Video: Windows 10 April 2018 Update: Here's what you can expect.
Microsoft has released four new videos showcasing major features in the Windows 10 April 2018 Update that kicks off today for some of the world's 700 million Windows 10 users.
The new videos, shown below, show off headline features coming to Windows 10, version 1803, including the long overdue Timeline, Focus Assist, Microsoft Edge browser updates, and an update version of Dictation, a voice-input system.
Timeline offers a new way of finding tasks done on a device over the past 30 days through Task View, which shows icons for running apps and, with Timeline, the ability to dig down into past activity.
If users are signed into a Microsoft account when using Edge or Office 365 on iOS or Android they will be able to pick up the task later on a Windows 10 device.
Microsoft is introducing Focus Assist in this release to tackle distractions from social media and other notifications.
Users can set Focus Assist to withhold notifications during set hours and then provide a summary of missed notifications afterwards. Users can also whitelist contacts to allow them through the block on distractions.
The company hopes Windows users start using Edge and the April 2018 Update brings Microsoft's latest efforts to make it an appealing alternative to Google's Chrome.
There's a new audio icon to mute or unmute a tab that's playing sound. Edge can now save payment-card information with the option to autofill payment pages.
There's also an option to remove clutter from printed web pages, and a reading assistant button called Grammar Tools that can break words into syllables and color-code nouns, verbs, and adjectives.
Microsoft gave Dictation a more prominent place in the Fall Creators Update, which introduced a Win + H key to start taking notes using voice. The updated feature will work in any text field in Windows 10, not just in Word.
Finally, with this update Windows 10 users with Cortana enabled can control smart home devices from ecobee, Honeywell and Nest.
There are many more features in this update that Microsoft has been testing with Windows Insiders over the past few months. As noted by ZDNet's Ed Bott, the update introduces the new Nearby Sharing feature for sharing files, web pages, contacts between PCs using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
The Settings app has been revamped with Microsoft's Fluent Design principles and given many more settings to control, including fonts, storage management, display, audio, and an option to control which apps launch automatically after signing in.
Microsoft is also bringing Windows Defender Application Guard, formerly an enterprise-only feature, to Windows 10 Pro. The feature allows Edge to open an untrusted site in its own Hyper-V virtualization container to protect data on the machine from web-based threats.
As with previous Windows 10 updates Microsoft will be staggering this release. However, eager and tech-savvy users can download the update themselves from Microsoft if they want.
Microsoft told ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley that this rollout will start with devices that have the highest levels of compatibility and will be gradually distributed to the nearly 700 million devices running Windows 10.
Timeline lets you dig down into activity from the past 30 days. Source: Microsoft/YouTube
Focus Assist tackles distractions from social media. Source: Microsoft/YouTube
Edge has a new audio icon to mute or unmute tabs. Source: Microsoft/YouTube
Dictation now works in any Windows 10 text field. Source: Microsoft/YouTube
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