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WM Join Date

Found 55 results

  1. To be completely honest about it, there's not much difference between this build and the previous one, so I'll just let MS do the talking for 16275: As ever, the full release note (there's nothing more for PC in there, trust me) are here.
  2. Quite a lot actually; the big news is eye control, as announced by Microsoft yesterday. This technology essentially lets you control Windows just by looking at it (it needs a third party piece of hardware, which then tracks your eyes and essentially turns them into the mouse). It's all very clever and very new, and at the moment quite restricted, but there's a lot of potential in this technology. Here's a quick video of gesture typing using eye movement. The rest of this week's build is the usual collection of changes and enhancements to Edge (this week it gets a bit of a design make-over to make it more "modern" in appearance); plus some Windows Defender changes and updates, continuing it's rise to being 'actually useful'; oh, and full 24 bit colour support for the good old Windows console (otherwise known as Command Prompt / Powershell window (terminal to those Unix-y people here))
  3. This is the second release to be officially labelled rs3_release, meaning it has come from the Creators Fall Update release branch of the Windows development tree. As such, there are no major new features as Microsoft start focussing on polishing the build for public release (due in about October). Having said that, Microsoft has introduced a new font in this build called Bahnschrift. Here's what they have to say about it: There's the usual skew of Edge updates, plus some new emoticons in this build. As usual, Microsoft's full release announcement is here.
  4. The first thing to notice, and Microsoft have sort of touched on it, but in a very round-about way, is that this build is a forked rs3_prerelease build. What this means and why it is significant is because this indicates that Microsoft are now in the polishing and fixing stage of the Creators Fall Update cycle - they're not concentrating on major code changes now (as is evidenced by the "forking" of this build), and are instead concentrating on fixing the myriad bugs they've introduced (or not fixed) since the original Creators Update. On the new features front, Microsoft have added a new "Linked Phone" feature, which allows you to link your Android (iOS coming soon) phone to your PC and then "transfer" tasks from your phone to PC. At the moment all you can do is open a web page from your phone on your PC, but it works quite well and quite nicely (even if it does ignore your browser preferences and dump you into Edge). There's a bunch of Cortana updates, including getting web results without having to open a web browser, and new commands to turn your PC off, restart it etc. all from the delights of your voice. (rumours that this feature was tested by telling the computer to f*** off are completely made up) As far as fixes go, the biggest, most important one for anyone using a Surface-type device is that, after 3 builds of flakiness, Windows Hello finally appears to be working again! Surface (and other tablet users) were getting rightly pissed off at being told their expensive devices couldn't support Hello, when they perfectly well could! I've tested this and so far* it is working Microsoft reckon they've fixed the ability for Windows to auto-log in to finish an update in this build - this "feature" was initially part of the Anniversary Update, but it never worked properly - well now it's back again and apparently sorted. (the jury is out until the next build update to test it though) Lastly, there's the usual skew of Edge updates; some more work on touch keyboards (useful for mobile and smaller tablets, but an utter waste on anything with a screen 10" or larger), plus a bunch of random bug fixes. Here's Microsoft's full release notes:
  5. The short answer is... not a lot of note. There are improvements to "Acrylic Material" (Micorosoft's new name for semi-transparency in the Windows UI), which make things slightly easier to live with, plus updates for Task Manager and Mixed Reality. However, the biggest changes this week relate to Delivery Optimisation. Microsoft are really going to town on this feature (to recap, this is where your PC can download updates from other Windows PCs on your LAN, or on the 'net if you allow, and equally act as a streaming host to other PCs, a-la P2P networks) and in this build have added a whole skew of controlls allowing you to choose how much bandwith should be available to Delivery Optimisation; to view your download and upload statistics, plus many other tweaks and settings for these features. There's also now a Windows Store item for installing Ubuntu on your Windows PC. I shit you not; MS are really into this Linux on Windows thing now, and reckon you should use their store *nix builds (other distributions are coming soon apparently) rather than trying to do the install yourself. It's actually quite a clever idea, as it keeps the uber-geeks happy that they can stare at a badly scaled text interface, while keeping the sysadmins happy that they're still supporting Windows as the underlying OS. Full release notes are avaialable here:
  6. Amongst the usual skew of Edge updates (MS really do seem to be trying to teach Edge everything, including how to hold the pre-used utensils in the food preperation room (i.e how to be the kitchen sink)), there's one, very notable, very oft asked for, actually incredibly worth mentioning update in this build - No more logging out to change screen resolution!!!! Here's what MS says about it: "No more logging out to fix blurry desktop apps: Hey, do you hate having to log out and back in to Windows to fix blurry desktop apps after docking, undocking, or remoting? We do too! In this flight, you only have to relaunch these apps in order to have them render crisply. If you have a high DPI display (a 4K display or other high dots-per-inch (DPI) display, such as Surface displays) and change the display scaling value in any way (this can happen when you dock/undock, remote from a device with a high DPI display, or otherwise change the display scaling setting) most desktop apps become blurry. This is due to 1) the apps don’t respond to a DPI change notification, because they haven’t been updated and 2) Windows keeps the display scaling/DPI data that it reports to apps constant until you log out and back in. In this flight we’ve changed the way that Windows provides DPI-related information to these applications such that each time one of these applications starts, they’ll get updated data from Windows. This means that for these applications, you simply re-launch them in order for them to render correctly if they’re blurry. While this isn’t what we all want: having these applications render crisply all the time, we feel that it’s a lot less painful to relaunch apps instead of having to close out of all apps and going through a log-out/log-in cycles." They've also buggered about with the notification and action bar some more; recently email notifications (for example) have gone from small and unobtrusive, to taking up half the bloody screen* . Other changes include more work on the re-introduction of semi-transparency in Windows (um, wasn't this in Win7? - why, yes it was), and a bunch more gaming mode and touch keyboard enhancements. Full release notes are here: *small exageration, maybe
  7. Believe it or not (hey, this is Microsoft), this build is all about security. More accurately it's about improvements and new features in Windows Defender, Windows Defender Application Guard, and probably most importantly, Windows Exploit Protection. To quote Microsoft: "We’ve heard your feedback regarding the upcoming EMET EOL, so we’re excited to announce that starting with this build you can now audit, configure, and manage Windows system and application exploit mitigation settings right from the Windows Defender Security Center! You don’t need to be using Windows Defender Antivirus to take advantage of these settings. After upgrading to this build, you can find these settings by opening the Windows Defender Security Center and going to the App & browser control page: Either right-click the icon in the notification area on the taskbar and click Open, or search via the Start menu for Windows Defender Security Center From Windows Defender Security Center, click on App & browser control and then scroll to the bottom of the resulting screen to find Exploit Protection More detailed documentation will follow on Microsoft Docs, and remember that Exploit Protection is a work-in-progress and might not be fully functional just yet!" Microsoft's full release notes are here:
