Those of you who love to use a stylus with a touchscreen Windows 10 device will be glad to know you can now try a new experience that'll completely change the way you input - so long as you're fine with beta testing.
The new experience is called Windows Ink. Microsoft talked about in early April during its Build developer conference, but now it's announcing Windows Insiders can test the "rich capabilities" of Windows Ink, including the Windows Ink Workspace. If you’re curious about Windows Ink, but are wondering how to get it, look no further. Here’s what you need to know.
What is Windows Ink?
Windows has supported styluses since the Tablet PC Edition of Windows XP, but Windows Ink is the new name for Microsoft's pen support. It is designed to make stylus input way more useful in Windows 10. Although it won't be out for consumers until the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Microsoft is letting beta testers in the Windows Insider program try Windows Ink starting 22 April.
The latest Windows 10 test build includes Windows Ink and the new Windows Ink Workspace, which will let you play with improved sticky notes, a sketchpad, and a new screen-sketch feature. Microsoft is also including a new ruler so you can use it to freely create shapes and objects. You can learn more about the Windows Ink Workspace in the following demo video from Microsoft:
How can you try Windows Ink?
In late April, Microsoft released the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14328 for both PC and mobile. You must be apart of Microsoft's Windows Insider program in order to get your hands on an Insider preview build, which is basically a beta. To become a Windows Insider, all you need is a Microsoft account and a PC running Windows 10. If you have both those, you're able to join the Insider program whenever you're ready.
Just go to Microsoft’s Windows Insider website, sign into your Microsoft account, and click Get Started. Read the Program Agreement, and join the program. In Windows 10, open the Settings app, click Update & Security, then Windows Update. From there, select Advanced Options. Under the Get Insider Preview builds section, select Get started. Now, Windows Ink is only available to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring.
One you've joined the Windows Insider program, you can choose from various levels (rings) of preview builds, ranging from most stable with few new features to least stable with many, rapid changes. By default, you’re assigned to the Release Preview ring, but you can switch rings at any time. Simply go to the Windows Update menu in Windows Settings, then select Advanced Options and adjust the slider at the bottom.
When will Windows Ink be available for all?
Microsoft revealed at its Build developer's conference in early April that Windows Ink would arrive with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update in summer 2016, allowing Pen users to take advantage of the technology beyond a select group of available apps, such as Maps and Sketchpad.