On Thursday, Microsoft released Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14352 to participants in the Fast Ring, providing improvements to Cortana, Windows Ink, and a few other miscellaneous items like an updated File Explorer icon and an easier way to deploy the Enterprise edition of Windows 10. The new build arrives with a number of fixes and a list of known issues for the PC desktop as well.
On the Cortana front, the virtual assistant is now your personal DJ. Available on the desktop as well as the lock screen, Cortana can access Microsoft’s Groove Music catalog so that users located in the United States (more regions coming soon) can request their favorite song, playlist, or music via a specific genre or artist. This is especially cool when Groove Music users are subscribers to the Music Pass monthly plan. Previously, Cortana only accessed music stored locally or on OneDrive.
Cortana also now has the ability to set a timer. For example, users can say “Hey Cortana, set a timer for 20 minutes” and “Hey Cortana, how much time is left?” Users can also tell Cortana to turn off the timer, saying something like “Hey Cortana, cancel my timer.” This feature works on the desktop and Lock Screen, and is even made available on the Cortana app for phones. Microsoft is currently working to include a conversation mode so that users can provide multiple timer commands.
As for Windows Ink, Microsoft updated the Sticky Notes app with the ability to create Cortana reminders based on the user’s notes. The app also enables users to ink or type a phone number that can become active, allowing users to place a call with a simple touch. The same holds true for email addresses and website addresses, both of which will open up an email app or browser, respectively.
In addition to the Sticky Notes update, Microsoft added a compass to the Windows Ink ruler. According to Microsoft’s Gabe Aul of the Engineering Systems Team, the compass indicator will become bold when the ruler is oriented in the direction of any of the cardinal points or midpoints. Other changes and improvements to Windows Ink include an updated export icon (it’s a floppy disk), a “polished” experience when opening Sketchpad, a preserved Windows Ink Workspace icon state on the taskbar, and more.
Moving on to the miscellaneous changes, the new build provides an improved Windows Game Bar that adds six games to its roster of supported titles running in full-screen mode: League of Legends, World of Warcraft, DOTA 2, Battlefield 4, Counterstrike: Global Offensive, and Diablo III. Game Bar can be activated in these full-screen games by hitting the Windows key and “G” simultaneously. Besides that, the only other big update that Microsoft made in this new build was showing its own responses in the Feedback Hub app, and fixing this app so that it’s properly localized.
Finally, Microsoft provided a long list of fixes it made with Build 14352, including an instability and rendering problem with Microsoft Edge caused by Intel HD Graphics 3000 and Intel HD Graphics 2000 graphics processors. Pinned tabs in Microsoft Edge should also find themselves no longer lost with this build as well. Additional fixes in Build 14352 were provided to the Action Center, the Movies & TV app, Windows Hello, the Command Prompt, and loads more.
To read the entire list of fixes and known problems, check out Gabe Aul’s blog here.
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