In April, Microsoft is going to release the next major update for Windows 10, the Windows 10 Creators Update. It will brings many new features and improvements to Windows 10. In this article, I want to sum up the new features to give you a little overview.
The Creators Update will add a couple of new features to Microsoft Edge. Here they are:
Tab preview bar: It’s easy to lose track of what’s in your tabs, especially when you have many tabs from the same site, with similar titles and icons. Tab preview bar allows you to easily glance at a visual preview of every tab you have open without leaving your page. You can scroll through the list with touch, mouse wheel, or a touchpad. Just click the chevron icon next to your tabs to get started.
Set these tabs aside: Sometimes it is really hard to keep all tabs organized. Sometimes you just need to set everything aside and start from a clean slate. That is why Microsoft has added two new buttons next to your tabs in Microsoft Edge to help you quickly manage all your tabs without losing your flow.
Sharing your tabs: You can now share a set of tabs you’ve set aside. Just click the “Tabs you’ve set aside” button, and under the “…” menu select the option to “Share tabs” with many apps installed on your PC.
Jump List for Microsoft Edge: You can now launch a new window or new InPrivate window for Microsoft Edge straight from its Taskbar icon. Simply right-click or swipe up on the Microsoft Edge icon in the Taskbar, and pick the task you want!
Flash Click-to-Run: Microsoft Edge will now block untrusted Flash content by default until the user explicitly chooses to play it. This means better security, stability, and performance for you, while preserving the option to run Flash when you choose. .
Import data: Microsoft is still trying to motivate people to switch from another browser to Microsoft Edge. With the Creators Update it becomes easier to bring your data from another browser to Microsoft Edge. The new “Import from another browser” button in Settings allows you to bring your favorites, browsing history, saved passwords, and other data from another browser you have installed, in one simple step.
Web Notes improvements: The Web Notes now leverage the familiar Windows Ink experience. Tap the pen or highlighter in Web Notes, and you will now see the full set of Windows Ink colors, as well as the new slider released for Windows Ink.
- Text scaling and zoom (Mobile): Based on your feedback, in Microsoft Edge you can now zoom into a webpage regardless of zoom settings defined by the website, matching other mobile browsers. Pages are now zoomable to at least 500%. Because of this, we no longer automatically scale text in Microsoft Edge when you’ve enabled the Ease of Access option to increase the text size, since you can zoom in on the text to reach a size that matches your own comfort level. This addresses feedback that Ease of Access zoom settings made web pages render incorrectly.
- Apps for Websites: Clicking links to websites that support web-to-app linking will now open that page in the respective app.
Read EPUB books in Microsoft Edge: The reading experience will get even better with the Windows 10 Creators Update! In addition to providing a great reading experience for PDF files – you can now read any unprotected e-book in the EPUB file format with Microsoft Edge. When you open an unprotected e-book in Microsoft Edge, you will be taken into a customizable reading experience where you can change the font and text size and choose between 3 themes: light, sepia, and dark. As you read, you can leave bookmarks. To navigate through an e-book, you can use the table of contents or seek bar at the bottom of the browser. And you can also search for words or phrases and use Cortana to define specific words. Furthermore, Microsoft Edge will now read aloud your e-books! Just press the “read aloud” button at the top-right corner after opening one of your e-books and listen to Microsoft Edge read you the book with focus on the line and the word being read along. This feature is also extended to all non-store EPUB files opened using Microsoft Edge.
I love to use my Surface Pen to draw and write. With the Creators Update, Inking gets even better. Here is what is new:
Windows Ink Improvements: Starting with the Creators Update, pen dropdowns in Windows Ink Workspace will let you change both color and width without having to open it twice. After you make all the adjustments to your favorite pen, start drawing right away and we will dismiss the dropdown for you.
Microsoft is also introducing Stencils. The new Windows Ink protractor tool combines functions of both protractor and compass into one – now you can draw an arc or a complete circle of an arbitrary size with little effort. A familiar two-finger pinch gesture resizes the protractor to the desired size and a degree readout follows your pen, mouse, or finger as you draw along the side of the protractor displaying arc degrees. In this preview build, ruler also got a small update – its degree readout shows a numerical value of the angle, making drawing angles even easier.
Resuming previous screen sketches: One of the biggest problems of the Windows Ink workspace is that it can be too easy to accidentally lose Screen Sketches. With the Creators Update, Microsoft is fixing this problem. You can now resume previous sketches! By default, when you open Screen Sketch, it will always open to a new screenshot, but now you can click on the Resume button and it will take you back to the sketch you were working on when Screen Sketch last closed.
The Creators Update comes with some changes and new features when it comes to Design and Personalization.
Windows Themes: With the Creators Update Microsoft is adding a new Windows Themes Section to the Store. You will be able to download new themes for your PC making it look and feel more personal. I wrote an article about this new feature. Check it out here.
