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Microsoft starts testing next major Windows 10 update with new emoji and Mixed Reality Flashlight feature

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The new update will arrive in the first half of 2019

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Microsoft is starting to test its next major Windows 10 update. Codenamed 19H1, the update will be made available in the first half of 2019. Microsoft has started releasing public builds of 19H1 to Windows 10 testers today, with features that will also be included in the codename Redstone 5 update due in September or October. Microsoft is adding a new Mixed Reality Flashlight feature that opens a low-latency pass-through camera feed from a controller to allow users to see the real world around them during VR apps or games.

Microsoft is also adding new emoji to both the Redstone 5 update and the 19H1 update that are designed to complement the 157 new additions to Unicode 11. Much like Apple’s iOS 12 additions; superheroes, redheads, a pirate flag, a llama, and more will be available later this year. Microsoft is also tweaking some of its existing emoji with both updates, and even adding in leap second support inside Windows to more accurately support the leap seconds that occur every 18 months.

While testing has only just begun for the 19H1 update, new additions will be unveiled in the coming weeks as Microsoft finalizes work on Redstone 5 and shifts its focus to new features for 19H1. Windows insiders will be able to skip ahead to these new builds to get access to the new features as they become available.