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Windows 10 Creators go mad

by on30 January 2017

Synchronize apps between PCs, Game Mode, group tiles and more

This Spring, Microsoft plans to release the latest version of its Windows 10 operating system, codenamed Redstone 2, and will add new programs trailed for creating content in artistic styles.

Based on the latest Windows Insider preview builds, however, the company is also preparing to ship not just a few additional apps for creative types, but also some design changes to the final build, set to debut sometime in April.

Auto-locking “Goodbye” screen appears based on user proximity

One of the first noticeable additions includes a Goodbye screen featuring automatic locking when a user steps away from their machine. Similar to the Windows Hello screen, this feature will sense when users have walked away from their notebooks or workstations using several proximity-based methods including the front-facing webcam, Bluetooth radios and even NFC.

Improved Quick Access adjustments in Notification Center

There is also a redesign in the Creators Update release that makes changes to the Quick Access icons that appear in Action Center on the left corner of the desktop. The changes should include new embed levels and sliders that will allow users to adjust screen brightness, sound volume and other peripheral settings, with more fine-tuned options available when operating in Tablet mode.

Blue light color temperature controls

blue light settings windows 10

Microsoft is also expected to add a “low blue backlight” mode to the Settings menu, similar to the Night Shift option Apple just deployed in the latest macOS Sierra 10.12.4 public beta. The feature has been common to Windows users under an independent project called f.lux, allowing a gradual adjustment of color temperature depending on time of day to reflect ambient lighting conditions and improve sleep.

Manual touchpad assignments and virtual touchpad

For notebooks with Precision Touchpads, Microsoft’s native mouse driver handling complex gestures and movements, the company will now include settings for assigning manual gesture controls. This feature is similar to the More Gestures option offered by Apple in Mac OS X, but offers more flexibility in choosing individual apps to assign to gestures.

The company will also be introducing a new virtual touchpad that will appear on any connected Windows 10 device, external display or television set. The idea is to give users a large, touch-based mouse input option in the event that no physical input device is nearby.

Group Tiles on Start Menu

Similar to the concept of creating app folders on iOS and Android devices, the Windows 10 Creators Update will also introduce the ability to drag live Start menu tiles on top of each other and arrange them into folders. By clicking on a tile folder, the Start menu will expand downwards and list all of the included apps.

Synchronize apps between Windows PCs

The Windows 10 Creators Update will allow users to synchronize apps across multiple PCs, allowing Cortana to send out notifications to each client device. This is a new alternative to synchronizing file folders and will now give users the ability to pick up where they left off at home or at work in many editing and productivity apps.

A few other changes worth mentioning in this release include Game Bar updates, full color emojis in Microsoft Edge, resizing of virtual machine connections in Hyper-V, a Windows Store app download progress icon in Action Center, a Troubleshooter section in Windows Settings and High DPI improvements in the Windows ADK. The full list includes about 40 other improvements and 16 fixes for PCs.

Last modified on 30 January 2017
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