  8. The biggest notable change in this build is the inclusion (finally) of OneDrive Files-On-Demand. This is essentially a reversion of OneDrive functionality to that which was available in Windows 8 and 8.1 - i.e. a file icon existed within your OneDrive heirachy *even if* you hadn't previously downloaded that file to your PC. Microsoft scrapped the functionality in Windows 10, citiing user confusion about which files / folders were and weren't local to a PC; but equally created a situation where whole folder structures appeared to be "missing" on a PC due to not being previously downloaded. There's also a new GPU tab in Task Manager, allowing you to check what your graphics card is doing, work wise. It's maybe a bit of a geeky thing, but it's fun to have never-the-less. Microsoft's full release notes are here:
  9. That changed last Thursday though when Microsoft released Windows 10 Insider build 16215 to the fast ring. This build is one of the first that's been stable enough to actually run day to day since the Creators Update*, but even so, there's a few glaring bugs in the "Wot won't work" list. First though, the changes and improvements (from the released Creators Update) which are available in this build... it's a long list, so bear with us... I've taken this list directly from Microsoft's release notes, 'cause I was too lazy to type it Start & Action Center bring elements of Fluent Design This build introduces new UI for Start and Action Center that includes elements of Microsoft's new Fluent Design System (website doesn't work, don't bother clicking on it) 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. Annotate Books in Microsoft Edge: We’ve added the ability to annotate EPUB Books by highlighting in four colors, underlining, and adding comments. To get started, select some text, and choose an option from the menu.To add notes as you read, select text, tap or click the Add a note button and add your note. Microsoft Edge PDF improvements: We’ve added more highlight colors and the option to Ask Cortana in PDFs in Microsoft Edge. Other Microsoft Edge Improvements, including: Microsoft Edge’s splash page (seen when newly launched) so that the color transitions more smoothly to the Start and New Tab pages. You will now be able to close the Microsoft Edge app directly using the close button, even when a JavaScript dialog is showing. We’ve added an option to “Add tabs to favorites” from the right-click context menu on tabs. Using it will create a Favorites folder with all the sites open in tabs in the current window. New tabs will now animate more smoothly onto the tab bar when opened and closed. We’ve improved session restore behavior so that when a multi-window Microsoft Edge session is restored by clicking on a link (for example, from an email), the window in focus at the end of restoration is the one containing the new link. Cortana Improvements 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. Note: Cortana will only provide insights when your device is plugged into a power source and on an un-metered network. 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! Note: For this to work, your pen will need to support Press and Hold – for example the pen that came with the Surface Pro 4, Surface Book, or Surface Studio. Evolving the handwriting experience in Windows 10 Using your feedback to evolve the handwriting experience: We’ve been hard at work incorporating your feedback, and with today’s build we’re introducing a new XAML-based handwriting panel – with more gestures, easier editing, emoji, and more! New features include: Write as much as you want in the panel with the new conversion & overflow model! As you write, you’ll now see your previous words convert to typed text within the handwriting panel. When you fill the handwriting panel and lift your pen off the screen, the text will shift so you have room to continue writing. Press the commit button to insert all the text and clear the slate. Select text to edit it: See something you want to change? If you select text while the handwriting panel is open, that text will now appear within the panel so you can easily make alterations. Make corrections within the handwriting panel by overwriting converted text: Was something misrecognized? Instead of using the suggested text alternate, you now have the option of just inking the correct letters right on top of the converted text! Make corrections using ink gestures: Once your written words have been converted to type, or if you’ve selected existing text, you can now easily make simple edits from within the handwriting panel using our four new gestures: strikethrough, scratch, join, and split. Try it out! Easier access to emoji and symbols: We’ve added two new buttons to the handwriting panel, so you can easily input emoji or symbols without needing to switch to the touch keyboard Simply tap the button, pick the character you want, and you’re set to go! Reducing the chance of palm rejection: We’ve added a new setting in Pen & Windows Ink Settings so finger inking needs to be explicitly enabled – this will help avoid inadvertent ink being drawn on the handwriting panel as you’re writing with your pen. Floating by default: While you still have the option to choose, we’ve made the decision for the handwriting panel to now by default appear next to where you’re writing. To change modes, tap the new keyboard settings menu button in the top left corner of the keyboard. Improved handwriting recognition for English (United States): We’ve made some changes to our US English handwriting recognition engine to improve its accuracy. Would love for Insiders to try it out and share feedback on how it feels now. English mode for Simplified Chinese handwriting: To further improve the recognition accuracy of mixed input (when Chinese and English characters are inked together), we’ve added an English mode button when handwriting in Simplified Chinese. Just press the button, ink the desired English words, and the inking done in English mode will be recognized using the English (United States) handwriting recognition engine. After your inking in English is finished, you can press the English mode button again to go back to default mode. We rely on your feedback to let us know how this new experience is doing, and will be using your feedback to determine readiness. Please try writing some things and log feedback about the experience here. If your PC has pen support, then the handwriting engine for each language should download automatically when you add it to your language list. If it doesn’t, you can go to Optional Features and choose to download it. We’re currently investigating your reports that there’s been some lag when inputting ink in recent builds. Find My Pen: Don’t know where you put your pen? The pen doesn’t have a GPS, so we can’t help you there, but what we *can* do is tell you where you were when you last inked on your computer. Which is what we’ve done! Head over to Settings > Update & Security > “Find My Device” to see what it’s all about. Scrolling with pen. In the effort to create a more intuitive pen interaction on Windows, we are emphasizing natural and direct manipulation of content with pen. You don’t have to “hunt and peck” for scrollbars or frequently switch between pen and touch when navigating; now you can scroll content directly and fluently as you would with your finger. Want to see it working? Selection with pen. We also revised selection with pen by giving it more control over the selection process. Not only are we showing selection grippers whenever text is selected via pen, but also are allowing for a consistent and fast selection of content – text, objects, or ink—by dragging the pen while the barrel button is pressed. Note: scrolling with pen is currently only supported for UWP apps, however we’re working on adding it for Win32 as well (like File Explorer). Selection with pen isn’t yet up and running in Microsoft Edge, but it will be coming in a later flight. This will also impact selecting text with pen in epubs and PDFs in order to try the new Microsoft Edge features shown above. For now, please use another input method if you’d like to see how it works. 