Microsoft is lightening things up a little with Windows 10 Preview Build 18323. The build contains a massive list of fixed issues, but the real highlights are improvements to the operating system's new Light Mode and better support for the RAW image format.
It might seem weird to call the Light Mode in Windows 10 "new." Hasn't that been the default mode for years, with the Dark Mode being an option for people who like things a little bit dimmer? Well, yes, but Microsoft introduced the Light Mode with Preview Build 18282 to offer a better companion to the Dark Mode.
That initial version of the Light Mode has been improved with Preview Build 18323. Microsoft listed the following changes:
- We fixed an issue where the text in the battery flyout might become unreadable in light theme due to it being white.
- We fixed an issue where the scrollbar in the network flyout wasn’t visible in light theme.
- We fixed an issue where the autoplay icon in the systray wasn’t visible in light theme.
- We fixed an issue where impacting the network and volume icons in the notification area where after switching to light theme they wouldn’t update from white to black until explorer restarted.
- We fixed a similar issue where not all supported app icons in the taskbar would switch colors on the taskbar when switching between light and dark theme (particularly on the secondary monitor).
- We’ve made some adjustments to address issues where when using light theme white icons in notifications weren’t readable.
- We’re updating the Settings icon to now be dark grey in the taskbar when light theme is enabled rather than black.
Making a dedicated Light Mode in Windows 10 could help popularize the concept of switching between bright and dark themes as appropriate. Right now the choice is presented as picking between what Microsoft thinks Windows 10 should look like (default) and a variant (Dark Mode). Introducing the Light Mode changes the framing a bit to make it clear that Microsoft took care with both themes.
The other highlight of Preview Build 18323 is better support for RAW images. Those images differ from those saved with the JPEG, PNG, or various other formats in that they're totally unprocessed and maintain more information for editing than other files. This is a huge boon for professional photographers. And with the popularity of cheap, high-capacity storage, it's easier to store RAW images then ever. So it makes sense for Microsoft to help Windows 10 users work with those images. To wit, the company has built a new Raw Image Extension for Windows Insider Program members to beta test. It said:
"By downloading the new Raw Image Extension (Beta) package from the store, you can now view image thumbnails, previews, and camera metadata of previously unsupported raw files right in File Explorer. You can also view your raw images – at full resolution – in apps such as Photos or any other Windows app that uses Windows Imaging Component framework to decode raw images."
Windows 10 Preview Build 18323 is available now to Fast ring members of the Windows Insider Program. The Raw Image Extension (Beta) can be found in the Microsoft Store. You can get the full list of changes made in this build, along with information about Microsoft's ongoing bug bash, via the company's blog post.