The “Spring Creators” update now dubbed as “April 2018 Update” is the fifth major release since July 2015 debut of Windows 10 is scheduled to be release to general public on Monday April 30th.
The Redstone 4 (RS4) and internal codename is bringing in major feature upgrades that include hover effects (officially referred to as Reveal effects,), Documents and Pictures folders to the Start menu, improvements to Photos and Windows Mixed Reality, better security among other. Microsoft also listed simplified IT management tools for enterprise customers.
First up, the redesigned Action Center, My People, Settings, Start, Taskbar, and the Touch Keyboard now leverages “Fluent Design.” Notification drafts are now automatically saved in Action Center with the notification. For example, while writing a response, if a notification gets dismissed with unsubmitted text, the draft will now be saved under action center.
Windows Mixed Reality for SteamVR now out of “early access” comes with improved integration with haptic motion controller feedback. Also, you can now take photos of mixed reality experiences by simply holding Windows button and tapping on the trigger.
Even, content inside of Cliff House or Skyloft can now be personalize. Skyloft, is a new virtual place where you can make and expand mixed reality experience in addition to the Cliff House.
New Start menu gives you ability to pin frequent destinations, like downloads, music, and videos as well as makes it easier to find stuff by default pinning documents and pictures.
Microsoft account users can now set up Windows Hello Face, Fingerprint or PIN right from the lock screen by clicking on Windows Hello tile under Sign-in options.
Thanks to the Windows Insider program, already people have known about these features over a month now. However, Windows 10 is now providing, for instance mobile-like flexibility in its do-not-disturb mode called “Focus Assist,” basically a reworked version of Quiet Hours, and Timeline device-handoff feature which intend to replace virtual desktop manager.
Microsoft also has some additional notable changes in the settings, including privacy and security, notifications, password recovery and defaults.
Here is quick rundown of upcoming features in this release of Windows 10:
This update also brings in new tap to ink and ink acceleration to Windows Ink. Here’s how they work:
Tap to ink to start writing directly in text fields by just tapping a space, like a search box, and it expands to give you a write space. To make edit just go to Settings -> Devices -> Pen & Windows Ink -> select, “Write directly into text field”, then tap on a new text field to try the experience.
Ink acceleration reduces delay and latency by up to 30–50% and using it now is more like drawing on paper. The update also improve latency of your digital pen by up to 30-50%.
Timeline helps you easily find anything that matters to you across your devices as you can now find stuff back in time up to 30 days. Even more, if you signed into a Microsoft account while using Edge or Office 365 on iOS or Android device you can now resume your work on a Windows 10 PC.
- Easily scroll back in time to find things you were working on earlier today or a few weeks ago.
- Click new Task bar icon to see all your activities on a specific day grouped by hour, including all the things you did using Microsoft Edge and Office 365 on your tablet and mobile phone.2 If you don’t see what you need, you can easily search Timeline to find it.
- Delete activities from a specific day or hour whenever you want.
To use Timeline, just click “Task view” icon in the taskbar, where you’ll find all your activities on a specific day, grouped by hour.
Alternatviely, you can also open Task view by pressing “Windows logo key + Tab.”
Focus Assist when turned on let you do things, like social media or other notifications without distractions. When you finish working a summary will appear with deatils, such as what came through, whether notifications, emails or updates. You can even set it up to automatically turn on at certain times during the day.
Focus Assist can be toggle on or off in the Action Center using a quick action button, or set up rules with Focus Assist by going to display settings -> Focus Assist and pick up the scenarios to turn on automatically at certain times during the day.
- Focus assist offer flexibility to choose to block interruptions.
- Stay connected with people by creating a priority list you always want to cotact even when working.
- A summary of notifications and alerts appears on screen lets you quickly catch up with people you missed while bussy working.
Microsoft Edge now let you “mute” and “unmute” a tab that is playing sound by a click on the audio icon. You can now get Microsoft Edge on Android phone, tablet, iPhone, or iPad with improvements include:
- Books, PDFs and Reading View pages can go full-screen for a distraction-free reading experience.
- Now securely save your address, payment and other information with option to autofill on web payment forms.
