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Latest Windows 10 Build brings Bash, dark theme, Cortana upgrade to Insiders

Microsoft has unleashed a new build of Windows 10 to Insider Preview participants in the Fast ring, Build 14316. This release allows the running of native Linux-based Bash within Windows, and has new cross-device features for Cortana, additional and updated extensions for Microsoft Edge, improvements to the Action Center, and more. Fast ring members can also now check out the new Skype Preview app that’s based on Microsoft’s UWP platform.

Microsoft revealed its intent to add Bash to Windows 10 during Build 2016 last week, and it will officially launch in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update slated for this summer. To access Bash, Insiders must first activate Developer Mode within the Settings app. The “Windows Subsystem for Linux (Beta) option” can be found within the “Turn Windows features on or off” portion of “Windows Features.” Once activated, users then open Command Prompt and type “bash.”

Related: BUILD 2016: Microsoft talks Cortana, Skype, bots, and intelligence APIs

On the Cortana front, the digital assistant will now notify users on a Windows 10 PC if their phone or tablet’s battery is getting low, meaning you’ll need to install Cortana on an Apple iOS, Android, or Windows 10 Phone device to benefit from this feature. Cortana now also includes a “Find My Phone” service that supports all platforms, allowing users to geo-locate their device and have Cortana give it a ring. Map directions can also be shared across devices thanks to the updated Cortana assistant.

As for Microsoft Edge, the company has introduced new extensions for the Windows 10 browser: Pin It Button and OneNote Clipper. To install these extensions, Insiders merely click on the “…” (More) button in the top-right corner, select “Extensions,” and then “Get extensions.” The company has also updated three existing extensions including Microsoft Translator, Mouse Gestures, and Reddit Enhancement Suite. Extensions are expected to be officially available sometime this summer.

The Action Center has also seen a change in this new build. Now users can decide what app notifications are the most important by placing them into three categories: Normal, High, or Priority. The update also allows the user to adjust the number of visual notifications provided by an app. Currently, Build 14316 sets the default at three visible notifications, and provides means for the user to expand and view additional notifications if they are available. Notifications can be altered by going into the Settings app and choosing “System” and then “Notifications & Actions.”

Along with those changes, Microsoft has updated Windows 10’s font-based emoji and added the ability to universally switch between dark and light modes. For the latter, Microsoft points out that there are some UWP apps that control their own theme settings, so if you switch to the dark mode, those apps will likely still be rather bright. There’s also now a setting to only show color on the app’s title bar.

Other changes brought by the new Windows 10 build include improvements to the virtual desktop, a new progress experience for installing the update, revised battery settings, updated Windows Update settings, and a new Connect app that enables the user to stream the Continuum experience from a compatible Windows 10 phone to the PC without the need for a Miracast adapter or docking.

Finally, Microsoft revealed in a blog post its plans for Messaging Anywhere, which will allow customers to send and receive text messages on Windows 10 that arrive on the user’s phone. This option is currently visible in the Messaging PC-based app in Build 14316, but the mobile version still needs to be updated. The company plans to talk more about this messaging service at a later date.

To see the full details of what this new build offers, check out Microsoft’s blog here. The post also provides a list of what’s fixed for the PC along with a list of known issues.