New features in full
THE FALL CREATORS UPDATE BRINGS MIXED REALITY, FLUENT DESIGN AND BETTER BATTERY LIFE TO YOUR PC — READ ON TO FIND OUT THESE FEATURES CAN HELP YOU.
NOW THAT THE Fall Creators Update has been downloaded and installed on your PC, the fun begins — checking out all the cool new things that Microsoft has included. There’s a huge amount of new features included in this update, so we will focus on the most exciting additions.
WINDOWS MIXED REALITY
Probably the most incredible feature to have been added to Windows 10 with the Fall Creators Update, Windows Mixed Reality has the potential to change the way you interact with your PC in future. Essentially, it enables you to use Windows 10 and various apps in a virtual reality (VR) setting. A number of big name brands, such as ASUS, Dell, HP and Lenovo have already created special headsets for Windows Mixed Reality.
You can explore Windows and its various Mixed Reality apps with the Mixed Reality Portal, which enables you to walk around a virtual home, and launch things from inside the home.
Paint 3D, Microsoft’s reimagining of its classic Paint software that was brought in with the earlier Creators Update, has also been given a slight revamp with the Fall Creators Update, and now enables you to create 3D artwork and view it in 3D in either a virtual reality setting using the headset, or placed in the real world using augmented reality (AR). This doesn’t need any fancy headsets — you can simply use a Windows 10 laptop or tablet with a backfacing camera. The camera captures the real world, while Windows 10’s Mixed Reality Viewer app intelligently places the 3D model into the real-world image displayed on the device’s screen. You can even move your device around to view the model from different angles.
IMPROVED EDGE BROWSER
If you use Edge, Microsoft’s default web browser in Windows 10, then you’re going to love the Creators Fall Update, since it brings a number of new features to the software. You can once again pin your favourite websites to the Taskbar for easy access, and the browser can handle PDF files and ebooks better as well, making it a very versatile tool. So if you have a stylus, you can now write on and annotate PDF and ebooks
— useful if you’re using your device for studying, and you can also open and fill out PDF forms. As for ebooks, your reading progress is synced with your Microsoft account, so you can carry on from where you left off when you switch to another device! Neat.
CORTANA IS BETTER THAN EVER
Microsoft has continued to invest in Cortana, the virtual personal assistant that made her debut with the first version of Windows 10, and she’s now smarter — and more useful — than ever before. You can now tweak Cortana from her new section in the Settings app, and the virtual assistant can now access your photos and recognise certain aspects of them, thanks to machine learning, enabling you to use Cortana to find particular photos faster. She can even tag them for you.
You can also ask Cortana to control your PC, so you can say “Hey, Cortana, restart PC” or “Hey, Cortana, lock PC,” and she will do your bidding.
BETTER BATTERY LIFE
The Fall Creators Update should also help prolong the life of the battery of your device. It does this thanks to a clever new feature known as Power Throttling, which enables Windows to control your processor, putting it into a low-power state when it’s not doing anything too taxing. By dropping the power consumption of the CPU — Microsoft claims it can reduce processor usage by up to 11% — your battery life could see a little bit of improvement.
Programs and apps that are running quietly in the background will have their processor power throttled, while programs that you’re currently using — and which need plenty of oomph to work smoothly — won’t be affected, so you should not see any nasty side effects as a result of this feature.
Power Throttling is turned on automatically when you set your PC to Battery Saver or Recommended mode in Windows 10. If you choose Best Performance, it’s disabled.
Microsoft has been working hard on improving the look and feel of Windows 10, and you can see some of the fruits of the company’s labours with the Fall Creators Update. Known as Fluent Design, this new look uses transparency effects to make Windows 10 look better, while being easier to use. The Start menu has seen elements of Fluent Design added, and it can now be resized horizontally and vertically. The Action Centre (which appears on the right side of the screen) has also been given a new look.
Cortana has its own settings page now, for easy access.
The Action Centre is now even clearer and easier to use.