Microsoft released Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18995 to Fast ring members of the Windows Insider Program on Thursday. This build's headlining features include the ability to use Windows Hello PIN in Safe mode, updates to Your Phone and improvements to Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).
Windows Hello PIN is a simple concept: it allows people to use a string of numbers to log into their systems rather than using full-blown passwords. Microsoft said the feature's expansion to Safe mode was "another step forward in [its] Passwordless journey" and makes it so you don't have to "rely on your password when troubleshooting your device." You enable the feature by going to Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options.
The updates to WSL are detailed in Microsoft's release notes. Most of the changes were bug fixes, but the company also updated the Linux kernel version to 4.19.72, which debuted on September 10. These changes should only affect developers--most people don't need to use the Linux kernel while they're also using Windows 10--but we're sure the bug fixes will make WSL a bit more appealing to anyone who's come to rely on it.
Microsoft also said it's updated the Your Phone app that unifies Android smartphones and Windows 10 devices. The first addition is a "Link to Windows" feature that's supposed to make it "simple and convenient to send messages, manage notifications, sync photos and mirror your phone on your PC." A new "Phone screen" feature also lets people use Android apps installed on their smartphones right from their PCs with full multi-touch support. Those updates to Your Phone are limited to the Samsung Galaxy S10, S10+, S10e, S10 5G and Fold in "select global markets."
Microsoft also updated Your Phone with a battery level indicator--an obvious addition--as well as a feature that shows the paired smartphone's current background in the desktop app. Those updates will be made available to all Your Phone users over the course of "a few days," as per Microsoft's gradual rollout process
Remember that this build is part of the 20H1 development branch, so its features won't reach Windows 10 proper until next year.
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Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.
good that it adds ability to use PIN in safe mode, its a bit of a problem when users only have a PIN and can't access safe mode right now. There isn't a good option for them if windows doesn't work.Reply