By all accounts, 2015 was a very exciting year for Microsoft’s Windows operating system. The company kicked off an upgrade program that brought its Windows 10 Update to millions of notebooks desktops and tablets for free. We haven’t seen that kind of exciting announcement from Microsoft since, but that’s going to change soon. Microsoft is preparing for its biggest, most high-profile Windows 10 update yet. It’s calling this upgrade the Windows 10 Creators Update.
Microsoft launched test versions of the Windows 10 Creators Update just after it launched the Windows 10 Anniversary Update this year. Since then, members of the Windows Insider Program have been the first to enjoy some small feature changes.
At a massive media event in New York City, the company showed off some high-profile features it plans to include in the Windows 10 Creators Update. Some of them are aimed at casual users. Others are upgrades meant to boost productivity and keep people connected. All are coming sometime in the spring to PCs already running Windows 10 Anniversary Update.
Microsoft’s teams are obsessed with making it easier to connect with users in interesting ways. To that end, the company has come up with MyPeople. MyPeople is an all-new area in the Taskbar that lets users instant message, share and email with the most important people in their life. App developers are able to add new modes of communication to MyPeople.
Microsoft finally has a plan for messaging. It’s basically retiring the Messaging app it added with previous updates and replacing it with an all-new version of the Skype. This version comes complete with chat bots and the ability to sync text messages from phones that have Android or Windows installed.
Share Links to OneDrive
OneDrive share links allow users to send a link to a file to friends and family stored on OneDrive without first going to the OneDrive website. It’s the first meaningful OneDrive upgrade Windows 10 has gotten since launch.
All of the recent test versions of the Windows 10 Creators Update made available to Windows Insider users include some big changes to trackpads. The sudden focus on them makes sense; Microsoft focused big on the touch experience with the initial Windows 10 release. It then added features for digital pens in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.
Windows 10 Creators Update users decide for themselves what every three-fingered and four-fingered gesture does. Options include launch Cortana, switch apps, hiding all apps and launching Task View. Controlling Audio playback is an option too.
Snooze for Microsoft Edge
One of the greatest innovations to ever come along was tabbed browsing. Since that feature caught on, we’ve all been able to multitask, keeping as many sites open as we please. Problem is, some users will keep the same tabs open all day, just as a reminder to read them when they have some free time. Microsoft Edge lets users right-click on a tab and have Cortana remind them to open that tab later with the Windows 10 Creators Update.
When the Windows 10 Creators Update launches sometime in the spring, it’ll add Beam support to the Xbox on Windows app. Gamers will be able to stream 4K footage from their favorite titles without installing extra software or adding hardware to their setup. Beam will also support taking polls from viewers of a stream.
Upgraded Camera App
Besides getting a refreshed interface with reconfigured buttons, the new Camera app included with the Redstone Windows 10 Update lets PCs and tablets capture Living Images. These are the same moving pictures that have been available on Windows Phone for years and were created by Nokia back when it made Windows Phones.
New Photos App
The Photos app gets another layer of polish with the Windows 10 Creators Update. Besides ditching the menu on the left, the app now lets users draw on their pictures.
Improved PIN Login
When users have a PIN code, the Windows 10 login area now acts as if NUM Lock is on, even if it’s off. This change saves users from having to find the NUM lock button on their keyboard and manually enable it.
New Stencils in Sketchpad
Sketchpad’s ruler now clearly shows what angle it’s turned. In addition to that, the new rounded protractor makes it easier to create circles.
Wi-Fi Turns On Automatically & More
A setting borrowed from Windows phones lets users tell their PCs when to turn on their Wi-Fi connection again. The built-in status area lets users know why they’re having network trouble.
Virtual Reality Headsets
Microsoft’s HoloLens accessory is a PC in itself. The company is teaming up with Dell, Acer and Asus to release VR headsets for $299. These headsets explain why Microsoft is also adding Windows Holographic into Windows 10 with the Windows 10 Creators Update.
Groove Music Maker
Spotted only once during the Windows 10 Creators Update features video, Groove Music Maker should be a basic audio creator app. At least, it sounds very similar to the GarageBand utility that Apple has included on its notebooks and desktops for years.
According to Thurrott, Microsoft has plans to roll Blue Light adjustments into Windows 10. The feature would let the operating system adjust the amount of blue light the screen emits so that it’s not disruptive to resting patterns. Apple added a similar feature in a recent update to the iPhone and iPad.
All good things must come to an end. It seems, that’s exactly what lovers of the classic Paint app are about to find out first hand. Microsoft confirmed a new Paint 3D app for the Windows 10 Creators Update that lets users scan and make objects in 3D. A web service lets users download the 3D creations of others and add them to what they’re making.
Gotta Be Mobile will continue to add new features to this breakdown as Microsoft announces them. As with all previous Windows 10 upgrades that added new features, the Windows 10 Creators Update won’t cost users anything. It’ll be a free download.