix for countless years. The windows equivalent is named pipes, which offers similar facilities. Based on user feedback, we heard that you’d like an easier path when porting tools relying on AF_UNIX to Windows. As a result, two Win32 processes can now use the AF_UNIX address family over Winsock API to communicate with each other.  Read this blog for more details.
  • Control Windows legacy apps access to your camera
  • Camera privacy settings under Settings > Privacy > Camera give you fine control over the apps that have access to your camera. Prior to this update, the toggle marked ‘Let apps use my camera hardware’ only applied to apps installed from the Windows Store (think Skype from Store). This meant that you could have the toggle set to off, but still have legacy apps use the camera (think Skype for Desktop). With this update, we are changing the toggle’s behavior to include all legacy apps. Note that each legacy app will not appear individually in the list today like Store apps do, but they will respect the toggle.
  • Another related change that is also part of this update will include the Windows Camera app in the list of apps that can use your camera; it was previously exempt from this list.
  • If your legacy camera application stops working after taking this update, please check your camera privacy settings and ensure that the toggle is enabled. Please try the new camera privacy features & remember to file all feedback via the Feedback Hub.
  • Windows Hypervisor Platform API: We have added an extended user-mode API for third-party virtualization stacks and applications to create and manage partitions at the hypervisor level, configure memory mappings for the partition, and create and control execution of virtual processors. A third-party client can run alongside a Hyper-V managed partition while maintaining its management, configuration, guest/host protocols and guest supported drivers. For further information, see Windows Hypervisor Platform.

New Redstone 4 features for IT Pros in Delivery Optimization

  • We’ve added multiple policies in this release (both Group Policies and MDM Policies) that provide Admins with means to throttle bandwidth at certain times of day (for both foreground and background traffic), restrict peer selection to the same subnet, automatically join devices into peer groups by using a DHCP server’s User option or the connection’s DNS suffix as well as the ability to increase the usage of peers by delaying the use of the HTTP source.
  • To view the list of new configs, open the GP Editor and checkout the new policies under Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Delivery Optimization:
  • These features were added based on feedback from IT Pros who rely on Delivery Optimization to reduce the bandwidth consumption on their network. The throttling policies can be useful to you if you are looking to throttle Internet bandwidth during critical business hours while allowing update traffic to flow faster at other times. The new peer selection policies address feedback we’ve received from customers who are using AAD and Modern Management (Intune, WUfB) and needed more options to automatically group peers in each site they manage.

Registry Process:

  • In recent Insider Preview builds, you may have noticed a new process labelled “Registry” in Task Manager. The purpose of this process is similar to that of the memory compression store process in that it is a minimal process whose address space is used to hold data on behalf of the kernel. However, while the memory compression process is used to hold compressed pages, the registry process is used to hold registry hive data (e.g. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE, HKEY_CURRENT_USER).
  • Storing registry hive data in the registry process gives the registry access to more powerful memory management capabilities which will allow us to reduce the registry’s memory usage in the future.
  • Today’s Insider Preview build is the first to store hive data in the registry process and this is visible in Task Manager as increased memory usage by that process. Since this data was previously in kernel paged pool there is also a corresponding decrease in paged pool usage so overall there is no net change in hive data memory usage.
  •  
    Figure 1: Example increase in Registry process memory usage (before/after).
  •  
    Figure 2: Example decrease in Paged Pool (before/after).
  • A note about HomeGroup: Easily connecting to and sharing the important pieces of your digital life with those who matter most has never been easier with today’s Modern PCs and the cloud. Whether it’s connecting PCs and printers on your home network via the Share functionality in Windows or using OneDrive to share a photo album of your last vacation, Windows 10 makes connecting multiple devices and sharing content streamlined and simple. And it’s because of that evolution that with today’s build you’ll start to see us retire the HomeGroup service. HomeGroup was terrific for the pre-cloud and pre-mobile era, but today this functionality is built right into Windows 10 and apps. Starting with this build, the HomeGroup service is no longer operational in Windows 10. The user profile used for sharing and the file/folder/printer shares will continue to work.
  • Here are recommended alternatives to HomeGroup for you to get the best file-sharing experience in Windows 10 going forward:
  • File Storage:
    • OneDrive is a cloud-first, cross-device storage and collaboration platform for all of the pieces of data that matter most in your life – like your files, your photos, your videos, and more.
    • OneDrive Files On-Demand takes cloud file storage a step further, allowing you to access all your files in the cloud without having to download them and use storage space on your device.
  • Share Functionality: For those who prefer not to use the Cloud to connect their devices, the Share functionality for folders and printers allows you to see the available devices and connect them to and from other PCs on your home network.
  • Easier Connection: No more remembering cryptic HomeGroup passwords in order to connect to another PC. You can now simply connect through your Microsoft Account email address across devices.
Nayan
Nayan has more than 10 years of experience of covering Technology and innovations. He is a big Nokia fan and Tech disruptions aficionado. He loves to review new cool gadgets and writing about Windows, Gadgets and general Technology stuff. He has been associated with other well-known Tech sites GadgetOx and Nokiapoweruser since long. He currently sports a Lumia 950 XL and Nexus 5X. Other interests include listening to Nu-Metal Hits and Kick-Boxing. Write to him at Email: [email protected]
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