What’s New in Windows 10 Creators Update? | Digital Buzz Show 10 October 2017
During the tech feature of the #DigitalBuzzShow Craig and Charles had awesome tips and advice as usual. Below is some of what was discussed.
What’s New in Windows 10 Creators Update?
Windows 10’s Creators Update, codenamed Redstone 3, will be released on October 17, 2017. Here are some of the new features you’ll see in the latest version of Windows
OneDrive Shows Files in the Cloud, Downloading Them on Demand.
Microsoft announced “OneDrive Files on Demand”, which allows some files to be stored in the cloud and available to you without being synced on your local device. An older version of this feature appeared in Windows 8.1, and people have been asking for it since. Dropbox and Google Drive are incorporating a similar feature, too.
Interestingly enough, this works with files in the Desktop and Documents folder, so it isn’t just limited to files in the OneDrive folder.
When you try to open a file that isn’t stored on your PC, Windows will download it and open it for you. This is implemented at a low level in the operating system and works with any application, even command line ones.
If an app tries to access a file only stored in the cloud and causes it to download, you’ll see a notification that the app is downloading a file and you can hide the notification or cancel the download, if you like. You can also block the app from downloading files in the future.
Fluent Design Is Windows 10’s New Design Language (and Includes Inking Improvements)
Microsoft has a new design language named “Fluent Design“. It uses more light, depth, motion, and transparency. It’s more related to “material” objects and incorporates “scale” more, according to Microsoft. This sounds like the final name of Project Neon, a new visual design language Microsoft has been working on, but it’s more than that. It’s a new interaction model, according to Microsoft.
You’re going to see Fluent Design show up in everything from the Windows shell interface to the included apps in Windows over time, according to Microsoft.
Part of the implementing Fluent Design includes integrating better inking support into Windows, allowing you to use a pen to navigate through the entire operating system. This includes being able to more easily write-to-type with a stylus in Edge, scroll by dragging up and down with the stylus, and more quickly select text. The ability to scroll with a pen is currently only available in UWP apps, but Microsoft is working on adding it to classic desktop (Win32) apps as well.
Microsoft referred to Edge as “the best ink-enabled browser”. You can now annotate PDFs with a pen in Edge, too (finally).
Windows My People Is Back
When Microsoft announced the original Creators Update, they made a big deal about the Windows My People feature, also known as the People Bar.
This feature is designed to “place people at the center of Windows”, according to Microsoft. You can drag and drop people to an area to the right side of your taskbar, giving you quicker, more convenient access to the few key people you regularly communicate with. Up to three people can be pinned as taskbar icons, and the rest will appear in the panel that pops up after you click the People button.
These people are also prioritized when you use the “Share” feature in Windows, and messages from them will be prioritized in apps like Mail, Skype, and Xbox Live. Contacts you’ve pinned to the taskbar can even send “pops”, which are animated emojis that pop up from your taskbar.
Click or tap a person’s icon and you’ll see links to communicate with them using apps you have
The Task Manager Shows GPU Usage
The Windows Task Manager now allows you to see GPU resource usage alongside CPU, memory, disk, and network resource usage. Just open the Task Manager—for example, by right-clicking the taskbar and selecting “Task Manager”—and click the Performance tab in the detailed window.
On the Processes pane, you can view the GPU usage of each process on your system, just as you can see how much CPU an individual process is using. You may need to right-click the headings on the Processes pane and enable the “GPU” column if it’s hidden
The New Touch Keyboard Is Based on WordFlow and SwiftKey
Windows 10 now includes a new touch keyboard. It’s build by the team behind Microsoft’s WordFlow keyboard, used on Windows Phone. It also includes some technology from SwiftKey, the popular iPhone and Android keyboard Microsoft purchased in 2016.
The most obvious improvement is support for swipe input, allowing you to touch a letter and swipe to the other letters in a word before lifting your finger to type. It’s just like a variety of popular keyboards for phones, from Microsoft’s own SwiftKey keyboard to the Google Keyboard on Android.
Aside from that, you’ll find enhanced text prediction that automatically completes phrases, an improved emoji experience ..
You can now more easily use dictation to input text, too. Just tap the microphone button on the keyboard or press the new dictation hotkey, which is Windows+H, and start speaking to type. The dictaiton feature also supports voice commands like “press backspace”, “delete last three words”,
Spotify and iTunes Will Be Available in the Windows Store
Showing that the Windows Store isn’t dead yet, Microsoft announced that Spotify and iTunes will be available in the Windows Store, providing the complete experience of buying media and managing iPhones and iPads. Spotify is already available in the Windows Store, while iTunes hasn’t yet appeared.
In related news, Microsoft recently announced the end of Groove Music. Microsoft will no longer offer a music subscription service or even sell music tracks in the Windows Store, and will migrate all its Groove Music Pass customers to Spotify. The Groove Music app will remain in Windows 10, but will only be for playing back local music files stored on your device. Groove Music users have until December 31, 2017 to download any purchased music or they’ll lose it forever.
