Microsoft has officially announced the latest Windows update, dubbed the Spring Creators Update, which will be released on April 11. The unimaginative name aside, this update looks to bring many of the features that just didn’t quite make it into the last Creators Update along with a few other new features.
“Today, I’m excited to share our latest update to Windows 10, the Creators Update, will begin to roll out on April 11. The Creators Update is designed to spark and unleash creativity, bringing 3D and mixed reality to everyone and enabling every gamer to be a broadcaster. Beyond creativity, it brings new features to Microsoft Edge, additional security capabilities and privacy tools, and so much more.”
The update, dubbed Redstone 4 in testing, looks to bring a wide range of improvements along with many new features such as Timeline, a feature that Microsoft originally wanted in the last Creators Update but just wasn’t ready for release.
First, let’s take a quick look at a few of the biggest features coming to the Windows 10 Spring Creators Update.
Perhaps the biggest change is how Windows will handle apps that you have open and those that you have already closed. With Timeline, you will be able to view a list of the apps you ran an hour ago or even longer, and if you wish, you can select the app and pick right back up where you started.
But, perhaps the biggest addition with this feature is its cross platform and cross device capabilities. You will be able to check your apps with Timeline and then open them later on your Surface tablet and get right back to work. Even if you use Android and iOS, you will still be able to take advantage of this new feature, albeit only with your Microsoft applications.
Microsoft’s new design language, known as Fluent, will be updated as well. Originally known as Metro back in the days of the conversion from Windows 7 to Windows 8, and then modern, Fluent was a bit of a restart of this design philosophy.
This language has received many improvements and updates that will allow developers to create apps more easily in that new Windows look. While some out there love this design philosophy, others don’t. But it seems Microsoft is dedicated to enhancing and improving this experience to satisfy any naysayers.
Microsoft’s flagship browser is looking to be updated as well, with a wide range of new feature and speed enhancements. Microsoft continues to tout its security, with recent tests showing it blocks more malware that Chrome, although in my experience your results may vary. Still, Edge has become a worthy successor to Explorer and a definite viable alternative to Chrome or Firefox.
With the new update, Edge will get more advanced tab management allowing you to open tabs you’ve set aside without impacting the tab you are currently viewing, and the ability to mute audio on tabs. The latter being a much needed feature to bring the browser in line with its modern competition. Edge can even be your default e-reader, and its Microsoft Store integration will allow you to easily buy books and enjoy them in Edge.
Microsoft’s digital assistant is also getting some love in this update. The collection features have been improved with better listing capabilities and will now sync across your devices if you desire, and Cortana will be more involved with the Timeline feature, helping you select the apps you need to resume across your devices.
Microsoft is also introducing natural language voice control that will even allow you to control third party apps, bringing the assistant more in line with Alexa and Google’s Assistant.
Microsoft continues its integration features with the Xbox One and your Windows 10 PC. Now, it seems Microsoft may be trying to further unify your gaming platforms.
“We’re committed to making Xbox the best place to create and play games across Windows 10 and Xbox One. As part of that, we are unifying players across Xbox console and PC with Xbox Live and through programs like Xbox Play Anywhere, which enables you to buy a game once and play it on both your Xbox One and Windows 10 PC.”
With the new Beam service, you will be able to not only stream your games to your different devices, but also play along with others, assuming you have an Xbox Live subscription. Microsoft has also enhanced the Game Mode by giving you the ability to divert even more resources to your favorite games.
“With Windows 10 Game Mode our goal is to offer the best and most consistent gaming experience on your Windows 10 PC by dedicating more system resources to your PC games. Once you’ve enabled Game Mode, you can apply it to any game. Learn more about the corresponding Xbox One update and new features here.”
This may be a small edition, but one I’m sure many of you will love. The night light feature, already available on most smartphones, will reduce the blue light emitted by your screen late at night. This not only helps you work late by helping to reduce eye strain, it will also help you sleep if your Windows 10 device is in the same room as your bed.
As I said, the update will officially drop on April 11, but members of the Windows Insider program have had access to early previews of the build for some time now. Of course, just because it drops on April 11, that doesn’t mean your Windows 10 PC will update on that day, given Microsoft’s staggered release schedule. Of course, you can always force it to run if you wish.
Speaking of forcing the update to run on your system, in the beginning Microsoft won’t make this update required, but since Microsoft only supports a limited number of Windows 10 releases, eventually you won’t have a choice. That could take some time, given that their release schedule for these feature enhancements is sitting at about twice per year.
It appears Microsoft is working hard to not only improve Windows 10, but offer new features that are tailored to the multi-device user. This, along with their gaming improvements, should make for a nice addition to Windows 10. Of course, there is no word yet on what machines won’t be compatible with the new update or any other problems that may arise from it.
While I do believe you should run the update, exercise caution. Don’t try and get it on day one. Give it a few days to see how the early adopters fair before you run it on your system. Chances are there will be a patch or two to fix a few bugs that don’t show up in testing.
Will you run the Spring Creators Update when it’s released? Tell me your thoughts on Windows 10 updates in the comments below.
About the author
Matt is an IT professional with over fifteen years experience supporting network infrastructure and computers. An avid gamer, Matt enjoys his time playing and writing about his experiences both in the IT world and in the gaming communities. You can find more of his writing for LaptopNinja where he enjoys talking about everything tech.