For those of us using 2-in-1s that run on the Windows 10 operating system, such as the popular Surface, Microsoft is aiming to improve the experience in the coming months.
The latest version of Windows 10 Insider Preview Build (18970) has made changes to how the user interface appears when using 2-in-1 in tablet mode, when you fold back the keyboard or remove it completely.
- Microsoft Surface Pro 6 review
In particular, the interface will retain more of its desktop-like aesthetic when switching to tablet mode - instead of showing a full-screen start menu packed with tiles and hiding the taskbar, desktop icons will both remain visible and some other tablet tweaks will occur.
This includes keeping the icons on the taskbar but spacing them further apart for comfortable fingers, as well as minimizing the search bar to an icon, bringing up the touch keyboard through an icon or when clicking on a text field, and optimizing the file manager for the touch interface.
When these changes are rolled out publicly, you will no longer be prompted to enter tablet mode when the device deems it necessary, although the mode still exists as an option for now.
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For now, the changes are only available to people using 2-in-1 devices in the Windows Insider Program (Windows tablets keep the old interface), and only a select few have access while Microsoft evaluates the quality of the changes.
This is currently labeled as a beta feature, but as with any features being rolled out to the Insider Program, a public release shouldn't be too far away, though after some debugging and tweaking is done.
- Windows 10 System Overview