Microsoft

Windows 10: Here's how to get the latest apps before anyone else

The Windows App Preview Program will allow anyone to test out new versions of apps by joining the Windows Insider Program.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • Microsoft is making it simple for anybody to test upcoming versions of Windows apps via the Windows Insider program.
  • Pre-release versions of apps including Paint 3D, Microsoft Photos, Windows Mixed Reality Viewer, and Windows Calculator will be available to try out.

Microsoft has launched an App Preview Program for Windows 10 to allow everyone to try upcoming versions of Windows apps ahead of release.

Until now only a select group of users who had been accepted into the Skip Ahead group in the Windows Insider program were able to try out forthcoming apps early.

The Windows App Preview Program will now allow anyone to test out new versions of apps, simply by joining the Windows Insider program and choosing to preview new apps.

Insiders can opt in to test preview versions of the following apps: Feedback Hub, Microsoft Photos, Microsoft Sticky Notes, Microsoft Tips, Paint 3D, Windows Alarms & Clock, Windows Calculator, Windows Camera, Windows Mixed Reality Viewer and Windows Voice Recorder.

To try out the new apps, first join the Windows Insiders program, following the instructions here. Once you're running an Insider build, go to the Settings or About page for the app and click the Join preview button. If the limit has been reached for the number of users testing a feature you will get a notification and be able to join when more slots open up.

SEE: Windows 10: Streamline your work with these power tips (free TechRepublic PDF)

You can also revert back to using the standard version of an app by going to the Settings or About page and hitting the Leave preview button.

Preview versions of all the apps listed above will be rolling out the coming days.

Microsoft says it has made the change so Windows 10 users don't have to opt in to using unstable Skip Ahead builds to test new versions of apps.

Those running Skip Ahead builds of Windows 10 will continue to receive new versions of Windows 10 apps.

Microsoft also released two new test builds of Windows 10, one previewing features coming in the imminent Redstone 4 feature update, and the other a build that will land with the Redstone 5 update later this year.

The Redstone 4 update, build 17101, is being released to Windows Insiders in the Fast release ring and the Redstone 5 update, build 17604, to those in the Skip Ahead ring.

New features in the builds include giving users more control over which Universal Windows Platform apps can access the file system and tweaks to emoji design.

Microsoft also altered Windows 10 Pro for Workstations to include a new power scheme called Ultimate Performance, and to change the default apps from consumer software and games to productivity and enterprise-focused offerings.

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The preview option for Paint 3D.

Image: Microsoft

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About Nick Heath

Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic. He writes about the technology that IT decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

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