The Windows 10 April 2018 Update: Terrible name, sweet upgrade

The Windows 10 April 2018 Update: Terrible name, sweet upgrade

Microsoft (MSFT) has never been so great with Windows naming. Over the decades, it’s waffled between using version numbers (Windows 3, 7, 8, 10), year numbers (Windows 95, 98, 2000), and lofty nouns (Vista, Millennium, Creators).

Now there’s a new version, which might as well be called the No Brain Cells Left for Thinking Up Clever Names edition.

OK, OK. Its actual name is the Windows 10 April 2018 Update.

Well, as long as the company put its actual energy into making Windows 10 steadily better, I’m OK with that. And that’s exactly what the April 2018 Update shows. It’s a mass of random improvements, scattered all over its 50 million lines of code. Some, you’ll never even notice; some you’ll stumble on every few months; and some will bring you satisfaction every day.

None of it, I’m pleased to say, makes anything worse.

The Timeline

Windows 10 already had Task View: You click an icon on the taskbar (or press Windows key+Tab) to view miniatures of all your open windows. Just click or tap the window you want; Windows switches you instantly.

In the April 2018 Update, Task View gains a super power: the Timeline. Now, instead of showing you miniatures only for every window that’s open right now, it also lets you scroll down to see (or do a search for) every window you’ve had open in the past 30 days.

Even more amazingly, these window thumbnails include stuff you had open on other machines. Other Windows 10 PCs, sure, but even iPhones and Android phones running Microsoft apps (Office and the Edge browser). It’s incredibly cool.

View photos

 

Timeline is a 30-day record of every Microsoft document or webpage you’ve had open.

The Timeline is an answer, at last, to the old questions, “Where did I put that?” and “Where did I see that?” Now it doesn’t matter. If you worked on it in the past month, you’ll find it here.

Well, mostly; unfortunately, apps have to be updated to work with Timeline. And at the outset, most of the Timeline-friendly programs come from Microsoft, like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, News, Sports, Money, Maps, Photos, and Edge (the browser). So for now, you’ll see cards for every website you’ve opened in Edge, but not in Chrome or Firefox.

You can remove individual cards, delete all cards from a certain day, or turn the feature off entirely (you people who share a PC with your spouse know you who are).

Focus Assist

 ows 10’s notification tiles. Maybe you’re about to give a presentation and don’t want embarrassing reminders showing up. Or maybe yo

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