Notice for Windows 10 App Essentials users on development channel: December 9, 2018 snapshot is a mandatory snapshot, 19.01 will be mandatory stable version for all


Hi all, mostly for users of Windows 10 App Essentials add-on:


The following notice is rated “important/critical” for everyone using Windows 10 App Essentials add-on. It also applies to anyone who’ve installed Add-on Updater and/or might be using really old Windows 10 releases (Version 1703 and earlier).


Sometime tonight my time, I’ll release December 9th snapshot for those subscribed to development update channel (either via standalone update or through Add-on Updater). YOU MUST INSTALL THIS SNAPSHOT! Also, for those on stable update channel, upcoming version 19.01 is a mandatory update for all.


Background: in the course of testing Windows 10 App Essentials with most recent NVDA alpha snapshots, I’ve discovered problems that could cause add-on update feature to fail, as well as not giving you a chance to say “yes” when prompted to restart. These problems will show up if you are using standalone update check feature (no Add-on Updater).


Workaround: December 9th development snapshot includes workarounds for these problems if using update check feature provided by this add-on, not through Add-on Updater. For those of you using latest NVDA alpha builds, you need to manually install the snapshot. To do so, go to, select Windows 10 App Essentials, then select “development version”. If the file name is of the form 20181209-dev or later, you’re good to go. If you are using Add-on Updater, you’re not affected unless you’re using Add-on Updater 18.12.1 or earlier, in which case you need to install Add-on Updater 18.12.2 first before checking for further add-on updates.


The other reason for December 9th build being a mandatory update is that this will be the second to last development snapshot to include its own add-on update feature; a development snapshot destined for December 12th or later will retire standalone add-on update feature. The following snapshot will not check for add-on updates on its own.


For those on stable update channel, I flagged 19.01 as a mandatory update for all because 19.01.x will:


  1. Be the last update series to include add-on update feature from Windows 10 App Essentials. Standalone update feature will be gone in 19.02.
  2. Be the last release series to support Windows 10 Version 1709 (build 16299).


For those on development channel, a snapshot in January 2019 will require Windows 10 Version 1803 (build 17134) or later.


To see which update channel you’re subscribed to:


If using standalone update (no Add-on Updater):


  1. Go to NVDA menu/Preferences/Windows 10 App Essentials.
  2. Locate “update channel” combo box and see which value is selected.


If using Add-on Updater:


  1. Go to NVDA menu/Preferences/Settings/Add-on Updater.
  2. Locate “prefer development releases” list. If Windows 10 App Essentials entry is checked, you’re set to receive development releases, otherwise you’ll get stable builds.


Note that the update issues noted above also exists in StationPlaylist Studio add-on, and I’ll provide workaround for this on December 10, 2018 or once NVDA 2018.4 release candidate (RC) is released, whichever happens later (the reason is that the next SPL add-on development snapshot will require NVDA 2018.4). I’ll provide a notice similar to the one above once SPL add-on snapshot is updated.