Windows 10 preview build 20270 improves Cortana and the touch keyboard for Dev Channel Insiders

Windows 10 Cortana App
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Email Twitter: @LaurentGiret Dec 3rd, 2020 inNews

Microsoft has just released the Windows 10 build 20270 for Insiders in the Dev Channel, which is another minor update with improvements for Cortana, the Settings app, and the touch keyboard. The Cortana app is getting a new File Skill that will let Insiders in the US use the digital assistant to find files saved locally or on OneDrive for Business or SharePoint Online.

Back in October, the preview build 20241 changed the Optimize Drives page (Settings > System > Storage > Optimize Drives) in the Settings apps to add a new “Advanced View” checkbox to list all volumes including hidden ones. This checkbox wasn’t functional in previous builds, but it’s now up and running in today’s build 20270.

Moreover, Dev Channel Insiders using the touch keyboard in portrait posture on 2-in-1 devices will notice that this touch keyboard now supports split keyboard mode in the build 20270. Microsoft previously rolled out this update to Beta Channel Insiders earlier this week via a Windows Feature Experience Pack update, and it’s nice to see the Dev Channel catching up.

Today’s build 20270 also fixes a bug causing certain apps to close when clicking the Maximize button, as well as another bug causing a delay logging in on PCs with a large number of users. You can learn more about changes, bug fixes, and known issues in the build 20270 below:

Other updates for Insiders

File Skill in Cortana

You can now use Cortana on your PCs to translate their thoughts into direct actions to open and find files and save time spent navigating to apps/folders to locate and open files.

Enterprise users, who sign into Cortana with their corporate credentials (e.g., AAD) can search for files saved on OneDrive For Business and SharePoint along with files saved locally on their PCs (this setting is at Settings > Search > Searching Windows). Users using Microsoft account (e.g., ending with Outlook.com or Hotmail.com) can use Cortana to find files saved on their PCs. This feature is currently available to our English-speaking users in U.S.

Showing Cortana displaying files in response to a “find recent files” query.

Alt text: Showing Cortana displaying files in response to a “find recent files” query

Try and use Cortana to open or search files by:

  • Parts of file names (Example: “Hey Cortana, opening marketing deck.”)
  • Author names (Example: “Hey Cortana, open budget Excel from Anthony”)
  • Find a document you have been editing (Example: “Hey Cortana, find my recent files”)
  • Find a document of a particular type (Example: “Hey Cortana, find my recent pdfs”)

Changes and Improvements

  • The new “Advanced View” checkbox in Optimize Drives is now up and running and checking it will display volumes previously not visible in this window (for example system and recovery partitions).
  • Using the touch keyboard in a portrait posture on a 2-in-1 touch device now supports split keyboard mode. (This was released to Windows Insiders in the Beta Channel as part of the recent Windows Feature Experience Pack update.)

Fixes

  • We fixed an issue resulting in some dialogs, such as Properties, displaying black text on dark backgrounds in recent flights.
  • We fixed an issue that could result in certain apps unexpectedly closing when clicking the Maximize button in recent builds.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in printers with Japanese characters in their names not displaying correctly in Printers & Scanners Settings.
  • We fixed an issue that could result in some delay logging into your PC on devices with a large number of users.

Known issues

  • We’re looking into reports of the update process hanging for extended periods of time when attempting to install a new build.
  • 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.
  • We’re working on a fix for an issue resulting in some users seeing error 0x80070426 when using their Microsoft account to sign into various apps. If you encounter it, rebooting your PC may resolve this.
  • We’re working on a fix for an issue where, in recent Dev Channel builds, no drives appear under Settings > System > Storage > Manage Disks and Volumes. As a workaround, you can manage your disks in the classic Disk Management tool.

Earlier this week, the Windows Insider team explained that it would start shipping new features via Windows Feature Experience Pack updates, and “improve certain features and experiences that are now developed independently of the OS.” The team tested this new process first with Beta channel Insiders, and it remains to be seen if the Dev Channel will also be added to the experiment. “By testing this process first with Windows Insiders, we hope to expand the scope and the frequency of releases in the future,” the team said on Monday.

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