With Windows 10, Microsoft introduced a new semi-annual update model. Twice a year they release these huge updates. They contain new features, but also have major changes under the hood, such as tweaks, bug fixes and other improvements.
The last Windows 10 update was the "Fall Creators Update", version 1709. The next update is right around the corner. 1803, dubbed "Spring Creators Update", will be announced sometime soon. The list of new features is long, so we have made a list including some of the things we are looking forward to with this update.
Timeline – Continue just where you left off, no matter what device you previously used! Imagine that your activity; the combination of a specific application, a specific piece of content, at a specific time, is synced across all your Windows 10 devices. Timeline is the solution to the challenge with getting back to earlier work in no time. You don’t have to think about which site or app you were using, on what physical location, or what device you used.
PWA: Progressive Web Apps – This is one of the most exciting features. Progressive web apps are applications built using technologies supported by all the major internet browsers, which means that a true Progressive Web App can run on any platform. Microsoft is building PWA support straight into Windows 10. These apps will be running on Microsoft’s Edge browser engine, and will be managed, installed and updated through the Microsoft Store just like any other app. Ever since Windows started the Universal Windows Platform applications platform eco system, the lack of available apps has been a challenge for Windows users. With PWA, developers can now truly develop and release one app for all platforms. Microsoft is not alone in implementing and supporting this concept; Google, who started the idea of PWAs, and Mozilla, are two more tech giants who play in the same field.
Windows on ARM processors – It's already available, but 1803 will be the official point from which Windows is finally ready to run on power efficient ARM processors. ARM is a processor architecture producer, with customers such as Apple and Qualcomm. ARM processors are already used in great numbers, with all iPhones to date, as well as most Android Phones, using them. The benefit of ARM is power efficiency, and scalability, which is why these days ARM processors power everything from small IoT devices to laptops. Major brands like Lenovo and Asus have already released Windows 10 laptops with Qualcomm Snapdragon processors. This will most obviously benefit mobile devices, where we are talking battery life spanning over several days. Yes, days!
Bluetooth: Easy one-click pairing of devices – When a device is ready to pair and detected to be within range, Windows shows a notification to the user allowing them to quickly start the process. Microsoft is working on growing the list of supported devices, and there are a number of them on the way.
Better Windows Hello Integration – Even easier setup and use of Windows Hello, Microsoft's solution to biometric authentication. Previously, you had to navigate deep inside Settings to find Windows Hello. Now you can set up Face-, Fingerprint- or PIN unlock straight from the lock screen. You can read more about Windows Hello in our article here.
Microsoft Fluent Design Language – Microsoft has been developing a new design language, which will spark up the graphical user interface across Windows 10 itself, as well as apps. With 1803 Microsoft will finally implement this Acrylic Material effect into their own apps, such as Mail & Calendar, My People and Clock. Windows UI elements such as the taskbar are also getting a facelift.
Better Scaling for High DPI Screens – So far, the built-in scaling of Windows has not been great. It's not consistent, it looks and feels weird, and some apps are useless if not updated to support this feature. With 1803, scaling will get a much needed improvement. Windows 10 will now be able to handle the scaling of UI and apps better, you can adjust scaling options on a per app level or let Windows 10 figure it out by itself. Treat your eyes, go and get yourself one or two 4k, high DPI monitors: Windows 10 will fix the rest.
Focus assist, Quiet Hours settings – You'll be able to get more productive with the new quiet hours settings named "Focus assist", where you'll have options to disable notifications and pop ups from apps not relevant at work hours.
If you haven’t updated to Windows 10 yet, you now have even more reasons why you should.