Win­dows

Austin American-Statesman - - BUSINESS -

a va­ri­ety of tasks — re­search­ing a trip, check­ing the news and, gasp, do­ing ac­tual work. Hav­ing all those web­sites open at once could prove cum­ber­some.

Win­dows 10’s Edge browser now has a small icon on the up­per left corner for set­ting aside a group of web­sites. Say, your dead­line on a work project is rapidly ap­proach­ing. Just hit the but­ton to clear out web­site tabs for your Caribbean get­away. When you’re ready to re­turn to trip plan­ning, hit an ad­ja­cent icon to re­store those tabs you’ve set aside.

You can set aside mul­ti­ple groups; the most re­cent ones ap­pear on top. When things get rough, you can scroll down to check the set of job search sites you set aside weeks ago.

Though browsers let you book­mark sites, you prob­a­bly don’t want per­ma­nence for trips and short-term projects. Once you re­store tabs us­ing the new fea­ture, you’ll need to set them aside again when you’re done for fu­ture ac­cess. And tabs won’t sync across de­vices.

Dig­i­tal doo­dles

Last year’s “An­niver­sary Up­date” in­tro­duced Win­dows Ink, the abil­ity to high­light, mark and oth­er­wise doo­dle on doc­u­ments with a fin­ger or sty­lus, pro­vided you have a touch-screen com­puter.

Up­dated Win­dows apps for Mi­crosoft’s Maps and Pho­tos will let you do more. Though the apps are avail­able sep­a­rately, get­ting the Cre­ators Up­date en­sures you have them.

In Pho­tos, you can draw on pho­tos and videos with vir­tual mark­ers and share your cre­ations with friends. For ex­am­ple, you can cir­cle that guy in the back­ground and call at­ten­tion to how goofy he looks.

For maps, you can mark a spe­cific spot in a park for friends to meet. Tech­ni­cally, you can al­ready do that with web ver­sions of Google, Bing and other maps, so long as you’re us­ing the Edge browser and its doo­dling func­tion.

Mi­crosoft’s Maps app of­fers ex­tras. For in­stance, you can have the app cal­cu­late the dis­tance of the bike route you’re trac­ing; be sure to first hit the “mea­sure dis­tance” icon (the one with the red di­ag­o­nal).

Ink would have been great for a new e-book fea­ture com­ing to Win­dows. Mi­crosoft is now sell­ing e-books through its on­line store, and books open as a tab in Edge, with no sep­a­rate app needed. But Mi­crosoft says Ink is dis­abled on e-books be­cause of pub­lisher re­stric­tions.

Paint goes 3-D

Paint, a graph­ics app Mi­crosoft first shipped with Win­dows 1.0 in 1985, is get­ting a ma­jor re­fresh. You can now cre­ate images in 3-D.

Start by press­ing the cube icon at the top. You can cre­ate 3-D images from scratch or choose an ob­ject, such as a cylin­der, a fish or a per­son. You can get ad­di­tional mod­els from a 3-D on­line community called Remix and even share your cre­ations there. You can add stick­ers, such as eyes, by tap­ping the icon to the right of the cube.

Play around to get a feel for all the ca­pa­bil­i­ties. Ex­pect lots of trial and er­ror — and fre­quent use of the “undo” but­ton.

3-D images cre­ated through Paint will be com­pat­i­ble with 3-D print­ers and print­ing ser­vices.

Gamers, re­joice

A game mode op­ti­mizes the com­puter for gam­ing. Other tasks can still run in the back­ground but won’t con­sume as much of the sys­tem re­sources. Game mode is on by de­fault; you can turn it off through a new cen­tral lo­ca­tion for sys­tem-wide game set­tings (in­di­vid­ual games might still have their own set­tings).

Win­dows 10 also gets a broad­cast­ing ser­vice called Beam, which Mi­crosoft bought last year. Be­fore, to share live stream­ing of game play, gamers had to in­stall and ac­ti­vate Beam or a com­pet­ing ser­vice sep­a­rately.

About those up­dates

Al­though Cre­ators Up­date is only the sec­ond ma­jor up­date since Win­dows 10’s re­lease in 2015, Mi­crosoft has is­sued many smaller ones along the way. They of­ten re­quire a restart and can come at in­op­por­tune times — such as the start of an im­por­tant meet­ing. Users with the Home edi­tion of Win­dows 10 had no op­tions for post­pon­ing up­dates.

Mi­crosoft says it has lis­tened and will give all users the abil­ity to sched­ule a time or de­fer up­dates for three days. This doesn’t mean you can avoid up­dates for­ever, but it gives you more say over when.

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