Windows 10 Insider Fast Ring Build 15007 resumes the Insider program

The Insider program is back from its hiatus, and what a hiatus it has been. The break of a mere few weeks saw two isolated leaks, the second leading Microsoft into releasing Build 15002 out of the blue, three days ago. The leaks gave us spoilers, essentially, and were a tease of what was to come.

Microsoft also accidentally released Build 14998 for Windows 10 Mobile; those who managed to install it now must regret it. Build 15007 is an update for both the PC and mobile – a sweet treat, for everyone still sticking by the Windows 10 Mobile platform.

The leaked Build 14997 and Build 15002 were pretty much identical, down to much of the instability. Thus, for the Insiders, this build is (maybe) a relief.

The events of the past few weeks have taken us on a journey; putting them aside now, let’s see what Build 15007 brings us.

Since this build releases for both the PC and Mobile; we must split the sections – this took a long time.

P.S.: We are changing the format of these Insider updates to more of a summary; if you have inputs on this change, do leave them in the comments below.

For PC

Edge gets edgier – There are quite a lot of new features coming to Microsoft’s Edge browser; combined with the updates we got in Build 14997/15002 – Edge is getting better every day.

Here’s a summary of everything new to Edge:

  • Edge can now import data from other browsers – like Chrome; what you can import, depends on the browser you are dealing with. There’s also an option to export Edge’s settings to a file. These options can be found in the settings page.
  • Build 14997/15002 added the ability to “set aside” tabs, and bring them back at a later time. Build 15007 adds the ability to share the tabs you have set aside, with any app installed on the PC. This essentially lets you share your session with apps that can understand what a session is. Handy, if used creatively.
  • Internet Explorer has had an option to “Run” files without downloading and saving them for a few decades; this feature is now coming to Edge. There’s also an addition of the “Save as” option within the existing Save button.
  • Web Notes now leverages all of the strides Windows Ink team have been making; the features are now on parity with the experience found in Maps and Photos app.
  • Links on websites that support Microsoft’s web-to-app URI handlers will now open in the respective app instead of Edge. For example, clicking on a Netflix link could, in fact, open the Netflix app on Windows 10, rather than the website.

Themes become official – Three weeks ago, a few random themes showed up on the Windows Store; that was followed by the addition of a Themes section in the Settings app on Build 14997/15002.

Microsoft officially announced the feature with Build 15002 a couple of days ago, but Build 15007 details it.

The feature wasn’t working with Build 15002, and it isn’t working with Build 15007, but Microsoft has a link for the collection of themes available on Windows Store in their official blog post.

Microsoft says that this will feature will be working, in the span of a few builds.

Cortana will follow you around – Isn’t it difficult to own multiple devices? You have a few links open in Edge on your laptop, but you now have a sudden urge to work on your desktop; the switch can quickly become cumbersome.

Cortana will now handle this strange scenario for you, and more; read about that over here.

Game Mode is on – The Game Mode has made an appearance; the feature showed up as a mere DLL file a couple of weeks ago. Today, after much speculation about what the feature is capable of; Build 15007 finally adds an interface to it.

You can read more about the feature over here.

Notifications have a progress – The folks building your UWP apps now have a new feature in their arsenal; the Windows 10 toast notifications can now include a progress bar. Additionally, developers can also update an existing notification through data-binding. You can read more about this on Microdot’s official blog.

Microsoft itself plans on using this capability with Windows Store downloads, and perhaps with the Edge browser as well.

Fancy scrolling – The scrollbar element has been updated across all UWP apps; it is no longer distractive, takes much less space, and doesn’t create strange flashing artifacts.

The new behavior can be seen in the GIF embedded below.

A better Hello – Windows Hello has seen some substantial improvements with regards to its setup process; not only is it a smoother experience with Build 15007, but it also is a better one.

The new experience features visual guidance that tracks the user’s face in real-time and provides feedback as well. The experience can be tried out at Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options > Windows Hello > Face recognition, so long you have a Windows Hello-compliant camera.

The GATT and Bluetooth – This is the first build where Insiders can try out the new Bluetooth APIs that enable the GATT server, Bluetooth LE Peripheral role, and unpaired Bluetooth LE connectivity.

