Continuing with its weekly update cycle, Microsoft has today released another new Windows 10 preview build for users participating in the Fast Ring of the Windows Insider Program. After making some major changes to the core in initial preview builds, Redmond is now introducing some useful changes to the software on the PC.
With this latest build, the Insider team is introducing improvements to Windows Ink, refining the customization experience for precision touchpad, a completely revamped camera interface, alongwith major updates to Windows Subsystem for Linux. It also brings minor updates to developer experience, narrator, inking in photos and others. So, let’s dive in and take a look at improvements introduced in build 14951.
Starting off with improvements to Windows Ink, Microsoft is adding support for something they call ‘Stencils’. The team descibes the same using the example of a protactor tool which combines functions of both a protactor and a compass into one. This will help you easily draw an arc or a complete circle of any arbitrary size with little effort. It has also intorduced minor updates to the ruler as well.
In this build, Microsoft has gone ahead and completely skinned the standard camera app. It has given the same a more simplified, and familiar interface — as seen on the mobile. Opening the camera app will no longer need an extensive waiting period as the update makes it breezy and light-weight; and reduces shot-to-shot shutter lag to move onto the next shot. You can now quickly jump into settings from the camera screen, hit spacebar to take a picture, quickly toggle photo timer and adjust zoom level using a slider.
But this update also brings alongwith an interesting new feature called ‘Living Images’ to a handful of Surface devices including the Surface Book, Surface Pro 4, Surface Pro 3, and Surface 3. This feature sounds somewhat similar to the ‘Live Photos’ feature that already exists in Apple devices. Microsoft software engineer Dona Sarkar, who also heads the Insider team, describes this feature as,
With living images, extend your still captures with a snippet of video. These are created automatically whenever your shots feature motion—just navigate to Settings and turn on Capture living images.
From talking about the camera, lets steer into what comes next — Photos. The Insider team(as everyone else) believes that you definitely need to jazz up your photos before sharing them to your network of friends. Thus, this build brings support for Windows Ink within the Photos app, which will allow you to draw – using the multitude of tools – over any image. Just pick your favorite photo, and tap the draw option and let your creativity flow.
The add-on feature that makes inking even more interesting is the fact that the photos app not only saves the edited photo but also the process of inking. It can then replay the inking you drew, so it can be shared as a still image or a video.
In addition, Microsoft also introduces two major updates to the Windows Subsytem for Linux(WSL). Redmond, in the previous builds, said that Insiders will now run Bash on Canonical’s Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial) instead of Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty). But, the users who’ve already setup WSL will not be upgraded to the latest version automatically. They’ll need to manually upgrade from 14.04 to 16.04 using the do-release-upgrade command. Also, you can now launch Windows(Win32) binaries directly from inside Bash — the command prompt on Linux.
This build, like none other, also brings about smaller improvements and fixes previously known issues. It simplies the developer mode to not require rebooting, improves reading experience via narrator, fixes issues with launch of large Store games, the Registry editor will keep your custom scan code mappings, even when you change builds. This build also fixes issues with Groove crashing, PIN reset, console windows not snapping in correct places, plus the one resulting in .csv or .xlsx files downloaded from Microsoft Edge sometimes unexpectedly appearing to be locked for editing, if SmartScreen is turned on.
Since this is a preview build released for testing and bug reporting, it is sure to carry along a bulk of bugs alongwith it. This build also has a set of known issues that might adversely affect your Windows experience. Here’s a list of issue with build 14951:
- Signing into apps such as Feedback Hub, Groove, MSN News, etc. with your Microsoft Account if you sign out or get signed out will not work.
- You may experience a crash while using the protractor in Sketchpad. The Insider team is working on a fix.
- If you have a third-party antivirus installed on your PC, then it might not be able to complete the latest preview update to this build or roll-back to the previous build.