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: In addition to using your mouse to select an emoji, you can also navigate through the panel by using the following keys: Arrow keys – Navigate among emoji Tab / Shift + Tab – Switch emoji category Enter – Select an emoji Esc – Close the panel Currently this emoji experience is only available when English (United States) is the active language of your keyboard. As a reminder, if you need to switch between the languages in your language list, you can use the Win + Space hotkey. Converging the touch keyboard experience We have a totally new touch keyboard on Desktop! If you’ve been jealous of better keyboard features on your phone, then you’ll be happy to hear with today’s build we’re bringing those familiar phone keyboard experiences to your PC with our new XAML-based touch keyboard! This includes many popular requests we’ve heard from you such as: Enhanced Text Prediction: We’ve made a bunch of improvements to our text prediction engine to make it more intelligent. For example, you now don’t need to type anything other than “Text ” to complete the frequently used message, “Text me when you get a chance” using the suggested words. If you’re using a UWP app, you can also now enjoy Emoji suggestions!Try it out! Type “birthday ”, “coffee ”, or “dog ” and see what happens! Prediction is currently only working with the English US keyboard, however we’re working on enabling more languages Improved emoji experience: If you switch to the touch keyboard’s emoji view, you’ll find can now smoothly scroll through the entire contents of each emoji category, rather than page by page. You’ll also notice that any additional available emoji candidates based on your most recent word are displayed at the top in the candidate area One-handed touch keyboard: Following extensive research on tablet postures, we’re adding a new keyboard layout to provide the most comfort when holding the device in your hands! It looks similar to a phone keyboard – smaller and more narrow. You can freely put this smaller touch keyboard wherever you want (although we recommend docked to the side of your screen ) and use it with one hand. To switch between languages, press and hold on the &123 key. Note: This keyboard takes the place of the split keyboard layout Shape writing with the one-handed touch keyboard: One of the most powerful phone keyboard features for fast and easy text input involves swiping over the keys without releasing your finger on the screen. We call it shape writing. Today we proudly announce the first shape writing keyboard on PC! Because it’s works just like your familiar phone-style one-handed keyboard, you don’t need to do anything to learn it again. Just use it as you would use your phone’s touch keyboard. Bonus: it also works with pen! Shape writing is currently only supported for the English US keyboard, however we’re working on enabling more languages. A new touch keyboard settings menu: Along with all our other improvements, we’ve updated the way to switch into Handwriting panel and other keyboard layouts. You can find our keyboard settings menu icon at the top left corner of the touch keyboard. It’s a one-stop settings panel for all the layouts (Default, One-handed, Handwriting, Full) and modes (Docked, Floating), as well as a shortcut for jumping to language settings. As we light up these new keyboard experiences, it’s very important that we receive your feedback to help make improvements and ensure we ship a polished experience to Windows users. If you have a touch or pen capable device, please take a moment to try it out in any languages that you speak and give feedback in as much detail as possible. Our readiness decision will be based on what you tell us. (PS – don’t forget you can move the keyboard around when it’s undocked by dragging the move icon in the top right corner!) Please note the touch keyboards for Chinese, Japanese and Korean languages are not working with this build – we will fix this as soon as possible in an upcoming flight. Dictation on the Desktop: Our keen-eyed Insiders may have noticed a microphone button in the touch keyboard pictures above – that’s because you can now use dictation to input English or Chinese text on desktop! Simply tap the microphone button in the top left corner of the touch keyboard or handwriting panel, or press the new dictation hotkey Win + H to start dictating. Currently only available for English (United States) and Chinese (Simplified) input methods. Besides dictating text, you can also use voice commands to do basic editing or to input punctuations. Below are some examples of English dictation voice commands: Say “press backspace” to inject a backspace character Say “clear selection” to unselect the text that has been selected Say “press delete” to inject a delete keystroke Say “delete that” to delete the most recent speech recognition results, or the currently selected text Say “delete last three words” to delete the last three words Say “stop dictating” to terminate the dictation session Say “end spelling” to terminate spelling mode Say “go after <word or phrase>” to move the cursor to the first character after the specified word or phrase Say “go to the end of paragraph” to move the cursor to the end of the paragraph Say “move back to the previous word” to move the cursor to the left side of the previous word Say “go to start of <word or phrase>” to move the cursor to the first character before the specified word or phrase Say “go to the start of paragraph” to move the insertion point to the start of paragraph Say “go down to next sentence” to move the cursor forward to next sentence Say “go to the end of the sentence” to move the insertion point to the end of the sentence Say “move to the start of the word” to move the insertion point to the start of the word Say “go to the left” to inject a left arrow into input Say “move right” to inject a right arrow into input Say “select <word or phrase>” to select the specific word or phrase Say “select that” to select the most recent speech recognition result Say “select next three words” to select the next three words Say “start spelling” to switch to spelling mode Say “comma” (or “period”, “question mark” etc.) to input the punctuation “,” (or “.”, “?”, etc.) Shell Improvements Enhancing your Share experience: We want sharing to be easy and natural. With the last build we added people-first sharing, and with this build we’re bringing another new Share feature to your desktop: Copy Link: Don’t see the app you’re looking for in the Share UI? If you’re sharing a link – like a website in Microsoft Edge, or an app from Store – we’ve added a new option in the Share UI to copy that link to your clipboard, so you easily can paste it into your app of choice. New local media folder detection for UWPs: Photos, Groove Music and Movies & TV all have one thing in common: exploring your local content based on the folders you provide. We’ve heard your feedback that sometimes local media is missing as a result of folders not being included, so with this build we’re adding new logic to address this. After a storage scan, we will now detect relevant media folders you might want to include in your collection when looking at the files via UWP apps, and suggest them to you when you go to add new folders. Want to try it out now? Add a new folder with 30+ pictures, songs, or videos to your desktop. Go to Storage Settings and press the refresh button to trigger a scan. The next time you go to add a folder to your favorite UWP (such as Groove Music), you’ll see this new experience: Note: If no new media is detected, you will see the file picker dialog. My People Improvements: We fixed an issue where the icons of contacts pinned to the taskbar would appear cut off when using small taskbar icons. We’ve updated our logic so that if you have the My People flyout open, you can now drop a file onto any of the contacts pinned in the overflow area to initiate a share with them. We’re updated the sound made when you receive an emoji from one of the contacts pinned to the People bar in the taskbar. We improved My People