Last April was a big one for Windows 10. Microsoft finally released its major Windows 10 Creators Update and it added a ton of useful features. Come October, Microsoft is expected to add more exciting new features with its big follow-up update for Windows 10, the Fall Creators Update.
Based on all the early Preview Build and beta releases, we’re liking what we’re seeing so far. And it keeps getting better!
Among the new features spotted by Windows Insiders on the latest Preview Build 16257 is a control scheme that will make Windows 10 more accessible to people with disabilities.
The big new feature is called Eye Control and it allows you to operate an on-screen keyboard, mouse, and text-to-speech using only your eyes.
If this sounds straight off a sci-fi movie, well you’re right. This means you can control the mouse cursor by merely moving your eyes around or interact with a user interface icon by simply staring at it until it activates.
To use the eye-tracking virtual keyboard, just fix your sight on the character you want to type or you can type even faster with something called “Eye-control shape-writing.” This will probably work like the Swype keyboard for smartphones – except, hmm, you’re using your eyes!
The new feature is still in beta and it only works with the Tobii Eye Tracker 4C for now (support for more Tobii eye-tracking devices is coming soon) but Microsoft stated that it is “open to working with additional hardware vendors to provide customers a broader set of hardware options to enable this experience” so we expect to see support for other brands in the future.
Other new features
Other notable improvements include a more modern look for Microsoft Edge, which was inspired by the “Fluent Design System.” Microsoft said that the “use of Acrylic material provides depth and transparency to the tab bar and other controls, and we’ve improved button animations to feel more responsive and delightful.”
Microsoft also tweaked the Edge browser’s address bar so now even when the address bar is not in focus when you click and drag it, the text will remain under the cursor. Other Edge tweaks include fixes for copying and pasting images, full-screen tabs and tab arrangements.
Windows Insiders who are also Office Insiders will be able to incorporate 3D objects in Word, Excel and Powerpoint.
How to join the Windows Insider Program
If you want to take advantage of these early sneak peeks of upcoming Windows 10 builds, you can sign up for Microsoft’s Windows Insider Program.
Important: Be forewarned that Insider builds are beta versions of Windows 10 and can be unstable. We don’t recommend installing them on your main computer. Also, make sure you have a complete backup of your machine before installing any Insider build.
To join the Windows Insider Program, make sure you already have a Microsoft Account then sign up for the program here.