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article imageLatest Windows 10 Preview brings smarter Cortana, adds dark mode

By James Walker     Apr 7, 2016 in Technology
Microsoft has rolled out a major update to the Windows 10 Insider Preview that includes a first look at the new features coming to the Anniversary Update later this year. It includes a more intelligent Cortana that talks to your phone from your PC.
Microsoft announced the Windows 10 Anniversary Update at its Build developer's conference last week. Last night, the company gave Windows Insiders the first build of Windows 10 to include the new features, Fast ring preview 14316. The update will make its way to the general public in the summer.
Cortana
One of the major new additions sees Cortana play a more proactive role in managing all your devices. Cortana can now tell you on your PC when your phone's battery is low, displaying a notification when the critical battery level is reached. The reminder could prove to be very helpful if you've left your phone in your bag and miss the battery low warning.
Screenshot of Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14316
Screenshot of Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14316
Microsoft
Cortana can also find your phone or even call it. These features have always been available online but now you can find your phone much more easily if it is lost or stolen. Cortana will try to locate it once you've given the command, notifying you once it's been found.
The final cross-device feature will most help people who frequently plan trips using their PC and then take their phone out on the road. When you ask Cortana for directions, they'll now be shared among all your devices. You can check your route on the big screen without having to go through the same procedure again on your phone. The directions will be waiting in your phone's notification tray when you leave the house, letting you pick up right where you left off.
These features aren't restricted to just Windows 10 Mobile. They'll also work with Android devices that have the Cortana app installed. Microsoft is creating a seamless link between your PC and phone that tries its best to be platform agnostic. The two devices are joined together by Cortana.
Notifications
Notifications are being reworked across Windows 10. The Action Center notification tray has been redesigned. App developers can now include more details and richer media and you get the ability to prioritise notifications from your favourite apps.
Screenshot of Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14316
Screenshot of Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14316
Microsoft
Each app that sends notifications can have its priority set to one of three levels, Normal, High or Priority. Higher priority apps will have their notifications sent to the top of Action Center so you see them straight away. Less important ones will go to the bottom where you're more likely to miss them or accidentally swipe them away.
To avoid the long list of notifications that can build up in Action Center, you can also customise how many each app can send. The default is three per app. If an app has more than three to dismiss, the remainder will be grouped together. You can expand the list to see all the notifications. The change will make it easier to see which apps have notifications waiting without one app dominating the Action Center if it has a lot of activity, such as Mail or Twitter.
Linux on Windows
Microsoft has included the first preview of running Ubuntu Linux on Windows in this build. In an unprecedented announcement that sees Microsoft come closer to the open-source community than ever before, developers can now access Linux tools natively from their Windows PC.
Screenshot of Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14316
Screenshot of Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14316
Microsoft
With the support of Ubuntu creator Canonical, Microsoft has embedded a Linux subsystem into Windows 10 that lets it run Linux command line utilities. The feature will make Windows a much more versatile platform for app developers reliant on Linux tools.
Interface changes
Other notable changes include a new system-wide dark theme, the ability to pin windows to virtual desktops so they are available from every desktop, an updated and expanded set of emoji that aligns with Unicode standards and improvements to the Microsoft Edge browser.
Screenshot of Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14316
Screenshot of Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14316
Microsoft
As always, this is an Insider Preview build of Windows 10 and as such all features are subject to change before their public release this summer. Microsoft hasn't released a new Windows 10 Mobile preview build with the Anniversary Update features yet due to a critical breaking bug involving cellular data.
More about Microsoft, Windows, windows 10, windows 10 insider preview, cortana
 
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