reliability and fixed an issue where hit testing would become offset after adding or removing items from the systray. Night light improvements including: We fixed an issue where mirroring a display and then disconnecting from it would break night light on that screen. We fixed an issue where when night light had been manually enabled, and the device entered then exited S3 sleep, night could then become disabled. As a result of your feedback, we’ve updated our logic to now use a quick transition into night flight if applicable after rebooting or manually enabling night light. Settings Improvements: New Video Playback Settings: Head to Settings > Personalization > Video Playback and you’ll now find some additional controls for media enthusiasts. If you have an HDR monitor, we’d love to hear your feedback on how video streaming feels when these new options are enabled. We’ve also added some battery settings for you to decide whether you’d prefer to optimize video streaming for battery usage or video quality. Note: You’ll noticed a “Unsupported video type or invalid file path” error at the top of the page. This is a known issue we’re looking into, it shouldn’t otherwise impact the usage of these settings. A new HDR and Advanced Color Settings Page: If you have at least one connected display that supports HDR, you’ll now see some additional information! Go to Settings > System > Display > “HDR and advanced color settings” to find more details about the HDR settings of the currently selected display. Per-App Defaults Settings Page: In the past, when using Settings you had to start with your file type or protocol if you wanted to make a change to the default app. That’s changing with this build, and you can now start with your app, and then see the available options for what it can handle. To see this new option, go to Settings > Apps > Default apps > “Set defaults by App”. Choose an app and click ‘Manage’ to see all the file types and protocol associations for which the app is the default. This page takes the place of the one that had been available in Control Panel, as part of our ongoing effort to converge the settings experience. Updated Network connection properties page: We’ve heard your feedback that setting a network profile to public or private isn’t discoverable, so we’ve updated the Network connection properties page to make it easier and prominent. Instead of the previous toggle under “Make this PC discoverable”, you’ll now find two radio buttons to select whether the profile should be public or private. A new context menu for Wi-Fi networks in the View Available Networks flyout: To get you where you need to go faster, we’ve added a new context menu full of quick actions when you right-click one of the listed Wi-Fi networks. Options include Connect, Disconnect, View Properties, or Forget Network. Windows Update improvements: View your active Windows Update policies: If there are any applied group policies for Windows Update, a page will now appear in Windows Update Settings so you can look through them. Understanding your updates: We now list out the individual update status and progress in Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update. So if there are multiple updates pending (for example, a new build, a driver update, and a definition update for Windows Defender), you can see and track each different status, which wasn’t as obvious with the single progress bar used in prior builds. Other improvements in Settings include: You can now add other AAD work/school users from Settings. We’ve heard your feedback, and have adjusted the order of the Settings categories so that the new Cortana category is now more central, and the Windows Update category is now once again the final one in the list. When moving or uninstalling an app from the Apps & Features Settings page, you’ll now see a progress bar. We fixed an issue where pinned secondary tiles would appear as groups in that app’s Notification & Actions Settings. We fixed an issue resulting in garbled characters when viewing the new tips in Settings on non-English languages Gaming Improvements Game bar improvements: Based on your feedback, the Game bar (Win + G) now has a button to enable or disable Game Mode for the current game. Its icon will be updated soon in a future flight. The Game bar (Win + G) now allows you to take screenshots of games running in HDR. Sharing those screenshots to Xbox Live using the Xbox app will come in a future update of the app. Note: broadcasting does not support HDR. Screenshots will be taken in the resolution of the game window, which enables the 4K screenshots that are now supported. Game Clips and broadcasts will be transcoded to 1080p if the resolution is higher than that. Screenshots of games running in HDR should now correctly save a copy in PNG that is tone mapped to SDR. Bitrate changes during game broadcasting to Mixer should now be smoother and more seamless. When broadcasting to Mixer, you can now specify the language that you are speaking during the broadcast. The resources made available to games running in Game Mode have been tweaked on popular machine configs, including 6 and 8 core CPU machines, resulting in improved game performance for games running in Game Mode. If you missed our announcement introducing Mixer and all the goodness along with it, check it out here! Developer Improvements Per app Runtime Broker: If you open Task Manager, you will notice UWPs now use per-application instanced Runtime Broker processes, rather than all sharing a single session-wide Runtime Broker. This will help improve resource attribution, resource management, and fault tolerance. Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) no longer requires Developer Mode! Previously, you had to enable Developer Mode (Settings -> Update & Security -> For Developers) in order to run Bash & Linux tools on Windows. This restriction has been lifted; you can now run Bash on Windows without developer mode being enabled! More information here Hyper-V gets virtual battery support: You can now see your machine’s battery state in your VMs! To try this feature, create a new VM using the “New-VM” cmdlet, and add the “-Prerelease” flag. This will give you a pre-release VM that will have this feature enabled. Other improvements including: Registry Editor is now per-monitor DPI aware! That means it should no longer be blurry when used in mixed DPI environments, or when changing DPI. We fixed an issue resulting in VIM being broken for Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) users in result flights. We fixed an issue where the choice command was failing when run in a Command Prompt script. Ease of Access Improvements: Narrator Improvements: Scan Mode on By Default: The largest change that you will experience is that Scan Mode is now on by default. This means that: Up and Down Arrows to get through everything: You can simply use the up and down arrow keys to get through all of the content of your application. Press Space to Interact: To interact with simple controls (such as buttons, checkboxes, toggle buttons etc. you can press the space bar). Editbox Switching: If you navigate to an edit field using the up and down arrows, Narrator will automatically turn off Scan Mode so that you can type into the edit field. When you are ready to exit the edit field you can use the up and down arrows to exit the edit field and Narrator will turn scan mode back on. Turn off Scan Mode with Caps + Space: If you want to turn off scan mode, and want to get back to the old way of doing things, press Caps + Space. It will be turned off for that app and you will hear “Off”. Remembering the state of scan mode by application: If you explicitly turn off scan mode, by pressing Caps + Space in an application, this choice will be saved in an exceptions list so that when you reopen the application Scan Mode is off. To remove this application from the exceptions list you can press Caps + Space again Left and Right Arrow to move by character: Left and right arrows will move you by character Since Scan Mode is now on by default, we’ve removed the popup dialog when first launching Narrator explaining how to start scan mode. Narrator Input learning: This will allow you to learn the keys on your device. Narrator will tell you the key that you have pressed, and the Narrator command associated with it. This mode