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Home / Technology / Windows 10 April 2018 Update Review: Minor corrections now indicate better things to come for later

Windows 10 April 2018 Update Review: Minor corrections now indicate better things to come for later



The April 2018 Microsoft Windows 10 update barely received an official title, which, understandably, makes one wonder how much importance the company attaches to it. But as our review shows, behind Microsoft, known internally as the "Redstone 4" version, are many changes and improvements, with two timeline and nearby sharing parts.

Really, but the Windows 10 April 2018 Update (version 1803) is an ensemble show with a number of minor enhancements. There are quiet hours, now called Focus Assist; improved data usage management; and a ton of updates in Edge, some of which you've already seen in other browsers. Under these circumstances, Microsoft may build something new, as the Edge Engine forms the foundation for Progressive Web Apps, a new way of delivering apps to the Microsoft Store.

Unlike previous versions, Microsoft has not developed a coherent narrative around the April 201

8 update, though the company argues that it will save you time. When do you receive the April 2018 update? Already today.

A more upbeat appearance: Fluent Design

Your first impressions of the new version of Windows 10 start on the desktop, which looks almost identical to previous versions. Dive deeper and more subtle changes are revealed. Expect to see more of Microsoft's Fluent Design in Windows, with its semi-transparent "acrylic" user interface letting the colors of background apps bleed like frosted glass.

  Microsoft Windows 10 Spring Creators Update Flowing Edge Design Mark Hachman / IDG

Elements of Fluent Design, Microsoft's new aesthetic, are now invading Windows. You can see a little bit of this "frosted glass" effect in the Start menu, but it's displayed well here in Edge.

See Settings> Usability> Display for a wealth of new settings to manage this experience. Do you want to add visible scrollbars in UWP apps? (I do.) Turn off the wallpaper? (Never!) You can also set how long notifications will stay on your screen and even clear the transparency effects of Fluent Design.

  Windows 10 Spring Creators Update Start Menu Icon Shortcuts Mark Hachman / IDG

Shortcuts for documents and images have been added to the Start menu.

Functionally, there are a few small changes. Microsoft has now added shortcut icons for documents and images above the Start menu icon in the lower-left corner. Notifications that have been assigned to Cortana have now been migrated to the Action Center at the bottom right. The Windows Defender Security Center ( Settings> Update & Security ) is now Windows Security only. If you did not enable Windows Hello, you might see a prompt to set up on the lock screen.

Timeline: A Solid Feature with Future Potential

One of the strengths of Windows 10 is the provision of innovative ways for users to do their jobs. One of his weaknesses is how it looks over your shoulder to accomplish this. Timeline, arguably the marquee feature of the Windows 10 April 2018 updates, contains elements of both.

  Windows 10 Spring Creators update timeline icon pcworld Mark Hachman / IDG

Timeline replaces task view in the Windows 10 taskbar.

As you work, Timeline optionally records the pages you've visited with Edge (but not Chrome or any other browser), and tracks which documents you touch in Microsoft Office. (The Timeline is on by default.) If you click the taskbar button that was previously reserved for the task view, the timeline will open to show you your most recent compute activity in the last few days and weeks.

[ Further reading: Windows 10 Timeline: How to use use Microsoft’s new organizational tool ]

For Microsoft, Timeline is part of the experience that allows you to track your work from your smartphone and desktop to desktop. Is it useful to know what you were working on a week ago? Possibly. The advantage of Timeline, however, is the ability to group documents and web pages into collections called Activities. If you know which budget table you worked on a week ago, you'll find even more if you can quickly rediscover and launch related Web pages and PowerPoint presentations you had open at the time. [19659021] Windows 10 Spring Creators update timeline "width =" 700 "height =" 467 "data-imageid =" 100752458 "data-license =" IDG "/> Mark Hachman / IDG

Timeline tracks your Surfing habits and document display and further organizing them into activities (not shown) that group them hourly.

Timeline is a great complement to Windows, but similar in value to your browser history, and is a helpful way to reorient yourself While jumping from task to task, like many features in Windows, it does not push you in. What was ultimately doomed was a lack of attention and the same fate could happen to Timeline.

Near Share: The mediocre response from Microsoft on AirDrop

Near Share (aka "Nearby Sharing" in the Settings menu) sounds great on paper, a new feature that allows Windows PCs, files and UR Share Ls with nearby computers, provided that both have authorized the exchange. (Apple's similar AirDrop feature was introduced several years ago.) The Edge Browser and File Explorer already include Share options, which usually lead you to forward that information via email, Facebook, Twitter, and other apps. Now, direct connectivity to nearby PCs is an additional option.

  Windows 10 Insider Build 17035 near Sharing Microsoft

Microsoft Edge and Windows 10s File Explorer both contain "share" options Nearby has a small list of requirements: You need a Windows PC (no phones, sorry) with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled. You'll also need to enable nearby sharing in Settings to share data with your own devices or with strangers. Once set up, the connection is child's play, although the way Windows assigns PC names with a seemingly random string of letters and numbers makes the identification of the PC to be split a bit more complicated.

[ Further reading: How Windows 10’s Near Share feature wirelessly beams files to nearby PCs ]

Unfortunately, Near Share offers Bluetooth-like (~ 3Mbps) file sharing speeds – most of the time anyway. (I saw 30 Mbits / s or so once or twice.) That makes big files questionable. However, if you need to quickly transfer a complex URL to a neighbor, or if you need to zip a photo or a small file to a colleague in a conference room, Near Share will not be able to dig out a USB flash drive. There are other, possibly even better ways to transfer files, but Near Share is a good complement to the tricks of a Windows PC.

  near share notification edit Windows 10 Mark Hachman / IDG

If a PC Neighbor Wants to Share a File, You'll See A Notification That It's Available.

Since we are talking about sharing, there is an extra footnote that you should keep in mind. As part of the April 2018 update, the legacy homegroup feature has disappeared.

Focus Assist (ne Quiet Hours) keeps you up to date

Email alerts from your action center can give you the ability to respond quickly to a task in hand, but can quickly distract you when You really have to bend. A feature called Quiet Hours supports notifications since Windows 8.1.

In the Windows 10 April 2018 update, Quiet Hours was renamed Focus Assist, adding much more powerful controls to the feature. By far the most important are two: the ability to turn off all notifications while playing a DirectX game or duplicating your screen during a presentation.

  Windows 10 Spring Creators Update Focus Assist Mark Hachman / IDG

There is a convenient shortcut in the Service Center Notifications to toggle Focus Assist on either Priority Alarms or Alarms, but you can fine tune it as you like. Note the summary below

Focus Assist is not perfect. You still need to dive into the settings and order Windows 10 so as not to interrupt your game or presentation. It may be nice, as a beta tester has suggested, websites such as Facebook or Twitter really can not load during an intense work session. Otherwise, Focus Assist does one thing – block blocking notifications – and does it well enough that you barely notice.

Next page: Edge Enhancements, Windows Ink and More


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