The next version of Windows 10 is coming. It’s coming to right some wrongs. It’s beginning to build upon the various ideas that Microsoft is working. And it’s starting to fill in many of the missing pieces in the operating system.
Fall Creators Update is designed to make it easier for you to work across multiple devices. Microsoft said at the BUILD 2017 conference in May that this update is about making other devices high — no matter their operating system.
The theme is a connection, rather than creation.
Let’s take a look at how this idea is taking shape, and what new options will be part of Windows 10 Fall Creators Update when it launches on 17 October 2017. There are several other smaller refinements in this new version of the OS, too. And these all come together to create another exciting new update.
Update: Fall Creators Update is released on 17 Oct and it is being rolled out in phases.
All features listed here may not be available to everyone in first attempt.
If you are not sure about it, you can choose to delay / skip the update for now.
Microsoft has implemented a new design language for its operating platform. The goal is to create a universal aesthetic for the OS.
Windows 10 spans all sorts of devices now, and it’s important to offer a feeling of holistic integration as users move around from one device to another.
This video below provides a glimpse at Microsoft’s vision for this new UI design philosophy.
For the most part, Fluent Design is not a major overhaul to the look of the OS. Rather, it focuses on subtle touches like transparent windows and blur effects to deliver, what Microsoft hopes, is a harmonious and responsive experience for all users.
The notification center in Windows 10 has quietly become integral to the OS. The Fall Creators Update gives it another revamp, which Microsoft says will provide much cleaner information separation and hierarchy.
The Action Center has also, apparently, taken inspiration and cues from the company’s new Fluent Design philosophy.
They were about to introduce this feature in Creators Update, but My People will now launch in the Fall Creators Update. As the name gives away, it revolves around the idea that a small, handful of individuals are crucial to your digital life.
And this is what this new feature is all about.
You can pin a select number of connections to your taskbar, and stay in constant touch with them. The most recent preview builds to allow for three contacts, and although My People defaults to Skype, choosing an alternative is simple enough.
Emojis may have taken over the mobile world, but Windows 10 was still a country mile behind in their implementation. Particularly on keyboards. Emojis Panel is sure to change with the revamp that Microsoft is bringing with the Fall Creators Update.
You’ll be able to press the Win + period key combination to summon Microsoft’s new emoji panel. It works whenever you have a text field selected.
The Windows 10 virtual keyboard also gets a refresh in the Fall Creators Update. It necessarily brings the Word Flow keyboard feature of Windows 10 Mobile into the mix. The virtual keyboard now includes a microphone icon, as Microsoft has integrated voice dictation into the platform.
You can press the Win + H to kick off dictation.
Microsoft will allow you to scroll with your pen in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. The company has also tweaked the text selection process, making it smoother.
And if you have a habit of leaving your expensive digital pen in weird places, then the Find My Device feature will now help you track and locate your Surface Pen.
The company has not exactly been keen on detailing this addition, but power throttling has found its way in recent Windows 10 Insider preview builds. Power throttling is similar to the Game Mode, and according to Microsoft, it can improve battery life by up to 11%.
It does this by dialing back the resources that are available to apps that are running in the background.
The catch? Power throttling makes use of the Intel Speed Shift technology that debuted with the Skylake chips. That means older PCs and those running AMD processors are out of luck. That said, Microsoft has promised support for other CPUs over time.
Microsoft’s combined reality efforts are finally ready for primetime with the Fall Creators Update. Hardware makers like Acer, ASUS, and Dell are have already unveiled their mixed reality headsets, which are notably more affordable than the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
You can pair these with the new 6DOF motion controllers that Microsoft revealed, which provide 6 degrees of freedom.
Acer, for example, already has a $299 headset out there, and it goes up to $399 with the motion controllers. HP is also readying its mixed reality headset, priced at $329, as are several other manufacturers.
Most of these headsets are on track to hit store shelves before the holidays this year.
Even if you are not yet ready to splurge on a newly mixed reality headset, Windows 10 Fall Creators Update will still allow you to see mixed reality images.
The View 3D app that is part of the OS will let you use any device with a webcam to merge digital objects with the real world.
Pair this up with Microsoft’s Paint 3D app and the Remix 3D service, and you’re cooking with gas!
Cortana is opening her eyes! The digital assistant is gaining a few new tricks too. For example, if you take a picture of an event poster, she will notice it in your camera roll and ask whether you want to create a reminder for the event.
Stylus users can even circle onscreen dates with the lasso tool to bring them to Cortana’s attention.
The default Calculator in Windows 10 is getting the handy ability to convert currency. This feature was made possible due to public demand — Microsoft called this one of the top customer feedback requests.
This new edition does what you expect. It pings the web for the latest currency information and does the conversion for you on the fly. Luckily, Microsoft has also included an offline mode.
Windows 10 Creators Update may have opened the door for ebooks on the operating system, but the Fall Creators Update brings in several useful functions.
Annotations are a thing now, as are multiple options for highlighting, underlining, copying and commenting when you open an EPUB file in Edge.
The Microsoft Edge browser is not only a tad faster, and a bit more secure, it also finally can enter a full-screen mode. You can do that by pressing F11. You can also pin websites directly to your taskbar with Edge, with the site’s icon used as its taskbar image.
