Windows 10 April 2018 Update
I installed the Windows 10 April 2018 Update today. The update took less than 10 minutes. Here are my first impressions. Out of the six new features, I prioritize them in the following order from most to least interesting/helpful:
#1 – Continue on PC
What: Switch seamlessly from your phone to PC
How: Start browsing the web, writing emails, and using apps on your phone, then continue on your PC, instantly. Add your phone in Settings > Phone. Then on your phone, in the Chrome browser, go to three dots menu > Share > “Continue to PC” button> “Choose a PC to open this on”.
Impressions: YES! THIS IS AWESOME! I do a ton of reading and research on my phone and often want to make the switch to a larger screen. This was one-click easy, and fast.
Tip: If you use the Edge App, the “Continue to PC” button is smack center of the bottom buttons in the App.
#2 – Bring the Microsoft experience to your phone
What: Once installed, you can get beautiful Bing wallpapers that refresh daily, sync your Office docs and calendar, and more.
How: Open the Google Play Store app on your Android phone, then type Microsoft Launcher in the search box and install it.
Impressions: COOOL! I wasn’t expecting much when I tried it out, but this brings all the things I loved about Windows Phone onto my Android device. And it’s easy to switch back and forth as needed. I can’t wait to explore this more and share more impressions in a separate blog post.
Tip: Make sure you have a good 30-60 minutes set aside when you go down this path as turning on the Microsoft experience can be overwhelming.
#3 – Return to past activities via Timeline button
What: Get back to something you were doing recently by finding it in your timeline.
How: To open your timeline, select Task View on the taskbar. Scroll down until you find the thing you want to return to, and then click it to pick up right where you left off.
Impressions: I haven’t used it enough yet to get the full value, but I love that you can easily get to the New Desktop button (top left).
Tip: The keyboard shortcut to open the timeline is Windows logo key + Tab. The keyboard shortcut to close the timeline is Esc.
#4 – Focus assist
What: Stay focused by hiding distractions while you work. Choose between two options:
- Priority Only – only see selected notifications from your priority list.
- Alarm Only – all notifications are hidden except for alarms.
How: Turn on focus assist to send notifications directly to action center. Select action center button on the taskbar > focus assist.
Impressions: I can see this being very helpful to shut up the chatter from my Mail, Skype, and Slack Apps when I’m head-down working on a project.
Tip: Right-click on the icon in the action center to get to the Focus assist settings where you can customize your priority list.
#5 – Pin sites to Taskbar
What: Pin websites you use frequently to the taskbar.
How: In Microsoft Edge, open a site, select Settings and more three dots button > Pin this page to the taskbar.
Impressions: At first I thought this was FANTASTIC as being able to pin key sites that are important (but not as important as a Home tab) to the taskbar. I could see this being very helpful to increase user adoption as well as for the individual to stay on track with a task.
Tip: The icon on the taskbar is set to the website’s icon so if you pin multiple pages from the same site, you may end up with a series of identical icons that are hard to identify which is what… I hoped you’d see the website name when you hover on the pinned icon… no dice. However I did discover if you right-click on the icon, you can see and read the website name.
#6 – Share a picture with a nearby device
What: Share a picture from the Photos App with a nearby device.
How: Open Photos App and select the picture you want to share. Select Share, then select the PC you want to share it to. On the other PC, select Save & Open when the notification appears.
Impression: Neat, but the most “meh” of the bunch. Not really needed in my world… maybe this will change. I’ll be pinging Windows Insider/Windows Phone MVP Joel Rushworth soon to see what he has to say.
So which new feature impressed you most? Which was the most underwhelming?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.