Windows Ink and Cortana upgrades come to the latest Windows 10 beta

Windows 10 Start menu hero

Windows 10 power users will be happy with the latest Insider Preview build of the operating system. Build 14328 features a ton of small tweaks that come together to make Windows 10 more powerful than ever.

The biggest addition to Windows 10 is the new Windows Ink feature, which is a sketch and notepad to help you quickly jot down your thoughts. Windows 10 will automatically detect if you have a compatible stylus like the Surface Pen, allowing you to quickly access plethora of options by press the pen button.

Currently, most pens can only activate an eraser mode, and OneNote if there are two buttons. Ink is a quicker, less intrusive way to jot down notes quickly and access many more options like a digital ruler and other bite sized options.

Windows 10 Ink app preview

The Start menu is getting an overhaul as well, getting you to your apps with fewer clicks and scrolling. The most used apps and All apps list have been merged into one, and important shortcuts for File Explorer, Settings, and Power are now located to the left side.

The full-screen All Apps list makes its return on Windows tablets, letting users quickly find apps, though the icons are still frustratingly small.

Windows 10 Start menu redesign preview

And since artificial intelligence is the next big thing, Microsoft is making it easier to use its Cortana virtual assistant. Cortana can now be summoned from the lock screen, but she'll ask you for your password to access sensitive data. New users also won't have to set up Cortana before getting to use it.

Beyond these updates, there are ton of smaller tweaks in the Taskbar like a redesigned clock, which integrates your calendar events and the ability to switch audio devices quickly. Be sure to read Microsoft's entire change log to see just how many tweaks the company made to Windows 10.

Windows 10 clock and calendar menu

The Windows 10 Preview build is available today for both PC and Windows Phone for those who have opted into Insider Preview builds. Head over to your Settings app and click on "Advanced options" under the Windows Update section. Scroll down and you'll see an option to "Get Insider Preview builds."

Be warned, as these preview builds have their fair share of bugs so use a virtual machine or a spare computer to try out the updates to be safe.

All of these changes are expected to come out late this summer in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

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Lewis Leong
Lewis Leong is a freelance writer for TechRadar. He has an unhealthy obsession with headphones and can identify cars simply by listening to their exhaust notes.