New Windows 10 build: New Start menu, notifications, and pen features

New build is out for both desktop and mobile

The new Pen Workspace.

At its Build developer conference a few weeks ago, Microsoft announced the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, a major update for Windows 10 due this summer. One of its biggest aspects was substantially reworked and improved pen support (“Ink” in Microsoft terminology) intended to make pen applications easier to find and use and to make stylus use more powerful. A new Windows build that provides the first access to these new features, version 14328, has just been promoted to the fast ring.

The core of this new support is the Windows Ink Workspace, a panel that provides instant access to pen-powered apps. Pressing the eraser button on a Surface Pen will show the panel instead of its current action (which opens OneNote). The Anniversary Update also comes with a trio of new pen apps: Sketchpad, a sketching app; Screen sketch, a screenshot annotation app; and a new Sticky Note app.

Enlarge / New Sticky Notes.

The new build contains a lot more than just Ink improvements. The Start menu has been revised to make All Apps permanently visible, and in tablet mode, All Apps is now full-screen. Also in tablet mode, the taskbar can autohide without being autohide in desktop mode. The taskbar clock now shows on all monitors on multihead systems, and the calendar now shows your appointments. The Action Center notification system has had its layout refined to show more notifications and now includes rich Cortana notifications.

Start Menu with inline All Apps.

Cortana is picking up a range of new features. She’s now accessible from the lock screen (optionally), she can create reminders from photos (for example, snap a new beer you enjoyed to be reminded to buy it when you’re at the store), and apps via the share feature. Cortana also has better integration with devices. She can tell you about a wide range of phone events—such as warning you that your phone battery is low—and you can ask her to ring your lost phone. Her search powers are also more extensive, as OneDrive can also now be searched.

Appointments showing in the calendar.

There are a number of other small changes, such as updated UAC dialogs, a four-finger swipe gesture for Precision Touchpads that will switch virtual desktops, a way of resetting application settings, and a better input system for Japanese text. Battery life on systems supporting Connected Standby—the low-power mode that still enables certain background activity such as checking for e-mail to work—should also be improved.

New Action Center layout.

The new build is available both for desktop users and mobile users. A new build bringing similar Action Center changes was published for mobile users a couple of days ago, so there’s less new for phone users.

Source: Ars Technica

Comments are closed.