Microsoft delivers Windows 10 test build with new Start, inking, Cortana lock screen features

The newest Windows 10 'Redstone' Fast Ring test build, 14328, includes new features Microsoft showed off last month at Build, including Windows Ink, an updated Start experience, Cortana updates and more.

Microsoft is making a new Windows 10 "Redstone" preview build, No. 14328, available to both PC and phone Insider testers on the Fast Ring on April 22.

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Credit: Microsoft

The Windows 10 Mobile 14329 build, which follows by a couple of days the most recent Windows 10 Mobile test build (14327) doesn't include a whole lot of new and noticeable features. But the PC version does.

Among the new features that Fast Ring testers can try in this build are:

  • An updated Start experience that shows a merged All and Most Used Apps as the default, along with some other UI tweaks
  • For tablet users, full-screen All Apps list in Start
  • The ability to use Cortana from the Lock Screen
  • Updates to Action Center and Notifications
  • Changes to the Taskbar and Settings app
  • Ability to switch virtual desktops using a touchpad
  • Improved battery life for Surface and other "Connected Standby" PCs
  • Windows Ink

Microsoft showed off many of these features at its recent Build 2016 conference. The Windows Ink feature, in particular, got a lot of air time, with demonstrations of how the updated digital inking feature will allow users to create sticky notes, draw on white boards and use ink with third-party and Microsoft applications that support it. (Microsoft apps that will support Windows Ink include Edge, Maps and Office.)

This new build also includes the aforementioned Cortana-lockscreen change, so that users can ask Cortana to set reminders like "Buy milk before I get home" from the lockscreen. Other Cortana changes in this build include the ability to use Cortana without first setting it up or signing in. Cortana notifications are visible in the Action Center, as well, as Microsoft officials said previously.

There are more details in today's blog post about these features and more that are part of Build 14328.

These features are all expected to be part of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, which Microsoft is expecting to make generally available this summer, most likely around July 2016.