The release of the next major Windows 10 Update, the Fall Creators Update, comes closer and closer. The update will start rolling out on October 17 and will bring a couple of nice new features to Windows 10. In this article, I want to give you an overview of all the new features you should expect from the update. Here we go!
The Windows Shell is the main part of Windows. Users interact with it everyday because it is the Start Menu, the Action Center and more. Here are all Windows Shell Changes.
Notification and Action Center improvements:
- We’ve adjusted our notification buttons to now span across the bottom of the notification, rather than being right-justified.
- We just made it easier for you to take action on your notifications by auto-expanding the first notification in each notification group in the Action Center. Now you can quickly triage your emails, snooze your reminders, reply to your texts, etc. without the need to expand every single one of them.
- In response to feedback about the X to “dismiss” notifications being confusing, we’ve adjusted it to now be an arrow to make it more clear that the notification is actually being pushed to the Action Center to be reviewed later.
- We fixed an issue from recent flights where if you received 20 notifications from a specific app, then received more (without ever clearing them from the Action Center), ShellExperienceHost would start crashing repeatedly in the background.
- We fixed a recent issue where tapping on the chevron of an expanded notification in the Action Center wouldn’t collapse the notification.
- We fixed an issue from recent flights where opening the Action Center might not clear the badge on the Action Center icon, leading one to later believe there were new notifications when there weren’t any.
- We fixed an issue where Notifications and Actions Settings might have unexpectedly had a number of unnamed apps listed at the top in recent flights.
- We fixed an issue where Windows Defender notifications might include unparsed parameters (showing a % sign).
A new look for Action Center: Action Center has been redesigned based on your feedback to provide much clearer information separation and hierarchy. And the new design for Action Center also includes elements of our Fluent Design System such as acrylic! (and in case you were wondering, we’ve also added acrylic to our notification toasts!). As a reminder, you can customize the visible quick actions by going to Settings > System > Notifications & actions.
Tell your story your way: Today at Build we unveiled a big update coming to the Windows 10 Creators Update and the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. Story Remix is an evolution of the Photos app that makes it easier than ever to relive your memories and introduces video story creation from your photos and videos.
- Videos made easy: Story Remix uses its understanding of your content to find collections of content most relevant to you and automatically brings it together into video stories – each with a soundtrack, theme, and transitions. You can keep these suggested video stories to enjoy and share, remix them with just a click of a button, or edit them yourself in story editor to get it just right. Anyone can get started creating great videos with the help of Story Remix.
- Search: Story Remix uses deep learning and AI to automatically tag your content. Now you can search by people, places or things to easily find specific photos in your ever-growing collection so that you can view, edit or create a story.
- Updated UX: The Story Remix app now includes elements of Fluent Design like connected animations, conscious scrollbars, and acrylic. The Explore page is the hub for your entire collection of photos and videos, where you can view your content in three different sizes – small, medium, and large. The Create page is the jumping off point for creating new stories.
- Discovery bar: The new discovery bar gives you quick access to delight and common tasks, making it easy to create a new story, see stories we’ve created for you, and discover your past memories of people, places, and things.
- Share your stories: Upload your video stories quickly to YouTube and Facebook, or share them easily via email or via OneDrive.
My People: Technology is all about making it easier for you to connect with your most important people. Whether you want to share a photo, make plans for dinner, or get an answer from a friend or coworker – My People is here to take it to the next level and bring the people you care about most to the center of your experience.
You can now:
- Pin your people to the taskbar – we’ll suggest some to start with, or you can pick your own! (Note: you are currently limited to having 3 people pinned to your taskbar currently.)
- View multiple communication apps together and filtered to each person on your taskbar.
- Choose the app you want to use to chat and we’ll remember for next time.
By now, you are wondering ‘but how do I host this party in my taskbar?’. To start with, go to the Store app and make sure you have all the latest updates for the Skype, Mail, and People apps. Then click on the People icon in the taskbar to activate the first run experience and get setup.
Emotive Experience in My People: The next wave of cool features for My People is now available for Windows Insiders! In addition to being able to place your favorite people to the taskbar, today’s build brings even more personal ways to stay in touch and share with the people closest to you. We’re adding:
- See emoji from your pinned contacts: When you receive emoji from your pinned contacts you can now watch them appear and animate right from the taskbar! Have one of your pinned contacts send you an emoji via Skype (for example “(hero)”) and see what happens! If you’d like to turn this off, open taskbar settings by right-clicking on the taskbar.