can be turned on and off with Caps + 1. New and improved hotkeys: To read from where you currently are through the rest of the application you can press Caps + R for Read. To jump to the beginning of an application you can now press Caps + Home and to jump to the end of an application you can press Caps + End. The read window command, Caps + W also had some improvements in this release. Caps + W will now read both the controls in the window and the text. Narrator Getting Started User Guide: There is now a button in the main Narrator UI to the Narrator User Guide located here, where you can find more information about scan mode and all of the Scan Mode commands. Braille improvements: Narrator users can type and read using different braille translations, choose a blinking cursor representation, and choose the duration of “flash messages”. You can also now perform braille input for app shortcuts and modifier keys, which enables you to use your braille display for common tasks such as: Pressing the Tab key Pressing the Escape key Pressing the Windows key Pressing sequences like Win + U to open Ease of Access Settings Pressing sequences like Alt + F to open the file menu Pressing sequences like Ctrl + S to save Pressing sequences like Ctrl + Alt + N Using first letter navigation in lists And more! For the app shortcuts, there are also new commands to perform that input. Here’s a list of example commands (Braille dots = Keyboard input): Space + dot4 + dot5 = Tab key (Tab key) Space + dot1 + dot2 = Shift + Tab key (Set skipping of blank braille windows on/off) Space + dot2 + dot3 + dot4 + dot5 = Alt + Tab key (Set track screen cursor on/off) Space + dot2 + dot4 + dot5 + dot6 = Windows key (Set sliding braille windows on/off) Space + dot1 + dot2 + dot3 + dot5 = Windows + Tab key (Set autorepeat on/off) Space + Routing Key 1 – 12 = F1 – F12 keys Dot7 = Backspace key Dot8 = Enter key Space + dot2 + dot6 = Escape key Space + dot3 = Cursor left key Space + dot6 = Cursor right key Space + dot1 = Cursor up key Space + dot4 = Cursor down key Space + dot2 + dot3 = Page up key Space + dot5 + dot6 = Page down key Space + dot2 = Home key Space + dot5 = End key Space + dot3 + dot5 = Insert key Space + dot2 + dot5 + dot6 = Delete key Inject and hold one or more modifier keys followed by another letter or key: Space + dot8 + dot1 = Hold Windows key Space + dot8 + dot2 = Hold Alt key Space + dot8 + dot3 = Hold Ctrl key Space + dot8 + dot4 = Hold Shift key Space + dot8 + dot5 = Hold AltGr key Space + dot8 + dot6 = Hold Caps Lock key Space + dot8 + dot7 = Un-hold all modifiers Introducing Color filters: Windows 10 now includes color filters at the system level, including filters designed to make it easier for people with color blindness to differentiate between colors like red and green and to make it easier for people with light sensitivity to create and consume content. You can find these new filtering options under Settings > Ease of Access > Color and High Contrast” (previously called High Contrast Settings). Magnifier UI improvements: We’ve updated the Magnifier zoom in and out buttons to have a more modern style. * One of the "known issues" in this build is that it will disable wireless networking on some devices, due to a driver bug. Microsoft's solution to this is to "revert to an older build". Nice one, Microsoft!
  10. This edition of Windows 10 has already reached RTM, with Windows Insiders getting the RTM build last week. In a change from previous releases, Microsoft didn't tell insiders that they were testing an RTM candidate build, they've just kinda admitted it by letting world and dog now know that build 15063 is indeed RTM. Microsoft's full release notes are online, but they've got and muddied the water by including info on Surface Book and Surface Studio (both nice bits of kit, if MS want to lend me a couple) but they have mentioned a few of the highlights in Creators Edition. Oddly though, (and in their words it will be "because there are so many awesome updates") they've missed out, or glossed over some of the changes which will matter most in the real world. Without further ado, the changes I think we need care about are: VASTLY improved scaled application redering - this is especially important for those pesky apps like Adobe Photoshop, which until now have been fairly un-useable on a high res laptop display Improved OOBE experience, particularly centred around metered or walled-garden style wireless connections. It might not sound like much, but I bet a whole raft of people benefit from this without even realising Loads of Windows Ink improvements; again they sound small, but when you use Ink a lot (or even a little) they make a huge difference Gaming Mode - this is massive for Microsoft; it's a whole bunch of updates and technologies to tie Windows 10 and X-box even more tightly together. You can now "cast" or broadcast / video share a game as you're playing it, and you can interact with people watching your cast in real time. MS are really wooing game developers with this release, and these features show that off in spaded Edge: Yep, as far as Microsoft are concerned, Edge is *the* browser that we should all be using. In the release notes (linked above) they make repeated and multi-asterixed claims about how Edge is now better than Chrome* (they don't pick a fight with Firefox... interesting...) and how it reneders more quickly, detects more phishing sites and upholds your battery better. I have to say that other than a few glaring omissions, I can actually now use Edge as my main browser, and I only swear at it occassionaly! ... there are loads and loads of other little things, like being able to have folders in the start menu. No, not the Applications list, like we've been able to do since Windows 95, this time we're talking about the tiled bit. Personally I don't know why you'd ever want to do this, especially not on a desktop, but I guess it makes sense in Tablet and Phone modes. Here's a fuller list of changes I stole from another site (thanks ElReg) Action center shows download progress for apps Auto Numlock when typing a PIN Beam Streaming: new FTL streaming protocol, start broadcasts from Game Bar Braille support (in Ease of Access settings) Compact Overlay mode ("Picture in Picture") for UWP applications Cortana "pick up where you left off" feature Custom color accents in color settings Download Windows 10 themes from Store Dynamic lock: lock PC automatically when paired phone is not connected Edge browser: many new features Epub support in Edge and Book section in Windows Store Game Bar (Windows + G) – quickly record, broadcast or snaphot images from current game Game Mode – optimize PC for gaming Gaming section in Windows settings Improved Hyper-V admin client with zoom and auto-resize options Mono audio (in Ease of Access settings) More touchpad gestures, eg create or remove virtual desktops Narrator improved with form field navigation (Ease of Access) New icons for Windows Update and Share New inking features including left-handed option Night Light option in Display settings Option to install apps from Store only Paint 3D application Photos app: many new features PowerShell more prominent eg in Windows-X menu Protractor tool in Sketchpad app Redesigned camera app RegEdit has new Address Bar, for easier navigation Separate process for each Windows Service on PCs with enough RAM Start menu: show or hide app list Storage Sense setting automatically frees space Toast notifications support progress bars Troubleshooting option in Modern settings USB Audio 2.0 native support Virtual touchpad for external displays Windows Defender new notification icon and security center Windows Services for Linux improved, Ubuntu Xenial by default Windows update no longer reinstalls removed applications
  11. As is to be expected at this point in the release cycle (very close to a final Creators Update build), there's no new features in this build, just some more bug fixes. The fixes themselves are fairly boring, but one of the "known issues" from this build caught my eye: So, Microsoft, your internal testing has started on the upgrade process from the last public build .... well, well, well, you clearly feel very close to release. Unfortunately, the upgrade path for Windows Mobile isn't working quite as well yet: As ever, the full release notes are here for your perusal.
