Yet another Windows 10 build is now available to preview users. Microsoft has released Build 10547 to Fast Ring Insiders as part of its ongoing effort to tout Windows as a service.
The latest build brings with it a number of user-facing changes as well as backend improvements designed for developers. Among the most prominent changes users will notice is the addition of a fourth column for the Live Tiles in the Start Menu. Gabriel Aul, vice president for the engineering systems team in Microsoft's Windows and Devices Group, says this is a much requested feature from users.
"We heard feedback from many Insiders who wanted the ability to have a fourth column as well, so they could have two wide or large sized tiles side by side in a group," he said.
To create a fourth column, users have to open the Settings app, go to Personalization > Start and enable "Show more tiles." While in the Personalization menu, they may also turn off the Windows background picture in the sign-in screen by going to Personalization > Lock screen. Aul also says users can now create up 2048 Live Tiles instead of the previous maximum of 512, although we can't imagine running so many tiles in one screen.
Tablet mode also gets a few improvements. Users can now snap apps to the left or right straight from Task View and replace a snapped app with another. Swiping down the app will now close it.
The text input panel also expands when users type in Latin languages. Also, the panel will no longer automatically appear when a keyboard, such as the Surface keyboard, is attached or when the device is not in tablet mode.
Microsoft also announced several updates to its apps, including Photos, which now allows users to view their OneDrive and PC photos in folder view. Improvements were also made to Groove, Mail, Calendar and Maps, while the Xbox app received a substantial update with several major new features.
For developers, Microsoft is adding support for Object Real-Time Communications (ORTC) API in Microsoft Edge. This allows Microsoft and developers to offer voice and video calling capabilities in a browser without requiring users to install a browser extension. Microsoft plans to offer this eventually in Skype.
Aside from the new features, Microsoft also made several improvements to faulty aspects of previous builds. These include fixes to issues involving the critical error dialog encountered in the Start menu, the notification icon in the Action Center, Battery fly-out text, and background shuffle. Microsoft also fixed several audio problems, including one affecting Realtek devices. Most notably, Windows 10 now lets users use Cortana on local accounts.
As with most beta software, Build 10547 also includes a number of issues. The biggest problem discovered on the build so far is one that prevents the Windows Store from updating automatically. For now, users who want to download the latest build will have to update Windows Store manually until Microsoft finds a fix.