Thursday, 27 July 2017 14:43

Windows 10 to get Android and iOS linking – Build 16251 highlights

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Windows will move a step closer to making PCs and smartphones work together in the coming Build 16251.

A new Setting called Phone will appear in the Settings menu. Activate it on the PC and then it sends an SMS to the phone (Android initially) to set up the link.

One of the first uses is called “cross-browsing”. When you are at a website you want to view on your PC, invoke the native share experience on your phone and share the website to the “Continue on PC” option.

You will need both devices signed into your Windows account and you can browse immediately on the PC or select continue later which will show up in the Windows action centre. There are other new features in Build 16251.

Cortana can access many system commands. It can turn off, restart, lock, or sign out of Windows. If enabled Cortana can do this “above” the lock screen.

Input Improvements

  • The size of the one-handed touch keyboard is bigger, as well as added a thicker border as padding around it so you’re less likely to accidentally tap outside the keyboard and dismiss it.
  • A new XAML touch keyboard now supports a full keyboard layout option for English (United States), English (Australia), French (France), Italian (Italy), German (Germany) and Spanish (Spain) languages. 
  • As you launch and dismiss the touch keyboard, you’ll now notice an animation of it sliding in and out.
  • The sound of typing on the touch keyboard has been softened.
  • Two-finger precision touchpad scrolling should feel a bit smoother.
  • In addition to scrolling, the pen can now also select and drag objects when barrel button (a button on the side of the pen) is pressed – expanded expanding to include all UWP apps.

Microsoft Edge Improvements

  • Microsoft Edge will no longer re-scale sites when in Tablet Mode with narrow viewport width (such as in a snapped view or portrait orientation). This provides a more natural experience on modern responsive sites in tablet mode.
  • Numerous reliability issues in Microsoft Edge have been fixed that will improve user experience with crashes and hanging within the app.

PC Gaming Improvements

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

Windows 10 Mobile

  • Portrait mode for Continuum

These are part of the regular Windows as a service updates  – the Creators Fall Update due in September has many extra features.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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