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article imageNew Windows 10 Preview build adds, fixes and improves

By James Walker     Sep 19, 2015 in Technology
Microsoft yesterday released a new build of Windows 10 to Windows Insiders. The update includes several new features and improvements that respond to user feedback, including the option of having four columns of tiles in each Start group.
Windows 10 Insider Preview build 10547, announced on the Windows Blog yesterday, includes a "Show more tiles" option in the Settings app. It makes it possible to position two wide tiles side-by-side in a group on Start. Currently, there is only space for three so the new option will make it easier to create more complex Start layouts.
The feature has already been available in Windows 10 Mobile since its first preview release. Phones with high-resolution displays support four columns of tiles — a step-up from three in Windows Phone 8 — so the update to Windows 10 desktop is likely to please users who can now have broadly the same four-column layout across mobile and PC. Microsoft has also fixed the Start issue that prevented users from having more than 512 tiles. Although there is still a hardcoded limit, it is now set four times higher at 2048.
You can now  Show more tiles  on Windows 10 Start to have four-column groups
You can now "Show more tiles" on Windows 10 Start to have four-column groups
Tablet users will be pleased to find improvements to multitasking that make it possible to snap apps left and right from the Task View interface. Apps can also be swiped down to close, like in Windows 8, or positioned over a previously snapped app to replace it. The features will make it easier to manage and position running apps using only a touchscreen.
Elsewhere, the Windows "hero" image on the sign-in screen can now be optionally disabled from the settings app. Although some think it looks good, many have called for this ability to be implemented and have resorted to unofficial registry tweaks to remove the striking blue image of the Windows 10 logo from the password entry screen. Although Microsoft does not yet officially allow customisation of the image, it can now be replaced with a solid accent colour instead.
There are other changes, including an addition to the Edge web browser that will allow web developers to create web apps using real-time audio and video communications without any plugins. Although a behind-the-scenes tweak for many users, the introduction of Object RTC will facilitate richer online content in the future.
Microsoft is working on a Skype for the web update that will use this new technology to allow people to make Skype calls online, through the Edge browser, without installing any extra software. Currently, a plugin is required.
Microsoft has fixed several bugs with the new build, including an error that often prevented the Start menu from displaying and showed a "critical error" dialog instead. Sound issues affecting Realtek audio devices have been fixed and the company claims to have finally solved the issue of the Action Center icon unexpectedly turning white even though no notifications are present.
The bad news for people who aren't Windows Insiders is that the next Windows 10 feature update won't be arriving for everyone until November. It will contain all of the improvements in this build as well as anything released in the coming weeks and is thought to include support for browser extensions in Microsoft Edge and the new combined Skype and Messaging app.
More about Microsoft, Windows, windows 10, Preview, Build
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