Microsoft has announced the latest Windows 10 Redstone preview to Insiders. This is Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 17692 on the Redstone 5 (RS5) branch. Indeed, this release comes with some of the features we discussed in our recent Redstone 5 guide. This is Microsoft's most comprehensive RS5 release so far, so strap in.
The company expanded its plans for Game Bar improvements in Windows 10. With build 17692, Insiders now have new audio controls and performance visualizations. The latter is important because it allows users to monitor game performance without needing a third-party service:
“We're now rolling out more functionality to the RS5 Game bar. In this flight are the following new features:
- Audio controls. Change your default audio output device and mute or adjust the volume of games and apps running.
- Performance visualizations. See your game's framerate (FPS), CPU usage, GPU VRAM usage, and system RAM usage.”
Also noteworthy in this Windows 10 preview is the fact Microsoft accidentally revealed Edge improvements. The company said this build would allow users to control if media can play automatically in the browser. However, an edit to the Build 17692 revealed this feature was prematurely announced and will instead arrive next week.
Microsoft also announced SwiftKey integration into the touch keyboard on Windows 10. Thanks to this support, the keyboard gets improved autocorrections and text prediction. At the moment, SwiftKey is available for Windows in English (United States), English (United Kingdom), French (France), German (Germany), Italian (Italy), Spanish (Spain), Portuguese (Brazil), or Russian.
Microsoft also announced several other new additions to the Redstone 5 branch:
“WebDriver improvements: Beginning with this build, we're making it easier than ever to automate testing in Microsoft Edge using WebDriver. First, we've made WebDriver a Windows Feature on Demand, so you no longer need to match the build/branch/flavor manually when installing WebDriver. When you take new Windows 10 updates, your WebDriver binary will be automatically updated to match.
To install WebDriver, just turn on Developer Mode in Windows 10 Settings, or install the standalone feature under the “optional features” Settings page.
Ease of Access Improvements
Make Text Bigger: We've heard your feedback and are excited to announce that the ability to increase text size across the system is back and better than ever! When you go to Settings > Ease of Access > Display in today's build, you'll find a new setting called “Make everything bigger” – this slider will adjust text across the system, win32 apps, and UWP apps.
That means you can now make text bigger in Start menu, File Explorer, Settings, etc., without having to change the overall scaling of your system. Please try it out and share feedback!
Note: We're investigating some issues with text clipping, not increasing in size everywhere, and problems when changing DPI settings.
Based on your feedback you'll find we've made a bunch of updates to Narrator with today's build:
- Narrator Standard Keyboard Layout: Narrator now ships with a new keyboard layout that is designed to be more familiar to screen reader users. Please refer to the accompanying documentation for details on these changes (Intro to New Narrator Keyboard Layout doc).
- Automatic Dialog Reading: Narrator will now automatically read the contents of a dialog box when brought to the foreground. The experience is for Narrator to speak the title of the dialog, the focused element within the dialog and the static text, if any, at the top of the dialog. For example, if you try to close a document in Word with unsaved changes, Narrator will speak the title “Microsoft Word,” the focus “Save button” and the static text within the dialog.
- Narrator Find: You now have the ability to search for text using Narrator's new Find feature. If the text is found Narrator will move to the found item. Please refer to the accompanying keyboard layout documentation for command mapping.
- List of Objects: Narrator now has the ability to present a list of links, headings or landmarks present in the application or content. You are also able to filter the results by typing in the list or the text field of the window. Please refer to the accompanying keyboard layout documentation for command mapping.
- Selection in Scan Mode: Along with being able to select content in Narrator's scan mode using Shift-selection commands, you can now also select a block of data by first moving to one end of the block and pressing F9, moving to the other end of the block and pressing F10. Once F10 is pressed the entire contents between the two points will be selected.
- Stop on Controls in Scan Mode: Scan mode is a feature of Narrator that lets you use just a few keys to move around your screen. Scan mode is already on by default in Edge and you can toggle it on and off by pressing Caps lock + Spacebar. While you're in scan mode, you can press the Up and Down arrow keys to read different parts of the page. With this update, the press of a Down arrow in Scan Mode will stop on interactive elements, so that they are easier to use. An example of this new behavior is that if you are reading a paragraph with multiple links, Narrator will stop on these links when you press the Down arrow.
We would love to hear what you think as you try out these improvements. This link will take you to the Narrator section of the Feedback Hub, or you can press Caps + E while Narrator is running.”
Windows Mixed Reality Improvements
In our recent Windows 10 Redstone 5 guide, we discussed the possibility of further Windows Mixed Reality features. Today Microsoft has confirmed changes to its MR platform. Specifically, users can now stream audio directly to a mixed reality headset and PC speakers at the same time.
Fluent Design for Windows 10 will take more shape through Redstone 5. Microsoft says build 17692 brings the Acrylic material for surfaces like flyouts. At the moment, the following controls are getting support:
- AutoSuggestBox dropdowns
- ComboBox dropdowns
- Date and TimePicker flyouts
- MediaTransportControl flyouts/overflows
You can read about all the changes coming to Windows 10 with the Redstone 5 update at the official Windows Blog. Whilst there, it is also worth checking out which bug fixes Microsoft has made this preview and what known issues are occurring.