  12. Sometimes, Microsoft like to keep us on our toes; this has been the case with the latest build, 15058, which comes only a few days after 15055 (and only 3 builds newer; that has to tell us something...) Full release notes are hosted here, as is usual, but for those who don't want to fall asleep reading them, the highlights are a few regression fixes; anothe bunch of updates for Edge, and that the build identifier has disappeared once again. This, coupled with being only 3 builds newer than 15055, indicate Microsoft are focusing on polishing Windows for the release of th Creators Update.
  13. As such, there aren't a great number of new features or things to get overly excited about; however one thing which is interesting in this build is that not only is the build identifier back, but ... it's been changed. It no longer says "Insider Preview" but rather just "Windows 10 ..." - that's a sure sign Microsoft feel they're getting close (yes, I know I said that on the one build where the build identifier was missing, but hey ho). As usual, the full release notes are available here.
  14. It's becoming quite hard to keep up with all these releases, which can mean only one thing - the Creators Update can't be far away! This build is mostly bug fixes again, but there is one interesting thing to report in this build ... the build tag is back on the desktop. It's been absent in the last two builds, but is showing up in this one... I'm not quite sure that we can take anything from that, other than maybe this build has not gone through the same release candidate testing or production process as the previous two. As usual, the release notes are here.
  15. I already have an HP Microserver G8 (GT-1610) running FreeNAS which works very well, but I wondered if there's anything in the Microsoft camp which could provide similar functionality. With this in mind, I started off by buying another Microserver G8 as, even in their base specification, they provide a Celeron 2.3GHz processor, 4GB RAM, 4x 3.5in (non-hot swap) drive bays, internal USB and MicroSD card support, dual Ethernet plus iLO and a PCIe expansion port. This spec is good enough to run FreeNAS out the box, meaning I'd always have something to fall back on if my endeavours ultimately failed. The first decision was to get some more RAM - the G8 only has 2 DIMM slots so RAM needs (or at least should) be in matched pairs. For now mine is running 1x 8GB DIMM and 1x 4GB DIMM, giving an useable 12GB for the development work (the box will be upgraded to 16GB in the near future). Should the box end up running either Windows 10 or Server 2016 then i'll need a better processor than the Celeron it comes with, especially as it will get tasked with running my Emby media library as well, so a Xeon low power processor is on the cards, but only once the initial testing has been done. I should probably add that all this is going to be getting benchmarked against my existing FreeNAS setup, also running on a Microserver G8, and my existing Emby server, which is a MacMini with i7 and 32GB RAM, oh, and that's running Windows 10 of course. The first strugle with this plan is to get Windows installed on the MicroSD card that's sitting inside the G8. The reason for booting off a MicroSD card is twofold - 1) I've got a DVD-RW drive in the optical bay, so can't populate that space with internal SSDs; and 2) I already boot FreeNAS from the SDCard in my other G8, so if Windows is to win out in the new solution it has to do the same. It also keeps the OS and the disks which will make up the actual NAS element seperate, which is no bad thing. (infact, Windows does not allow a boot disk to be part of a Storage Spaces pool or cluster, so this is necessary to avoid loosing capacity) Microsoft *STILL* don't support booting Windows from any form of removable drive, unless you're opting to use Windows-to-go, which itself only works on USB pen-type drives (sticks) and not on SD cards. However, Windows runs absolutely fine from either SD or USB, so long as your machine's BIOS is able to address them as a boot device. To get round this, it is necessary to get a little bit inventive with Microsoft's imaging tools; which, when used in the right order, make this a simple, if time consuming job. First off (at least on the G8), make sure the SD card you'll be using as your ultimate boot device has not volumes on it; most cards ship pre-formatted these days, so use the Windows disk manager tool to delete any partitions showing on the card. Next, you'll need to have a bootable installation media for whatever version of Windows you choose (I picked Server 2016 over Windows 10, but both work in the same way) - I used Rufus to burn the Windows ISO onto an 8GB USB stick. Next, put the SD card and USB stick in the G8 and boot the machine. (you'll need to check that booting from USB is enabled in the BIOS if the machine is not set at its facrory defaults) Once the Windows installer boots, it will present you with a language, location & keyboard choice screen - leave all these as default as we're not going to be using the wizard to install Windows anyway. On the next screen, which is the "Install Now" screen, instead click on the text link marked "Repair your Computer" then click on the Troubleshooting and Command Prompt buttons on subsequent screens to get the installer to drop you into the Windows command line. It's here we'll actually do the work which will allow us to install Windows on the SD card. Next, we need to make a partition on the SD card using the command line DISKPART tool. To do this enter the following commands: (where the X below is the numerical value for the SD card (disk) in your system. Usually it will be 1 as Windows has booted from the USB disk 0) diskpart list disk select disk X clean create partition primary format quick fs=ntfs label="SD-Card" active At this point we need to assign a drive letter to the SD card, but becuase we're going to subsequently boot from this drive, it *has* to be drive letter C:. Unfortunately Windows has "stolen" C: for the USB drive we're currently booted from. To resolve this minor issue run these commands. (this is still within DISKPART, and you'll need to replace the values for X and Y with those shown in the list volume command. Usually volume 0 will be the volume from which Windows has booted, and so volume 1 will be the one on your SD card. This would mean X = 0 and Y = 1) list volume select volume X assign letter=D select volume Y assign letter=C exit Next, we need to apply the Windows install image to our newly created C: drive (SD card). Use the command below to do so. There's two versions of this code listed, depending on whether you're using a Server 2016 or Windows 10 boot image. WARNING: The dism command takes a looong time (30 - 40 minutes) to run. Windows Server 2016 version: dism /Apply-Image /ImageFile:D:\sources\install.wim /index:2 /ApplyDir:C:\ Windows 10 version: dism /Apply-Image /ImageFile:D:\sources\install.wim /index:1 /ApplyDir:C:\ Finally, once the DISM command has eventually finished (and you've drunk a lot of tea), the last step is to make the SD card bootable. Run these commands to do so, and once complete, feel free to reboot the computer. (remember to remove the USB stick when doing so) bootsect /nt60 C: /force /mbr bcdboot C:\Windows When the computer reboots, if you've got all the above correct, the machine will boot from the SD card and "Iinstall" Windows on to itself. In reality it is just going through the first run setup and "discovering devices" stages that we're used to seeing when installing Windows, but it will seem to take an age this time. Stick with it, and after a reboot or two, the system will eventually boot up with a fully installed copy of Windows, be it Windows 10 or Server 2016. Part 2 will cover the fun had in getting Storage Spaces to actually work on our newly installed machine... stay tuned!