Windows Will Throttle Background Tasks to Save Battery Power
This feature allows Windows to automatically put the CPU in an energy efficient state when background work is being performed, saving battery power. Windows identifies applications running in the foreground, music players, and other important tasks and won’t throttle them. Microsoft said this feature can provide up to an 11% reduction in CPU usage when the PC is under heavy load.
You can control this feature from the power slider, which is now available when you click the battery icon. In Battery Saver or Recommended mode, Power Throttling is enabled. In Best Performance mode, it’s disabled.
You can also disable this feature for individual apps by heading to Settings > System > Battery, selecting an application, setting “Managed by Windows” to “Off”, and unchecking the “Reduce work app does when in the background” checkbox.
According to Microsoft’s announcement, this feature is currently only available on computers with processors that include Intel’s Speed Shift technology, which is 6th-generation Skylake (and newer) Core processors. Microsoft plans to roll it out to other processors during the Fall Creators Update development period.
Ransomware Protection, Exploit Guard, and Other Security Improvements
The latest update brings a number of new security improvements.
A new “Controlled folder access” feature in Windows Defender allows you to protect folders from modification by applications. If an unapproved application attempts to modify files in these folders, you’ll see a notification. This is designed to help protect your data from ransomware and other malicious applications.
To enable this feature, head to Windows Defender Security Center > Virus & threat protection settings > Controlled folder access. Set the switch to “On”. Click the “Protected folders” and “Allow an app through Controlled folder access” links to control which apps are approved.
Ubuntu Is Easier to Install, and openSUSE and Fedora Will Be Available
Microsoft is making it easier to set up Ubuntu for Windows 10 by bringing Ubuntu to the Windows Store. This is the same Ubuntu Bash environment you can install on current versions of Windows 10, but easier to install.
Fedora and openSUSE are also coming to the Store, so it’s easier to set up different Linux environments. You can have multiple different environments installed at the same time, too.
Other New Features
- An Emoji Panel: You can press Windows+. (period) or Windows+; (semicolon) to open a new emoji panel in any application. You must have a text box selected while pressing these keys. You can use your mouse to pick an emoji, or use the arrow, Tab, Enter, and Esc keys to navigate the interface. After opening it, you can type to search. For example, type “flow” and you’ll see a flower emoji appaer.
- More Emojis: Microsoft has updated Windows 10 to the “Emoji 5.0” standard, and it now includes many new emojis.
- Share and Copy a Link: Open the Share dialog from any app and you’ll see a new “Copy link” icon. This will copy a link to your clipboard so you can paste it into any application.
- Volume Control for UWP Apps: You can now control the volume of individual Universal Windows Platform (Windows Store) apps through the volume mixer, accessible by right-clicking the speaker icon in your notification area. Previously, you could only control the volume level of desktop apps here.
- New Font: Windows 10 now includes the “Bahnschrift” font, which is the standard raod sign font in Germany and much of Europe. It’s considered very legible and clean. It’s not used in the interface by default, but is available throughout Windows.
- Expanded Resources for UWP Games: “Universal Windows Platform” games from the Windows Store can now use six exclusive cores, 5 GB of RAM, and have full access to the system’s GPU. Microsoft has been improving the limited UWP platform every since Windows 10’s release.
- New Gaming Options: There are new Settings > Gaming > TruePlay and Settings > Gaming > Xbox Networking Panels for controlling anti-cheat technology and troubleshooting Xbox Live game networking problems, specifically. The TruePlay anti-cheat technology is disabled by default.
- View Mixed Reality: A new “View Mixed Reality” app gives you an augmented reality (AR) interface. With just a webcam—ideally a rear-facing webcam—you can position virtual 3D objects in the real world. You could create 3D objects using Paint 3D and then place them with View Mixed Reality, for example. This app was previously named “View 3D”.
- Video Playback Settings: There’s a new Settings > Personalization > Video playback pane where you can adjust video playback settings for apps that use the Windows video playback platform. For example, you can currently toggle HDR on or off from here if you have an HDR monitor.
- HDR Settings: There’s also a new Settings > System > Display > HDR and advanced color settings option that’s visible if you have an HDR display connected to your PC. It will provide you with more details about the HDR setting son your display.
- Local Media Folder Detection: Apps like Photos, Groove Music, and Movies & TV will now have easier access to your media, even if it’s stored in other folders where these apps can’t see it. Windows will detect relevant media folders you might want to include and suggest them. For example, if you have a bunch of photos at C:\MyPhotos, Windows will now suggest you add this folder to your Photos library when you launch the Photos app.
- No More Logging Out to Fix Blurry Desktop Apps: If desktop apps are blurry after you change DPI settings, you can generally just close them and launch them again to fix this. You shouldn’t have to sign out of Windows and sign back in again, for most apps.
