New Windows 10 Fall Creators Update test build adds new Cortana, dictation, Edge features

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update test build, 16215, includes a raft of new features, updates, and fixes for PC Fast Ring testers. Here's some of what's new.

Microsoft's latest Windows 10 Fall Creators Update test build, No. 16215, is chock full of new features and updates.

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Credit: Microsoft

The new test build, released on June 8, is for Fast Ring Insider testers. (Microsoft also released a new Windows 10 Mobile 'Feature 2' update, No. 15222 to testers today, which includes several fixes and no new features.)

Build 16215 is newer than the test build that Microsoft accidentally released to PC testers last week. It includes some of the features that those who installed that rogue build (16212) noticed last week.

For example, the Action Center notification area now includes a separate section for apps. Also, the Windows Phone keyboard is coming to PCs for desktop, bringing enhanced text prediction to the touch keyboard in Windows 10. Microsoft also is adding a new touch keyboard layout that looks like the phone keyboard for one-handed use.

Users also can now use dictation to input English or Chinese text on the desktop using the microphone button. Support for voice commands for basic editing and punctuation insertion are included as part of this new experience.

Today's build also includes some changes to the overall look and feel for the Fall Creators Update via support for Microsoft's Fluent Design ("Project Neon") in Start and Action Center. If you like transparency and blur, you'll appreciate this; if you're like me and not a visual person, you may not really be wowed by these tweaks.

Edge browser users are getting a new Full Screen option and the ability to pin websites to the Taskbar.

In this test build, Microsoft is adding new Cortana features that are opt-in, beginning with the en-us market. Cortana camera roll insights will prompt users to create reminders if they take pictures of event posters and store them in their camera rolls.

Microsoft also is adding a "Lasso" tool to Cortana to circle relevant information on a screen using a pen that supports Press and Hold (like the ones that came with Surface Pro 4, Surface Book and Surface Studio), enabling Cortana to recognize the time and offer suggested follow ups. Microsoft historians may remember this isn't the first time Microsoft has shown off the "Lasso" tool; it introduced a Bing Lasso application for iPads in 2011.

Microsoft added a bunch of new pen and inking features to the latest build including a "Find My Device" capability that may help users like me who are always misplacing Surface Pens get a rough idea of where they might be, by indicating where a user was when s/he last inked on a device.

Other new handwriting features in today's test build include a new conversion and overflow model to help make room for more written text. Users can select text to edit and overwrite converted text. Microsoft is adding pen scrolling support (for Universal Windows Platform apps only at the current time) and pen selection options.

Today's test build includes some My People improvements and fixes; Night light improvements; new video playback settings; and support for a new "Copy Link" sharing feature.

Microsoft lists a number of additional gaming, developer and other improvements made to this build in the accompanying blog post. Fixes and known issues for both the PC and the Mobile builds rolled out today are also listed in the post and worth checking out before installing.

Microsoft officials have said the company is targeting September 2017 for the release of Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.

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