Microsoft’s Bringing SwiftKey to the Desktop, Blocking Auto-Playing Videos

Posted on June 14, 2018 by Brad Sams in Windows 10 with 28 Comments

Microsoft has released a new build of Windows 10 today that bumps the version number to 17692. In this release, Microsoft is improving the touch keyboard and also making it possible to stop auto-playing videos with Edge.

The build is rolling out to Fast ring users today and you should be able to download it right now by searching Windows update.

SwiftKey, the keyboard company that Microsoft bought a couple years ago, is finally making its way to the desktop. With this update, shape writing is finally possible on the desktop and while not everyone may use this feature, when used with a Surface Pro, it’s a huge improvement for text input.

One update that everyone can appreciate is that Edge now has the ability to turn off auto-playing videos; you can find the setting under “Advanced Settings,” “Allow sites to automatically play media.”

There are also quite a few updates for those that need accessibility features. It is now easier to increase the text size across the entire OS and there are many improvements to the narrator as well.

The game bar has been updated to now include improved audio controls and performance visualizations (FPS, CPU/GPU usage ect). Additionally, Game mode has been improved which should provide a slightly better gaming experience.

And finally, search is being improved too. Microsoft is now making it faster to find official software download pages for Windows software.

As always, make sure to check out the bug list before updating and let us know if you find any new features that have yet to be announced.

Update: Oops, Microsoft says the auto-playing feature for Edge will arrive in a future release.

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Comments (29)

29 responses to “Microsoft’s Bringing SwiftKey to the Desktop, Blocking Auto-Playing Videos”

  1. Avatar

    spacein_vader

    Will SwiftKey work with the accessibility on-screen keyboard or is it touch only? The prediction abilities could be very useful for those who have to use the on-screen board a lot.

  2. Avatar

    hrlngrv

    FWIW, this build finally breaks Classic Shell. You can open the Classic Start Menu once, but not twice. The second time you try, the Start button will change to and remain in its pressed appearance, but the menu won't appear, as if it hangs. It's possible to work around this inelegantly by using a script to quit then relaunch the Classic Shell Start menu, but the writing is on the wall. It's unlikely to work by 1809 or whatever the fall release may be called.

  3. Avatar

    bluvg

    For me, it seemed the "shape writing"/Swype/SwiftKey abilities peaked with Windows Phone 8.1, which was near-supernatural in its ability to predict text. Windows 10 Mobile was worse, and SwiftKey for iOS can be absolutely maddening at times (but still WAY better than the built-in keyboard).

  4. Avatar

    crfonseca

    Yeah, about SwiftKey...

    Didn't they took almost like forever to bring Word Flow to Windows 10 PCs (it has always been there in Windows 10 Mobile) and now they're killing it?

    I mean, I get why they're doing it, but since they bought SwiftKey some 2 years ago, why only now?

    • Avatar

      IanYates82

      In reply to crfonseca:

      I was thinking along the same lines. Many writing about this seem to have missed that word flow is already in Windows 10,albeit not in the standard keyboard layout. With this SwiftKey change, will the regular on screen keyboard support shape writing or do I still need to switch modes?

      I love SwiftKey on Android so am happy to see this. I am curious though if it's just a rebranding, and perhaps slight improvement over the current keyboard, or if it's really all new code (and thus will probably have quite a few edge case bugs to iron out).


      Any insight on this Brad / Paul?

  5. Avatar

    mog0

    Really looking forward to auto-video blocking... Most annoying thing on the web.

    of course the only place I come across auto videos now is on the MSN news articles that Edge show on it's new tab page. Feel MS have s simpler option available for solving my problem.

  6. Avatar

    madthinus

    The Autoplay feature of Edge is not in this build. See the updated Blog post

  7. Avatar

    jgoraya

    Finally SwiftKey!!!! Next give me a useful native SMS app.

  8. Avatar

    MikeCerm

    "Shape writing" is already available in 1803. I don't recall if it was in 1709 or not, but it's definitely in 1803. It seems they're just improving the text prediction engine with the tech they bought from SwiftKey. The question I have is whether they're ever going to make the touch keyboard work right with Firefox and Chrome. Currently, text prediction and autocorrect doesn't work in Firefox, but swipe typing works fine. In Chrome, text prediction, autocorrect, and swipe typing do not work. In Edge, swipe typing works fine, just as it does in most other Microsoft apps.

