HoloLens’ latest update bring tons of new features and improvements

By: Vamien McKalin
3 minute read

HoloLens in its current form is pretty good, but things are about to get better with its newest software update, available to everyone who paid $3,000 to own a unit.

Some of the standout features include the ability to have up to three apps running at the same time, the ability to run Groove Music in the background, and new voice commands.

Here’s the complete feature list:

  • You can now run multiple flat apps, up to three at the same time. This enables endless use cases for multi-tasking in HoloLens. Have the new Feedback Hub with the list of Quests open, while exploring the new features on this flight.
  • We’ve added a bunch of new voice commands:
  • Try looking at a hologram and rotate it by saying “Face me”
  • Change its size by saying “Bigger” / “Smaller”
  • Move an app by saying “Hey Cortana, move Name here.”
  • We’ve made developing on HoloLens easier. You can now browse, upload, and download files through the Windows Device Portal. You can access the Documents folder, Pictures folder, and the local storage for any app you side-loaded or deployed through Visual Studio.
  • The emulator now supports log-in with a Microsoft Account just like you would on a real HoloLens. You can enable this from the Additional Tools menu “>>”.
  • 2D Apps now hide the holobar and cursor when watching video full screen to avoid distraction. With this, your video watching experience will be even more enjoyable on HoloLens.
  • You can also pin photos without the app bar in your world.
  • The app bar can be hidden for 2D apps like photos
  • File picker works just like you expect them to on HoloLens.
  • Updated Edge browser to map unified user experience with desktop and phone. We enabled multiple instances of your browser, custom HoloLens new tab page, tab peek, and open in new windows, along with power & performance improvements.
  • Groove Music app is now on HoloLens. Visit the store to download it and try playing in the background.
  • You can easily customize how apps are arranged in your world. Try rotating your holograms in adjust mode by simply click and drag on circle in the middle vertical wireframes. You might notice holograms have tighter fitted bounding boxes to ensure maximized interaction. You can also resize all flat apps vertically (except Photos and Hologram apps).
  • We’ve made a lot of input improvement in this flight. You can connect a regular Bluetooth mouse to HoloLens. The clicker has been fine tuned to enable resizing & moving holograms with a clicker. Keyboard is also running better than ever.
  • Now you can take mixed reality pictures by simply pressing down the volume up + volume down simultaneously. You can also share your mixed reality captured photos & videos to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
  • Holograms can be rotated after you place them in the world
  • The maximum recording length of mixed reality videos has been increased to five minutes.
  • Photos app now streams videos from OneDrive instead of having to download the entire video before playback.
  • We’ve improved how your holograms will be right where you left them. You will also be presented the option to re-connect to Wi-Fi and try again if HoloLens cannot detect where they are.
  • The keyboard has an improved layout for entering email address with keys that allow you to enter the most popular email domains with a single click.
  • Faster app registration and auto detection of time zone during OOBE, giving you the best first user experience.
  • Storage sense allows you to view remaining and used disk space by the system and apps in the settings app.
  • We have converged Feedback App and Inside Hub into a single app Feedback Hub that will be the go-to tool for giving us feedback, which features you love, which features you could do without, or when something could be better. When you join the Insider Program, you can keep up on get latest Insider news, rate builds and go on feedback quests from Feedback Hub.
  • We’ve also published an updated ”’HoloLens Emulator”’ build.

We can’t wait for HoloLens to be available for mass market consumption in the distant future.

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