As for performance improvements, Edge now has independent rendering enabled for more sites that make the browser display content much faster. Up to 43% in some cases, according to Microsoft.
Check it Also: How to Reinstall Microsoft Edge in Windows 10?
This new area in the Gaming section of the Settings app is here to help you identify bad networking connections that may be hampering your online gaming sessions. Microsoft says that this is designed to help you detect and resolve issues from using voice chat and playing multiplayer games.
With other Xbox Live users, that is to say.
So, while this is a welcome new addition, you should only expect Xbox Networking to help you better play games from the Windows Store that is Xbox Live enabled. Nothing else beyond that.
Another in the line of glaring omissions, the Fall Creators Update will now be able to show you the graphics resources of your system. The Task Manager already provides information on other system resources like CPU and RAM.
This latest version of the OS will add a new GPU field to the performance tab, complete with driver information.
Separate fields for 3D graphics usage and graphics memory usage are also in.
The beloved Bash shell came to Windows 10 as part of the Anniversary Update, and now the love for Linux grows. Microsoft is expanding the Linux subsystem in the operating system to other distributions; also you will see SUSE and Fedora in Fall Creators Update.
And not just that, it’ll also be easier to start using Linux on Windows 10. All three distributions will be install-able via the Windows Store, instead of the arcane method that is currently required. Ubuntu is already available on the Windows Store, and more coming.
To top it all off, you will no longer be required to configure Windows 10 to Developer Mode to use Bash anymore.
Another nice touch is the ability to quickly pass along a file to someone by right-clicking to bring up the context menu, which now includes a Share option.
Shocking that it took this long for this feature to arrive, as Windows has offered the ability to manage many individual desktop programs for years. It finally comes to UWP apps, and you’ll now be able to monitor the sound of the universal Windows apps without affecting the overall system audio.
Perhaps to make up for this slack, Microsoft is adding a cool little perk. The Volume Mixer will be able to control the volume of individual tabs in Edge — not just the browser as a whole.
Volume control is something that is not possible with other web browsers like Chrome and Firefox.
Speaking of those UWP apps, the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update will be quite a bit smarter at finding folders that contain media. This tool will ensure that these types of apps get content.
If you create a folder with 30 or more pictures, songs, or videos, you will get the suggestion automatically next time you attempt to add a folder to your library in apps like Photos and Groove Music.
Microsoft has provided the Photos app with new AI powered search capabilities. This feature uses a cloud based image recognition algorithm to sort out the images based on different items inside the pictures, including people’s faces.
The app starts indexing on the first search, and this takes approximately one second per image. The indexing is stored locally for rapid searches, and you will be able to search images based on colors, objects, and other items.
And yes, if you’re uncomfortable with the facial recognition capability of the search, it can be turned off.
This feature needs a new name! Long time coming, this new addition will let your work travel with you on supported devices, including those powered by Android and iOS. The basic idea is that you can stop working on one device, and pick up from right there, on another.
All this is made possible with the power of the cloud, and some Cortana magic, too.
You’ll obviously need to install the digital assistant app on the non-Windows devices. Doing so will have her pop a notification offering to get back to work right where you left it on your previous machine.
A welcome new addition, this, and one that Microsoft has been working on for a while now.
Microsoft may have unceremoniously killed off the beloved OneDrive placeholders feature that was available in Windows 8.1, but the Fall Creators Update is bringing along a new option reminiscent of that fan-favorite feature.
All files that you have stored on OneDrive will now be visible and accessible from the Windows 10 file system — you will also see the file only in the cloud.
Your OneDrive folder will include icons that show if you have a folder locally or only online. You will, of course, get the ability to save individual files and folders offline manually, if you want. And opening a cloud file will quickly download it to your machine.
By the same token, if an app tries to download and use a file from the cloud, Windows 10 will pop a notification with all the details, and options to cancel the download. You can even block an app from downloading your OneDrive files if you so desire.
Previously: How to Use Features in Creators Update?
Pretty much each new version of Windows 10 comes with new improvements to accessibility, and the Fall Creators Update is no different. Microsoft has lined up a range of enhancements to Narrator that make the screen reader easy to learn, and powerful enough to work and play on Windows 10 devices.
There is a device learning mode for Narrator, and it now can use artificial intelligence to generate descriptions for images that lack alternative text. It can even extract text from images using optical character recognition. The narrator has also picked up some new tricks for Braille.
Magnifier now zooms in and out using a mouse wheel and follows Narrator focus. And the Fall Creators update also comes with colors filters on a system level.
And finally, we get to one of the more awaited of features, improved ransomware protection. Controlled folder access is what Microsoft is exciting as the next level defense in an age where ransomware is running amok.
This new feature protects your files and folders from unauthorized changes by unfriendly applications. Once enabled via Windows Defender, any sneaky software that tries to tinker with protected folders will be blocked, and you will get the notification about the attempt.
Documents, Pictures, Movies, and Desktop, are protected by default, and can’t be removed. You can easily add more folders, and even whitelist individual programs to access controlled folders.
Shawn is a WindowsChimp Staff writer, who is a fan of making lists and does the same on this site. He has a Contemporary Writing degree and been in technology niche since last 3 years.