It has been another busy week for Windows Insiders.

We started off on Wednesday with the opening of the Skip Ahead ring which allows testers to place devices back into the prerelease branch that is now shifting to begin the early stages of 19H2 development. The 19H2 feature update will be the eighth overall update for Windows 10 and is expected in the September/October 2019 time frame. 

As you might recall, a week earlier testers received Build 18323 which was the first build in the release branch for the 19H1 update which is due to arrive in the March/April time frame. That build marked a few milestones in the development process for this seventh feature update and coincidentally made it possible for Microsoft to open the Skip Ahead ring as previously mentioned. 

Late on Friday there were two things that happened. First, Microsoft released a rare Friday afternoon build for Windows 10 (19H1), Build 18329.1, and then let Insiders know that the Skip Ahead ring was full and no longer available for testers to opt-in for that early access.

Now that we are caught up on all the various occurrences this week for Windows Insiders, let’s take a look at Windows 10 Build 18329.1. 

Note: This build was released to both the Fast and Skip Ahead rings which technically makes this build the first for 19H2 even though the two builds are basically identical at this stage of each’s development. This is actually quite normal and we will likely not see any tremendous variation between the two branches until around the time Windows 10 (19H1) is released for general availability.

One of the first things I did once this build was installed across my test devices was to grab updated Reserved Storage data in order to continue my running comparisons of how much storage is used for this feature.

Here is the rundown for the last four builds since this feature was introduced:

  • HP EliteOne1K
    • Build 18312 – 2.50GB
    • Build 18317 – 7.05GB
    • Build 18323 – 7.41GB
    • Build 18329.1 – 7.41GB
  • HP Spectre x360 (2015)
    • Build 18312 – 5.61GB
    • Build 18317 – 6.64GB
    • Build 18323 – 6.02GB
    • Build 18329.1 – 6.99GB
  • Lenovo X1 Yoga
    • Build 18312 – 5.70GB
    • Build 18317 – 6.88GB
    • Build 18323 – 6.62GB
    • Build 18329.1 – 7.34GB
  • Surface Book
    • Build 18312 – 7.09GB
    • Build 18317 – 6.75GB
    • Build 18323 – 7.11GB
    • Build 18329.1 – 6.40GB
  • Virtual Machine
    • Build 18312 – 7.04GB
    • Build 18317 – 7.13GB
    • Build 18323 – 7.06GB
    • Build 18329.1 – 7.06GB

Search User Interface Enhancement

Back in December, Microsoft separated Cortana and the Windows Search capabilities into their own user interfaces. On the taskbar for Windows 10 (19H1) builds, you will see a separate icon for Cortana and one for Search.

Windows 10 (19H1) Taskbar Icons for Cortana and Search
Windows 10 (19H1) Cortana & Search on Taskbar

After initial A/B testing of this change, Microsoft pushed this feature out to all Windows Insiders a couple of builds ago.

This week, with the release of Build 18329.1 to 19H1 and 19H2, an additional enhancement has been added to the Windows Search UI.

As you can see in the screenshot gallery below, there is now a list of your Top Apps across the top of the search interface. Your search results appear below that list. I have messed around this new UI and have a couple of observations:

  • If you hit the Windows Key to open the Start Menu and begin searching the list of Top Apps do not appear – just the normal search results UI.
  • If you click in the search box to open the search UI, the list of Top Apps appears until you type the first letter of your search. At that point the list of Top Apps disappears and you have the normal search results UI.

Think of this as a quick shortcut to the apps you use the most on your device. While we have a few different options for accessing our most used apps, such as on the Start Menu of you enabled that option in Windows Settings, this is another handy access to that list.

Personally, I like the idea and will see about modifying my own muscle memory for the apps I use the most and how I access them.

Other Updates in Build 18329.1

  • There  were some compilation issues with some of the media for this release, so depending on the language you use with your OS, you will not see Build 18329.1:
    • Windows 10 Home: RO-RO, SK-SK, SL-SI, SR-LATN-RS, TH-TH, UK-UA
    • Windows 10 Home N: RO-RO, SK-SK, SL-SI
    • Windows 10 Pro: FR-CA, IT-IT, JA-JP, KO-KR, NL-NL, PL-PL, SR-LATN-RS
    • Windows 10 Pro N: RO-RO, SK-SK
  • The 19H1 Bug Bash wraps up tomorrow, February 3rd, so head into the Feedback Hub and knock out as many Quests as you can for this feature update.
  • The ability to run Win32 apps, basically your desktop programs, has been added to Windows Mixed Reality.
  • Keyboard support has been added for ADLaM and Osage fonts
  • Mail & Calendar (Version 16.0.11231.20082) is heading to Windows Insiders in the Fast Ring with a new Dark Mode for Mail and Calendar items. In addition, more of the UI now has Dark Mode integrated. You can turn that on in Personalization’s settings for the app plus you can now select a default font for displaying content within the app.

There are 11 fixed items documented in this build and under known issues there are 14 items. To be honest, this is the longest I remember that known issues list being at this stage of a feature updates development.

Windows 10 (19H1/19H2) Build 18329.1 Screenshots Gallery

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