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New Windows update reduces Start menu chaos

A new update from Microsoft will even out the colour scheme for Windows 10 start tiles, redesign switching apps with Alt-Tab to include browser tabs, and introduces more Android phone integrations.

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In a preview build blog update published yesterday, Microsoft announced big changes to Windows 10 which can improve usability and increase the integration between Windows and Android devices. 

The new insider developer build, named Build 20161 for now, includes the following new updates: 

Theme-aware tiles in Start 

The Start menu is getting rid of solid colour backplates behind the app logos and applies a uniform design, so it can seem less chaotic before. This also allows apps to follow the design of the user selected dark, light, and colour themes. This design creates a new stage for apps from the new Fluent Design icons for Office and Microsoft Edge, as well as the redesigned icons for built-in apps like Calculator, Mail, and Calendar that Microsoft started rolling out earlier this year. 

Before and After: Windows 10 Start menu in dark theme.

Alt + Tab between apps and sites 

With multitasking moving primarily towards web apps, Microsoft has now included tabs open in Microsoft Edge in Alt + Tab. With this change, users can now treat web apps like desktop apps so they can quickly get back to whatever they were doing—wherever it was being done. 

All tabs open in Microsoft Edge will start appearing in Alt + TAB!

A more personalised Taskbar for new users 

The new taskbar starts with offering a cleaner, more personalized, out-of-box experience to give you the content you want and less clutter. This can minimise clutter and perceptions of bloatware.  

For example, Android users will get the Your Phone app in place of Mail, which allows them to access their phone without switching to their phone. Users with Xbox Live accounts on gaming PCs will get the Xbox app in place of Mail, which allows them to access gaming services. 

Microsoft says it will not offer this feature to existing users who have already customised their Taskbar layout. 

The general availability of this update has not yet been announced. 

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