Minor Improvements & Fixes

  • There’s a new ‘Rainbow Flag’ emoji, highlighting Microsoft’s continued dedication to diversity.
  • The snipping tool can now be entirely used with keyboard shortcuts; Alt+N to select the desired snip type, followed by the push of Enter, will start the capture. This also works with the new WinKey + Shift + S shortcut.
  • An issue that caused a GSOD if the user tried to drag an Edge tab out – to create a separate new window – has now been fixed.
  • The Settings app would crash if a user browsed to the Battery settings via Settings > System > Battery; it doesn’t do so anymore.
  • Windows Hello would fail to initialize the camera on the Lock Screen; an annoying issue, which no longer exists.
  • Remote Desktop connections would randomly fail to claim the credentials to be wrong when in fact they were right. This behavior was unacceptable and is no longer tolerated.
  • The touch keyboard button might be missing from the taskbar – even on devices with touchscreen; this behavior has been rectified.
  • The ‘quick actions’ section in the Action Centre would randomly go missing – no more.
  • The Surface Pen’s click button used to stop working after cycling Bluetooth on and off on the connected device; this issue has been fixed.
  • The Virtual Touchpad is just a tiny bit bigger now.
  • An issue that caused the Netflix app to show a black screen instead of the video content has been fixed.
  • The ‘Data Usage’ page in the Settings app should now load correctly.

Known Issues

  • The Spectrum.exe service may or may not produce non-stop exceptions, resulting in broken audio, extraordinarily high disk usage, and apps such as Edge becoming completely unresponsive. There’s a temporary fix: click here to know more.
  • Some users have reported a GSOD while going through the upgrade process, resulting in a roll-back. The team at Microsoft is currently investigating this issue.
  • Clicking on certain elements in Win32 games might minimize them, without the ability to restore.
  • Windows Explorer is unable to handle the ‘%’ symbol in desktop shortcuts and might get stuck in a crash loop. To get out of the loop, Microsoft recommends using the Task Manager to open a PowerShell window and renaming the accused shortcut.
  • Once again, Windows Explorer might get stuck in a crash loop if a user sets the connection to ‘Extended’ when connecting a secondary monitor. Microsoft’s solution is to turn off the PC, disconnect the monitor, and turn on the PC.
  • The Settings app can no longer save the brightness setting; any changes made will be reverted as soon as the Settings app closes. Microsoft’s solution is to use the Action Centre flyout or brightness keys.
  • The Ctrl+C shortcut for copying will not work in Command Prompt.
  • Taskbar preview icons might appear small on high-DPI devices like the Surface Studio.
  • Specifically, for Surface Dial; the list of apps that is displayed in the ‘Add an app’ option at Settings > Devices > Wheel might come up empty. If it does, users can still use the ‘Browse for an app’ option as desired.
  • Some random web pages in Edge might not open, with the browser claiming that it “can’t reach this page.” Microsoft recommends opening the web page in an InPrivate tab as a workaround.
  • In the Start Screen; dragging an app from the all apps section into the tile grid might not work. Microsoft’s solution is rather to right-click the desired app and add it via the context menu.
  • Miracast no longer works. Short and simple.
  • A certain set of hardware will crash the Netflix app when starting a playback. Microsoft’s example is the Acer Aspire. The only workaround is to use the website.
  • If the DPI settings on a device are equal or higher than 150%, 3rd party UWP apps will crash.
  • An upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 Build 15007 (why would you even do this?) will delete all the Windows Store apps; users will have to re-download them.
  • The Narrator might often not work properly with Edge, giving a “no item in view” or silence while switching tabs or using other navigation commands. The solution is to Alt + Tab in and out of Edge; Narrator should start reading as expected.
  • For apps that support linking with Cortana; the app-specific commands will not work immediately after installing the app. Users must wait five minutes for the indexing to trigger and add these commands to Cortana.

Those were a lot of new features and a lot of known issues – but there’s’ more.

For Mobile

The folks on mobile received an accidental upgrade just a few days ago; Build 14998 for Windows 10 Mobile already had some of the features mentioned below. Build 15007, of course, makes it official.

