What’s new in the Windows 10 April 2018 Update Version 1803

The Windows 10 April 2018 Update version 1803 is finally out. Microsoft has designed this update to help you make the most of your time using Windows 10. With this Spring Creators update, you get new distraction free experiences that allow you to save your time working on Windows 10.

April 2018 update Windows 10 version 1803 is available to download for free from Microsoft website. You can get the April 2018 Update in several ways. If you are already using Windows 10 and have automatic updates enabled, the update will be delivered automatically to you. That roll-out begins on May 8, 2018. However you can download it manually from Microsoft website using Media Creation Tool or you can get direct ISO download links.

New Features in the Windows 10 April 2018 Update 1803

1. Awesome Timeline

Microsoft has introduced Timeline in April 2018 update. Here you can find the activity you were doing in the past. And if you wish to continue any of them from the past, you can easily do that. Here’s how Timeline works.

  • To Go back and forth in time.  You can easily scroll back in time to find things you were working on earlier today or a few weeks ago.
  • To Find activities easily. You can click the new Task bar icon to see all your activities on a specific day grouped by hour, including all the things you did using Microsoft Edge and Office 365 on your tablet and mobile phone. If you don’t see what you need, you can easily search Timeline to find it.
  • To Remove activities whenever you want. You can delete activities from a specific day or hour from the timeline.

To open Timeline, click the new Task view icon in the taskbar (alternatively press Windows logo key Tab). Here you will see all your activities on a specific day, grouped by hour, and easily search for something you’d like to go back to.

2. Nearby Sharing Feature

Windows 10’s April 2018 update brings new Nearby Sharing feature which lets you instantly share your videos, photos, documents, and websites with the people and devices near you over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Here’s what you can do using the new Nearby Sharing feature.

  • Share quickly. You can send any video, photo, document, or webpage viewed on Microsoft Edge to people nearby by clicking on the share charm in the app or right-clicking to get the share menu. You can share a report with a colleague in your meeting room or a vacation photo with your best friend in the library.
  • Take the quickest path. Your computer automatically picks the fastest way to share your file or webpage, either over Bluetooth or Wifi. That’s awesome, isn’t it?
  • See who’s available. Bluetooth allows you to quickly discover potential devices with which you could share.

3. Focus Assist

Focus Assist helps you get more done by easily blocking notifications, sounds, and alerts to create distraction-free work times. This is helpful if you’re giving a presentation or trying to focus on a paper, you can use Focus Assist to block interruptions or distractions. Here’s how it works.

  • Work the way you want. Focus assist gives you the flexibility to choose when to block interruptions. Turn on Focus assist whenever you want to get things done without distractions, like notifications, sounds, and alerts. Or set Focus Assist to turn on automatically at certain times during the day.
  • Stay connected when you need to. You can make sure your most important people breakthrough by creating a priority list of those you always want to reach you, even when you’re working. Or when you need complete concentration, block all notifications.
  • Catch up quickly. Find out what you missed while you were heads down on a project. As soon as you finish working, a summary of notifications and alerts appears on your screen.

You can quickly toggle Focus Assist on or off from a quick action button in the Action Center. Or, to set up your rules with Focus Assist, just go to display settings > Focus Assist to pick which scenarios will automatically turn on this feature.

4. Changes in Microsoft Edge

This update has also brought several changes to Microsoft Edge as well. Here is details of those changes:

  • Mute-a-tab. Simply click the audio icon or right-click the tab to mute and unmute the tab that is playing sound.
  • Autofill cards on web forms. Use Microsoft Edge to securely save your address, credit card, and other information on top retail sites so that you have the option of autofill on web payment forms.
  • Clutter-free printing. Print web pages from Microsoft Edge without pop-ups and other unnecessary clutter. Enable the “Clutter-free printing” option in the print dialog and print only the content you want.
  • Full-screen reading experience. Take Books, PDFs, and Reading view pages full-screen, for a distraction-free reading experience. To enable full-screen reading, you can click on the double-arrow icon on the reading bar, or in the more menu or hit F11 on your keyboard.
  • More EPUB book options. Save EPUB books you’ve downloaded for free or bought at Microsoft Store, add bookmarks and manage them all at the Books tab on the Microsoft Edge hub. You’ll also find suggestions there, based on your reading habits, for new EPUB books, that you can find in Microsoft Store with one click.
  • Grammar tools. Microsoft Edge has added Grammar tools support in reading mode for web pages and books to help improve reading comprehension to create a more inclusive reading experience.
  • Fluent Design. Microsoft Edge now supports an updated Dark theme and much better contrast with all colors, text, and icons.
  • Microsoft Edge on your phone and tablet. Get Microsoft Edge on your Android phone, tablet, iPhone, or iPad. Just go to the apps store on your device and download Microsoft Edge for free. Then use Microsoft Edge on your phone or tablet to read EPUB books you’ve saved, currently a preview feature. Or start reading a webpage on phone or tablet, send the page to your PC, and pick up reading right where you left off.

