Above: Windows 10
Image Credit: Microsoft
Timed perfectly with Windows Developer Day, Microsoft today released a new Windows 10 preview for PCs with a Compact Overlay mode, Dynamic Lock, and improved full-screen Game Bar support. This is the latest build of the company’s upcoming Windows 10 Creators Update, which is slated for release in “early 2017.”
Windows 10 is a service, meaning it was built in a very different way than its predecessors so it can be regularly updated with not just fixes but new featurestoo. While Microsoft has released many such updates to date, the Creative Update will be a major one and follows the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, released in August 2016.
First up, Microsoft has added a new Compact Overlay mode, meant for those times when you want to continue watching a video while switching apps. When an app window enters this mode, it will be shown above other windows so it remains permanently visible. Microsoft promises that its Movies & TV and Skype Preview apps will take advantage of Compact Overlay soon.
Next, Dynamic Lock is a new feature that locks your Windows 10 PC when you’re not around (Settings => Accounts => Sign-in options => Dynamic lock). It does this based on the proximity of your Bluetooth-paired phone: If it’s not near your PC for 30 seconds, Windows turns off the screen and locks your computer.
Microsoft has also introduced a new share icon (old one above on the left, new one above on the right). Apps that used the “share” font glyph in Segoe MDL2 assets should get updated automatically. The old icon never really made sense, to be honest, so this is a welcome change.
Lastly, the Windows Game Bar has received improved full-screen support for 52 additional games. Just hit WIN+G to invoke Game Bar and capture a recording or screenshot.
The desktop build includes the following improvements and bug fixes:
- Fixed the issue causing Tencent apps and games to crash or work incorrectly.
- Updated OOBE so that if there’s no detected audio output device, for example with VMs, it now skips Cortana’s introduction.
- [GAMING] Fixed the issue causing popular games may experience crashes or black screens when trying to load due to a platform issue.
- [GAMING] Fixed the issue where Game Mode is enabled system wide by default, however, the ON/OFF toggle in Settings will incorrectly show it as being OFF until the user manually toggles the Setting to ON which will cause it to update and accurately display the status of Game Mode system wide.
- Fixed an issue where the night light quick action was unexpectedly disabled in the last Insider flight.
- Fixed an issue resulting in audio going quiet each time the Start menu is opened after a SpeechRuntime.exe crash.
- Dragging apps from the all apps list to pin on Start’s tile grid will now work. An issue on recent builds where some tiles might unexpectedly appear blank and with a name starting with “P~…” after upgrading has been fixed.
- Fixed an issue where Win + Shift + S wouldn’t work to capture a region of the screen if the Snipping Tool was already running and an issue where taking a snip with the Snipping Tool would fail on 4k monitors when 60-80% was selected.
- Fixed an issue resulting in “Fn”+”Pause/Break” key not working to pause the checking progress when running chkdsk.
- Fixed an issue where resizing windows with a pen would be unexpectedly slow and an issue where resizing a window across monitors with different DPIs could be unpredictable.
- Fixed an issue where the Windows Ink highlight preview wouldn’t be visible in Web Notes when Microsoft Edge was using dark theme.
- Improved gesture recognition for 3 finger swipes on precision touchpads.
- Fixed an issue where a number of files with the name GLOB(0xXXXXXX) could be unexpectedly found in the system root directory after upgrading.
- Fixed an issue where you couldn’t rename disk volumes via File Explorer in recent flights.
- Fixed an issue where rapidly tapping a button to bring up the new Share experience, for example in Microsoft Edge, could result in the Share UI not coming up again until the device had been rebooted.
- Fixed an issue resulting the lists of thumbnails in Photos and Groove Music visibly shifting up when the app resumed.
- Fixed an issue where the Themes Settings page would blink when a theme was deleted.
- Updated the help string on each page of Settings to be a bit more succinct.
- Fixed an issue resulting in not being able to type ę on the Polish keyboard into the Settings search box.
- Fixed an issue where Cortana Background Task Host might have ended up using an unexpectedly large amount of CPU in recent flights. Shortened the two factor authentication notification from Cortana so that it won’t be truncated.
- Fixed an issue where the UI to input credentials wouldn’t have keyboard focus after initiating a remote connection to another PC.
- Improved reliability when handling malformed Gifs in XAML-based apps.
- The icons should now be shown as expected instead of squares under Settings > Gaming.
Today’s update bumps the Windows 10 build number for PCs from 15025 (made available to testers on February 1) to build 15031.
This build has 12 known issues:
- You may see “Initializing…” when attempting to download this build and the download progress indicator shown when downloading this build may seem broken under Settings > Update & security > Windows Update. It may look like you’re getting stuck at 0% or at other percentages. Ignore the indicator and be patient. The build should download fine, and the installation should kick off.
- While we fixed the primary bug causing this issue, some Windows Insiders may still hit nonstop exceptions in the Spectrum.exe service causing their PC to lose audio, disk I/O usage to become very high, and apps like Microsoft Edge to become unresponsive when doing certain actions such as opening Settings. As a workaround to get out of this state, STOP the Spectrum.exe service and delete C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Spectrum\PersistedSpatialAnchors and reboot. For more details, see this forum post.
- Going to Settings > Devices will crash the Settings app. You will be unable to pair a Bluetooth device. Bluetooth quick actions from Action Center also does not work.
- You will not be able to launch the Connect UX via Action Center, Win + K, or Settings (it will crash upon launch). This will impact wireless projection scenarios.
- [GAMING] Some popular games might minimize to the taskbar when launched. You can click on the game on the taskbar to get the game back.
- [GAMING] Certain hardware configurations may cause the broadcast live review window in the Game bar to flash Green while you are Broadcasting. This does not affect the quality of your broadcast and is only visible to the Broadcaster.
- Microsoft Edge F12 tools may intermittently crash, hang, and fail to accept inputs.
- Microsoft Edge’s “Inspect Element” and “View Source” options don’t correctly launch to the DOM Explorer and Debugger, respectively.
- Under Settings > Update & security > Windows Update you might see the text “Some Settings are managed by your organization” even though your PC isn’t being managed by an organization. This is a bug caused by an updated flight configuration setting for Insider Preview builds and does not mean your PC is being managed by anyone.
- On some PCs, audio stops working sporadically with ‘device in use’ error. We are investigating. Restarting the audio service may fix things for a bit.
- The Action Center may sometimes appear blank and transparent without color. If you encounter this, try moving the taskbar to a different location on screen.
- The icon for Windows Insider Program under Settings > Update & security is shown as a square.
If you’re OK with the above and want to get build 15031 now, head to PC Settings, select “Update and recovery,” then “Preview builds,” and then click the “Check Now” button.