Windows 10 1803, formerly and unofficially also known as Spring Creators Update was originally set to release 2-3 weeks ago. But due to unknown bug, Microsoft felt it was better not to release this update. However, Microsoft never publicly announced any release date, this was all the tech pundits who believed so.
Microsoft finally this past week announced with their blog post that Windows 10 April Update (1803) is releasing on 30th of April.
Yusuf Mehdi – Corporate VP Windows & Devices group writes in his blog post,
With Windows 10, we’ve focused on delivering the most modern and most secure operating system. Since its initial launch, we delivered two updates with features designed to enable the creator in each of us. With our latest major release – the Windows 10 April 2018 Update – we want to give you back some of your greatest currency, your time. Our hope is that you’ll have more time to do what matters most to you – create, play, work or simply do what you love.
Yusuf says this is a major Windows 10 Update, I personally don’t think so. Last few updates like Anniversary, Creators and Falls Creators Update were all major in my opinion but in April Update, leaving aside Timeline feature, the rest I feel are all small updates, tweaks here and there to make the OS look more finished.
I personally think this is a good thing. Windows 10 desperately needed an update that would not bring in a lot of new features but fix issues, work on stability and performance. Not that Windows 10 was in any way unstable or so, but it still required an update to bring polish, fit and finish to the OS.
Let’s dive into few notable features:
I do like Timeline, I really do. With Timeline, you can go back up to 30 days and see all your activities for your current PC and as well as other PCs that you have worked on with the same Microsoft Account.
As seen in the screen shot above and the video below, Ctrl + Tab now opens up Timeline screen and displays documents, apps and web activity for today, yesterday, last week up to 30 days. So for example, if I browsed irfaanwahid.tech last week, it would show me that I visited irfaanwahid.tech last week and if I click on it, it opens up and takes me to the same website. The same goes for a word document, Excel or any other application that you have opened on current PC or any other PC that is signed in with same Microsoft Account.
This one is not a biggie nor something new to either Windows or elsewhere.
“Use Do Not Disturb on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. With Do Not Disturb, you can silence calls, alerts, and notifications that you get while your device is locked.”
You can replace Do Not Disturb with Focus Assist and you’ll understand its use. In Windows world, turning on Focus Assist will disable all incoming notifications and will let you focus on your tasks at hand.
You can configure Focus Assist in various ways, like setting up certain timings, eg from 10pm to 7am in this time window, all social media and email notifications will be disabled. The other way Focus Assist will automatically activate is when you are duplicating your screen, Windows will assume that you are in some presentation mode so it disables notifications except Alarm. Focus Assist also activates when you are playing games.
Fluent Design Language
Microsoft has been implementing the new design in Windows for a while now, starting with Anniversary Update I believe.
Fluent Design Language (FDL) is the new mix bag of graphics or animations in the Windows user experience. It is made up of a few elements such as, Light, depth, motion, material and scale. In layman’s language, it’s made up of transparency, animations, light effect or reveal effect. See the video below for more understanding.
With April Update, FDL has been implemented consistently across Windows unlike in the previous versions where not all places had this effect. Like now, Start Menu, Action Center, Settings have got more prominent FDL effects.
There are few other niceties in Windows 10 April Update like:
Edge: Audio can be muted/unmuted in tabs. Books, PDF and reading view can go full screen, auto fill in web forms.
Dictation: Also not a brand new feature, I used to dictate in Windows Vista on Word. This feature is now improved and made available beyond just Office. You can now dictate with your voice in any text field by pressing WinKey + H key.
Some Cortana tweaks are also made in this update.
As I earlier said, this is not a big update. I have been using 1803 or April Update now for 2 weeks on my Surface Pro 4 and the system is trouble free. I haven’t encountered any issues thus far.
How can you get April Update? Well, you don’t have to do anything. Windows 10 April Update will come to you via Windows Update as soon as it is available in your region.