A new feature on the latest Windows 10 preview might finally put shady, snoopy apps to bed. Microsoft is currently testing some new privacy and notification features in the new Windows 10 Insider preview for users in the Fast Ring, and one of them lets users know if an app is using their microphone.
This feature was actually added in a previous build, but it was merely an icon that notified the user if the microphone is being used. This latest update, on the other hand, actually specifies which app is doing the deed, and if there are multiple apps snooping, the icon will tell the user exactly how many. Needless to say it's an incredibly useful privacy enhancement, especially for people that are extra anxious about non-consensual surveillance and spying.
Windows 10 Microphone Feature
The feature is part of the forthcoming Windows 10 19H1 update, which Microsoft details in its most recent blog post. Users can try this feature out by enrolling their system in the Windows Insider Program and downloading the Windows 10 19H1 Fast Ring build 18290. The program is part of Microsoft's effort to squash bugs, tie up loose ends, and clean up other errors before rolling out software updates to the general public.
Needless to say that early Windows 10 builds are pretty buggy, so only the most experienced users should be downloading and testing them. Otherwise, those who simply want to try the latest features should at least think twice before installing the update on their main machine. A backup one should be handy in this scenario.
Microsoft warns that this version of Windows is still unstable, but the company promises that an improved overall experience will be coming soon.
"If multiple apps are using your microphone, then it will just list how many are actively using your microphone. We still have a bit more to do, stay tuned," explained the company.
Windows 10 19H1 Update
Privacy notification is just one of the many features included in the upcoming 19H1 update for Windows 10. A previous build also introduced the ability to remove preinstalled Microsoft bloatware. Another version brought a brand-new light theme, in addition to much-improved search functionality.
Microsoft is also tweaking the overall Windows 10 aesthetic, particularly with the Start and user menus. It's also adding an option to manually sync the clock with the time server. Cortana and Search are getting their due adjustments as well, in such a way that the recent activities section of the landing page has "a bit more room to breathe."
Make sure to check back with Tech Times as we learn more about when update 19H1 is arriving.