Microsoft officially announces the Windows App Preview Program

A few days ago, Microsoft started opening up individual app preview programs. As we reported would happen at the time, the Insider team formally announced it today.

As you probably know, we're getting close to Redstone 4 being finalized. Typically around this time, Microsoft freezes app updates, so that it can test the inbox apps that will come with the feature update. Naturally, Insiders don't like this, as they're used to testing the latest things, so when Redstone 3 was being finalized, the Insider team opened up the Skip Ahead ring.

There were flaws in this plan though. Skip Ahead had limited availability, so if you didn't get in within about two weeks, you couldn't. Also, that made you one of the first to get Redstone 4 builds, which were often unstable at first.

That's where the Windows App Preview Program comes in. App updates will be frozen, and Insiders can opt into preview programs for individual apps to keep receiving those updates. Previews are available for the following apps:

  • Feedback Hub

  • Microsoft Photos

  • Microsoft Sticky Notes

  • Microsoft Tips

  • Paint 3D

  • Windows Alarms & Clock

  • Windows Calculator

  • Windows Camera

  • Windows Mixed Reality Viewer

  • Windows Voice Recorder

To sign up, you can either go to Settings, or the About page of the app and click the 'Join preview' button.

As we reported last week when this was first spotted, availability for this is still limited. It should be more automated than Skip Ahead is though, as it will automatically allow new enrollments as other users leave the Preview Program.

Also, the team noted that if you're already enrolled in the Skip Ahead portion of the Fast ring, you don't have to worry, as you're already receiving app previews, so this is really opening up this availability to even more people.

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