With all the focus on Microsoft's hardware event scheduled for Oct. 6, the company has taken a while releasing the newest builds for Windows 10 PC edition. That, however, appears to change soon, as a new leak reveals Build 10558 with several new apps and features and Build 10559 already being tested in the Fast Ring.
Most prominent among Build 10558's additions are the three new communication apps that hint at the impending release of Microsoft's universal Skype-based messaging feature. Microsoft announced these apps were in the works, so it's not surprising that they're finally here, but Messaging, Skype Video and the new Microsoft Phone app took a long time coming.
The Messaging app doesn't look like much yet, as it seems like nothing more than a skeletal framework for a more fully worked out app. Skype Videos shares similarities with the interface of the current Skype app and lets users make video calls to other people, although the video display automatically pops up the moment users run the app.
The most interesting app, however, is Microsoft Phone. It doesn't appear to have any functionality yet, since calls made via the new app are routed to Skype Videos. Windows 10 does not have a telephony function, but in the future, we can probably expect the app to allow users to make and receive calls via Microsoft Phone, considering Microsoft's commitment to build on older Windows 10 builds and continuously add new features and improvements to its new Windows-as-a-service platform.
Build 10558 also includes Find My Device, which may be likened to Apple's Find My iPhone feature for iOS. Microsoft's Find My Device feature does not work yet, but when it will, it will let users track down lost Windows 10 devices by seeing the device's last recorded location. Like Find My iPhone, Find My Device has the potential to help users recover lost devices or at least prevent them from being sold on the black market by gadget thieves.
The build also comes with the ability to let users save their apps to an external storage device, such as an SD card. While this feature may not be so important for desktop and laptop users, those who have tablets and 2-in-1 laptop hybrids running on Windows 10 will find this useful as it frees up some space on their storage-limited devices. However, this feature appears to take an all-or-nothing approach, allowing users to save all apps into an external storage or no apps at all.
Other minor improvements and changes to Windows 10 include the following:
- Tab previews are now available in Microsoft Edge, saving time and resources for users who just want a quick peek at a tab instead of opening it.
- The Registry Editor icon and some icons for the Control Panel have received a makeover.
- Spotlight, which lets users provide instant feedback on lockscreen images straight from the lockscreen, is now available for Enterprise users.
- New icons have been added to the Start context menu, while the Safe To Remove USB icon is now in the system tray.
It's unclear whether Microsoft will release Build 10558 to Fast Ring Insiders in the future. Microsoft's chief of its Insider program Gabe Aul says on Twitter that Build 10559 is currently in testing but he doesn't say which features leaked on Build 10558 have made their way to Build 10559. It's very likely, however, that the Skype apps, possibly improved versions of them, are making the jump to the next build. We'll learn more about it when Microsoft releases the next Windows 10 build to Insiders after its Oct. 6 event.
— Gabriel Aul (@GabeAul) October 3, 2015
@win10fan No surprise builds :) I mentioned yesterday that we'll have new builds most likely after the event next week — Gabriel Aul (@GabeAul) October 3, 2015