5. Changes in Windows Ink

Tap to ink and ink acceleration are new with this update. Here’s how they work:

Tap to ink. Now you can choose to ink instead of type. Use your digital pen to write directly in text fields for a more natural experience.

  • Tap to ink. Now you can choose to ink instead of type. Use your digital pen to write directly in text fields for a more natural experience. Just tap a space, like a search box, and it expands to give you a comfortable area in which to write. You can even edit what you’ve written with simple, intuitive gestures. Go to SettingsDevices > Pen & Windows Ink > select, “Write directly into text field”, then tap on a new text field to try the experience.
  • Ink acceleration. Designed to reduce the delay and improve latency of your digital pen by up to 30-50%. With virtually no latency, using a pen is almost like drawing on paper. This is the fastest Windows Ink yet.

6. Windows Mixed Reality

In this update, Microsoft released Windows Mixed Reality for Steam®VR as “early access,” and has further improved integration with haptic motion controller feedback. It’s also now easier to take photos of your mixed reality experiences (hold the Windows button and tap the trigger). Plus, it’s simpler to personalize and manipulate content inside of Cliff House or Skyloft

Skyloft in Windows Mixed Reality

7. Windows Hello

Microsoft has made it easier for Microsoft account users to set up Windows Hello on their compatible devices for faster and more secure sign-in. Previously, you had to navigate deep into Settings to find Windows Hello. Now, you can set up Windows Hello Face, Fingerprint or PIN straight from your lock screen by clicking the Windows Hello tile under Sign-in options.

Animation of setting up Windows Hello straight from the lockscreen

8. 3D Objects in Windows 10

Woman standing outside next to a 3D model of a dinosaur in Mixed Reality Viewer

  • Animations in Mixed Reality Viewer. Record a video with animated 3D objects. Capture a flying saucer hovering over your friend’s shoulder or a dinosaur lurking around the corner. It’s easy. Just click the Remix 3D button to find animated objects you can drop into your video. Or from the bottom right of the app, you can find one click animations to make static 3D objects come to life.

3D animations shown in PowerPoint

  • 3D Animations in PowerPoint. With your Office 365 subscription, you can add 3D animation to static 3D models you’ve added to your PowerPoint. Just click on Animations and choose from an auto-rotating Turntable to Jump & Turn to give movement to your 3D models.
  • Edit your snips directly in Paint 3D. With the new “edit in Paint 3D” button built into the Snipping Tool, you can take your snip to the next level via Paint 3D. Move (or remove) objects with Magic select, augment and annotate with realistic brushes, bring in 3D objects from Remix 3D, and more.

9. Improvements in Cortana

Turn up the heat and the beat. Cortana now lets you manage your smart home and play your favorite music and playlists on Spotify from your PC using just your voice. Cortana has expanded home automation skills, making it even easier for you to control your smart home devices while you’re on the go. For example, want to come home to a warm house from a long day at work? Just tap Cortana on your PC and say “Hey Cortana, set the living room thermostat to 72 degrees” to control your ecobee3, ecobee3 liteecobee4Honeywell LyricHoneywell Total Connect ComfortNest Learning ThermostatNest Thermostat E and more. To set up your connected home with Cortana, open Cortana on Windows 10 or go to the Cortana app on your phone, click the Notebook icon, then click Connected Home. From there, you can connect your favorite smart home accounts and control your devices from anywhere you use Cortana.

Person sitting at desk with a Windows 10 PC and phone on the desk

With Spotify now available with Cortana on PC, you can use the power of your voice to play your favorite music. For example, if you want to kick back and relax after a long day of work, simply tap on the microphone icon on your Windows 10 taskbar or say “Hey Cortana” then say “Play some chill music on Spotify” and she’s on it. To get started, simply try saying “Hey Cortana, play some chill music on Spotify” and Cortana will guide you through linking your Spotify account to Cortana. Or, open Cortana on Windows 10, click the Notebook icon, then click Music and link your favorite provider, like Spotify, TuneIn or iHeartRadio.

10. PC Gaming Improvements

Game bar in Windows 10 shown with the dark themeGame bar in Windows 10 shown with the light theme

Improved Game bar. Game bar has got a makeover so it’s even easier to find what you’re looking for. Go to your captures, toggle your microphone and camera, choose a theme, and edit the title of your Mixer stream—all from new buttons on Game bar. You can also and choose a theme (dark, light, or your current Windows theme), and quickly check the time using the new clock. And of course, start a Mixer stream from the Game bar without any extra hardware or software.

11. Accessibility improvements

The April 2018 Update is for each us, so it also includes enhanced and new accessibility features that let you be more creative, collaborative, and connected in a way that fits your individual needs and style. Many of the accessibility features can now be found in one place with related features organized under Vision, Hearing, and Interaction. Additionally, you can enable text suggestions to get help constructing sentences. As you type on a keyboard, you’ll see three suggested words and can pick one to insert. This is a great feature for English language learners or anyone who’d like a little help with their writing.