- Notification Badging: The contacts pinned to your taskbar will now display a counter if there are unseen messages, ensuring you have at-a-glance access to communications you have missed from your pinned contacts. Note: You might need to update Skype to version 11.16.556.0 to see notification badges when new Skype messages come in.
- People-first Sharing: You now have two easy ways to share with your people in Windows 10! Drag-and-drop files directly onto the contacts in your taskbar to start an email, or share directly to your contacts via the share picker by choosing from a list recommended people to email.
OneDrive Files on Demand
With the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Microsoft is introducing a feature called OneDrive Files On Demand which allows users to access all their files in the cloud without having to download them. Files on Demand are basically a new version of the OneDrive placeholders. You can learn more about it here.
Microsoft Edge Improvements
Microsoft continues to improve Edge with a better PDF and EPUB support. Furthermore, the browser now has a new read aloud feature and is more stable.
- We’re giving Microsoft Edge a refreshed and more modern look in the browser frame, inspired by the Fluent Design System. The use of Acrylic material provides depth and transparency to the tab bar and other controls, and we’ve improved button animations to feel more responsive and delightful.
- Based on your feedback we’ve adjusted the design of the address bar so now even if the address bar isn’t in focus to start with when you click and drag the text it will remain under the cursor. Previously the text would shift as the “http://” appeared – this change will make it easier to quickly edit parts of the URL.
- We fixed an issue where right-clicking on an image in Microsoft Edge and selecting copy then later pasting the clipboard content would result in the image URL being pasted rather than the image itself.
- We fixed an issue where if a tab had been opened while Microsoft Edge was in full screen mode, using Ctrl + W to close that tab while still in full screen mode would close the content but leave the tab in the frame.
- We fixed an issue where if you had two unrelated tabs in Microsoft Edge and opened a link from the first in a new tab, the new tab would appear to the right of the second tab rather than the first.
- Read aloud with word and line highlighting for all websites: With the read out loud feature for web, users will be able to read aloud any webpage with word and line highlighting.
- PDF read aloud: With the read out loud feature for PDF, users will be able to read aloud any PDF document with word and line highlighting.
More EPUB improvements in Microsoft Edge
Copy and Ask Cortana: Now, when you select your text, you can Copy and Ask Cortana in addition to adding notes, highlighting and underlining. Cortana can help you do a little research while you’re reading an EPUB book!
Ink Notes: Got ink? Add a note and write or draw on it with your pen.
To see your note, just hover over the note button—no need to open it.
Books roamed across devices: Your books from the Windows Store are available on your Windows 10 devices, and your reading progress, bookmarks, and notes are kept in sync.
Improved Favorites experience in Microsoft Edge:
New experience when saving new favorites: You can now view your favorites as a directory tree when you save new favorites, and collapse or expand folders from within the “Add to favorites” dialog. Just click the “Save in” folder list to get started!
Edit URL for Favorites: You can now edit the URL of any favorite in the Favorites menu or the Favorites Bar. You can use this to update the location of a site that has moved, or to create Bookmarklets in the favorites bar.
Favorite manageability for Enterprise: IT admins can now configure favorites via group policy and mobile device management, including the ability to define and lock pre-configured favorites in addition to the user’s favorites.
Pin your favorite websites to your taskbar: Pinned sites are back! You can now pin a website to the taskbar from Microsoft Edge! We’ll use the site’s icon to give you quick access to your favorite sites right from the taskbar. Simply select “Pin this page to the taskbar” from the settings menu in Microsoft Edge.
Full screen mode (F11) in Microsoft Edge: This build introduces a new Full Screen experience in Microsoft Edge. Simply press F11 or choose the new Full Screen icon in the Settings menu to take your websites full-screen. You can exit Full Screen view by pressing F11 again, or by clicking the Restore icon in the top-right corner.
Annotate Books in Microsoft Edge: We’ve added the ability to annotate EPUB Books by highlighting in four colors, underlining, and adding comments. To get started, select some text, and choose an option from the menu.
To add notes as you read, select text, tap or click the Add a note button and add your note.
To edit or delete your note, click the Edit your note button.
