The release of the Windows 10 Creators Update is right around the corner, and if you're not a Windows Insider or a close follower of all the Windows 10 news and information, you might be missing out on what is new for the next version of Windows 10. No reason to be worried, though, we've given a look at all the new features which will be heading into the Creators Update. In the second part of a new series dedicated to the Creators Update, we will be diving into all the new interface improvements.
In the Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft revamped the Share Menu. The company put much thought into this new feature (even down to a new icon,) and is replacing the sidebar design which has been present ever since Windows 8. Now, instead of popping up in a sidebar, shareable content will show up in a new box, which lists applications that you can share to. The Creators Update also ditches the Windows Key+H shortcut to sharing, so now you'll need to click on the share icon to share content.
Present in MacOS for a while now, Microsoft has finally introduced a Picture in Picture mode dubbed "Compact Overlay Mode" in the Creators Update. With Compact Overlay, UWP apps will enter a picture in picture mode at the corner of your screen, so you can continue the experience while switching into another app. Stock Microsoft apps such as Skype, and Movies & TV are set to support this feature, and support could be rolling out soon to other apps as well.
The Virtual On-Screen Touchpad is another new feature heading to Windows in the Creators Update. With the feature, you can easily control your Windows 10 experience if you're using a touch capable device which is hooked up to multiple monitors. In the Creators Update, all it takes to use the feature is to press or right-click on the Taskbar, and from the menu options, tap or click on the Show touchpad button. You can then press on the touchpad button to enjoy its full glory.
If you're using a precision touchpad on your Windows 10 device, you'd be happy to know that the Windows 10 Creators Update will introduce new settings which lets you take full advantage of your touchpad. In the Creators Update, You will be able to head to Settings > Devices > Touchpad, to find a section called “Other gestures”. In this section, you now have basic customization options for your three and four finger gestures. For taps, you can select between Cortana, Action Center, play/pause or middle mouse button, and for left/right swipes, you can select between switching apps or switching virtual desktops.
Windows 10 users may have lots of apps pinned on the Start Menu, but sometimes this means things can get messy. Luckily, in the Creators Update, Microsoft will allow users to customize their Start Menu with app folders.
The app folder feature functions just as it does on Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile, and all you will need to do to get it working is to open the Start Menu, then drag a tile on top of another tile to create a folder. If the app features live tile functionality, it will continue to work even from within the folder, and the folder can even be resized to a bigger or smaller size.
Additionally, in the Creators Update, you also can hide the All Apps list on the Start menu by heading to Settings > Personalization > Start and pressing "Hide app list in Start menu." This will give the Start Menu a clean and lean look, which is perfect for the minimalists out there.
If you're using your Windows 10 PC late at night, then you'd be happy to know that Microsoft is introducing a Blue Light Filter dubbed "Night Light" in the Windows 10 Creators Update. The new built-in setting eliminates the light which can keep you up at night. It is also designed so your computer’s display can adapt to the time of day, with warmers colors at night that are less intense on the eyes.
You will be able to access this feature from Settings > Display > Night light Settings. From there you can choose your own color temperature, or set your own schedule for when the feature will automatically turn on and off.
Windows Ink was originally introduced in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, and it's seeing some more improvements in the Creators Update. In the Creators update, Screen sketches can be resumed if you accidentally close out while taking one. There is also now support for Windows Ink on multiple monitors, and new on-screen inking tools such as a rounded protractor. Those who love total control will also appreciate the fact that Windows Ink now allows you to erase only parts of an ink stroke, and more visually show you which colors and how thick your strokes will be.
Cortana has gotten even smarter in the Windows 10 Creators Update. The digital assistant will now appear full screen when your device is locked and will even assist you in turning off your computer, restarting your PC, locking your screen, or putting it to sleep and lowering and raising your system volume. The digital assistant will even support voice playback control with the Creators Update. Additionally, Cortana will be part of the setup experience in Windows 10, and can assist you as you set up your PC for the first time in the Creators Update.
Though Windows Insiders have not really been able to test this feature, Microsoft hinted that there would be a clean and simple look with the Action Center in the Creators Update, together with the new sliders for volume and brightness. This feature has not yet passed through Windows Insiders, but other improvements to Action Center have. Improvements such as grouped app notifications and progress bars on notifications all are confirmed for the Creators Update.
New System Colors and Themes:
The Windows 10 Creators Update will allow for you to pick a custom color as your Windows 10 theme for the system. Additionally, in the Creators Update, you can head to the Windows Store to download special themes, which cover various topics.
In the Creators Update, to choose a color, you just need to Settings > Personalization > Colors > Choose a Custom Color. With this, you can pick almost any possible color, as long as it does not mess with the visbility of the Windows System UI.
To pick a theme, meanwhile, you will be able to head Settings > Personalization > Themes, and press the "get more themes in the Store" link.
Which of these interface improvements and features is your favorite? With Project Neon in the pipeline at Microsoft, do you have any ideas for where you think Microsoft could improve the interface of Windows 10 for Redstone 3? Let us know what you think in the comments, and be sure to keep it tuned to ONMSFT for more news on the Creators Update, as we will be here all year long to bring you the latest and greatest Windows 10 news and information.