Windows 10 20H1 build 19822 hides a revamped Cortana app

Laurent Giret

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Microsoft released a new Windows 20H1 preview build yesterday with minor updates for language settings and Feedback Hub, but it looks like there are some cool hidden features that the company has yet to talk about. Twitter user Albacore has discovered a way to enable a new Cortana app on the build 18922 that comes with a “beta” label.

Microsoft has finally separated Cortana from Windows Search in the Windows 10 May 2019 Update, and this should allow the company to iterate faster on Cortana going forward. Once enabled in the 20H1 build 18922, this hidden Cortana beta app is still accessible from the task bar and appears as a pop up window.

As you can see in these screenshots, the app has dropped the left sidebar and hamburger menu to add a new ellipsis menu at the top left corner, which provides access to Settings and Feedback. The new app has also adopted the conversational UI that is already available on the iOS and Android.

This new Cortana app also supports dark theme, but overall it doesn’t seem to be a significant departure from the existing version of the digital assistant on Windows 10. Albacore shared how to enable this new Cortana app on the build 18922, but we didn’t test it ourselves and we wouldn’t recommend it if you don’t know what you’re doing.

The revamped Cortana apparently isn’t the only hidden feature in this latest 20H1 build, as Albacore also found a way to enable draggable screencaps. These work when you take a screenshot using the Win + Shift + S shortcut, and the video below shows a screencap being dragged accross the screen after being captured. Apple implemented a similar feature in recent versions of iOS and macOS.

The latest 20H1 builds could hide even more new features that the Windows Insider team has yet to discuss, and there’s indeed plenty of time left before this feature update ships in the first half of 2020. Anyway, it’s good to know that Cortana on Windows 10 could be getting some love very soon, as it seemed like updating the digital assistant was no longer a priority for Microsoft.