Microsoft uses the Windows Insider Fast Ring as a testing ground for new features that could improve your Windows 10 experience.
Microsoft rolled out a new Windows Insider build to users on the Slow Ring on Wednesday — the first of 2017. This is a huge update for Slow Ring users, bringing them all the way from last year’s Build 14986 to the latest Fast Ring update, Build 15048.
To be clear, the latest Slow Ring build is really just a compilation of every Fast Ring build since late 2016. As such, each Fast Ring build brings to the table its own new features. So we’ve broken them down for you, on a build-by-build basis.
From Build 15048 you can expect a world of excitement, with thrills around every corner! Assuming, of course, that bug fixes are really exciting for you, in which case you’re in for a real treat. If not, well, you should get this update anyway because it fixes a ton of bugs — and that is about all it does.
More specifically, Build 15048 tackles dozens of specific bugs reported through the Feedback Hub. For instance, the LastPass extension for Microsoft Edge should now work properly, and URLs pasted to and from the address bar will now correctly convert and handle spaces. Further, Cortana search results will now correctly open when using the Microsoft Pinyin IME.
There are dozens more where those came from, so to see if a particular bug you experienced has been addressed, you can check out the full list on the Windows blog here.
Build 15046 introduces a few new features, but as Microsoft prepares for the launch of the Creators Update later this year, what we’re seeing is a lot of house cleaning. According to Microsoft, this build attempts to refine the look and feel of the upcoming Creators Update based on user feedback.
Perhaps the biggest change in this build is a feature you Mac users will be familiar with — application installation control. In the settings menu under Apps & features, you will now be able to limit your PC to apps from the Windows Store or make sure your PC warns you when you’re installing an app from an outside publisher.
It’s minor, but it’s a good security measure for shared computers and reminds you when you’re about to install an app from an unverified source.
Speaking of security, Windows Defender also received a small update. Now the Windows Defender icon in your taskbar will let you know if you’re protected, unprotected, or have any security issues with the addition of a little badge on top of the white shield icon.
Like most updates, Build 15046 includes a number of bug fixes. You can check out the full list of bug fixes and new features here.