The long-awaited Windows 10 spring update (formally known as "Redstone 4") is finally official. The new version, called Windows 10 April Update, is set to roll out on April 30, so Microsoft better hit that date.
Windows 10 April 2018 Update might be a boring-sounding name, but it will include some pretty big features. Announced in a Windows Blog post today (April 27) this revision not only changes how you use Windows, but how it looks too. Major features include the Timeline, Focus Assist and enhancements to Edge and Dictation.
While Microsoft's been pushing out apps for Android and iOS, those versions of Edge and its Android launcher become much more attractive thanks to the Timeline feature. Now, you'll be able to resume what you were doing on other devices, which will be presented in a chronological sorting order. It looks somewhat like Apple's Time Machine backup feature, but for the apps and websites you've opened.
In a preview video, only Microsoft's applications appeared in the Timeline, such as documents opened in Office 365 across other platforms. Who knows if this will push users to embrace Edge over Chrome, but it's one of Microsoft's best strategies to provide incentives.
Edge is getting its own improvements, but they're mostly items that bring it to parity with competitors. These tricks include mutable tabs, full-screen reading and autofill for web forms.
Focus Assist is another April 2018 Update feature, giving Windows users a do-not-disturb mode that's activated from a tile in the Action Center. It essentially blocks distracting notifications, but users can customize it to give important notifications a greater priority. You might remember when Windows 10 called this technology by a different name, Quiet Hours.
Missing from the list of promoted features are tabs for all apps and the wider-release of Microsoft's Fluent Design language for its other apps. We'll let you know when we learn more about those.
How to get the Windows 10 April 2018 Update
Microsoft says the update "will be available as a free download beginning Monday, April 30." Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet says the update will appear in Windows Update starting Tuesday, May 8.
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