At the Build Conference 2016, Microsoft announced the release of an Anniversary Update, coming to all windows users for free this summer. But the Insiders have a reason to rejoice because Microsoft has released a new build, numbered 14316 on April 6 to all Fast Ring PC Users, and is said to contain a lot of new features introduced at the conference, including the Ubuntu Bash Support for developers.
This new update brings most of the features announced in the Build Conference on Day 1, but lacks certain additions like Windows Ink and the new Start Menu to name a few. Now, lets take a look at all the new features and improvements that have been made in the Build 14316, and discuss them in-depth.
Native Bash Support on Windows
If you’re a developer and had to switch to Ubuntu or any other Linux distro to make your life easier, think no more and get back to Windows 10 now. Microsoft in partnership with Canonical has designed Bash to run natively on Windows, but you need to install it before using.
To run bash on your Windows 10 PC/Laptop, follow the following steps :
- Open Settings, go to Update and Security
- Go to ‘For Developers’ and select Developer Mode
- Next search for ‘Windows Features’ and choose ‘Turn Windows Features On and Off’
- Enable Windows Subsystem for Linux (Beta)
- Open Command Prompt and type bash
You’re almost there, just one small step to go. It will then ask you to install the Ubuntu Image onto Windows and once that’s complete, you can use bash on Windows smoothly.
Microsoft’s quirky personal assistant Cortana has been growing with each update, and has become even more smarter with this one. This build brings cross-device functionalities which will help you sync your device and stay connected, if you’ve Cortana installed on it. If you are an Insider who doesn’t have a Windows phone, these features will also work with Android devices, but you will need Cortana Version 1.5 or higher(If you’re in India, set your region as United States and you’ll be able to access the features of Cortana available in this build).
Cortana will now also help you to find directions and send it directly over to your synced phone, it will also help you find and ring your device if you’ve lost it. You can look at the exact position of the device on the map using GPS and ring it remotely via your PC. Cortana will also deliver battery and other phone notifications to your PC and help you take an action on it.
After listening to the pleas of multitude of Insiders just like you, there’s a small overhaul to the design to the Settings app. Everything is now unclutered and right there in the center.
And if you go to Settings; Personalisation, you now have the option to switch between light and dark themes, just like on Windows Mobile.When you switch to dark mode, apps such as Settings, Store, Alarms & Clock, Calculator and other UWP apps will change to the dark theme.
Other improvements that have been made to the Settings include Notification and Actions, Battery, changing the font and color of Closed Captions on the Lock Screen.
Edge Browser Extensions
We got a taste of how extensions will look like and work on Microsoft Edge in the Build 14295, and now two more extensions, namely the “Pin It Button” and OneNote Clipper have also been added to amount to a meager 5. Reddit Enhancement Suite, Mouse Gestures, and the Microsoft Translator extension received small updates. To install these new extensions, just click on “More” (…) at the top right in Microsoft Edge and click “Extensions” to open the Extensions pane and click “Get extensions”.
New and Updated Apps
There a couple of new apps that have been added to Windows 10 in Build 14316, while some others have been upgraded to provide you with the latest features.
- Skype UWP App
Microsoft recently released the Skype UWP Preview app for you to test and give them feedback through the Windows Feedback app. The Skype UWP Preview app has replaced the integration of Skype features into Skype video and Messaging apps on Windows PCs and tablets. They would combine and streamline features from the new and old app to offer a new Official Skype Windows 10 App.
- Connect App
This is a new application released in this build, which helps you connect your Windows phone and project your Windows 10 Mobile Continuum experience to your PC.
- Test Taker
This is a new application added in this build, but it crashes every time you try to open it.
- Feedback Hub
You can now directly comment on a Feedback or Suggestion posted by another Insider, this will help you engage and share problem with not only the Microsoft Team, but also with other preview users. This is an over-the-top addition to the Upvote svstem that’s already implemented in the Feedback Hub
Let’s weigh out the PROS and CONS of the build 14316 and try to reach a final conclusion.
- New and updated Settings that help you customize the Windows 10 experience according to your needs, making it better and more fluent.
- For developers, Bash on Ubuntu on Windows is now supported.
- Improved Cortana, with regional language support, and cross-device functionality
- New Continuum Application
- If you do a lot of video calls, then a new improved Skype app.
- Extensions on Microsoft Edge.
- The Windows 10 ecosystem is still a little unstable and applications crash from time to time.
- The Native Bash is slow & sluggish, it gets stuck sometimes while installing packages and also there is an issue where no Log is saved, on completion/error reporting.
- This update has some kind of bug that doesn’t display the official pre-loaded apps on the taskbar. This issue varies from one Microsoft account to another(you can try restarting your PC, but there is no guarantee if it will work or not).
- If you’re a Surface Pro 4 user and wanted to use the new Ink Ecosystem features, then I’m sorry to say that you shouldn’t spend that data my friend, it’s not available in this update.
- Ease of Access application issues still persist
- The UI is still the same, and no big changes have been introduced.
Even though Microsoft has pushed the first build, 14316, leading to the release of the Anniversary Update, but the build is far from complete to be launched as the final one. This is a preliminary update that will help Microsoft discover if the changes they have made are being accepted or not, and whether the Bash system will work seamlessly on Windows.
This might be one of the finest builds that the Fast Ring users have received till date, but a lot of work still needs to be put in to make it work and release by the end of the summer. We’ll also be seeing new UI changes to the Start Menu, Action Center and the release of the most talked ‘Windows Ink’ feature.