- New clutter-free printing option to print web pages in a cleaner format.
- Autofill cards on web forms with securely saved address, credit card, and other information.
- New Grammar Tools button enable comprehension aids by breaking words on the page into syllables, as well as highlight different parts of speech such as nouns, verbs, and adjectives.
- Save all downloaded EPUB books, add bookmarks and manage them all using “Books” tab on the Microsoft Edge hub. Even more, suggestions based on your reading habits will appear for you to check new EPUB books in Microsoft Store.
April 2018 Updates’ improved Dictation feature making it easier to take a note or write a paper with voice input—simply put the cursor in any text field either in Windows 10 or in app and then press Win+H and start talking.
With Cortana enabled, you can manage smart home right from your Windows 10 PC using voice. Just tap Cortana on a PC and say for example, “Hey Cortana, set the living room thermostat to 72 degrees” to control your ecobee, Honeywell, Nest Learning thermostat and more4.
Nearby Sharing lets you instantly share your videos, photos, documents, and websites with people and devices near you over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Here’s some benefits of Nearby Sharing:
- Share anything including video, photo, document, or webpage viewed on Edge quickly to people nearby by simply clicking on share charm in the app or right-clicking to get the share menu.
- Choose the fastest way to share file or webpage, either over Bluetooth or Wifi.
- Quickly discover potential devices for sharing over Bluetooth.
Microsoft Photos app now let you add 3D effects into your photo or video by using built-in video editor, then choose a 3D model from the built-in 3D Library.
Even more, the Photos app now automatically groups pictures, so you can quickly search and find people. It even helps you combine multiple photos of the same person by merging them into one contact.
Here’s what’s new in My People:
- Drag and drop contacts to rearrange them in the taskbar.
- Show up to to contacts in the taskbar, just go to Settings -> Personalization -> Taskbar.
- Animations for people pinned to the overflow list the flyout.
- Improved app discoverability now suggest apps that you might be interested in. You can turn this on or off under Settings -> Personalization -> Taskbar.
Enhanced Accessibility features are now arranged under Vision, Hearing, and Interaction. Additionally, you can enable text suggestions to get help constructing sentences as you type on a keyboard. Here’s what’s new in this section:
- Get text suggestions as you type on a keyboard. You’ll now see three suggested words and can pick one to be inserted. This feature is great for English language learners – and anyone who’d like a little help with their writing. Available for EN-US in this release.
- Click with your eyes. Improvements in the eye control14 experience include easier navigation with the addition of scrolling and direct left and right click capabilities, acceleration to common tasks such as Windows Start and device calibration, and the flexibility to pause eye control. Eye control is still in preview, and we welcome your feedback to help improve the experience.
- Grammar Tools for EPUB books and Reading View. Make reading websites in Reading View and EPUB books with Microsoft Edge easier with Grammar Tools that break words into syllables and highlight parts of speech, such as nouns, verbs, and adjectives.
- Listen to books your way. Use Microsoft Edge to hear an EPUB book read aloud with custom narration and ambient sounds embedded in the book.
- See greater contrast. Microsoft Edge Dark theme has darker blacks and better contrast across all colors, text, and icons, making it easier for many people with accessibility contrast issues to navigate. It also can prevent eye strain, generally, especially when you’re working at night.
Windows Defender Security Center improvements include:
- Quick access by right-clicking on Windows Defender Security Center icon in notification area gives an updated context menu to let you quickly do a quick scan, update definitions, change notifications and open WD Security Center.
- Account Protection Pillar in Windows Defender Security Center encourages local account users to connect to a Microsoft Account (MSA), password users to set up Windows Hello Face, Fingerprint or PIN for faster and more secure sign in.
- Additionally, Dynamic lock leverages alerting system in WDSC to notify users when Dynamic lock has stopped working because their phone or device Bluetooth is off.
- Device Security Pillar in Security Center provides status reporting and management of security features built into your devices – including toggling features on to provide enhanced protections.
- You can alos now customize types of notifications, including disabling or enabling notifications about recent, automatic scans that keep your PC safer or if there are threats or files that have been blocked.
