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Windows 10 Insider build offers core Fall Creators Update feature improvements

Windows Insider
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Microsoft’s Build 2017 developers conference was last week, and one of its stars was Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. The next major Windows 10 revision will feature more functionality aimed at helping creative professionals get their work done along with ways to make Windows 10 a user’s technological hub.

One of the most visible features coming with Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is the Story Remix app, which has already arrived on the desktops of Windows Insiders in the first post-Build 2017 preview build. Microsoft has released the next preview build, 16199, and it offers quite a few updates of a few features that weren’t heavily covered at Microsoft’s event.

Before getting into what’s new in build 16199, Microsoft took a moment to explain why some Windows Insiders have received Story Remix and others have not. The answer is simple: Microsoft is testing the experience and needs a control group to be able to determine how Story Remix is affecting systems.

If you don’t have Story Remix on your system — and the easiest way to tell is to check for the Create pivot option in the Windows 10 Photos app — then you’re in that control group. If you want to get into the experimental group and get Story Remix installed, then send the app team an email for instructions on how to sign up.

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In terms of build 16911, Microsoft’s emphasis seems to be on improving some of Windows 10’s core functionality along with improving the My People feature. Some of the changes in the latter include:

    • See emoji from pinned contacts: The My People feature lets you pin contact icons to the taskbar, and now Windows 10 will play emoji animations in pinned icons. You can turn the feature off in taskbar settings by right-clicking on the taskbar.
    • Notification Badging: The contact icons will now show a counter of the number of notifications you’ve received. This feature requires Skype version 11.16.556.0 to work.
    • People-first Sharing: There are now two ways to kick off a conversation with a contact. You can drag a file onto a contact icon to create an email and you can share directly to a contact by choosing from a list of recommended people in the share picker.

Next up are some improvements to the Windows 10 gaming options in Settings > Gaming and the Windows Game Bar:

        • Broadcast using game-only audio: You can now go to Settings > Gaming > Broadcasting and set your audio to “Per-app” rather than sending the entire PC’s audio through Beam.
        • Audio settings is now Game DVR in Game bar: Audio settings have been renamed to Game DVR, and all settings are now in that section in settings.
        • If you notice a “Game Monitor” page in Settings > Gaming, ignore it for now. It is a placeholder for future functionality.

Settings has received a few other updates as well. Here are the highlights:

        • Settings > System > About is now integrated with System Health. The About page will now show information from Windows Defender Security Center for a quick glance at your PC’s status.
        • Tips and Videos in Settings: Microsoft is adding tips and videos to help you learn more about the options you can configure in Windows 10. The first examples are in Settings > Ease of Access and Settings > Update & Security.
        • Expanding Storage Sense’s abilities: You can now configure your system to automatically clean up files that haven’t been changed for 30 days. Go to Settings > System > Storage to configure this option.

Microsoft also updated Cortana on Android to support incoming call notifications. On your Android smartphone, go to the Cortana app then Settings > Sync Notifications and turn on the complete list of Cortana cross-device features. Then, whenever you receive a call on your Android device you will get immediate notification on your Windows 10 PC with options to decline the call or send a text response.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Build 16199 also includes the usual list of fixes, changes, and improvements. Highlights include:

        • Windows Defender Application Guard now works on touch-enabled PCs.
        • An issue with third-party antivirus programs that causes Windows desktop apps to fail when launching has been fixed.
        • Disable drivers will no longer show up as an issue in Windows Defender Security Center.
        • The Note quick action has been removed due to low usage.

Of course, no Windows 10 preview build would be complete without some known issues to keep in mind. Here are a few in build 16199 in addition to a few that have been around in the past couple of builds:

        • Outlook 2016 may hang on launch due to a spam filter issue.
        • Microsoft is investigating issues with opening PDFs in Edge.
        • Some games, including Civilization VI, may not launch in this build.
        • Windows Mixed Reality doesn’t work in this build, and developers should hold off on updating if they’re actively working on a Windows Mixed Reality project.

As always, you will need to be a Windows Insider in the Fast Ring to receive this build. And be sure to keep those known issues in mind before hitting the update button. If you want to get even more involved with the development of Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, then you can check out the ongoing Bug Bash.

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