Windows has released Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 20206 to Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel.

With this build, Microsoft is adding what it’s calling “the new and improved version of Windows dictation,” which it is now calling Voice Typing. Test build 20206 adds a “modern design,” which is optimized for use with touch keyboards; auto-punctuation; and an updated back end.

What’s new in Build 20206

Evolving the Emoji Picker

Microsoft is also updating its emoji picker in Windows 10. The emoji picker, which activates when you press winkey + period, will soon include an improved design based on Microsoft’s Fluent Design system. There’s emoji search, animated GIF support, and the convergence of clipboard history and emoji input into a single interface

The revamped emoji picker is your one-stop for expressing yourself with quick access to emoji, kaomoji, symbols, animated GIFs and your clipboard.

Introducing Voice Typing

Windows voice typing is the new and improved version of Windows dictation that enables you to type effortlessly with your voice wherever there’s a text field on your PC. Sometimes, using your voice is more comfortable and efficient than typing on a keyboard – with Windows voice typing, you can relax your hands and just say what you want to write.

Improved features for voice typing include:

  • A modern design – optimized for use with touch keyboards.
  • Auto-punctuation that allows you to effortlessly put your thoughts down without worrying about question marks and periods (turn it on in settings).
  • An updated back end for the most reliable voice typing experience ever on Windows.

Easily start voice typing any time by using the keyboard shortcut (WIN + H) or tapping the microphone button on the touch keyboard.

Voice typing is available in the following languages/locales*:

  • English (US)
  • English (Australia)
  • English (India)
  • English (Canada)
  • English (United Kingdom)
  • French (France)
  • French (Canada)
  • Portuguese (Brazilian)
  • Simplified Chinese
  • Spanish (Mexico)
  • Spanish (Spanish)
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese**

*Voice typing will automatically use the language your keyboard is set to (if supported).
**Auto-punctuation is not available in Japanese at this time.

Improving the touch keyboard design

Some Insiders will start to see our new touch keyboard design rolling out to their PCs. The updated design includes a fresh aesthetic and many other small tweaks, including updated key sizes / layouts to optimize for typing comfort & accuracy. We have also done some work to help improve discoverability and usability of available features.

While exploring the updated design, you will notice a number of refinements, including:

  • New key press animations and sounds.
  • Child keys have been optimized for quicker entry – try pressing and holding keys like “e” or “-“ and see how it looks.
  • For those who prefer to keep their keyboard undocked, the option now accessible via a button directly in the candidate bar, and you can easily move the keyboard around using the gripper region at the top of the keyboard.
  • All entries in the settings menu now have labels for improved clarity of available options.
  • We are bringing emoji search to the touch keyboard, so you no longer need to hunt through the different categories to find the one you are looking for. More so, you can also now search for animated GIFs. All accessible from our new expressive input button in the candidate bar. (For more – see our section above on evolving the emoji panel.)
  • A new entry point into voice typing has been added to the left of the space bar in supported languages. (See above section on voice typing.)
The redesigned touch keyboard introduces a variety of improvements such as new key press animations and sounds, quick access to emoji and animated GIFs, and a new entry point for voice typing.
The redesigned touch keyboard offers quick access to emoji and animated GIFs so you and express yourself any way you like while typing in Windows.

The touch keyboard can also be invoked on any PC from the touch keyboard button on the taskbar, although you may need to enable the button. To do so, right-click or press and hold on the taskbar, then select “Show touch keyboard button” in the menu. Once the touch keyboard is open, try typing or shapewriting on the keyboard and let us know how it feels.

We want to thank Insiders for sharing their feedback about the touch keyboard over the years – your comments directly inspired these changes. We look forward to you trying them out and to even more feedback!

Cursor movement using the space bar  

Microsoft is updating the keyboard so that you can now quickly do this in any text field using gestures on the space bar.

All you need to do is place a finger on the space bar and slide your finger left, right, up, or down. As your finger moves, so will the cursor – one character or line at a time.

Press and hold on the space bar on the touch keyboard to move the cursor on your screen.