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Massive Windows 10 update brings a ton of big improvements

Microsoft has begun testing a massive Windows 10 update that is now available to Windows Insiders. The release brings a boosted Game Mode, improvements to Edge, a new look for Action Center, and lots, lots more.

The release sports build number 16215 on PC, and 15222 on mobile. The PC release is by far the most significant, with a long list of big changes, improvements, and new features. Perhaps the most noticeable are the visual changes to the Start menu and Action Center, which include elements of the new Fluent Design System that Microsoft unveiled at Build 2017.

The Start menu now uses the new “acrylic” design if you have transparency enabled, and Microsoft has eliminated glitches at the bottom of the menu’s frame when you use vertical resizing. We have also gained the ability to resize the Start menu diagonally, and Microsoft promises a smoother transition into and out of tablet mode.

The Action Center redesign was based on user feedback, Microsoft says. The acrylic design can also be found here — as well as in toast notifications — and you’ll notice clearer information separation and hierarchy. We still have the ability to customizable quick actions from within “Notifications & actions” inside the System settings.

There are a bunch of new features for Microsoft Edge, including the ability to pin your favorite websites to the taskbar for easy access, fullscreen mode, annotation and notes for EPUB books, and additional highlight colors for PDF documents. Edge’s splash screen has also been improved, as has session restore behavior.

Microsoft’s virtual assistant wasn’t left out, either. Cortana now has the ability to create reminders when it notices event posters in your camera roll. For instance, if you save a poster for an upcoming gig in your home town, Cortana will tell you it can “keep track of this,” and it will give you the ability to add the event to your schedule.

For Pen users, there are some nice improvements to handwriting recognition, and an overflow mode within the handwriting panel that shifts text to the left every time you lift your Pen off the screen, giving you room to enter more words before hitting the insert button. If you select text while the handwriting panel is open, you now have the option to edit it.

If a word you write is misrecognized by the handwriting panel (because handwriting recognition is never perfect), you can now write over the suggested text to correct it. You can also make corrections using gestures like strikethrough, scratch, join, and split within the handwriting panel. It is also easier to access emoji.

Entering emoji using a keyboard is also faster thanks to a new emoji panel, which you can open by pressing Win + period or Win + semicolon. In the “People” emoji category, we now have the ability to choose skin tone by clicking the tone button on the top-right of the panel.

Microsoft has made lots of Settings improvements to enhance our Windows 10 experience throughout the operating system. There are new video playback options, a new HDR and advanced color settings page, per-app defaults settings pages, an updated network connection properties page, and more.

For gamers, there are some nice changes to the game bar, which now includes a button to enable or disable Game Mode while inside a game. You can now take screenshots in games running in HDR mode, too, while Microsoft has improved Game Mode performance overall by tweaking the way in which it uses system resources.

There are a whole bunch of other improvements that we didn’t get a chance to mention here, so we recommend you follow the source link below to read Microsoft’s blog post. Again, this update is only available to Insiders for now — but it will be rolling out to all Windows 10 users once testing is complete and any kinks are ironed out.

Microsoft

Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...

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