What to Expect from the Windows 10 Spring Creators Update

Windows 10 version 1803, or as it’s known in testing circles, “Redstone 4,” is the fifth major update to Windows 10 and the third installment of the Creators Update series. Set to launch this April, the Spring Creators Update brings a host of new features for Windows 10 and various improvements. Here’s what you can expect from the upcoming Feature Update.

Timeline

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Microsoft announced Timeline for Windows 10 in the Fall Creators Update but held off implementing it until now. Timeline replaces Task View as the manager for open documents and applications. The new scrollable dashboard lets you see all your recently open and currently running apps over the last 30 days. You can even resume working in programs that were open on your iOS or Android devices.

Nearby Sharing

Wireless sharing is finally coming to Windows in the Spring Creators Update. Much like AirDrop on macOS, the new Nearby Sharing feature lets you share files and web links to nearby PCs over Bluetooth. You’ll also be able to share items to applications like Facebook, Twitter, Skype, and over email using WiFi.

Microsoft Edge

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The Edge browser also received a few improvements in the Spring Creators Update. The overall interface is sleeker and easier to navigate, and Microsoft redesigned the hub area so that it opens from the right, which makes your Favorites, History, and Downloads pages more accessible. You can also mute audio in specific tabs, save free EPUB books, and use extensions when browsing InPrivate.

Cortana

Microsoft’s virtual assistant now allows you to make and sync lists between your devices using the Cortana app. Cortana’s Notebook section has a new design and a new profile page where you can add your favorite locations. You’ll also see more Cortana content and notifications in the Action Center.

Reduced Offline Time

The offline phase, or time when your PC is unusable while an update installs, is generally long for major Windows updates. For example, the offline time for the previous two Creators Updates were 82 minutes and 51 minutes, respectively. However, Microsoft claims to have streamlined the installation process for the Spring Creators Update by extending the online (file downloading and organization) phase and reducing your computer’s offline time. According to their calculations, the offline phase of the new update will be roughly 30 minutes on average.

Fluent Design

Previously known as Project Neon, Fluent Design was introduced to Windows 10 in the Fall Creators Update as Microsoft’s new design language and is responsible for the redesigned graphics in Windows 10. The Spring Creators Update will introduce more changes such as softer Reveal effects for tiles in the Start menu and the Action Center. The Xbox Game Bar and touch keyboard also showcase Fluent Design features.

Settings

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You won’t see any major updates to the Settings app, but there are several smaller ones worth noting. Settings has a new look that features Fluent Design effects like Acrylic Blur, and various Control Panel items like Fonts, Display, Sound, and Languages are now a part of the application. Once the Spring Creators Update launches, you can right-click on live tiles in the Start menu to access an app’s settings page directly. There’s also a new Keyboards section in Settings.

The Spring Creators Update won’t be as feature-heavy as its autumn predecessor, but it has several improvements worth paying attention to. Like previous Windows 10 Feature Updates, the Spring Creators Update is mandatory. But, you can defer it for a few months if you’re running Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise. Microsoft will release the update sometime in April, but you can try these features early if you join the Windows Insider Program.

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