Microsoft’s next big OS update, the Windows 10 Spring Creators Update, is in the final stages of testing ahead of an expected rollout next month. As is typical with these sorts of updates, there are an overwhelming number of changes in the pipeline although a handful are significant enough to warrant conversation.
Essentially an extension of Windows 10’s Task View, Timeline is more or less a “visual timeline” of previous activities, allowing users to easily “jump back in time” to an earlier session (as far back as 30 days). It’s similar to Apple’s continuity feature but will be cross-platform and support both Android and iOS devices.
Microsoft Edge, a staple in Windows 10, is additionally due for some important updates – many of which bring the browser in line with competitors. For example, you’ll soon be able to mute audio from a specific tab, save free ePub eBooks and have the browser automatically fill out online forms on your behalf. The ePub and PDF bookmarks UI has been revised, as has the Hub to feature a new hamburger-style menu.
Cortana, meanwhile, now boasts a new Notebook UI and showcases the user’s profile picture in the hamburger menu. The assistant’s proactive content will now appear in the Action Center, we’re told, and there is even a new Collections / Lists app for creating and syncing lists across multiple devices.
Also new for the Spring Creators Update is Quick Pair. As the name suggests, this feature will make it much easier to pair a new Bluetooth device to your Windows 10 machine – with one click, in some cases. The feature will reportedly require manufacturer support, however, which will no doubt delay adoption but over time and with proper support, this could be a handy addition.
Expect some changes in the visual department as well. Hints of Microsoft’s Fluent Design first appeared in the Fall Creators Update but will have a much greater impact in the pending release. There’s not a single specific change that really stands out in this category – it’s more the sum of its parts, small changes scattered throughout the shell that’ll contribute to the aesthetic overhaul.
The visual reworking of Windows 10 is expected to continue deep into 2018 with Redstone 5 in the fall.
These are just a few of the many changes coming to Windows 10 machines next month as part of the Spring Creators Update. For an exhaustive guide on Redstone 4, be sure to check out Windows Central as they detail many of the pending updates that result in a new feature or big change.