The headlining feature is the first public arrival of Windows Ink, which was first announced late last month at BUILD 2016. Windows Ink is meant to be a powerful tool to help you put creative thoughts that typically would go down on paper onto a digital medium within Windows 10. You’ll be able to draw on a digital whiteboard and create digital sticky notes that can be shared among all of your Windows devices.
“Windows Ink represents a journey of making sure that the first tool you learned how to create and write with, your pen, is just as natural and easy-to-use on Windows as it is on a piece of paper,” writes Windows Ink Group Program Manager Li-Chen Miller.
First-party Microsoft hardware like the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book — both of which have active pens — come with the Windows Ink Workspace enabled by default in Windows 10. If you don’t have an active pen, you can still enable it manually be right-clicking on the taskbar and doodle with your finger.
The Windows Ink Workspace gives you access to such tools as the Sketchpad, which essentially gives you a blank canvas to “easily draw an idea, doodle, create, and solve problems,” writes Miller. “You can use your hands more naturally, too – you can rest your palm down when writing and intuitively use your other hand to bring up a digital ruler for writing straight lines just like on paper.”
Screen Sketch to perform a screen capture and add annotations to content, which can then be shared with family, friends and colleague. In addition, Sticky Notes has been supercharged to enable customized size and color, along with the ability to add Cortana reminders based on the content of your notes.
Moving beyond Windows Ink, Microsoft has improved the Start experience across all platforms (PC, tablet, smartphone) by combining the All apps list with the most used apps list into a single view. The positioning of Power, Settings, and File Explorer has also been tweaked for better discoverability.
Other new features include the ability to invoke Cortana from the Lock screen, new ways to create Cortana reminders, along with improvements to the Action Center, Lock screen and Taskbar. All of this new functionality will be officially rolled out to the public as a part of the of Windows 10 Anniversary Update this summer.
There’s a whole laundry list of updates and changes (including a running list of bug fixes and known issues with this build) that you can view by visiting the Windows Experience Blog.