Windows 10 update is bringing one of the best iOS features to your PC

(Image credit: Future)

Microsoft has revealed Windows 10 will be getting one of the most useful software features of Apple's iOS mobile platform.

The PC suite will soon welcome a spacebar cursor feature which has long been popular for mobile users, giving more control where to navigate on screen simply by pressing and holding the spacebar while moving your finger.

Apple introduced the spacebar cursor in iOS 12, with the feature also a nice callback to the keypad scrolling seen on BlackBerry devices in the past.

Windows 10 cursor

Microsoft says the touch keyboard can be launched on any PC from the touch keyboard button on the taskbar, although users may need to enable this by right-clicking or pressing and holding on the taskbar, then selecting “Show touch keyboard button” in the menu.

The feature will appear as part of a future Windows 10 build, with Microsoft noting the release as part of Windows 10 preview build 20206, adding that it had been a popular request from users around the world.

"All you need to do is place a finger on the space bar and slide your finger left, right, up, or down. As your finger moves, so will the cursor – one character or line at a time," Microsoft said in its preview build release notes.

The tool could be useful for those using Windows 10 on tablet mode, and could be a headline feature for Microsoft's new handheld devices such as the Surface Duo. The company is also gearing up for the release of the next generation of Windows 10X, designed specifically for foldable devices. 

Build 20206, which has been released to testers in the Dev Channel, comes with a new and improved version of Windows dictation which has been renamed Windows voice typing. As was the case with dictation, it’s possible to use voice typing anywhere in Windows 10 where there is a text field, but it now benefits from a modern design which is optimized for usage with touch keyboards, Microsoft explains.

Preview build 20206 also brings in an improved emoji picker, and the idea is it’s now a one-stop-shop for all your emoji needs with a fresh look (based on Fluent Design). An in-line search box will help you find the right emoji, and support for animated GIFs has been introduced.

Via Bleeping Computer

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.