Microsoft Edge PDF improvements: We’ve added more highlight colors and the option to Ask Cortana in PDFs in Microsoft Edge.
Other Microsoft Edge Improvements, including:
- Microsoft Edge’s splash page (seen when newly launched) so that the color transitions more smoothly to the Start and New Tab pages.
- We’ve added an option to “Add tabs to favorites” from the right-click context menu on tabs. Using it will create a Favorites folder with all the sites open in tabs in the current window.
- New tabs will now animate more smoothly onto the tab bar when opened and closed.
- We’ve improved session restore behavior so that when a multi-window Microsoft Edge session is restored by clicking on a link (for example, from an email), the window in focus at the end of restoration is the one containing the new link.
Evolving the handwriting experience in Windows 10
Write as much as you want in the panel with the new conversion & overflow model! As you write, you’ll now see your previous words convert to typed text within the handwriting panel. When you fill the handwriting panel and lift your pen off the screen, the text will shift so you have room to continue writing. Press the commit button to insert all the text and clear the slate.
Make corrections within the handwriting panel by overwriting converted text: Was something misrecognized? Instead of using the suggested text alternate, you now have the option of just inking the correct letters right on top of the converted text!
Make corrections using ink gestures: Once your written words have been converted to type, or if you’ve selected existing text, you can now easily make simple edits from within the handwriting panel using our four new gestures: strikethrough, scratch, join, and split. Try it out!
Easier access to emoji and symbols: We’ve added two new buttons to the handwriting panel, so you can easily input emoji or symbols without needing to switch to the touch keyboard Simply tap the button, pick the character you want, and you’re set to go!
Reducing the chance of palm rejection: We’ve added a new setting in Pen & Windows Ink Settings so finger inking needs to be explicitly enabled – this will help avoid inadvertent ink being drawn on the handwriting panel as you’re writing with your pen.
Floating by default: While you still have the option to choose, we’ve made the decision for the handwriting panel to now by default appear next to where you’re writing. To change modes, tap the new keyboard settings menu button in the top left corner of the keyboard.
Improved handwriting recognition for English (United States): We’ve made some changes to our US English handwriting recognition engine to improve its accuracy. Would love for Insiders to try it out and share feedback on how it feels now.
Pen interaction improvements:
Scrolling with pen. In the effort to create a more intuitive pen interaction on Windows, we are emphasizing natural and direct manipulation of content with pen. You don’t have to “hunt and peck” for scrollbars or frequently switch between pen and touch when navigating; now you can scroll content directly and fluently as you would with your finger.
Selection with pen. We also revised selection with pen by giving it more control over the selection process. Not only are we showing selection grippers whenever text is selected via pen, but also are allowing for a consistent and fast selection of content – text, objects, or ink—by dragging the pen while the barrel button is pressed.
Hardware keyboard Improvements
New emoji panel: We’ve heard your feedback, and today we’re happy to announce the new Emoji Panel! Press Win + period (.) or Win + semicolon (;) while focus is in a text box and the Emoji Panel will pop up for you to quickly scroll through and pick the emoji you want.
In the “People” emoji category, you can change the skin tone of the emoji by clicking the button on the top-right:
In addition to using your mouse to select an emoji, you can also navigate through the panel by using the following keys:
- Arrow keys – Navigate among emoji
- Tab / Shift + Tab – Switch emoji category
- Enter – Select an emoji
- Esc – Close the panel
New touch keyboard experience
With the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, users will get a completely new touch keyboard. The new keyboard will bring many of the features from the Windows 10 Mobile keyboard to the desktop. This includes:
Enhanced Text Prediction: We’ve made a bunch of improvements to our text prediction engine to make it more intelligent. For example, you now don’t need to type anything other than “Text ” to complete the frequently used message, “Text me when you get a chance” using the suggested words. If you’re using a UWP app, you can also now enjoy Emoji suggestions! Try it out! Type “birthday ”, “coffee ”, or “dog ” and see what happens! Prediction is currently only working with the English US keyboard, however we’re working on enabling more languages.
Improved emoji experience: If you switch to the touch keyboard’s emoji view, you’ll find can now smoothly scroll through the entire contents of each emoji category, rather than page by page. You’ll also notice that any additional available emoji candidates based on your most recent word are displayed at the top in the candidate area.