  9. Avatar

    Daekar

    I've been hoping to see SwiftKey in Windows for some time. This will be a good improvement for the tablet experience. Nice to see the media autoplay control too. They are slowly adding things to make Edge compete... Now, if history and settings sync actually worked...

  10. Avatar

    iantrem

    " It is now easier to increase the text size across the entire OS"


    Why do people select a higher display resolution and choose to increase the text size, why not just lower the resolution?


    (Speaking as someone who's display resolution is 1280 x 768 on a pretty big monitor and isn't allowed to drive due to poor eyesight)

    • Avatar

      jimchamplin

      In reply to iantrem:

      Changing the system zoom level to alter the DPI setting is better. Running 1920x1080? Use 150% and things are the same size as roughly 1366x768. But they look MUCH better.

    • Avatar

      hrlngrv

      In reply to iantrem:

      What makes sense in your circumstances may not make sense universally. Also, tangent, this is the first I've ever heard of a 5:3 aspect ratio.

      If text is ideally readable for most people at 1920x1080, then some move to 2560x1440 (same screen diagonal size, so 1/3 more pixels along either axis), some may be able to leave text at 100%, others may be fine at 125% (slighly smaller text than at 1920x1080 at 100%), and the rest may need to opt for 150% (slighly larger text than). Text may not change absolute size much for most people, but graphics would be crisper.

    • Avatar

      lvthunder

      In reply to iantrem:

      Pictures and graphics look better at higher resolutions.

    • Avatar

      Skolvikings

      In reply to iantrem:

      Because if you lower the resolution, things don't look good. Monitors always look best at their native resolution, and then you adjust the DPI scaling to accommodate that.

  11. Avatar

    Waethorn

    "One update that everyone can appreciate is that Edge now has the ability to turn off auto-playing videos"


    So can we get some apologies from those that claim that Google was doing this to stifle ad competition?

  12. Avatar

    Martin Pelletier

    This is why people don't like Edge, we have to wait until October to get the auto-play video setting. I wish we have this feature now.

    • Avatar

      SvenJ

      In reply to MartinusV2: That's not why people don't use Edge. It's because the conventional wisdom is that MS browsers suck, both IE and Edge. That is perpetuated by the media and average people. Even this site has commented that the only reason IE exists is a way to load Chrome. I would bet the average person has no idea what Chrome has over Edge or IE, they just know it is 'better', because that is what everyone says.


    • Avatar

      lvthunder

      In reply to MartinusV2:

      How is that any different then Chrome and Firefox? Both announce features that are in future releases that are months away.

      • Avatar

        cwfinn

        It's different because only Edge is tied to OS updates, just like IE was in the "bad old days" since MS browsers are deeply embedded in the OS while Chrome, Firefox, ec. are separate apps.


        • Avatar

          lvthunder

          In reply to cwfinn:

          But you are still waiting for new features. It's not like Chrome and Firefox are updated every month.

          • Avatar

            Scott8846

            In reply to lvthunder:

            May be not every month, but release cycle of Chrome and Firefox is about 6 weeks.


            Of course they too happen to announce features that take multiple releases to get out.


            The difference with Edge is that when a feature is ready we might have to wait a few months before we can use it. While with other browsers once the feature is ready we get it within 6 weeks most of the time.

            • Avatar

              IanYates82

              In reply to Scott8846:

              And 99% of users using that browser get the update. So from a developer perspective you're not needing to test on older versions.


              With edge you really can't be sure people are on the 1803 release until perhaps 1903 comes out. With the rapid catch up edge is doing, that year lag can make a huge difference.

  13. Avatar

    1armedGeek

    I am unable to speak due to Cerebral Palsy. Unless I use the ASL alphabet, I literally type everything I say to everyone. I bring that up to convey just how big of a deal this is to me. Ever since MS came out with its Word Flow, I wanted it to come to the tablets like the Surface Pro. I am able to 'type' much faster one-handed using a swipey keyboard.


    The one, in my opinion, to beat is Gboard.



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