Microsoft is rolling out a new build of Windows to members of the Insider Preview program. Among other things, Windows 10 Build 17074 makes the Edge web browser into a better app for reading eBooks, support for saving payment information so you can autofill web forms, and a new Quiet Hours feature that lets you set times when you don’t want to be interrupted.
Quiet Hours allows you to set certain times when you won’t be disturbed by notifications, but it also automatically pops up in certain situations. For example if you’re playing a full screen exclusive DirectX game, Quiet Hours will keep notifications from obstructing your view. And if you’re duplicating your display to beam a movie or presentation to a projector, Quiet Hours will allow you to do that without being interrupted automatically.
New Edge features for reading EPUB or PDF books include a new pop-over for displaying notes you’ve taken on a book, view books, PDFs, and Reading View pages in full-screen mode, EPUB layout improvements, and support for EPUB Media Overlays for features like hearing book narration while reading the book (on supported titles).
It still seems a little odd to me that Microsoft is baking all of these eReader features into its web browser rather than offering a separate app for reading eBooks. But if you like to read books on a Windows notebook or tablet, I suppose it’s nice that Microsoft is improving the eReader that ships with Window 10… even if it is also a web browser. Full screen support will at least offer a slightly more distraction-free reading experience.
Another new feature is an embedded handwriting panel that lets you use handwriting recognition by tapping a text input field and then writing in a pop-out box in the same spot on the screen. Up until now you’ve typically had to write in a separate panel at the bottom of the screen, no matter where the text box was actually located.
Here are a few other changes in Window 10 Build 17074:
- Edge option to never save passwords for specific domains
- Edge can now auto-fill saved passwords even when browsing with InPrivate mode
- You can also now use extensions in Edge InPrivate mode
- Edge supports variable fonts (OpenType Font Variations)
- Language Packs are now available from the Microsoft Store and the localization experience has been updated
- Documents and Pictures folder links will be in the Start Menu by default
- Disk Cleanup is now part of the Windows 10 Storage Settings
- Hindi handwriting recognition
And while Microsoft has already begun rolling out Spectre and Meltdown-related security updates for existing Windows users, if you install the latest preview build of Windows 10 it comes with those updates baked in.