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The Latest Windows 10 Preview Adds Phone Linking, Better Cortana and Performance Improvements

While the last Windows Insider build did not add any new notable feature, it looks like the Redmond Giant was preparing to add changes in a bulk, on 26th July, the company rolled out Windows 10’s insider build 16251 for PC and a built numbered 15235 for Windows Mobiles. The Windows update contains some improvements to Cortana which can now show results without opening Microsoft Edge web browser, another important addition is that now Windows 10 will play better with Android and iOS phones as it will have some linking features built into the OS. For other changes, here is the changelog:


What’s New in Build 16251 For PC

Windows lets you link your phone and PC

You may remember at Build we talked about PCs and phones working better together. With Build 16251, we are introducing the first set of features that enable “linking” your phone to your PC. This build’s scenario is focused on cross-device web-browsing. Today, we’re asking for you Windows Insiders to help us test this experience out using your Android phones.  Support for iPhone is coming very soon, stay tuned.

To get started, after installing today’s new build on your PC, go to Settings > Phone and link your phone. Having you link your phone ensures that your sessions from your phone are continued only on to the PC that you’ve chosen. After adding your phone to be linked, you will receive an SMS from us directing you to install a test application called “Microsoft Apps” for Android that completes the link between your phone and PC and enables one of our first cross device browsing scenarios.

New Phones settings page

After you’ve linked your phone, just go to your phone and start browsing the web. When you are at a website you want to view on your PC, simply invoke the native share experience on your phone and share the website to the “Continue on PC” option. You might need to click the “…” or more to add this test app to your share menu.  Once invoked, it will first ask you to sign in with your Microsoft Account.  It is important you use the same account you are using on your PC.  Next it will ask you if you want to “Continue now” or “Continue later”. If you choose “Continue now”, the website will magically open on the linked PC.  If you choose to “Continue later”, the website will show up under Action Center for you to get to later when you’re ready. Try it out and let us to know of any issues you run into!

Sharing to PC Step 1. Sharing to PC Step 2. Sharing to PC Step 3.

Get web search results in Cortana without opening your browser

Now you can view the results that Cortana has for you without launching the web browser. For some questions, the Cortana pane will expand automatically, quickly showing you exactly what you need to know.  It works with movies, celebrities, stock prices, weather, flight status – you name it! If Cortana doesn’t have a quick answer for your query, the pane won’t automatically expand. No worries! Just click the arrow next to the relevant web suggestion (or press the right arrow key) to see what the web has for you. We look forward to hearing your feedback, which you can file using the in-Cortana feedback button.

Get web search results in Cortana without opening your browser.

 

Use Cortana voice commands to lock, sign-out, shutdown, or turn off your PC

We have now enabled the ability for you to use Cortana to turn off, restart, lock, or sign-out of Windows. While previously announced, we haven’t fully enabled it via the cloud until now. So, in case your hands are busy at the moment, you don’t have to stop what you’re doing to turn off or lock your PC. Instead, you can say “Hey Cortana, turn off my PC” and Cortana will take care of it. In a similar fashion, you can use Cortana to restart your computer, sign-out, or lock your PC. Just use your voice and try out the following commands:

  • “Hey Cortana, restart PC.”
  • “Hey Cortana, turn off PC.”
  • “Hey Cortana, sign out.”
  • “Hey Cortana, lock PC.”

For some of these voice commands, such as the one for turning off your PC, Cortana may ask you for a verbal confirmation. You’ll have to respond to Cortana with a “Yes” for Cortana to complete the voice command.

In addition, you can also ask Cortana to execute the commands above on the Lock screen, but first you should enable Cortana on the Lock screen if you have not done so already.

You can enable Cortana on your Lock screen by opening Cortana’s settings and turning on this option:

If you have any feedback, be sure to send it our way via Feedback Hub!

NOTE: This is available only in English* (EN-US, EN-AU, EN-CA, EN-GB and EN-IN) markets.

Improved Boot Up Experience

Use sign-in info to apply settings after a restart or update: The advanced Windows Update feature to use your sign-in info to automatically finish setting your device after an update has been extended to regular reboots and shutdowns. When you log in and initiate a reboot or a shutdown through power options available on the Start Menu and various other locations, Windows will automatically setup your account after it has booted back up. 

This will help you sign-in faster and will restore your accessibility applications and any other application that has registered for application restart.

Command-line options:

  • shutdown /sg

Shutdown the computer. On the next boot, restart any registered applications.

  • shutdown /g

Full shutdown and restart the computer. After the system is rebooted, restart any registered applications.

Opt-out: Under the Privacy section of the Sign-in options page of your Settings, you can disable and re-enable using the option show below:

Note: The feature is only available on PCs that are not managed by enterprises. This includes home PCs that are sync’d to enterprise (work, school, etc.) email.

PC Gaming Improvements

  • Some users may see Game Mode enabled in the Game Bar by default for some of their games.

What’s New in Build 15235 for Mobile

Switch to portrait mode orientation in Continuum

Are you an Windows Insider who is loving the convenience of Continuum by carrying your PC in your pocket? We have heard your VERY PASSIONATE feedback and just made it better. We’re excited to introduce portrait mode support for Continuum starting with this build of Windows 10 Mobile.

Without portrait mode support, the landscape rendering of Continuum from your phone on a portrait oriented monitor would look like this:

Continuum used to look like this.

Now, it will look like this:

Now Continuum looks like this.

To enable this,  go to Settings > System > Display on your device and change the display orientation to “Portrait” and press apply.

To enable this,  go to Settings > System > Display on your device and change the display orientation to “Portrait” and press apply.

If your phone is connected to a monitor via cable, your phone will ask you to disconnect and reconnect the cable to the external display and press ok to change the orientation to portrait. If your phone is connected to a monitor via Wi-Fi, your phone will ask you to disconnect and reconnect to your wireless display. Once this is done, your phone will remember the orientation and you will not have to repeat the setup process when connecting again to the same monitor.


For more details, you can see Microsoft’s announcement post.

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  • Game mode will be automatically enabled? That doesn’t sound like a good idea. Numerous people have mentioned that game mode actually made their games run at fewer FPS than before. Other than that, everything seems good. I especially like the fact that Cortana will now be able to display results without opening the web browser. I might finally start using her at that point.

  • Philip Dutton

    Game mode. Is this MS acting just like the US government and being the worlds anti-piracy police?
    How many will abandon them and switch to Linux if they go ahead with enforcing that?

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