Windows 10 April 2018 Update: What new features?

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Microsoft's Windows 10 version 1803 April 2018 Update contains a raft of new features

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The Windows 10 version 1803, April 2018 Update is the next major update to Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system and was released on the 30th April. 

The update brought in a flurry of improvements to Windows 10, which Microsoft has dubbed its 'final' version of the software. So, given it's unlikely we'll see a Windows 11, there will probably be frequent, large updates to the Windows 10 platform.

What is the Windows 10 version 1803 April 2018 Update?

As the previous update was in Autumn and called the Fall Creators Update (Fall, of course, being Autumn in the US), it was thought that this update would be hailed as the Spring Creators Update and released on 10 April. 

However, that date was missed and there were reports of delays due to bugs.

Afterwards, Microsoft announced that the update was called the Windows 10 version 1803 and that it would be available for download from the 30th April.

This update is the latest in a long line of improvements to the OS including the Creators Update, which dropped in April 2017 and Fall Creators Update, not to mention the monumental Anniversary Update in August 2016.

These previous updates to the software have seen big improvements in most aspects of the OS including security, design and apps.

Even though the last update in Autumn saw some significant changes, such as aupgrade to Windows Defender, OneDrive Files On-Demand and new privacy settings, a few hotly anticipated features were left out which were included in this year's April update. 

Areas include:

Deployment 

Windows Autopilot - Windows Autopilot offers a device lifecycle management service facilitated by the cloud that provides a zero touch experience for deploying Windows 10. It can be used for resetting, repurposing and recovering devices.

Timeline

The Timeline feature was mentioned in the Fall Creators Update but was labelled as a feature 'coming to Windows 10 soon'. 

Timeline is essentially an improved Task View and will offer a dashboard which lets you resume working on open documents and programs from the past 30 days, across various devices.

It means you can easily locate files you were previously working on across Microsoft Edge and Office 365. 

Microsoft Edge

Microsoft's Edge browser also saw some improvements.

Edge is able to mute audio coming from other tabs in your browser and support more touch-pad gestures, as well as having an overall better UX and sleek design.

Edge also support full-screen reading, grammar tools and autofill on web forms. 

Improved design

Initially released in the Fall Creators Update, Fluent Design - previously called Project Neon - added a couple of graphical changes to Windows 10 including Acrylic or blurring and animations, which soften the look of app icons, like that of iOS applications. 

The Windows 10 April 2018 Update added to this, with improvements focused on greater highlighting and image depth, providing a more contemporary style.

Nearby Share

Operating over Bluetooth, this feature makes it possible for you to share files between devices that are nearby over Bluetooth or wifi. So rather than using a USB stick or sending an email, you'll be able to ping it across from your PC to another. 

Focus Assist

Focus Assist lets you stay in the zone by blocking notifications, sounds, and alerts. Just turn it on whenever you're focused on a single task. You can even set up a priority list that customises who or what you let break through. 

Settings app

Only small changes here, but definitely something you'd notice. Settings had a little revamp with Sounds, Languages and more settings being moved into the Settings app.

Security 

You can read the new security baseline for Windows 10 version 1803 here. 

Office 365 Ransomware Detection

This software notifies you when your OneDrive files have been attacked and helps you through the process of restoring your files. More information can be found here - Ransomware detection and recovering your files.

Other improvements 

Windows 10 users also witnessed some changes to Cortana, with improvements to its syncing capabilities and interactions with third-party apps. 

You can also run Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) from Microsoft's Edge browser.

This update also saw some updates to 'My People', which was part of the Fall Creators Update. Now you are able to pin more people to your taskbar.

When was the Windows Update released?

The Microsoft Windows 10 1803 April 2018 Update was released on 30th April. The firm also started to roll out Windows 10 PCs worldwide on 8th May.

How much does the Windows Update cost? 

If you're a Windows 10 user with the latest update (the Fall update) installed, the update will happen automatically and be free to existing Windows 10 users.  

If you're not currently using Windows 10, an upgrade will set you back £99 for a Home addition or about £180 for the Windows 10 Pro version.

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