[Updated] Windows 10 20H1 build 18970 is out with better tablet experience for 2-in-1 PCs and new Cloud download feature

Windows 10 20H1 build 18970 is out with redesigned tablet experience for 2-in-1 PCs and new Cloud download feature

Microsoft has just released a new 20H1 build for Windows Insiders in the Fast Ring, and today’s release is a bit special as Microsoft is also shipping a cumulative update for the new build to test its servicing pipeline. If you’re a Fast Ring Insider, you should see the build 18970 in Windows Update, as well as the cumulative update 18970.1005 (KB4518974).

“We are testing our ability to service a build at the same time it is released. The result for Insiders should be that they are on Build 18970.1005 after completing these updates,” the Windows Insider team explained today.

After installing this new 20H1 build, a subset of Fast Ring Insiders may see a better tablet experience for 2-in-1 PCs, with a collapsed search icon on the bottom left corner, increased spacing between Taskbar icons, and other subtle improvements for tablet users. This new UI is still a work in progress, but Microsoft will listen to user feedback before rolling out to more Insiders.

Update: To be clear, this isn’t about the existing Tablet mode on Windows 10. If you have Tablet Mode disabled on your 2-in-1 PC, you will now get a better tablet experience in the traditional desktop mode when your remove your detachable keyboard or go into “tent mode” for devices with a 360° hinge. Moreover, it appears that Windows 10 will no longer automatically turn on Tablet mode when your 2-in-1 PC goes into tablet posture, Tablet mode will have to be enabled manually.

The other new feature in this build is the addition of a Cloud Download option when choosing “Reset this PC” in Settings. This feature appeared in previous 20H1 builds, but it wasn’t functional until now. As its name suggests it, Cloud download will allow Windows 10 users to download Windows 10 from the cloud to speed up the reinstallation process, which should be more convenient for users with a high-speed Internet connection.

Last but not least, the new Cortana beta app will be available for all Fast Ring Insiders in the US who will be installing today’s build. Once you have this new version of the digital assistant, it will be updated through the Microsoft Store like other inbox apps.

You can get more details about all the new features in the build 18970 below:

Introducing a new tablet experience for 2-in-1 convertible PCs! 

Showing the increased spacing on the taskbar, plus collapsed search box and keyboard icon.

We are beginning to roll out a new tablet experience for 2-in-1 convertible PCs as a Beta to Windows Insiders. This new experience allows users entering tablet posture to stay in the familiar desktop experience without interruption, plus a few key touch improvements:

  • Increased spacing between Taskbar icons.
  • Search box on taskbar collapsed into an icon.
  • File Explorer switches to touch optimized layout
  • Touch keyboard auto invokes when you tap text fields.

As part of this, we’ve also made a few small changes to the tablet section in Settings.

This experience is currently available for a portion of Insiders as we evaluate the quality. Here are the steps once it becomes available on your PC:

  1. Use your convertible PC as a laptop as you normally would–opening apps and interacting with them.
  2. When you’re ready to pick it up and go or simply lean back on the couch, you can fold back the keyboard or remove it altogether, and it should switch to this new mode shown above.
  3. Now use your device as a tablet with touch.

We’d love to hear your feedback about the new experience–share your thoughts here.

Recovery Improvements

Introducing a new Reset this PC option–Cloud Download

Reset this PC now provides users a new choice to download Windows or use local reinstall. Previously, Reset this PC was only able to do a local reinstall and would build a new Windows installation from existing Windows files. When this feature was introduced in Windows 10 version 1507, it provided the advantage of enabling Windows to be recoverable without requiring extra disk space to store a compressed, backup copy of Windows in a hidden partition. We’ve heard feedback that some of you would prefer to use your high-speed internet connection to speed up this process by just downloading Windows.

Important note: This is a recovery operation and will remove apps you have installed. Additionally, if the “Remove everything” option is selected, user data will also be deleted. For more information on Reset this PC and other recovery options visit aka.ms/win10recoveryoptions.

GIF demo showing click-through flow from Settings > Update & Security > Reset this PC, using cloud download option.

The cloud download option will reinstall the same build, version, and edition, that is currently installed on your device. This new cloud download option is available to all Windows 10 devices and is different from the “Recover from the cloud” feature available on some earlier Windows 10 devices.

Known issues

  • The cloud download option is not currently working when specific optional features are installed. The process will begin, but an error will occur and roll back the changes. To work around this issue, remove the optional features before trying the cloud download option. We’ll let you know once this issue has been resolved. The optional features are: EMS and SAC Toolset for Windows 10, IrDA infrared, Print Management Console, RAS Connection Manager Administration Kit (CMAK), RIP Listener, all RSAT tools, Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Windows Fax and Scan, Windows Storage Management, Wireless Display, WMI SNMP Provider.

Other updates for Insiders

Continuing the Cortana rollout

The new Cortana experience is now available to all Insiders in the Fast ring in the United States. If it’s available on your device and you haven’t tried it out already, we’d love to hear your feedback! We’ve posted a Quest in the Feedback Hub to help you get started.

As usual, this new build also brings a couple of bug fixes and general improvements, and Microsoft has fixed a DWM memory leak that was impacting the previous two flights. We invite you to check our separate post to get the full list of improvements and known issues in this build.

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