  16. While the changes in this build might not at first seem too exciting, there's a few things which can be gleaned from the release notes. Firstly, a few of the "annoyance" bugs which have been hanging around for the last few builds (such as Windows incorrectly saying "some settings are managed by your organisation" have been fixed, and clearly much work has gone into "polishing" this build. Also notable by it's absense is the build identifier string on the desktop. This comes and goes on different builds in the Insider Program, but usually it only "goes" when Microsoft start testing builds as release candidates for a major public release. In other words, the fact that it has disappeared after having been on every build since the RS_1 release, means MS must be getting close to the RS_2 release. Other changes this week include the usual raft of Edge updates, plus a few fixes for Game Bar. I guess those only really matter to you if you make use of those programs or featuers.
  17. This build's headline new feature is the Compact Overlay Window - think of it as a picture-in-picture clone from your TV and you'll not be far wrong. It essentially allows app developers to write code that allows their apps to peak through another app's windows and appear on top (um, like that's been possible for years) - ah yes, but this new method allows that "peaked" window to take on a new compact design, only showing the contents (such as a video or TV stream) rather than all the fluff around the content. As always, the full release notes are available here for all to see, and they include a screenshot of what Compact Overlay Windows will allow (once every app under the sun has been re-coded to use the feature). As for user experience changes, I can't say I've noticed any yet, but if they crop up I'll add them to this post.
  18. This build is the first in a series of builds which will be released, probably with increasing speed, in the build up to the next public release of Windows 10 - the Creator's Update (or Redstone 2 (rs2) release, as it's known internally). The release notes are available here and show that this build is not about adding new features, but is the first take on polishing the features already in the rs2 builds. An interesting issue with this build though is that it currently won't install on an x86 based computer; only the x64 version works. Microsoft's answer to this is to simply not release an x86 build at this stage, instead promising an x86 ISO later in the week. [more to follow]
  19. The biggest change this week is the inclusion of "Gaming Mode" for those people who are Windows and XBox Insiders. Microsoft have been blogging about this during the week, making it somewhat confusing to know what is and isn't in the Windows Insider build (and also mudying when the build was going to be released) for us "mere mortals"; but now it's here this is what we're being told from the build's release blog entry. First off, it seems that Gaming Mode has been made available to everyone, whether or not a member of the XBox Insider programme. I don't have many any games installed on my test devices, so can't comment on the functionality at the moment, but there's lots of options (mostly centred around sharing and recording game experiences) to try out. Also new is the renamed "Holographic Options", which is now called "Mixed Reality". Again, there's quite a few options within here, but no as-yet obvious method of adding a mixed reality device, although there is interestingly an option to completely uninstall the Mixed Reality options. (although, Microsoft have again said we shouldn't be seeing this menu option yet) Other new features and changes of note include: Wi-Fi Captive Portal: The Wi-Fi connectivity experience in OOBE has been updated to support “captive portal” Wi-Fi networks. When connecting to such a Wi-Fi hotspot, OOBE will navigate to a lightweight browser experience allowing you to complete the connection and reach the internet. We’ve also included some updates allowing you to configure some basic properties for the Wi-Fi network during OOBE. This might not seem like much; but if you've ever tried to work out the continual circle of not being able to activate a device because you can't sign in to a wireless network to get an internet connection to activate the device because the device isn't activated and so you can't open a web browser to complete the wireless network sign in because the device isn't actvated and so you can't open a web browser because you've not activated the device because you're not signed in to a wireless network because you can't open a web browser to sign in to the network because you can't open a web browser because the device isn't activated ... (you get the idea), then this really is a huge, huge deal! Improved high-DPI support for ITPros: With Build 15002, we shared our new option to override a GDI-based app’s high DPI scaling with our own System (Enhanced) scaling. With Build 15019, we’re happy to let you know that this System (Enhanced) application compatibility setting will now also available to be enabled or disabled via the Windows ADK for IT Professionals, so you can make adjustments to a broad audience of PCs. I mentioned this before in the 15007 article, sufice to say that while I haven't noticed any apreciable differences in 15019 (System (Enhanced) scaling still breaks Photoshop CS6), any advances in these settings are a good thing in my book.
  21. Here's the press release:
  22. I'm coming to this phone from having used various flavours of Android for years as my mobile OS of choice, and having more recently been using Windows 8.1 as my desktop & tablet OS of choice. I want to like Windows Phone, but I remember the mediocre reviews and limitations it had when Windows Phone 7 (re)launched a few years ago. But to the Lumia 830 itself: Firstly its physically quite a big handset for a 5.0 inch screen, easily outsizing a Samsung Galaxy S4 and being almost identical in size to the LG G3 (which boasts a 5.5 inch screen). One of the reasons for this is the excessive top and bottom bezels around the screen, plus Windows Phone's use of "fixed" touch buttons for navigation. The handset itself is actually more rectangular than it looks, with the metalic corners of the chassis being quite a pronounced rectangle, whereas the screen corners are far more rounded. While this produces quite a nice design statement, it doesn't necessarily make the phone the most comfortable to hold. Being a mid range handset means that the phone sports a relatively old "platform" - the processor is a 1.2GHz. Snapdragon 400 with 1GB RAM and 16GB onboard storage. The phone also supports up to 128GB MicroSD cards and has a thankfully removable 22mAh battery. The phone's screen is a slightly mediocre 720 x 1280 (720p) resolution, which is quite a way below the qHD and 4xHD screens we're seeing on flagship devices now, but due to the clever design of the Windows Phone UI, along with the strict design parameters that Microsoft have implemented, the lack of resolution is not a major problem; indeed most of the time you don't even notice it! (the screen is a RGB matrix IPS panel, which means it has more sub-pixels than a similar Pentile panel, greatly helping the look of the display) What does get noticed, quite a lot on my review handset, is the relative weakness of the phone and its chassis in particular. With the recent "bendgate" furore surrounding the iPhone 6, inherent phone strength is quite a big deal at the moment, and unfortunately I have to report that the Lumia 830 doesn't do very well here at all. OK, so it doesn't have a tendancy to bend in half like the iPhone does, but it is very susceptible to the chassis being twisted along its length. This then causes issues with the touch layer of the screen either not