09 Aug 10 Top Features To Try In The New Windows 10 Update
Almost one year to the day that Windows 10 first landed on July 29, 2015, its biggest update – Anniversary Edition – is now landing on PCs everywhere.
It brings with it a host of new features:
1. Search within documents
Cortana can now forage through your documents like an urban fox checking out the contents of your bins. Previously it was only possible to have the personal assistant search the titles of files stored in OneDrive, but it can now sniff out information stored within them. So long as they’re stored in Microsoft’s cloud, you can say, “Cortana, search my documents for [search phrase]”. If Cortana makes a match, it will then retrieve the document and show it in the search window.
2. Set detailed reminders
With Cortana, Microsoft is starting to fulfill its original vision of a truly useful personal assistant. Windows 10’s Anniversary Update now lets you log more granular, timely reminders by saying things like, “Remind me to pick up the shopping on Wednesday at 3pm.” Be warned: this invalidates any excuse you ever have for missing a family occasion ever again. Think twice if it’s worth it.
3. Set a reminder from the lock screen
You might find that you occasionally lock your computer before remembering something that you need to do. Instead of making you log back in, detailed reminders can now be set on the lock screen by saying the usual, “Hey Cortana” line.
4. Add photos to reminders
Reminders are bland yet functional things, so it doesn’t hurt to spice them up by adding a visual aid. There’s now an option at the bottom of the window when setting a reminder to take a picture with your device’s camera or upload one. This could come in especially handy when creating shopping lists – you don’t want to buy somebody the wrong birthday present now, do you?
5. Activate dark mode
Microsoft has seen the light by bringing Dark Mode to Windows 10, and you’ll love it if you’re the sort that stays up until 3am huddled in front of your screen in the dead of night. Dark Mode changes UWP apps like Mail, Calendar and Store to a primarily black color scheme, which is easier on the eyes and can even help save battery life, according to Microsoft. It also looks great on high-resolution displays.
6. Make the start menu bigger
The Start Menu was never big enough on Windows 10 – until now. By changing an option within the Start pane on the taskbar settings screen it’s now possible to maximize the menu to squeeze in more live tiles. Additionally, Microsoft has made it so that Live Tiles now take you directly to the content that’s being displayed in the tiles – rather than the app’s ‘home’ screen. So if you see a new story’s headline pop up in a Live Tile, giving it a click (or tap) will take you to that specific story.
7. Draw on screenshots
One of Windows Ink’s new features is Screen sketch, which lets you doodle on a screenshot. Simply give your Surface Pen’s button a click and select ‘Screen sketch’ to take a snapshot of your screen’s contents. You’re given a handful of different pens to play with – from pencils to those chunky highlighters that never used to fit in your pencil case.
8. Get sticky
Stickies are great in Windows 10’s Anniversary Edition. They look just like the real deal, allowing you to position, resize and make them different colors. They’ve actually quite smart too, capable of automatically turning scribbles into reminders or links. They even retrieve information about flights if you write down the flight number.
9. Check your calendar in a click
So long as you’ve set up one or more accounts in the Calendar app, it’s now possible to get a glimpse of what’s coming up by clicking on the clock in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.
10. Pin app windows to desktops
Task View felt half-baked until this new feature came along. Like on macOS, you can now ‘pin’ app windows to various virtual desktops in Task View, which makes your desktop feel much bigger than it actually is. Simply right-click the window in question and select ‘Move to [desktop name]’.
If you’ve got a camera, microphone, and/or touchscreen, Window has better support for all those items.
For microphone owners, Cortana is a voice-controlled AI interface with your computer and the web. For RealSense camera owners, Windows Hello uses facial recognition or other biometrics to log you on securely. And touchscreen users will benefit from Windows Ink’s total integration of pen and touch control.
It’s also a better running OS than 7. It has better security with malware-killer Windows Defender and phishing filter Smartscreen. It uses memory and disk space more carefully. It has built-in virtual desktops. It supports new hardware – like USB 3.0, solid-state drives and hi-def screens – better. And there’s integration with Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud service, meaning back-ups are much easier.