The next major update to Microsoft’s desktop operating system will be arriving soon, in the form of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. As the name suggests, it will be released this autumn. On day two of the Build 2017 conference Redmond took the wrappers off the update – previously known as Redstone 3 – introducing a number of new features and a significant design update.
What is the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update?
Following on from April’s Windows 10 Creators Update, the Fall iteration will be a free download for all existing Windows 10 users. Confusingly, Microsoft has decided to keep a very similar name for the forthcoming update.
When will the Fall Creators Update be released?
Microsoft recently committed to March and September updates for Windows 10 until further notice. So we can expect the Fall Creators Update 2017 to arrive in September.
Windows 10 Fall Creators Update – New features
Microsoft didn’t go into detail on all of the new features, but did debut 3-4 major additions.
Let’s start with the Clipboard feature, which is a cloud-based feature that enables copy and pasting between Windows 10, iOS and Android devices. The onus will be on developers to enable the functionality between their desktop and mobile apps.
Next up is Timeline, which is a rundown of recently used apps and workspaces that’ll enable Windows 10 users to resume old sessions. The company says the feature, which will site within the Windows app switcher, is a way to “easily jump back in time to continue where you left off.”
It seems a little bit like a live version of Apple’s Time Machine back up system. Here’s a quick look:
There’s also Pick Up Where You Left Off. It’s a Cortana-based feature that will enable users to continue their work on a number of different devices. Like the Clipboard feature, Microsoft will hope third-party developers enable these experiences within their mobile apps.
Microsoft is also introducing a feature called Story Remix, which is essentially a photo and video album tool that enables transitions and 3D objects. Windows 10 users will also be able to personalise the albums with Windows Ink. Judging from this video, it actually looks pretty awesome.
The next major feature addition is OneDrive Files On-Demand, which makes it easier to access cloud documents locally. All files will be viewable from the File Explorer regardless of whether they’re stored in the cloud or on the device.
Microsoft also announced the stock Windows 10 browser, Edge, is getting faster in the next Creators Update. Users will no longer see a lag when opening and closing tabs.
Elsewhere, there will be a host of new accessibility features, designed to further support those who use assisted technology. Specifically, Microsoft is adding several upgrades to its screen reading utility, including improvements to reading out controls and the ability to read out text from Windows apps – something the utility currently does for webpages.
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The update will also bring a ‘device learning mode’ to the screen reading utility, which allows users to hit a command on a keyboard or touch braille display and get feedback on what that command actually does, rather than immediately causing an action to occur.
Add to that improvements to Narrator’s ability to function with braille inputs, and a host of upgrades to Magnifier, and assisted technology users should be well catered for come Autumn. Plus, any assisted technology users will be given the option to upgrade from the lightweight Windows 10 S to the full Windows 10 Pro for no extra cost.
Windows 10 Fall Creators Update – Fluent Design
Last but not least, Microsoft has also announced the new Fluent Design, which it had previously codenamed Project Neon. It’s designed to be the true successor to the Metro UI and promises greater depth of visuals, improved lighting and motion effects. The idea is to maintain a consistent design experience in the same way Google has been able to achieve with its Material Design.
Here’s a look at the Fluent Design:
What else is coming?
Microsoft hasn’t rolled out all of the new features at Build 2017, so we can expect more features to be unveiled during the summer.
When can I try the new features?
If you’re a registered Windows Insider, you’ll be testing some of these features before too much longer. Microsoft is continually issuing new preview builds.
Does this Creators Update sound even more comprehensive than April’s? Share your thoughts in the comments below.