Review: Windows 10 April 2018 Update

I know it’s May which makes it a bit late for me to talk about a Windows 10 update that appeared in April. But to be fair, Microsoft released it on the last day of April. Thus leaving me with having to review it in May.

Now, with that out of the way, what are my impressions of the latest update from Microsoft? Well, let’s start with the upgrade process. Microsoft promised that it would be faster than previous updates to Windows 10 which could take as much as two hours to complete. On that front they delivered. While speed is a your mileage may vary sort of thing, it took about 45 minutes after downloading the required files via Windows Update to complete the update. That puts it on par with updates that Apple releases for macOS.

Windows 10 after the upgrade process looks only minimally different. But you have dig deeper to find the real changes to the OS. The big change is Timeline. It’s a new feature that lets you review and then resume activities and open files you’ve started on your Windows 10 PC, as well as any other Windows PCs and mobile devices you have, including iOS and Android devices. And from my testing, this works quite well. Assuming that you have apps that play nice with this feature because not all apps do. So I think you will only see the value of this feature when apps catch up. You can copy and paste that feeling when it comes to another feature called Focus Assist. If you hate those tiny dialog boxes that interrupt you throughout the day, you can get your flow back by engaging this mode via Windows Settings. Focus Assist has three modes:

  • Off: Notifications work normally
  • Priority only: You get only notifications from apps you’ve whitelisted.
  • Alarms only: Nothing gets through except alarms.

The problem is that when I tested this with Chrome, the alerts from the browser still popped up. #Fail. This is another area where apps will need to catch up.

The rest of the features that I came across are either more in the enhancement category, or I don’t have the hardware (VR glasses for example) to properly test them. For example Microsoft Edge has a new full-screen mode for reading PDFs and books Plus you can use a secure autofill for payment methods in the browser. And you can finally mute individual browser tabs, which other browsers have done for years. But I think Microsoft’s intent was to polish Windows 10 with this update as opposed to beating you to death with new features. On that front I think it succeeds. But the real value to this update will come when apps update to support these features.

Windows 10 April 2018 Update is a free download via Windows Update and is available. now.

 

 

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