Microsoft drops new Windows 10 preview build with Game Mode, updated privacy settings

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With the release date for Windows 10 Creators Update steadily approaching, Microsoft is continuing its tradition of dropping new preview builds for Fast Ring Insiders. This build, numbered 15019, is introducing the gaming functionalities we’ve been waiting for — Game Mode, a read aloud feature for ebooks on Edge, and privacy setting updates. There is also a significant bug that might hamper the gaming experience but Microsoft is looking for feedback on the same.

GAMING

Starting off, on the heels of the massive Xbox experience update, the Redmond giant is also debuting similar changes to Windows 10 as well. You can now play games and broadcast your gameplay using the native Beam integration. To start one, you just need to pull up the Game bar using the Windows + G key combo. This will provide you with a minimalistic menu strip, where you can tap the record/stream button.

With a complete gaming experience being baked into the Windows 10, the Settings app is being updated to include a new Gaming section. It will be your on-stop shop for updating game settings on the move. This new section is identifiable with the Xbox logo and the Insider team is unifying the scattered game settings into this one location. On tapping this section, you will gain access to settings for Game bar, GameDVR, Game Mode, and broadcasting and streaming.

Now the biggest and baddest addition to Windows 10 that comes bundled with this update includes Game Mode. This exclusive feature aims to better the gaming performance on PCs, somethign which has been lacking for decades. There are currently 17 additional games, including Battlefield 3, Fifa 17, The Sims 4, Rainbox Six Siege, among others that’re supported in full-screen mode with Windows Game Bar. Talking about the same, Dona Sarkar, a software engineer in Microsoft’s Windows and Devices Group, says,

With Game Mode, it’s our goal to make Windows 10 the best Windows ever for gaming. Our vision is that Game Mode optimizes your Windows 10 PC for an improvement in game performance.

To activate Game Mode, you’ll need to navigate to the new Gaming settings section and toggle the functionality on. This will then enable you to pull up the Game bar at any instant during the game, click the settings button and choose individual games that’ll use the Game Mode. The said toggle in the settings option on the Game bar is currently suffering from a known bug and it has been detailed as under:

Game Mode is enabled system wide by default, however, the ON/OFF toggle in Settings will incorrectly show it as being OFF until the user manually toggles the Setting to ON which will cause it to update and accurately display the status of Game Mode system wide.

OTHER UPDATES

This build also brings along some promised privacy updates, which had been announced earlier, in tow. Windows Out-Of-Box-Experience (OOBE) team has been working on better protecting the security and privacy of Windows users. Thus, this preview build brings along two features, namely Wi-Fi Captive Portal and MSA Sign-in to complement the existing ones.

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The former now supports ‘captive portal’ Wi-Fi networks, whose connection is completed by navigating to a lightweight browser. The latter, on the other hand, has received a design upgrade for the Creators Update. These features are now paginated and simplified to help reduce its overall congnitive load. The sign-in/sign-on experience has also been further updated to improve accessibility.

This update is also building upon the e-book capabilities of the Edge browser in Windows 10. The previous update brought with it the e-book store, which had been rumored for long. This enabled Windows 10 Insiders to download new e-books and read them within the browser. It is now being updated to include read aloud functionality supporting a cohort of languages. The same has been described in the blog post as under:

Just press the “read aloud” button at the top-right corner after opening one of your e-books and listen to Microsoft Edge read you the book with focus on the line and the word being read along. This feature is also extended to all non-store EPUB files opened using Microsoft Edge.

Also, the blue light filter introduced in the massive 2017 update is now being renamed to ‘night light.’ The feature is also grabbing an update and let’s you preview the setting before applying it. some color temperature changes have also been introduced in the said feature. You now also have ability to resize Hyper-V machines and it will automatically adjust to the required resolution. The Store app is also bagging a small update, which will now show download progress inside of the Action Center.

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