After the last build update a couple weeks ago, Microsoft announced the rollout of a new build of Windows for its insider program. The build number 16215 is currently released to Insiders in the fast ring and older builds, this one is more focused on adding Microsoft’s new Fluent Design and Microsoft Edge improvements.
Aside from that Microsoft has made some improvements to Cortana, PDF reader and Handwriting experience too. The company posted a detailed Changelog on its blog, following are some of the most notable new features:
Start & Action Center bring elements of Fluent Design
This build introduces new UI for Start and Action Center that includes elements of our new Fluent Design System which was announced at Build 2017.
Start improvements include:
- Acrylic: If you have transparency enabled for Start, you’ll notice it’s now been updated to use the new acrylic design.
- Vertical resize: No more glitches at the bottom of the frame.
- Horizontal resize: The frame now starts resizing horizontally immediately (like vertical resize), as opposed to only “snapping” to certain widths.
- Diagonal resize: The frame can be resized diagonally!
- Resize grips: It’s now easier to “grip” the edge of the frame to start resizing.
- Tablet mode transition: Smoother transition into tablet mode.
A new look for Action Center: Action Center has been redesigned based on your feedback to provide much clearer information separation and hierarchy. And the new design for Action Center also includes elements of our Fluent Design System such as acrylic! (and in case you were wondering, we’ve also added acrylic to our notification toasts!). As a reminder, you can customize the visible quick actions by going to Settings > System > Notifications & actions.
Microsoft Edge Improvements
Pin your favorite websites to your taskbar: Pinned sites are back! We heard your feedback, and are in this build you can now pin a website to the taskbar from Microsoft Edge! We’ll use the site’s icon to give you quick access to your favorite sites right from the taskbar. Simply select “Pin this page to the taskbar” from the settings menu in Microsoft Edge.
Full screen mode (F11) in Microsoft Edge: This build introduces a new Full Screen experience in Microsoft Edge. Simply press F11 or choose the new Full Screen icon in the Settings menu to take your websites full-screen. You can exit Full-Screen view by pressing F11 again, or by clicking the Restore icon in the top-right corner.
Taking Cortana reminders to the next level through vision intelligence: Most of us have experienced taking a picture of upcoming event poster or bookmarking an event site for future reference, only to forget about it later. With this build, we’re rolling out two new features starting with the en-us market to help you never again miss an event you’re interested in!
Cortana camera roll insights: With your permission, Cortana will now prompt you to create a reminder when she notices event posters in your camera roll! To try it out, make sure you’re signed into Cortana with your MSA or work account, and then give Cortana permission to access your camera roll via Settings > Cortana > Permissions & history > “Manage the information Cortana can access from this device”. The next time you take a picture of a flier for an upcoming event, Cortana will reach out asking if you want to create a reminder for that time.
Cortana Lasso: Are you a pen user? If so, Cortana can now help keep track of future events on your screen! Use the new lasso tool to circle the relevant information and Cortana will recognize the time, and offer suggested follow-ups through a context menu. Keeping track of upcoming events has never been easier! To try it out, go to Settings > Device > Pen & Windows Ink > Press and hold, and select Cortana Lasso in the dropdown picker. Find a website with upcoming event info, or an event poster someone shared in social media – once you have the event on your screen, just press and hold the pen back button, circle the time information, and watch Cortana do her magic. That easy!
Hardware keyboard Improvements
Entering emoji on your hardware keyboard just got easier: We’ve heard your feedback, and today we’re happy to announce the new Emoji Panel! Press Win + period (.) or Win + semicolon (;) while focus is in a text box and the Emoji Panel will pop up for you to quickly scroll through and pick the emoji you want.
In the “People” emoji category, you can change the skin tone of the emoji by clicking the button on the top-right:
To get the update, you need to opt-in to Microsoft’s Windows Insider Program, because Insider builds (especially the Fast Ring ones) can be buggy, I wouldn’t recommend you to run in on a PC that you use for work.