Windows 10: This new update brings smarter voice typing and a revamped touch keyboard

Windows 10 Preview Build 20206 also brings emoji search, cursor control and GIF support to the updated touch keyboard.

Cheat Sheet: Windows 10 PowerToys

Microsoft is introducing a new dictation tool for Windows 10 alongside some major changes to its touch keyboard.

Windows Voice Typing is the new name for Microsoft's dictation tool, which now features auto-punctuation and more reliable speech-to-text translation.

SEE: Top Windows 10 run commands (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

The interface has been updated and modernized for use with Microsoft's new Windows 10 touch keyboard, which has been overhauled as part of the latest Windows 10 Preview Build, version 20206.

The revamped touch keyboard features a new entry point for voice typing, which can be activated by hitting WIN+N. The layout and size of keys have also been tweaked to improve comfort and accuracy of typing.

Editing text using the touch keyboard has also been made easier. Users can now move the cursor one character or line at a time by pressing the space bar and then sliding their finger in the desired direction, allowing them to edit text in the text field more quickly.

windows10-cursor-keyboard.jpg

You can move the cursor position by placing a finger on the keyboard and moving it left, right, up or down.

Microsoft

For those who prefer to keep their keyboard undocked, this option is now accessible directly from the keyboard interface. At the same time, options within the settings menu have been labelled to make them easier to find.

Last but not least, Microsoft is also updating its emoji picker in Windows 10 to include inline emoji search and support for animated GIFs, which will be powered by the Tenor platform. The emoji picker has also been updated to align with Microsoft's Fluent Design aesthetic.

The new touch keyboard updates are currently rolling out to Insiders in the Dev Channel. The voice typing feature will be rolled out to a "subset" of Insiders to begin with, who will be tasked with helping Microsoft identify early performance issues, before they roll out to everyone in the Dev Channel.

Microsoft noted that users might experience "random pauses" when using voice typing in some Office apps specifically. It comes after Microsoft introduced the new Transcribe tool for Microsoft Word last week.

"We are still working to improve the feature and how it interacts with different applications," the company said.

Also see