Accessibility features shown in Settings

  • Make your device fit your needs. Many of the accessibility features can now be found in one place, with related features organized under Vision, Hearing, Interaction.
  • Get text suggestions as you type. You can enable text suggestions to get help constructing sentences. As you type on a keyboard, you’ll see three suggested words and can pick one to be inserted. This feature is great for English language learners – and anyone who’d like a little help with their writing. Available for EN-US in this release.
  • Click with your eyes. Improvements in the eye control14 experience include easier navigation with the addition of scrolling and direct left and right click capabilities, acceleration to common tasks such as Windows Start and device calibration, and the flexibility to pause eye control. Eye control is still in preview, and we welcome your feedback to help improve the experience.
  • Grammar Tools for EPUB books and Reading View. Make reading websites in Reading View and EPUB books with Microsoft Edge easier with Grammar Tools that break words into syllables and highlight parts of speech, such as nouns, verbs, and adjectives.
  • Listen to books your way. Use Microsoft Edge to hear an EPUB book read aloud with custom narration and ambient sounds embedded in the book.
  • See greater contrast. Microsoft Edge Dark theme has darker blacks and better contrast across all colors, text, and icons, making it easier for many people with accessibility contrast issues to navigate. It also can prevent eye strain, generally, especially when you’re working at night.

12. Security Improvements

Windows Defender Application Guard (WDAG) comes to Windows 10 Pro. Microsoft is bringing Windows Defender Application Guard to Windows 10 Professional in the next feature update of Windows 10. Now, like Windows 10 Enterprise users, Windows 10 Pro Users can navigate the Internet in Windows Defender Application Guard knowing their systems are protected from even the most sophisticated browser attacks.

Windows Defender Security Center Improvements

  • Quick access from the context menu. You can now right-click on the Windows Defender Security Center icon in the notification area and get an updated context menu that lets you quickly do a quick scan, update your Windows Defender Antivirus definitions, change the notifications and open Windows Defender Security Center.
  • Account Protection Pillar in Windows Defender Security Center. We’ve made it easier for users to protect their identity when signing into Windows with the new Account protection pillar in Windows Defender Security Center. Account protection encourages local account users to connect a Microsoft Account (MSA), password users to set up Windows Hello Face, Fingerprint or PIN for faster and more secure sign in. Additionally, Dynamic lock leverages the alerting system in Windows Defender Security Center to notify users when Dynamic lock has stopped working because their phone or device Bluetooth is off.
  • Device Security Pillar in Windows Defender Security Center. We’re giving you greater insight into the security features integrated in your Windows device. The Device security page provides you with status reporting and management of security features built into your devices – including toggling features on to provide enhanced protections.
  • More options for how we notify you. You can now further customize what types of notifications you get from Windows Defender Security Center, including disabling or enabling notifications about recent, automatic scans that keep your PC safer or if there are threats or files that have been blocked.

13. Windows 10 in S Mode

Windows 10 in S mode now comes enabled on both Windows 10 Home and Pro PCs, and commercial customers will be able to deploy Windows 10 Enterprise with S mode enabled. Some additional information about Windows 10 in S Mode:

  • Microsoft-verified. All of your applications are verified by Microsoft for security and performance.
  • Performance that lasts. Start-ups are quick, and S mode is built to keep them that way.
  • Choice and flexibility. Save your files to your favorite cloud, like OneDrive, and access them from any device you choose. Browse Microsoft Store for apps.
  • S mode, on a range of modern devices. Enjoy all the great Windows multi-tasking features, like snapping windows, task view and virtual desktops on a range of S mode enabled devices.

If you want to switch out of S mode, you will be able to do so at no charge, regardless of edition. Once you switch out of S mode, you cannot switch back.

14. Microsoft Photos

Here’s what’s new in the Microsoft Photos app:

  • Add 3D to your creation. Using the Photos built-in video editor, you can now add 3D effects right into your photo or video. Need some inspiration? The built-in 3D Library lets you choose a 3D model from one of your favorite artists in the Remix 3D community to add a whole new dimension to your creation.
  • Search and find more quickly. The Photos app automatically groups pictures of people to help you organize your photos and videos and find exactly what you’re looking for more quickly. It even helps you combine multiple photos of the same person by merging them into one contact.

Sleeping dog shown in the Photos app

We hope you enjoy all the great new features included in the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, designed to help you make the most of your time. If you want to experience the Windows 10 April 2018 Update first hand, you can manually download the ISO from Microsoft website using either Media Creation tool or via direct download links. Enjoy, have fun!

About Aslam Khan

Hi there, I am a blogger, engineer and a computer geek. I love kittens. I spend some of my time blogging besides full time job as Senior Windows Administrator. I like to learn new things.

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