One-handed touch keyboard: Following extensive research on tablet postures, we’re adding a new keyboard layout to provide the most comfort when holding the device in your hands! It looks similar to a phone keyboard – smaller and more narrow. You can freely put this smaller touch keyboard wherever you want (although we recommend docked to the side of your screen ) and use it with one hand. To switch between languages, press and hold on the &123 key.
Shape writing with the one-handed touch keyboard: One of the most powerful phone keyboard features for fast and easy text input involves swiping over the keys without releasing your finger on the screen. We call it shape writing. Today we proudly announce the first shape writing keyboard on PC! Because it’s works just like your familiar phone-style one-handed keyboard, you don’t need to do anything to learn it again. Just use it as you would use your phone’s touch keyboard. Bonus: it also works with pen!
A new touch keyboard settings menu: Along with all our other improvements, we’ve updated the way to switch into Handwriting panel and other keyboard layouts. You can find our keyboard settings menu icon at the top left corner of the touch keyboard. It’s a one-stop settings panel for all the layouts (Default, One-handed, Handwriting, Full) and modes (Docked, Floating), as well as a shortcut for jumping to language settings
Dictation on the Desktop: Our keen-eyed Insiders may have noticed a microphone button in the touch keyboard pictures above – that’s because you can now use dictation to input English or Chinese text on desktop! Simply tap the microphone button in the top left corner of the touch keyboard or handwriting panel, or press the new dictation hotkey Win + H to start dictating. Currently only available for English (United States) and Chinese (Simplified) input methods.
Emoji 5.0! We have added support for the latest Unicode updates – including new snacks, actions, dinosaurs, and even fantasy characters like genies, fairies and zombies!
They’re all accessible via both the touch keyboard and the Emoji Panel. Bonus: Along the way, we also updated our emoji pickers to now make it possible to access the profession emoji and gender diverse options for some of our people actions (for example, you can now select male or female face palm).
Finally, we’ve tweaked some of our original emoji designs based on your feedback and to improve consistency with how the emoji is displayed on other platforms (while maintaining our Windows style).
New emoji include:
Examples of updated emoji – before:
Search for emoji in Emoji Panel: We’ve updated the hardware keyboard’s new Emoji Panel to now provide a search feature! After opening the panel via the Win + period (.) or semicolon (;) hotkeys, keep typing! The words you type will be used to filter the emoji displayed. If you close the panel by clicking “x” button or pressing Esc, the words will remain.
Dark theme for Emoji Panel: Do you love dark theme? Because we do ????. If you have dark theme enabled (via Settings > Personalization > Colors), you’ll now see the Emoji Panel background display using dark colors instead of light.
Taking Cortana reminders to the next level through vision intelligence: Most of us have experienced taking a picture of upcoming event poster or bookmarking an event site for future reference, only to forget about it later. With this build, we’re rolling out two new features starting with the en-us market to help you never again miss an event you’re interested in!
Cortana camera roll insights: With your permission, Cortana will now prompt you to create a reminder when she notices event posters in your camera roll! To try it out, make sure you’re signed into Cortana with your MSA or work account, and then give Cortana permission to access your camera roll via Settings > Cortana > Permissions & history > “Manage the information Cortana can access from this device”. The next time you take a picture of a flier for an upcoming event, Cortana will reach out asking if you want to create a reminder for that time
Cortana Lasso: Are you a pen user? If so, Cortana can now help keep track of future events on your screen! Use the new lasso tool to circle the relevant information and Cortana will recognize the time, and offer suggested follow-ups through a context menu. Keeping track of upcoming events has never been easier! To try it out, go to Settings > Device > Pen & Windows Ink > Press and hold, and select Cortana Lasso in the dropdown picker. Find a website with upcoming event info, or an event poster someone shared in social media – once you have the event on your screen, just press and hold the pen back button, circle the time information, and watch Cortana do her magic. That easy!
Find my pen
Don’t know where you put your pen? The pen doesn’t have a GPS, so we can’t help you there, but what we *can* do is tell you where you were when you last inked on your computer. Which is what we’ve done! Head over to Settings > Update & Security > “Find My Device” to see what it’s all about.
Calculator cashes in with a Currency Converter feature
The calculator now finally has a currency converter function. You will find “Currency” as the top item under the “Converters” menu.