Windows 10 20H1 Build 18908 is out and brings new accessibility features for your Phone app along with some quality changes and furtherance for PC. Your phone app initiates two new accessibility features – screen reading and focus tracking. This even allows users to change keyboard language and layout. In addition to this, the list of supported phones now includes Samsung Galaxy A8 and Galaxy A8+. Despite some known bugs on the phone app, they roll new messaging features, colorful icons, and sync over Mobile data.
They fix several issues on PC as well such as- MS Paint selection, Japanese IME context menu, Narrator and others. Microsoft confirms that there comes a new icon for Onedrive that supports both dark and light themes. Though, they have blocked File Explorer Search Experience and settings header rollouts; both of them may appear soon. Windows 10 Build 18908 is, in reality, a great step towards the new era of Windows. Let’s explore this in great depth-
What’s new for Your Phone app
Here, we elucidate several new features that came along with this 20H1 Build for your phone app.
Phone screen – Accessibility features, keyboard language and layout
The company has initiated two new accessibility tools- focus tracking and screen reading on this build. In addition to this, users can now switch the keyboard’s languages forth and back while remaining in the Phone Screen.
1. Screen reading
If you are a fan of TalkBack services, you can configure a few settings so that your device starts reading on your behalf. To activate this, do the following-
- Navigate to your Android phone’s accessibility settings.
- Henceforth, locate and enable Your Phone Companion accessibility service.
- Once you turn on both services, the Narrator can start playing from your PC.
Note: The narrator will read whatever you describe it to using either keyboard or mouse.
2. Focus tracking
Using this attribute, one can magnify the apps display screen of Android while being on the Phone Screen. The new focus tracking feature will simply precede either your mouse pointer or keyboard focus.
In case, you want to enable this accessibility feature; you must install TalkBack on your Android set. Subsequently, enable focus tracking using Your Phone Companion accessibility service. After you enable these services, press Win key and Plus sign (+) together to activate Magnifier on the system.
3. Keyboard language and layout
After installing this insider preview on your PC, you may find a new icon available on your phone screen toolbar. If you tap this icon, it opens settings page enabling you to choose from different keyboard languages and their layouts.
You must note that this setting is applicable only for physical keyboards. This works only when you use your PC’s keyboard to write into your phone. At the same time, it won’t change keyboard configuration or phone’s languages.
Phone screen now supports new Samsung phone models
Microsoft team has expanded the list of supported phone models on this build. The new entrants which now support this attribute are- Samsung Galaxy A8 and Galaxy A8+. They have also promised to continue expanding their list even further.
Minimum Phone screen prerequisites
- Android phones that are running on Android Nougat (7.0) or higher-
Samsung Galaxy S10e, S10, S10+, S9, S9+, S8, S8+
Samsung Galaxy Note 9, Note 8
Samsung Galaxy A8, A8+
OnePlus 6, 6T
- Android phones must be within the reachable limit of PC’s Bluetooth range. Again, both phone and PC should remain connected to the same network
- Bluetooth radio enabled PC must support low-energy peripheral role
- Running Build should be either 18338 or newer ones
Known issues for the Phone app
- The touch input may not work effectively.
- If you have set preferences for Blue Light on Android, the same won’t carry forward to the PC’s phone screen.
- Only screen reader feedback audio will play from the PC. The rest audio will continue to play out from speakers of the phone.
- In case, you activate the above-mentioned accessibility attributes at the same time, magnifier rectangle will start following your navigation. However, the visual narrator rectangle won’t change its position still can read the texts correctly.
New Messaging Features
20H1 Build 18908 introduced new messaging features using which you can do the following-
- Send and receive MMS messages – Users can now send and receive both GIF and Giphy with the comfort of the phone app.
- Unread message indicator (badge) – This implies that there are unread messages.
- Nav Pane – There appears a visual indicator on the message mode.
- PC Taskbar – There also appears a visual indicator on the Phone applying on the PC taskbar.
- Unread conversations – Again, visual indicator within threads signifies that you have unread messages.
- Contact images – The phone app will sync the profile pictures of the contacts. Doing this will help you identify easily to whom you are currently messaging.