Azure Active Directory – Users with AA-joined phones can now sync their settings – stuff like Wi-Fi profiles, Edge favorites, Edge reading list, and app data – with Enterprise State Roaming. The feature can be enabled by browsing to Settings > Accounts > Sync.

Additionally, users can now sign into Cortana using their work or school account, rather than the Microsoft Account; especially useful if their organization doesn’t support the MSA. This feature was added to PC with Build 14986.

Cortana does even more (and in Chinese) – Build 14986 gave Cortana the ability to control music playback and volume on the PC; this ability is now coming to Mobile with Build 15007.

The two apps compatible right now are iHeartRadio and TuneIn Radio; you can even ask Cortana to figure out what song is playing on the radio, and it will figure that out for you.

Additionally, Cortana is now also able to recognize music for users in China. The feature works the same ass it does in the U.S. and uses Netease to recognize the song.

Cortana can now also create recurring time-based reminders; essentially, Cortana can remind you of your upcoming anniversary. This feature came to the PC with Build 14997/15002.

Text scaling for the web – Edge will now let users zoom into a web page regardless of zoom settings defined by the web page.

This change of behavior comes because of user feedback regarding the Ease of Access feature that increases font size.

Edge will now ignore the accessibility feature but will let users zoom however much they want.

UWP improvements – The scrolling improvements mentioned above for PC also apply to mobile.

Additionally, UWP apps on mobile should have improved readability for text in high contrast mode.

Settings updated – The Settings app now features more information regarding the settings on each page; this information will show up on the right or bottom, depending on the screen size.

Additionally, app-related settings have been moved out of the System category, and into a new ‘Apps’ section.

The Bluetooth and connected devices pages have been merged as well, and now feature an improved experience.

Also, you can now pause updates for up to 35 days.

These changes appeared on the PC with Build 14997/15002.

Minor Improvements & Fixes

  • The Web Payments API for Edge is now available for Windows 10 Mobile.
  • It’s now possible to reset apps back to their original state. This feature first showed up in the accidentally released Build 14998.
  • The alarm volume will now be a bit louder but will continue to ramp up to maximum volume, as before.
  • Insiders might have encountered an issue where their devices (like Lumia 950) would take an awfully long while to show up after connecting to a PC. This issue has been fixed.
  • System related notifications should now work; stuff like Bluetooth, USB, Autoplay, etc.
  • Video recorded in portrait mode wouldn’t playback with the correct aspect ratio. It does now.
  • A strange issue that led certain pinned websites on Start to perform a web search rather than opening the page with Edge has been fixed.
  • The SIM PIN dialog shouldn’t truncate text in certain languages anymore.
  • An issue that caused the phone to be stuck at the “Goodbye” screen while rebooting with Bluetooth on has been fixed.
  • Notification Listener apps should now be able to access notifications accurately.

Known Issues

  • The Windows Hello greeting is missing from the lock screen. Microsoft is working on fixing this.
  • Azure Active Directory Sync:
    • Your favorites or Reading List might not show up in Edge immediately after launching it; you must wait thirty seconds after launching Edge for theses to show up.
    • Edge won’t sync Reading List from your PC unless you restart your mobile device.
    • Edge is syncing passwords to the phone, but these passwords are not showing up under “saved passwords” in Edge.
  • Microsoft Wallet is broken; adding a new card won’t work, neither will paying with an existing card.
  • The Ninja Cat emoji shows up in two characters instead of one.
  • Tapping on notifications for new emails won’t open the Mai app or the email.
  • A certain few devices like the Lumia 635 and 636 are unable to set their brightness level manually. Microsoft solution is to rely on the automatic brightness feature for the time being.

That’s it, Folks!

That was quite a big update. It’s safe to say that the Insider program is now back on its track.

Build 15007 finally brings the somewhat neglected Windows 10 Mobile on parity with Windows 10 on PC.

There’s also plenty of new for the PC. This update, therefore, manages to make everyone happy.

If you are an Insider, it is now up to you to report any bugs and feedback. The Creators Update is close, make sure it’s the best update yet.

As always, you can check out the official Microsoft blog if you would like to read more about the build.

Check Also

5 Best iTunes Alternatives for syncing iPhone to Windows 10

Alright, so there is no denying the fact that when it comes to Apple, iTunes …