Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 update called Redstone 4, is due to roll out today. The update will arrive as an OTA to Windows 10-powered systems that will roll out gradually in phases, so don’t expect a pop up notification right away.
For those of you who just can’t wait, there is something you can do till it arrives. Head to the Settings menu, tap on Update & Security, then click on Windows Update and then hit the magical ‘Check for Updates’ button until Microsoft decides on sending the update to you.
Jokes aside, there is another way and that is to head to Microsoft.com, download the latest Windows update tool, by clicking on the blue button on the page and then simply click to download the ISO file.
The new update is expected to bring a better Windows experience, with new security updates, some big changes to the UI, Cortana and the Microsoft Edge browser.
Called Redstone 4, it is the fifth big update to arrive after Microsoft’s decision to switch to change its product upgrade cycle to and deliver updates every six months. So let’s have a look at the new features that will arrive on your Windows-powered system in the coming days.
The biggest feature is Timeline. It’s a new feature that lets you go back in time and find files, opened documents or even search queries that you were working on in the past few hours, a week or even a month ago.
Apart from being a visual treat, the feature is practical and will let you go back in time up to 30 days to help you find files faster and pick up on something that you left half-way a few days ago.
The button appears on the task bar, right next to the Search bar. Tapping on it reveals a full screen window with plenty of tiles giving users a glimpse of all the tasks they were working on. So if you were planning on renovating your house and happened to perform a search on Bing, you will find that in a tile as a task. Simply tap on the tile to resume that task or open that app or to open that particular file. Timeline is all about saving time and finding stuff faster by simply remembering the time frame when you were working on it.
Since everything about Edge and Windows 10 works with the cloud, if you happened to be searching for something on the Edge browser on your Android smartphone, Timeline will browse through those instances as well making it even easier find.
Focus Assist is simply a ‘Do Not Disturb’ button for your desktop or laptop on Windows. You can activate it by either heading into Settings or tapping on Focus Assist or open the Notifications bar and tap or click on the toggle that sits alongside the Network, Connect, Flight Mode, and Battery buttons. In short, it’s a renamed ‘Quite hours’ button.
Like the Do not disturb mode found on most Android smartphones, Focus Assist will basically let you focus on the task that you are working on and will turn off all sorts of notifications, coming from a variety of apps or contacts (both native and third-party).
While the time period is customisable, it you can also customise who you want to let in during those quiet hours. This could be your boss at work, your spouse at home or even a best friend whom you just cannot afford to disconnect with.
What’s different here, is that once the Focus Assist period expires, you are provided with a handy summary of the notifications (emails or updates) from the apps installed on your Windows system.
Additionally, Focus Assist also makes its way on to the web thanks to Microsoft’s Edge browser. Users on the new Redstone 4 update will be able to mute and unmute tabs. Those who read a lot of documents off the web can now do so distraction free by going full-screen.
Microsoft’s browser also gets autofill not just for addresses, but payment information as well, making it easier to shop online. Also available are new Grammar Tools that enable comprehension aid, and even break words into syllables apart from highlighting nouns, verbs and adjectives.
Dictation is another cool new feature that lets you type using your voice. Users with the new update simply need to tap on the text field and then press down Win + H and begin talking. Thanks to improved dictation with the new update, penning down your thoughts gets a lot easier.
Indeed, no Windows update would be complete without any upgrades to Microsoft’s virtual assistant, Cortana. Redstone 4 brings a big update, in the sense that it now allows users to control their IoT devices using Cortana.
Need to change the living room’s temperature but can’t find the remote? Simply ask Cortana to set the living room thermostat down by a few degrees. For now, Cortana will be able to connect to ecobee, Honeywell and Nest devices for now.
The above mentioned features are simply the main ones that most users will notice, if you need to check out complete list of updates, bug fixes and improvements, you can check them out on Microsoft’s website by clicking here.