Welcome back to our examination of the Windows 10 April 2018 Update (also be known under its official name of Windows 10 Version 1803 (OS Build 17134.1). In part one of the review, I suggested it be called the Productivity Update. I’ll keep calling it that in this examination of some other highly useful features: Cortana, Startup Apps Control, Accessibility, Microsoft Edge and Security. Cortana Cortana has received a slight makeover with new information cards for both her Notebook and Skills areas when you click on the Cortana icon on the Windows 10 Taskbar. This makes these settings faster to access because they are just one level away when you open Cortana. There is also an edit icon next to your name so that you can adjust the Places which Cortana knows about such as Home and Work. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
Now that it’s been released to the public, it’s time to take a closer look at the fifth major feature update to Microsoft’s latest operating system. This feature update has been in development since July 2017 and there have been 27 public development builds released to testers over that nearly nine-month period. Microsoft never formally named this feature update like they have done in the past with monikers like Anniversary, Creators, and Fall Creators Update. Instead, they have chosen to simply call it the Windows 10 April 2018 Update. It will also be known under its official name of Windows 10 Version 1803 (OS Build 17134.1). If I were providing suggestions for naming this feature update, then I would recommend calling it the Productivity Update. The key additional features in this package of updates really can help you be more productive. This release makes significant changes in how you access the data across your ecosystem of Windows 10 based devices. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
Q. Is HomeGroup Really Leaving Windows 10? I can confirm that this is, in fact, happening. It’s been happening for a while: Microsoft notified testers during the Redstone 4 feature update development cycle when they released Build 17063 in December of last year. You must scroll almost all the way to the bottom of those very lengthy release notes to find the details about HomeGroup’s retirement under the Other notable changes section. I know many of you are still on Windows 7, which means you may also be using the HomeGroup features on your home network. (In fact, HomeGroup was introduced as part of Windows 7 when it was released to general availability in October 2009.) In those ensuing eight and a half years, technology has come along that really eliminates the need for HomeGroup as it was originally devised. When parallel services can adequately replace the feature in Windows 10, then it makes sense for the Redmond company to stop supporting that part of the code base. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
Last year during Microsoft Ignite in Orlando, I sat in on a presentation about a new collaborative tool for the Windows 10 desktop called Microsoft Whiteboard. Microsoft already had a collaboration tool for its Surface Hub line of devices; the idea behind this new app was to bring that level of group creativity from the conference room to the desktops, laptops, and tablets running Windows 10. In December of last year, the Microsoft Whiteboard App preview was released in the Microsoft Store. Since then it has been updated multiple times and continues to become more robust through bug fixes, performance enhancements, and feature additions. The app is reliable enough after five months of availability for daily use. So why not try it? Get started by downloading it from the Microsoft Store and then opening the app for the first time so it can be associated with your Microsoft Account. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
Q. I heard that Microsoft is going to discontinue the desktop version of OneNote! Is this true? If so, what will take its place? You did hear correctly. This announcement was made within the last 24 hours by OneNote Program Manager William Devereux. He confirmed that active development of new features and capabilities is ending for OneNote 2016. This was the last version of OneNote built for the standard Windows desktop. It is compatible with the currently supported versions of Windows (7, 8.1, and 10.) Later this year, when Office 2019 is released as the last stand alone version of Office, there will not be a desktop version of OneNote included. However, there are still options for those of you who are fans of OneNote 2016 on the desktop. According to an FAQ posted by the OneNote team, this announcement does not mean the end of OneNote 2016 is imminent. OneNote 2016 will be under mainstream support until October 13, 2020, and extended support until October 14, 2025. You’ve got a little over seven years left with this product as-is. Installing Office 2019 when it is released later this year will not remove OneNote 2016 from your system. OneNote for … Read More
