Every year without fail software companies push out updates to devices running their software. Most updates drastically change the software and reviews explore that in relation to the previous iteration of the software, but what is rarely explored – is how these new software features change the way we use our devices in our day to day PC usage.
For mobile devices, the new updates enable new apps, new emojis, new experiences that we can appreciate. On PCs, these effects are far less prominent due to the nature of computers. Most users merely use PCs as a portal to the web, to run Skype and then Spotify.
Personally, my device of choice is a Surface device. I make equal use of it in desktop and tablet mode, so Microsoft’s improvements to the on both the tablet sides, and the PC arena are the most important to me.
The first notable improvement for has to do with the new Windows Start Screen is pretty great for tablet mode. While live tiles are cool and all, often find that I can easily find apps in the app list much faster than looking at all the tiles – especially as I get more and more apps over time. With that in mind, Microsoft upgrading the app list from a list on the side of the “Pinned Tiles” view to a full-screen app list provides a massive boost in usability.
With that in mind, Microsoft upgrading the app list from a list on the side of the “Pinned Tiles” view to a full-screen app list provides a massive boost in usability.
Secondly, taskbar notifications help me be more productive when working. I often have the outlook mail app and other messaging apps pinned to the taskbar for quick access to them. Now, with the addition of taskbar badges, I now know if I need to check the action centre or not. This is because I can keep quiet hours on, so even if I get a horde of notifications unless one of my pinned taskbar apps shows a badge I know that it is ultimately not important.
Aside from that, I can’t really notice any tangible changes to my use in the new update. Many of the features Microsoft’s added are backend features that depend on developers to take advantage of them, and one of them – Messaging Everywhere – is one that’s yet to come. Sure it’s a massive update for PCs, but it hasn’t really changed much for me day to day – yet. Sure as more developers update their apps to support features like chaseable live tiles and shared app experiences the backend updates will begin to meaningfully change the way I use my software, but that hasn’t happened just quite yet.
So over to you readers? How has Microsoft’s Windows 10 Anniversary Update changed the way you use your PC? Share your thoughts in the comment below.