Windows 10 build 21301 improves the touch keyboard for Dev Channel Insiders

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Microsoft has just released the Windows 10 preview build 21301 for Insiders in the Dev channel, which brings improvements to the touch keyboard design inspired by Insider feedback. Today's build brings pretty minor changes overall, but users of 2-in-1 devices will notice that the touch keyboard will now switch to the Small keyboard layout when undocking the keyboard, and the gripper region at the top of the touch keyboard will also make it easier to move it around the screen.

Other updates to the touch keyboard include an updated symbol’s view for the small and split layouts based on the default layout, as well as a less cluttered settings menu. When in a password field, a new password feedback icon will also appear at the left side of the space bar to turn on visual key press feedback on the touch keyboard.

The revamped touch keyboard settings menu allows you to quickly change between keyboard modes, access more settings and give feedback.

On devices with 12” or larger screens, some Insiders will also notice that the touch keyboard now uses a more traditional layout with the addition of Esc, Tab, and windows keys. To reduce distractions, the candidate bar will also be less cluttered with a maximum of 5 suggestions appearing above the keyboard.

The updated default layout now features the esc, tab, windows, and alt keys.

Today’s build 21301 also brings other minor changes for Jump Lists and Touchpad settings, and Microsoft has also fixed a bug causing news and interests in the taskbar to use 100% of CPU. You can find the full list of changes, bug fixes, and known issues below:

Changes and Improvements

  • We made a change so that when you right click locally saved files displayed in jump lists, in addition to Open you will now have the option to Open File Location.
  • We updated our N’Ko keyboard layout to add access to currency and some other symbols by tapping the keys along the top row of your keyboard while holding the Shift key.
  • We updated the Touchpad on/off toggle under Settings > Devices > Touchpad such that it no longer requires admin privileges to change.
  • We updated our backend dictionaries to help improve spellchecking and text prediction relevance.

Fixes

  • We fixed an issue so that the taskbar context menu and news and interests should no longer overlap.
  • We fixed an issue where in certain circumstances, news and interests would use 100% of CPU when it is first launched.
  • We fixed an issue that could result in Task Manager crashing when switching to the Details tab.
  • We fixed a recent issue for some Insiders related to the Clock and Calendar flyout that could result in ShellExperienceHost using an unexpectedly high amount of CPU.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in the State Repository Service being prematurely terminated during service startup. If you were impacted, one possible symptom was it taking longer to load the desktop when signing in. If you’re continuing to experience performance issues when logging in, please file them with a trace under Install and Update > Logon hangs.
  • We fixed an issue where if you searched for “change your password” and used the result to launch Settings, Settings would crash.
  • We fixed an issue where Aero Shake was unexpected disabled in the last few flights.
  • We fixed an issue where when moving a window between mixed DPI monitors it could result in the window margins being calculated with the wrong DPI, leading to the window overflowing on the other monitor when maximized.
  • We fixed an issue that could result in certain HEIF files not rendering although the correct codecs were installed.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in pinning a website to your taskbar from Microsoft Edge not working in the last few flights.
  • We fixed an issue that could result in VPN repeatedly connecting and disconnecting in a loop.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in some 32-bit systems lost network connection in recent flights.
  • We fixed an issue resulting sometimes in nothing happening after clicking a “Wi-Fi password needed” notification.
  • We fixed an issue where certain games like State of Decay 2, or Assassin’s Creed, may hang or crash when launching.
  • We fixed a few issues resulting in Narrator not reading elements of our troubleshooters when in Scan Mode.

Known issues

  • Miracast users may experience very low frame rates in this build.
  • We’re looking into reports of the update process hanging for extended periods of time when attempting to install a new build.
  • We’re investigating an issue impacting the reliability of Start and other modern apps, which started in the previous flight. If you are impacted, you may experience the Start menu layout resetting.
  • Live previews for pinned sites aren’t enabled for all Insiders yet, so you may see a grey window when hovering over the thumbnail in the taskbar. We’re continuing to work on polishing this experience.
  • We’re working on enabling the new taskbar experience for existing pinned sites. In the meantime, you can unpin the site from the taskbar, remove it from the edge://apps page, and then re-pin the site.
  • [News and interests] Sometimes the news and interests flyout cannot be dismissed with pen.
  • [News and interests] News and interests uses more taskbar space on the left than expected.
  • [News and interests] The taskbar button can show stale information each time the user signs into their Windows session.
  • [News and interests] The news and interests flyout shows content in a single column before quickly switching to double column.
  • [News and interests] Text in taskbar button can look pixelated in high resolution screens.
  • [News and interests] Attempting to share content dismisses the flyout.
  • [News and interests] In certain situations, the flyout may not dismiss until the taskbar button is clicked or the hover effect may appear stuck.
  • [ARM64] Insiders who installed the preview version of the Qualcomm Adreno graphics driver on the Surface Pro X may experience reduced brightness of the display. This will be addressed in a future update.

The Windows Insider team has yet to announce what to expect for the Windows 10 21H1 update to be released in the first half of 2021. Previous reports suggest that this is going to be another minor update like the October 2020 Update (20H2) was, and the Windows Insider team has yet to confirm that news and interests in the taskbar and other changes currently in testing will a part of the 21H1 update.

In case you missed it, Microsoft also released a new Windows Experience Feature Pack for Insiders in the Beta channel yesterday, which brings improvements to the screen snipping experience. The Windows Insider team has been testing this new way to ship new features to Insiders without having to flight a full build, and it's going to be interesting to see if the team will start to do the same with Dev Channels Insiders in the coming weeks.

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