Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 update turns focus towards productivity
The latest update to Windows 10 is largely focused on productivity and minimising distractions and getting things done faster
The next big update to Windows 10 is finally rolling out from today. It will be called Windows 10 April 2018 update and is available to all laptops and desktop users for free. Users can find the update in Settings-> Update & Security. These features were earlier expected to show up on 10 April under the Spring Creators update, but due to some unknown issues its release was deferred. Here are the key highlights form the new update.
Finding previous tasks made easy
The April update adds a couple of productivity-oriented features to Windows 10. One of them is called Timeline as it shows all past activities of the users over the day or a week along with the time when the task was closed. It allows users to get back to their previous tasks on Edge browser or any Office 365 app from another Windows PC, Android smartphone or Apple iPhone. It can help users find previous task and resume work from any Windows 10 based device.
Multi-tasking gets better
The second productivity centric tool, called Sets, is designed to make multi-tasking a breeze by converting the interface of an app running on the screen into a temporary homescreen allowing users to access content from other apps without leaving the first app. So if a user is working on a PowerPoint and need to open the web browser for some information, Sets will open the web browser within the PowerPoint app as a separate tab.
Microsoft claims the amount of time people spend on any single task before getting interrupted is three minutes. Windows 10 has a feature called Quiet Hours, which can help users concentrate on important tasks for as long as they want by blocking notifications, emails or updates. With April 2018 update, Microsoft has renamed it Focus Assist and made it smarter. Now it can step in and block notifications by itself for specific task and activities, such as a PowerPoint presentation or when a user is playing a video game. Users can also schedule the hours during which they want the toll to be active on its own.
Making a cutting edge browser
The April update Microsoft has made several improvements in the Edge browser to bring it at par with rivals. Now, users can mute a browser tab playing a sound by clicking on the audio icon on the tab. This shortcut is meant to tackle the growing number of auto playing video and audio advertisements.
Users can now switch to full screen mode for a more immersive and distraction-free experience while reading a books, PDF or browsing through a webpage. Another feature which makes Edge browser smarter is the option to autofull forms in webpages involving payments. So now users can save their credit card credentials on Edge browser so they won’t have to enter the details again and again during online purchases.
Improving voice control
Microsoft is expanding the role of voice as an input tool in Windows 10.
Now users can control their smart home devices such as thermostat, smart camera or smart bulb from their PC by giving voice commands to Cortana. Microsoft also claims to have improved the Dictation tool by adding the option to access it through keyboard shortcuts. Now users can take quick notes or an article using voice by pressing Win+H keys.
Find contacts quickly
Windows 10 users can now add and remove their favourite contacts in taskbar by simply dragging and dropping them. Also, users can now pin up to ten contacts in the task bar. As of now, the taskbar allows only three contacts to be pinned at time.
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