Microsoft launched one of its larger Insider Builds for Windows 10 today. The new version (15002) includes a plethora of new features that touch everything from the Start menu to the Edge browser, Windows Ink, Cortana, Defender and Windows’ built-in accessibility features. All of those are great, but the one new feature that may make the biggest difference in your day-to-day use of Windows 10 (and the night after) may be the new blue light settings that allow you to automatically show warmer colors at night (and reduce the amount of blue light).
If you’re already using f.lux, Night Light on Android Nougat (probably not), Night Shift on iOS, or a similar tool, then this isn’t anything new for you, but the vast majority of Windows 10 users are probably unaware of these third-party tools. The idea here is to reduce eye strain and to help you sleep better if you do have to work on your desktop at night. Blue light, research has shown, inhibits the release of melatonin and hence makes it harder to fall asleep after you’ve been sitting in front of a screen.
Microsoft is also making another change related to the color blue: the good old Blue Screen of Death is turning green in the Insider builds. Microsoft says it made this change “in an effort to more easily distinguish Windows Insider reports vs the reports of those on production builds.”
As for other new features, the new tab preview bar for the Edge browser looks very useful (though it’s something that other browsers have also long offered as a built-in feature). Edge now also lets you set tabs aside for later use, which should be useful for those of us who often have 20+ tabs open. With this update, Edge now also features a preview of Microsoft’s previously announced payment API.
In the Start menu, Windows 10 is finally getting support for folders to help you organize your tiles. In addition, users with 4k+ screens will surely appreciate the improved support for their monitors thanks to improved high-DPI support for desktop apps (which is still a bit of an issue for Windows users).
This is only a very small sample of what’s new in this build. You can find a full rundown of all of the new features in Microsoft’s announcement.