Microsoft releases new Windows 10 preview with Eye Control, notification, and Your Phone improvements

By July 4, 2019News

Microsoft today released a new Windows 10 preview with Eye Control, notification, and Your Phone improvements. The update bumps Windows 10 from build 18922 (made available to testers on June 19) to build 18932. These builds are from the 20H1 branch, which represents the Windows 10 update that will arrive in the first half of next year.

Windows 10 is being developed as a service, meaning it receives new features on a regular basis. Microsoft has released seven major updates so far: November UpdateAnniversary UpdateCreators UpdateFall Creators UpdateApril 2018 UpdateOctober 2018 Update, and May 2019 Update.

Microsoft has improved Eye Control with a few new options. There is mouse drag-and-drop, which even lets you combine clicks and drags with Shift and Ctrl modifier keys. Selecting the pause button now completely hides the launchpad (it reappears when you briefly close your eyes or look away from the screen). There is now a second activation method: dwell to select the target and click a button with switch. Lastly, Microsoft has released an open source Gaze Interaction Library in the Windows Community Toolkit and updated settings to manage more Eye Control features.

Speaking of accessibility, this build also improves the Narrator and Magnifier UI. The former will now automatically start reading webpages and emails while the latter now works with dark theme and text sizing options.

Next, Microsoft is introducing Focus Assist to automatically suppress notifications. You can also middle-click to dismiss notifications if you want to quickly make a notification toast go away. This build also makes notification settings more easily discoverable, adds a new direct link at the top of the Action Center to manage notifications, and lets you sort the list by which apps most recently sent notifications.

In related news, Your Phone has received Notifications integration (Windows 10 May 2019 Update or newer). You can now also interact with your phone screen using one-touch tap and long press.

Your Phone is still limited to select phones running Android 7.0 or greater: Samsung Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+, Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9+, Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, Galaxy A8, Galaxy A8+, Galaxy Note9, Galaxy Note8, OnePlus 6, and OnePlus 6T.

Bug fixes

This 20H1 build includes the following bug fixes and improvements:

  • The older settings sync engine has been turned off for 20H1 builds and changes made to settings that have not yet been migrated to the new settings sync engine will stop being sent and received. Some settings may not be migrated. The full list of settings that have been supported for sync are available here, but the list is subject to change during 20H1. Synced settings that are impacted by this change include settings pertaining to taskbar orientation, wallpaper, theming, and others.
  • Updated indexing behavior to exclude common developer folders, such as .git, .hg, .svn, .Nuget, and more by default. This will improve system performance while compiling and syncing large code bases in the default indexed locations such as user libraries.
  • Fixed an issue where the update might have failed the first time you tried to download it with a 0xc0000409 error code.
  • Fixed an issue where recent updates might have failed with a 0x80070005 error code.
  • Fixed an issue for Home editions where some devices couldn’t see the “download progress %” change on the Windows Update page.
  • Fixed a race condition resulting in some Insiders seeing a large number of explorer.exe crashes in recent builds. This is also believed to be the root cause for some Insiders finding that Control Panel wasn’t launching – please let us know if you continue seeing issues after upgrading to this build.
  • Fixed an issue resulting in some Insiders finding that their File Explorer search box was rendering in an unexpectedly small space and crashed when clicked.
  • Fixed an issue where Settings would crash if you tried to add a language on the previous build.
  • In Word, after showing a “flash message” on a braille display, Narrator is now correctly showing just the current heading.
  • Made a small backend change to the updated Windows Ink Workspace to help improve the launch time.
  • Fixed an issue resulting in Task Manager unexpectedly showing 0% CPU usage in the Performance tab.
  • Fixed an issue that could result in a black remote desktop window for a few seconds when disconnecting from a remote desktop session.
  • Fixed a issue resulting in Direct3D 12 games crashing in the previous flight.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause certain apps to crash when you input Asian characters.
  • Fixed an issue for the Chinese Pinyin IME where, if you were in the middle of finalizing a phrase and clicked away, the next thing you typed wouldn’t show the characters.
  • Fixed an issue with the Chinese Pinyin IME where the mouse over highlight could get stuck on a particular candidate in the candidate window.
  • Fixed an issue with the Chinese Pinyin IME where the candidate window wouldn’t display when typing in the Microsoft Edge search box (Ctrl+F).
  • Fixed an issue resulting in not being able to use touch to open context menus on websites in Microsoft Edge after using pinch to zoom in and back out.
  • Narrator search mode will now reset scoping to all elements each time it is opened.
  • Rolled out the fix for taskbar unexpectedly dismissing when invoking Start if set to autohide to all Insiders in Fast.
  • Fixed an issue where the Bluetooth Hands-Free audio driver (bthhfaud.sys) could get stuck when making or breaking a synchronous connection-oriented (SCO) link to the headset. This would cause all audio on the system to stop working until the system was rebooted.

Known issues

This build has four known issues:

  • If you’re seeing failures installing games via the Xbox app, you can retry the install.
  • There has been an issue with older versions of anti-cheat software used with games where after updating to the latest 19H1 Insider Preview builds may cause PCs to experience crashes. Make sure you are running the latest version of your games before attempting to update the operating system.
  • Some Realtek SD card readers are not functioning properly.
  • Tamper Protection may be turned off in Windows Security after updating to this build. You can turn it back on. In August, Tamper Protection will return to being on by default for all Insiders.

As always, don’t install this on your production machine.