- In-line reply – Users can now fast-reply to the coming text messages right from toast notifications. There is no need to even open the Phone app.
- Emoji picker – You can now include Smileys, food, people and several others as emoji on this app itself.
Your Phone can now sync over mobile data
Microsoft experts brought the much-requested feature on 20H1 Build 18908. Windows users can now sync their images, messages as well as notifications easily over mobile data. From now onward, there is no need to connect your Android phone to some WI-FI network.
All you have to do is to tap over settings on your Phone companion app then turn on “Sync over mobile data” option. Once you enable this feature, there appears a toast on your phone which reads- ‘Connected to your PC’.
Colorful new icons
Microsoft enhances the overall look of both Your Phone and Your Phone Companion apps. The Company did so to resemble them as a part of the Windows family. There are already several options available for the later one while new icons will arrive soon for Your Phone.
This feature will appear on 19H1 Insider builds as well in upcoming days. This may take few days to a month to appear on regular cumulative updates.
General changes, improvements, and fixes for PC
The key changes of 20H1 Build 18908 are as follow-
- A few specific devices holding fast startup enabled night light wouldn’t turn on until after a restart. Although, they fixed this error now.
- The company resolved resulting issues in some features on Some Menu including All apps. These apps were not restricted to a particular place in languages such as FR-FR, RU-RU, and ZH-CN.
- Microsoft solved WMA lossless decoder in this update. It was outputting junk in a 24-bit form which influenced a few music players.
- Battery dropdown options will not turn blank. These options are available below the Video Playback Settings.
- On updating, you will see that the Power button is now able to show a dot which exposes that the updates are available. In spite of “update and restart” is listed in the Power button menu.
- The experts rectified an issue that causes MS Paint selection to move in unanticipated steps per key struck while using the arrow keys.
- Microsoft has replaced the “User Dictionary” with “Add word” while updating the Japanese IME context menu. This allows users to add new words in fewer clicks than earlier.
- They resolved the bug which results Narrator to stumble while reading progress bars.
- The Company does also fix the Narrator issue in which Firefox crashes immediately whenever some navigate through its heading.
- There will be a new icon for OneDrive which looks really cool on either Dark or Light theme. They are going to bring this feature on OneDrive version 19.086.0502.
Note: With 20H1 Build 18908, the team has blocked the ongoing rollouts of either Settings header and File explorer Search Experience. Until they work upon the issues that are sent to them as feedback, both remain dormant. They do promise to bring them back online, just a little more time.
Known Issues – Windows 10 18908
- For Home editions, there is a probability that some devices might not see the “update installed” on the update history page.
- Moving ahead, a few systems might not be able to view the download progress % change on the Windows Update page. This is applicable only for devices having home editions.
- There is a possibility of encountering crashing issues when you update your device to the latest version 20H1 Insider Preview. Microsoft experts have already worked together with game developers to bring a solution to this. As a workaround, just upgrading your games to the latest build may resolve this trouble.
- Still, there are possibilities that Realtek SD card readers will not operate appropriately.
- The Taskbar search outcomes will visible nothing other than the dark area. Here, it will go on until you restart searchui.exe. Mainly, it happens when you use remote desktop to connect to an advanced session VM.
- You will find an unexpected slowness in your device when dragging the emoji and dictation panels.
- They turn off tamper protection in Windows Security which can be re-instated back.
- To take effect right away after selecting a color filter, just turn off and back on again the color filters option.
- You may undergo Settings application crashes if you navigate to the Graphics Settings page in the Settings application.
- The IME window for the East Asian IMEs won’t open all the times on Simplified Chinese or the Japanese IME. They are currently investigating this issue. In the meanwhile, if you are one of them who is facing this issue, just open the Task Manager and go to the Details tab. Here, find the following process and end this.
- The experts are probing the Bopomofo IME issue as well. The character width of this IME abruptly converts to Fullwidth from Half-width.
Known Issues for developers
After the installation of Build 18908 fast ring on your Windows 10, switching to a slow ring creates some bugs. There is a probability that enables developer mode option starts to break. To get the advantage of features such as- add, install or enable the optional content, you should remain in the fast ring.