Microsoft just made it easier for Windows 10 tablet owners to type on glass by delivering a more intelligent software keyboard. The SwiftKey integration is one of the bigger improvements on Windows Insider Preview build 17692, which not only brings swiping gestures to the software keyboard on Windows 10, but it also adds autocorrection and word prediction support. This should make the on-screen software keyboard on Windows tablets, convertibles, and detachables more competitive against Apple’s iPad and tablets running Google’s Android operating system.
“SwiftKey gives you more accurate autocorrections and predictions by learning your writing style — including the words, phrases and emoji that matter to you,” Microsoft said. The company noted that English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian are supported on Windows 10’s SwiftKey integration. SwiftKey support may help improve the usability of rumored dual-screen Windows devices, including Microsoft’s Andromeda project.
After initially launching its keyboard for Android in 2010 and later for iOS, SwiftKey was eventually acquired by Microsoft in 2016. With SwiftKey making its way to Windows 10, Microsoft’s vision for a Cloud Clipboard to easily share data copied between different devices is one step closer to reality. During its 2017 Build keynote, Microsoft announced that users logged in through their SwiftKey keyboard will be able to copy content — including text, images, and media — from one device and paste it on another device, including iOS and Android. The Cloud Clipboard feature appears to be an extension of Microsoft’s earlier OneClip experiment.
If you’re an Insider ready to upgrade to this build, Microsoft cautions that the screen will crash in a loop if you use a Picture Password to sign in. “We recommend removing your Picture Password before upgrading to this build,” Windows Insider Program head Dona Sarkar said. This latest build is available for Insiders in the Fast and Skip Ahead rings.
In addition to a swipeable keyboard, Microsoft is also bringing improvements to entertainment and gaming on build 17692. A new advanced setting in the Microsoft Edge browser will offer users control on which sites can autoplay videos, while gamers will see more features headed to the RS5 Game Bar. You will have more control over audio output, be able to view performance visualizations, and experience improvements to gameplay with a new “Dedicate resources” toggle in Game Mode.
Other notable improvements include the ability to make text bigger across the system, in Win32 apps, and in Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps, narrator improvements, and the ability to stream audio to both the headset and PC speakers when using Windows Mixed Reality. You can read the full changes on Microsoft’s blog. If you’re looking for a new Windows 10 device to use or test any of Microsoft’s new Insider Preview features — like the SwiftKey integration — be sure to check out our laptop guide.
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