Windows Blue Milestone 1 (M1) has leaked onto torrent websites. Microsoft is currently halfway through the development of Windows Blue and this leak gives us a preview of some of the features coming in the update later this year.
On the start screen, there is a smaller tile size that matches the one in Windows Phone 8 and a larger tile size that is twice as high as the current largest tile. It is now possible to select multiple tiles and move them together instead of one at a time and name groups of tiles without entering semantic zoom first. Lastly, the colour of individual tiles can also be changed.
It is also possible to swipe up on the start screen to view all applications and swipe down to return to the start screen, which is faster than the current way of swiping up from the bottom and touching the “All apps” button.
Windows Blue Personalisation
The start screen can now be personalised without switching to PC settings and there is a much greater range of colours to choose from. It is also possible to show or hide administrative tools without switching to PC settings.
There are some new apps including an Alarms app that can set an alarm, timer or stopwatch, a Calculate app that is a standard and scientific calculator and converter, a Sound Recorder app that record using a microphone and a video editing app. Also, Internet Explorer has been updated to version 11.
Apps can now be snapped in more ways. As well as the current split of 25% of one app and 75% of another, it is now possible to have a 50% split of two apps, a 33% split of three apps of a 25% split of four apps.
Windows Blue App Splitting
The Share charm now has the option to take a screenshot and share it, the Devices charm has new icons and the option to play content on devices and the Settings charm now has a black background behind disabled settings.
Also, most of the options from the desktop control panel have been ported over to PC settings, which now has two levels of settings. PC settings opens in the Home section, which displays the most frequently accessed settings and a search bar to search for settings.
The “Lock screen” section has a new “Picture frame” option that displays a slideshow of photos on the lock screen similar to a digital photo frame and also a new “Lock screen camera” option.
Click here to see screenshots of Windows Blue M1 or read on for a description of the changes to the control panel.
The “Screen” section of the control panel switches to a second level of settings with “Power & sleep”, “Display” and “Touch feedback” sections. The “Power & sleep” and “Display” sections allows the battery-saving and display options to be accessed without having to go to the desktop. The “Touch feedback” section has yet to be done.
The “Accounts” section also switches to a second level of settings with “Sign-in options”, “Account picture”, “Sync” and “User accounts” that contains the options that are currently in the “Personalization” section. The “Sync” section is currently under construction.
The new “SkyDrive” section appears to integrate SkyDrive into the modern control panel instead of having a separate app. It has “Storage use”, “Device backups” and “Files” sections. In the “Files” section is an option to save files to SkyDrive by default and an option to automatically upload photos and videos taken with the device’s camera to SkyDrive.
The “Privacy” section has been updated so it has “General”, “Location”, “Webcam”, “Microphone” and “Custom peripherals” sections. The “General” section contains the current privacy settings. The “Location”, “Webcam” and “Microphone” sections lists which apps have access to the device’s location, webcam and microphone and allows each to be turned off on an app-by-app basis.
The “Devices” section has “PC info”, “Device settings”, “Radio Devices”, “Add/Remove devices” and “AutoPlay” sections. The “PC info” section displays the specs of the device and the Windows version along with options to change the PC name and Windows product key. The current device settings are in the “Device settings” and “Add/Remove devices” sections. The “AutoPlay” section can be used to choose which devices can automatically play when they are inserted.
The “Network” section has “Connections”, “HomeGroup”, “Proxy” and “Workplace” sections. On the “Connections” section is an option to add a Virtual Private Network (VPN). The “HomeGroup” section is unchanged from the current version. The “Proxy” section provides options to manually configure a proxy server. The “Workplace” section provides the option to join a domain.
The “Apps” section has “Notifications”, “App sizes”, “Search”, “Share”, “Defaults” and “Switching” sections. The “Notifications” section adds a new option to allow incoming calls to turn on the screen automatically. It also adds the option to stop notifications during a specified time of day and an option to choose whether incoming calls are allowed during the quiet hours. The “App sizes” section makes it easy to free space by listing all installed apps by the size they take up along with an option to uninstall apps. The “Search” section adds strict and moderate filter options to filter adult content. The “Defaults” section allows the default applications, file extensions and protocols to be set. The “App switching” section allows app switching gestures to be disabled.
The “Ease of Access” section has separate sections to configure narrator, magnifier, high contrast, keyboard and mouse settings without having to access those applications from the desktop.
The “Time & language” section has separate sections to configure the date and time, region and installed languages. It also has a “Typing” section that allows each of the individual spelling and autocorrect features to be turned on or off.
The “Update & recovery” section has an “Update” section for Windows Update and a “Recovery” section with options to refresh Windows, reinstall Windows or boot from a DVD or USB drive.