- Grouped Processes in the Task Manager: In the Task Manager, groups of associated processes are now grouped together. For example, if you launch Microsoft Edge, you’ll see all its processes listed under a main Microsoft Edge process.
- Set Defaults by App: The “set defaults by app” experience that was formerly only available in the Control Panel is now available in Settings. Head to Settings > Apps > Default apps > Set defaults by app and select an app. Click “Manage” to see the file types associated for an app.
- Windows Update Improvements: The Windows Update page in Settings now lists individual updates and their status so you can see the status of each individual update rather than a single progress bar. For example, Windows may be installing a new build, a driver, and a virus definition update. The Windows Update page will now clearly display and list any group policies applied that affect its settings.
- Game Mode Improvements: When you press Windows+G to open the Game Bar, you’ll now see a button to enable ore disable Game Mode for the current game. The Game Bar can now take screenshots of HDR games, and Game Mode has been tweaked to improve performance on 6-core and 8-core computers.
- Quick Actions for Wi-Fi Networks: In the Wi-Fi connection panel, you can now right-click a network to open a quick action menu with options like Connect, Disconnect, View Properties, and Forget Network. Previously, nothing happened when you right-clicked a network in this panel, and you had to dig into Settings to forget a network.
- Color Filters: Windows 10 includes color filters designed to allow people with color blindness to easily distinguish between colors. These can also improve the experience for people with light sensitivity. You’ll find this feature at Settings > Ease of Access > Color and High Contrast.
- Integrated Eye Control: People with compatible eye trackers like the Tobii 4C can now use their eye tracking hardware to operate the mouse and keyboard on screen with only the software integrated into Windows 10 itself. Previously, this required third-party software. This feature is still in beta and can be accessed from Settings > Ease of Access > Other Options > Eye control.
- Redesigned Magnifier Settings: The Magnifier settings page at at Settings > Ease of Access > Magnifier has been redesigned. It also includes a few other improvements, such as the ability to open Magnifier settings from anywhere in Windows by pressing Windows+Ctrl+M.
- Narrator Improvements: Scan Mode is now enabled by default. Narrator no longer has to explain how to initiate Scan Mode when you launch it. Use the up and down arrow keys to move through the content in your application and press Space to interact. You can also choose the audio channel Narrator speaks through via the new “Sounds you hear” section on the Settings > Ease of Access > Narrator screen.
- Multi-Step Interactive Notifications: App developers can now use “multi-step interactive notifications”. A notification can continue a button, and you could click the button to view more information or options—right in the notification itself.
- Easier Forgotten Password Recovery: There’s now a convenient option to recover a forgotten Microsoft account password from the login screen. You’ll see a “Reset password” or “I forgot my PIN” link below the password box, and it will guide you through using an email address or phone number associated with your Microsoft account to reset your password and regain access to your account. It was previously possible to regain access to a Microsoft account on the web, but it’s now possible right on the login screen without any need for a web browser. This also works for organizations using Azure Active Directory, not just Microsoft accounts.
- Delivery Optimization Options: You’ll find new options for limiting background downloads and uploads at Settings > Update & security > Windows Update > Advanced options > Delivery Optimization. There’s also an “Activity Monitor” that displays information about the bandwidth currently being used to download and upload updates and Store apps.
- File History Is Not Being Removed: There were some reports that the File History backup feature might be removed, but that’s not happening. File History is still present on the Fall Creators Update.
- Easily Enable Spatial Sound: Plug in headphones, right-click the sound icon in the notificaiton area, and you can select “Spatial sound” to choose your preferred spatial sound format. Enabling Dolby Atmos or Windows Sonic previously required using a control panel.
- New Xbox Networking Options: There’s a Settings > Gaming > Xbox Networking screen that will help you identify and fix problems with multiplayer Xbox Live games and online voice chat.
- Currency Conversion in the Calculator: You can now perform currency conversions in the Calculator app.
- Share From File Explorer: You can now share a file using the new share dialog by right-clicking it and selecting “Share”. The old “Share with” menu that allows you to perform other actions has been renamed “Give access to”.
- Storage Sense Improvements: The Storage Sense tool at Settings > System > Storage > Storage Sense now allows you to remove Windows.old folders.
- Third-Party Antivirus Changes: To make antivirus companies like Kaspersky happy, Microsoft is making a number of changes. Antivirus companies will have more time and support to prepare their products for Windows 10 updates. If you have a third-party antivirus installed, it will be able to notify you and ask you to renew your antivirus rather than Windows 10 overriding these notifications. When your antivirus expires, a notification will appear on screen until you choose to either renew your existing antivirus product, pick another antivirus tool, or switch to Windows Defender
The Show is hosted by Craig Hoggins, Founder of Digital Marketing Agency Online Marketing Guys. Craig has been living all things digital since 2003 and with over 100 clients and Managing ad budgets of over R4million as a Google Partner it is easy to recognize his expertise in the Digital Space.