App Folders on the Start Menu: App Folders have been a part of Windows Phone for a long time. With the Creators Update they are also coming to Windows 10. You will be able to group your Start Tiles into folders to organize and personalize your Start Menu. To get started, drag and drop a tile on top of another tile in Start to create a folder.
Custom accent colors: While Windows 10 offers a number of custom accent colors at the moment, Microsoft is adding a lot more color options with the Creators Update. You will be able to select any color you want from a color picker and to get a preview of how it would look like.
It’s a nice change that will help people even further customize the look of Windows 10 to match a particular wallpaper or preference.
Hide App list on Start: This new feature enables you to collapse the app list in the Start menu. You can try it out by going to Settings > Personalization > Start and turning on “Hide app list in Start menu”.
Updated Windows Share experience: Microsoft has redesigned the Windows sharing experience. It is now more app-focused and integrated with where you are sharing from. The new Windows Share experience will pop-up the new share flyout within the app you are sharing from and give you a list of applications you can share to. This list changes based on your usage.
New Share icon: Together with this new Windows Share experience, Microsoft is also introducing a new Share Icon.
Night Light: Windows can now automatically lower the amount of blue light emitted from your PC at night. Settings to turn this functionality on or off and use a local sunset and sunrise or custom schedule are in Settings -> System -> Display. If you need to quickly override the schedule or always want manual control, you can enable this quick action in Settings->Notifications & actions.
New Windows Defender Dashboard: Microsoft is making it easier for us to view and control Windows 10 device security and health features available on your PC or tablet with the availability of a new dashboard coming in the Windows 10 Creators Update.
Paint 3D: Starting with the Creators Update, the new Paint 3D App is now included as a part Windows 10. Opening Paint from Start will now take you to the Paint 3D Preview app.
Cortana gets some new features too. Here they are:
Turn off your computer, change volume with voice commands: You can now shut down your PC just by asking Cortana. You can also restart, lock, or put the system to sleep, and raise and lower your system volume with just your voice.
Cortana loves music: You can now use Cortana to control music playback on more of your favorite music apps (EN-US only). Microsoft has enabled natural language compatibility for iHeartRadio and TuneIn Radio. This will work on both, above the lock screen (PC is locked) as well as below! You can try queries like…
Play <Artist/Track/Title/Genre> on <AppName>
Play Drake on iHeartRadio
Play Christmas music on iHeartRadio
Play NPR Hourly News on TuneIn
Play jazz music on TuneIn
Play <Frequency/Call Letters> on <AppName>
Play 90.3 on iHeartRadio
Play KUOW on TuneIn
While you are listening to music in one of these apps, you can also use your voice to control playback and volume. With radio stations, we often want to know what that catchy tune is that has played a million times, so we added support for “What’s Playing”. Try saying “Hey Cortana, What song is Playing?” and it will work for all apps playing music. As a bonus, we made Cortana smarter by remembering the last played music app so you don’t have to say “on Groove” over and over. All you need to do is say your desired app one time, something like “Play jazz music on iHeartRadio”; then the next time, just say “Play rock music” and it will play on iHeartRadio.
Full screen when Idle: Microsoft has made major improvements to Cortana’s look when using “Hey Cortana” when your PC is unlocked and idle. When your PC is in this state, asking Cortana questions will result in a gorgeous full-screen experience that is optimized for far field viewing! Give it a try by enabling “Hey Cortana” and then wait for about 10 seconds or so without touching your PC.
More recurrence options for Reminders: Microsoft has added a new option to set recurring time-based Cortana Reminders for “Every Month” or “Every Year” —great for bill payment or anniversary reminders!
Purchase and read e-books in Windows 10 Creators Update: You can now purchase e-books directly from the Windows Store and read them in Microsoft Edge.
After purchasing your e-books – you will find those in your Books library, which is a new hub entry in Microsoft Edge right next to your favorites, history, downloads and reading list.
- Interactive reading experience: To navigate through an e-book, you can use the table of contents or seek bar at the bottom of the browser. You can search for words or phrases and ask Cortana to define specific words and view embedded video and audio content. And of course, pick up where you left of and leave bookmarks on the most interesting pages. You can even read your books when offline.
- Learning tools: You can widen text spacing to improve reading fluency and benefit from typography tailored to reading efficiency.
- Customize for you: Microsoft Edge is built for reading digital content on Windows 10 devices. You can make the reading experiences yours by changing the font and text size, themes, navigation control and more.
- EPUB support: In addition to PDF files and books purchased via the Store – you can read any unprotected e-book in the EPUB file format with Microsoft Edge.
With Books in the Windows Store and Microsoft Edge, everyone can discover and read their favorite content.
These are many of the new features coming to Windows with the Creators Update. Which one is your personal favorite? Tell us in the comments!