Trying to get to inbox zero? Switching from conventional Gmail to Inbox can help you get there, thanks to features like bundling, snooze, and templates. Inbox by Gmail first appeared in 2014, when the vamped-up web-based email client was still invite only. But there are still people who haven’t switched over, and may not even be fully aware that they can. Those people are missing out. Inbox by Gmail takes what you already enjoy about Gmail — message sorting, filters, great archive search — and makes it even more useful. Its ethos and functionalities will feel familiar to fans of the Getting Things Done productivity approach, as Inbox works to make every email actionable, even if that action is merely to archive a message. This helps you clear things out of your inbox and focus in specifically on what you need to do with your email, when you need to do it. “It’s not an exaggeration to say Inbox literally transformed the way I use email,” said Vinay Pai, the founder of Unfake.us. “I used to be pretty dedicated to desktop-based clients like Thunderbird, Outlook, and Eudora but Inbox made me decide to switch my whole email workflow around it.” It might … Read More
One of the great strengths of Windows Secrets is the depth of expertise the writers bring to the Windows platform and the applications on it. One of our regular writers, Lance Whitney, has repeatedly plumbed the depths of Microsoft Office, and repeatedly emerged with how-to stories that help us do more with less effort. Today’s newsletter collects some of his best pieces on Microsoft Word in one place — this way, you get a comprehensive how-to that will allow you an easy reference for mastering Microsoft’s flagship word-processing program. Email subscribers will have the full text of all these articles: Format Your Microsoft Word Documents with Templates How to Boost Your Productivity in Microsoft Word Eight Tips For Tweaking Your Word 2016 Experience Try These Top Add-Ins for Microsoft Word How to Recover a Lost Word Document And one last programming note: This newsletter is taking a spring break. Regular publication will resume on Tuesday, April 10, 2018. …This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
For such a large and complex operating system like Windows 10, there are obviously features Microsoft got completely right and then some that … not so much. Now that we have lived with the various versions and updates of Microsoft’s latest OS, isn’t it time we conduct a postmortem of all that Windows 10 comprises? What do we like and what are our pet peeves? With a selective feature by feature check, I plan to look periodically under a virtual magnifying glass to examine what’s good and bad (or just plain ugly) about each feature. This will be based on both my experience with the OS since its first release and with a composite of opinions from other users (media and end users). To get underway with this continuing series, Feature-By-Feature, here’s are the first three guinea pigs under the glass: Automatic Updates, the Start menu and Contana. In later installments Windows Secrets will examine the good and bad of the Command prompt, Edge browser, One Drive, and the Microsoft Store. Automatic Updates This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
You probably have tens of thousands of photos on your PC. Finding the one you want is a daunting challenge — unless you have a system for organizing them. Windows 10 comes with two programs that can help you organize and touch up your photos. One is plain old File Explorer — let’s assume you’re familiar with that one. The other is simply called Photos, although it’s often referred to as the Photos app. Each has advantages and disadvantages. This article contains a lot of my personal photos. For privacy reasons, I’ve avoided pictures of actual people (other than myself). When faces couldn’t be avoided, I blurred them. Why Use Windows Apps? Why Not Use Google Photos? Once upon a time, both Microsoft and Google offered very good, free programs for organizing and editing your photos: Windows Photo Gallery and Picasa. Both have since been discontinued. Google replaced Picasa with a cloud-based tool called Google Photos, which seems like an excellent choice for the job. It’s simple. It can create albums. It has face recognition. But it has a serious drawback: It’s a closed system, meaning you’re locked into organizing photos like Google wants you to — and it holds on … Read More
Q. What is Dynamic Lock used for on Windows 10? A. When Microsoft introduced Windows 10 almost three years ago, one of the unique features that would be part of the new operating system was Windows Hello, a feature that would use biometrics to allow end users to log into their Windows 10 devices (so long as the device could support the technology). In last year’s Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft added a counterpart to Windows Hello with Dynamic Lock – jokingly referred to as Windows Goodbye – a feature to help to secure your Windows 10 device when you walk away from it. Dynamic Update uses the proximity of a Bluetooth device such as a smartphone, headset, or any other paired device that you have around your computer to automatically lock your device once the paired item is out of range. For most people, their smartphone is the most likely device that will be used for this purpose, as we all usually pick up our phones as we leave our desks. The amount of time your paired device needs to be out of range is about one minute according to Microsoft. That will vary depending on the strength of Bluetooth on … Read More