The next feature update for Microsoft's Window 10 has finally arrived, including a new timeline feature and several design changes. You can read more about them below.
Despite the changes in the new "April Update", the release has been somewhat overshadowed by delays and last-minute errors. Leaving Microsoft with the only option to make the update available on the last day of April.
It was originally slated for release on April 10 but was delayed due to a serious bug.
The disrupted release is clear evidence in support of managed updates. Sentrian clients with managed update policies won't receive the update until later in the year, typically 5-7 months after release. This is standard practice for feature updates, to ensure compatibility with other software. While security updates are enabled significantly faster.
For personal PCs, the April Update is available now via a manual update by checking for updates in Windows Update. You can learn more about how Windows updates work here.
Here is what you can expect in the April Update:
As the name suggests, the new Timeline will open an overlay across your screen. The overlay will show various apps and websites that you've opened in the past 30 days.
For anyone familiar with Apple's Time Capsule back-up software, Timeline appears like a more advanced take on the feature. However, Timeline is targeted as a day-to-day productivity tool, with a focus on accessing previously open files and websites (Microsoft Edge only for now). It can even sync with your Office 365 account activity on non-Windows 10 devices.
The Timeline may prove highly useful for those prone to forgetting where they've saved recent files. However, others will not like the machine constantly logging activity; the Timeline can be disabled in the Windows Privacy settings.
Fluent Design System
The Fluent Design System is the first major revamp of the Windows 10 interface. The function and general appearance of most elements will largely stay the same. Instead, Fluent is focused more on updating the styling of Windows 10.
Plus, it serves as an easy way to know whether your machine has the April update installed. Here is a preview of the Fluent design changes (recommend muting the video...)
Some Fluent elements were included in the Fall Creators Update late last year but those changes were relatively limited.
Nearby File Sharing
Content can be sent directly between nearby devices. Nearby Sharing allows files, web pages, contact and more to be sent via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to other Windows 10 PCs. Just click the nearby device and the recipient will see a pop-up from the notification centre asking them to receive the content.
No more sharing via email!
- Settings app will have more directly accessible options and will look more like the Control Panel.
- Focus Assist will mute intrusive notifications for a period of time and will provide a summary of missed notifications after it is switched off.
- Microsoft Edge improvements: mute audio on a tab; full-screen books, PDFs and reading view; "clutter-free" printing.
- Voice dictation in any text field. Click Windows Key+H to begin dictation.
- Click here for a complete list of the new features.
Less intrusive updates going forward
As for the update process itself, it has also been refined. You will now receive a large advisory message saying a new feature update is available. When you have decided to install the update, more of the install process will occur in the background, allowing you to continue to work.
If you'd like to know when you can expect to see the update on your personal Windows 10 PC, Windows Central have a quick explainer here.
If you'd like to discuss how to upgrade your business's computers to Windows 10, please feel free to contact your Sentrian Client Services Manager.