Yesterday, Microsoft released a new build of Windows 10 19H1 to Insiders in Skip Ahead…as soon as Apple’s big hardware event started. The new build came out while almost everyone was distracted by Apple’s new iPhones and Apple Watch.
But now that the Apple storm has quietened down, we can finally talk about the new 19H1 build, 18237. It brings only one new feature: acrylic in the sign-in screen. The wallpaper on the sign-in screen is now overlayed by an acrylic brush, which adds a background blur, improving the contrast. “The translucent texture of this transient surface helps you focus on the sign-in task by moving the actionable controls up in the visual hierarchy while maintaining their accessibility,” Microsoft said.
With the addition of the acrylic layer, the Windows 10 login screen looks much like the one on ChromeOS. The blur is an interesting addition for sure, though I feel like it’s a bit too excessive. Microsoft says the effect will help improve accessibility, though I assume the contrast would vary depending on the colors of your wallpaper on the back. I really hope Microsoft doesn’t bring the same effect to the lock screen, though. The Windows Spotlight wallpapers look absolutely gorgeous on the Windows lock screen, and the addition of acrylic will essentially ruin that.
In other, related news, Microsoft has rebranded the Microsoft Apps app on Android as “Your Phone Companion” to help eliminate any confusion amongst users. As the app is used to connect your Android device to your PC for the Your Phone experience, it makes more sense for it to be called “Your Phone Companion” instead of “Microsoft Apps”. Pretty obvious.
If you are an Insider in Skip Ahead, you can get the new build right away. If you had issues installing the build when it first came out, that was because Microsoft mistakenly flighted an encrypted release, though managed to fix it shortly after.