working, or as I've seen a lot, producing constant key presses on the search key, putting the phone into a pretty relentless search / Cortana loop. Talking of Cortana, the Lumia 830 comes with the "Denim" (GDR1) update to Windows Phone 8.1, which brings Cortana to the UK, albeit in beta form. I've got to say, as someone who doesn't really get on with Siri or OK Google either, that I found Cortana to be a bit of a pain and something which I didn't make much use of. If the recent TV adverts are to be believed, then it could be a useful feature, but then again, we've heard that before... I think in realistic terms its one of those features you'll either love or hate - there's nothing wrong with it per-say (barring a couple of "random" results), but I doubt it's going to set your world alight. Of way more use is the camera on the Lumia 830 - being a mid-range handset it's not one of Nokia's 40odd MPix efforts, but rather a 10MPix shooter which incorporates a new OIS (optical image stabilisation) platform. There's various blog posts about some new software which allows for 2 photos to be taken about 43ms apart, then post-processed together to give a sort of HDR effect; alas I couldn't actually find the software on the phone, so what you get is essentially just that 10MPix lens. Camera results are pretty reasonable, but not exceptional. In general light and shooting a mid-distance subject the levels of detail reproduced were entirely acceptable, but the camera does suffer in low lgiht conditions, both with and without the single LED flash. Noise levels in these situtions were worse than expected, but again certainly not the worst I've seen! Almost suprisingly, video recording is pretty decent; mainly due to the Nokia deviced multi-microphone rich audio recording system, which produces absolutely stunning audio quality. As a phone (calls, texts etc.) the Lumia 830 is as reliable as you'd expect from a Nokia handset - audio quality in calls is excellent, signal strength is good, and basically there's no surprises. It all works nicely! I'm not going to go into a full review of Windows Phone 8.1 here as we've covered that before and there's countless reviews and hands-on available on the net; suffice to say it's now a properly usable platform; while it may have a somewhat more limited application pool than Android or iOS, there's now enough options available in the Windows Store to mean you're not loosing out by using Windows Phone. I actually found it a joy to use and at no point did I find myself wishing "if only it could do this". Being a Microsoft OS, it goes without saying that integration with Microsoft's other services is exemplary; one of the potential killer features now being that Microsoft are to begin offering truly unlimited storage on OneDrive. That alone makes this a very had device to ignore! Charging wise, the Lumia 830 supports wireless charging, as is becoming the norm these days. There's not much to say about this, but actually you should take that as a great compliment to the phone - it "just works", brilliantly. The Lumia 830 charges in slightly less time (about 50 minutes) than my LG G3, making it pretty quick; and best of all, that battery lasts forever! I'm going to say this again, as it's easily my favourite feature of the phone - the battery lasts forever! After a full charge, and doing exactly the same set of tasks as my Samsung Galaxy S4, the Lumia 830 outlasted the S4 by over 4 days! If left turned on and receiving push email alone, the Lumia 830 can quite happily last well over a week between charges - this makes it an absolute god-send of a secondary "work" phone, which is how I found myself using it most of the time. But in summary, I have to ask the two questions of would I buy this phone for myself, and would I recommend it to others? - well, to answer in reverse order: I already have recommended the Lumia 830 to a couple of friends who want a "cheepish but well specc'd smartphone" - if you're not after an absolute top of the range device, then the 830 is perfectly capable. It's relative slowness of platform doesn't translate into a slow, or clunky handset in use. It's brilliant in what it does. And lastly - I wouldn't buy the Lumia 830 as my main handset, mainly because of the screen size versus chassis size ratio mentioned above; but as a secondary phone, as a "work" phone, yes, I'd quite happily buy the Lumia 830. I think that's praise indeed!
  23. What makes the rumoured watch particularly exciting is that it is expected to work with Android and iOS, as well as Windows Phone. This would make it the first cross platform smartwatch from one of the major tech companies. It's also rumoured to have a heart rate monitor and two days battery life. Given the current problems with many smartwatches, some of which fail to last a whole day, and Apple's reluctance to give a battery life on it's Watch, this makes Microsoft's the one to (ehm) watch.
  24. Sometimes it's hard to remember, that not only Microsoft make Windows Phone devices. HTC make one too, so they quickly talked about some universal Windows Phone 8.1 updates. These include UK now having Cortana, creation of folders, and interestingly the creation of a private VPN connection when connecting to wifi, for additional security when connecting to public wifi. They then focused purely on Lumia devices. Firstly, there's a new Denim update which will be rolled out through the range this year which mostly revolved around small improvements to the camera photos and also activating the camera. It also include voice activation for Cortana, so it becomes similar to Google's 'OK Google'. Microsoft want to create 'flagship' devices at a lower price point. With that in mind, they created the Lumia 830 (€330). It has a Snapdragon 400 quadcore processor, 1GB RAM, 16GB internal storage (expandable to 128GB), 5" 1280x720 display, 10MP Pureview rear camera, 0.9MP front camera. To be blunt, it's not flagship specs, and is firmly planted in the lower end of mid-range of Android handsets. It has to be noted that the audience needed to be prompted to give any applause. They then went on to talk about the Lumia 730 / 735. Whilst the 735 will be available for €219 and come with LTE, the 730 will be a dual sim version without LTE. Otherwise they are the same. Of key interest is the 5MP front camera with a 24mm lens. It gives a wider angle shot, as demonstrated in a rather bizarre attempt to recreate the Ellen selfie. Unfortunately, it wasn't a very fair comparison, and was a bit tedious... Spec wise, it comes with a 4.7" 1280x720 display, 1GB RAM, 8GB internal storage (expandable), Snapdragon 400 processor and a 2200mAh battery. That's not too bad for the price. Microsoft will also include 3 months unlimited Skype subscription and 15GB One Drive for the new Lumias. Not exactly generous.
  25. The odd thing about this in many ways for myself is how the press release never mentions the 'N' word, so although it pops up on Nokia's mobile website, the press release only talks about Microsoft's Lumia 530. But I digress! I would imagine that these use the same fine plastics as in past generations. The phone receives a useful speed bump to a Snapdragon 200 processor (I bet you didn't know it was quad-core). It also has a 854x480 4" screen and a 5mp rear camera (no front camera). It also comes with 512mb RAM and 4GB of built in memory (supports up to 128GB micro SD cards). What is missing from this handset which was first launched in developing countries, is the dual sim function which would have made this mildly interesting for budget smartphone people. Naturally, people won't be using this for Microsoft's Skype (although it is included) or for Selfies, but then again, those people will probably be far more interested in what Microsoft has to say in two weeks from now......