Windows 10 in S Mode now comes enabled on Windows 10 Home and Pro PCs as well as commercial customers will also be able to deploy Windows 10 Enterprise with S mode enabled. You can also now switch out of S mode without any charge regardless of edition. But, once switched out of S mode, you will not be able to go back to it.
Here are some additional information about Windows 10 in S Mode:
- Microsoft-verified. All of your applications are verified by Microsoft for security and performance.
- Performance that lasts. Start-ups are quick, and S mode is built to keep them that way.
- Choice and flexibility. Save your files to your favorite cloud, like OneDrive, and access them from any device you choose. Browse Microsoft Store for apps.
- S mode, on a range of modern devices. Enjoy all the great Windows multi-tasking features, like snapping windows, task view and virtual desktops on a range of S mode enabled devices.
Game bar given a makeover, you can now go to captures, toggle microphone and camera, choose a theme and edit the title of Mixer stream. Also, you quickly search and check the time using new clock.
Lastlly, Microsoft Store now comes with reimagined localization and Windows local experience.
Now you can find your desired language (Local Experience Pack – or “Language Pack”) right in Microsoft Store or in Settings menu. The Settings app has improved discoverability and usability of features supported for each language. Having the Local Experience Packs in the Microsoft Store allows us to take advantage of user feedback via Language Community App to release better translations more frequently. This will consistently improve the experience of our international customers with Windows.
Fonts cn now be managed under Settings and new fonts can be acquired from the newly curated set of fonts in Microsoft Store. There is now a link in Fonts page in the Settings that leads directly to the Fonts collection in Microsoft Store.
Whether or not you’ll be updating your system on day one depends upon your choice. Should you need some time to make sure going with the update you can hit Pause. To do this, click on the Start Menu button and type in Update. Once there, simply click “Check for updates,” updates if any available, you can either begin the download and installation process.
Or, click on the “Check for updates,” and click on the Advanced Options link, now flip “Pause Updates.” You’ll only get one chance to pause before the Windows updates start flowing, so make sure you do this as close to May 8 as possible.
Screenshot of Pause Update Setting:
Should you need to go ahead with update, you can use your choice of Microsoft tools to force an upgrade on your machine, including an Update Assistant, Media Creation Tool, or you can just sign up for the Windows Insider Program.
By forcing the installation, you’re skipping over that additional layer of testing. It shouldn’t harm your machine, but you should be aware that it’s a possibility.
Windows 10 Update Assistant once installed gives you option to opt into latest Windows 10 feature update, which is April 2018 Update or (version 1803), once done it’ll come in through Windows Update.
Media Creation Tool, is designed to help you create installation media for Windows 10. You can choose from the two option of Media Creation Tool after it’s intalled on a PC need to be upgrade.
The first option let you upgrade the PC, while the second one offer creating a separate installation media, which require a USB drive with at least 8GB of storage. After selecting the second choice as your option you can even decicde between creating the media as an ISO or as a USB drive.
Check out the image gallery below for more images on Media Creation Tool and Microsoft videos demonstating new features:
Update 05/01: Windows 10 April 2018 Update Build 17134.1) and SDK is now available with new features and APIs, including:
- Windows Machine Learning (WinML) runs ML ONNX models on any Windows 10 device on the April 2018 Update or greater. By just dragging your model into VS, loading the model, then executing it based on inputs, you can add machine learning into your application. If your model isn’t already in the ONNX format, there are converts for most formats.
- Timeline, User Activities, and Adaptive Cards offers amazing new ways for users to re-engage with application and maintain context. To do your graphical representation, use Adaptive Cards, an open source card exchange format. Be sure your application has a URI schema, so you can enable deep linking. User Activities and Adaptive Cards will also become important APIs in Sets, which we’ll discuss more at Microsoft Build 2018.
- New UX controls, such as Tree view, pull to refresh, and content links are just a few of the new controls added. These new controls can add new functionality and richness to your application.
- Multi-instance for UWP applications lets you create multi-instance applications. On top of launching new processes, it allows for customization in cases where you want to select whether a new instance of your app is launched or an instance that is already running is activated.
Check out more here.