Windows 10's latest 2020 preview packs these new desktop, smartphone features

As well 'passwordless' Safe mode, Microsoft brings Galaxy Note10 Your Phone features to Galaxy S10.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Microsoft has released the Windows 10 Insider preview build 18995 from the 20H1 branch to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring, and it's packed with new features for the desktop and smartphones. 

Testers on the Fast ring who update to this build will be able to try out using the Windows Hello PIN code for signing into Safe mode, the troubleshooting Windows state that allows users to rule out whether default settings and basic device drivers are behind a glitch.

Currently Windows 10 users need to use a password for the task, but as Windows 10 20H1, they will be able to just sign in to the device with the Windows Hello PIN. 

Microsoft says it's the next "step forward in our passwordless journey", referring to its efforts to weed out passwords from sign-in scenarios. 

In Windows 10 version 1903, the latest generally available version, users can setup a passwordless 'phone number Microsoft account' only with a phone number in mobile Office apps, or Outlook on iOS or Android devices. 

This feature could come in handy for Microsoft fans who take a punt on its forthcoming Android-based dual-screen Surface Duo phone announced this week. The device, due out next year, is another piece of the puzzle in Microsoft's efforts to unify Android phones with Windows PCs via the Microsoft Your Phone app

So far, Microsoft has focused on tightly integrating Windows 10 with select Galaxy devices, such as the Galaxy Note10. This preview brings new features from the Galaxy Note10 to the Samsung Galaxy S10, S10+, S10e, S10 5G, and the Galaxy Fold.

The update includes a feature called Link to Windows, which, Microsoft promises, "seamlessly connects your phone to your Windows 10 PC". 

"With Link to Windows natively integrated into your device, it's simple and convenient to send messages, manage notifications, sync photos, and mirror your phone on your PC," Microsoft says.

Also rolling out to these Galaxy devices is 'Phone screen', a Your Phone feature that allows users to access Android phone apps from the PC. The phone apps can be accessed using the keyboard and mouse or touch. 

"You can try out multi-touch gestures such as pinch to zoom, rotate, or swipe from your PC's touchscreen while using Phone screen," Microsoft says. 

The features are rolling out to "select global markets", and Phone screen is a "gradual rollout", so some users might not see it just yet. 

The Your Phone app on Windows 10 now also displays the device's battery level and its phone's screen wallpaper. 

Microsoft has also added several improvements to Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) detailed in release notes


Galaxy Note10 details shown on a Windows device via the Your Phone app on Windows 10.  

Image: Microsoft

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