Windows 10 Creators Update’s rollout starts today. It’s supposed to be a minor update, but it still brings a substantial amount of new features to Windows 10. We took a close look at almost all of the major new additions in the Windows 10 Creators Update on your full review, which is more than 6 thousand words long and most of you probably don’t have enough time to read the whole review. So here’s a mini-review of the Creators Update:
The desktop experience has been improved slightly with the Creators Update. You can finally choose a custom accent color in Windows 10, and Microsoft provides an intuitive user experience that lets you choose the exact color you want. The Start Menu also picked up some minor new additions: you can now create folders of tiles in the Start Menu, which makes organizing your Start Menu a lot more easier. There’s also a neat little option that lets you hide the All Apps list on the Start Menu and focus only on the tiles.
It’s also easier to use Windows 10 during late nights thanks to a new feature dubbed “Night Light”. Night Light essentially helps you sleep better at night by reducing the amount of light emitted by your device’s display at night. The feature is pretty handy, as it can automatically turn on by itself. You can also control the intensity of the night light, or choose a custom time period for the feature to kick off. Microsoft has also included a neat little toggle that lets you quickly enable or disable the Night Light feature which is going to be immensely useful if you are working on a new design or something similar to do that. Night Light is a pretty nice feature but it needs a bit of work — at the moment, it kicks off at full intensity right from the get-go rather than gradually increasing the intensity of the night light which is a bit too distracting.
Cortana, Windows 10’s personal assistant, is getting some love with the Creators Update, too. Cortana now lets you continue working on a certain document or web page from one device to the other thanks to the new Pick Up Where You Left Off feature. With this, you can start working on a document in your laptop and continue working on it when you move to your desktop. It’s a really nice new addition but reliability is a hit or miss as it doesn’t exactly work all the time. But what’s neat about Pick Up Where You Left Off is that you can also continue working on a webpage that you were viewing on another device via Microsoft Edge.
Managing your tabs on Microsoft Edge much easier in the Creators Update thanks to the new Set Tabs Aside and Tab Previews features. Set Tabs Aside lets you set a group of tabs aside which you can get back to at a later date, while the Tab Previews feature gives you a live preview of all the opened tabs. While I personally don’t find Tab Previews useful, the Set Tabs Aside is immensely useful when you are researching online.
You can also now buy books in Windows 10, which is a bit weird since there aren’t any e-book readers running Windows 10. Nevertheless, if you ever wanted to read books on your laptop or tablet, you’re probably going to like the new book reading experience in Windows 10. To get a book, you will have to visit the Windows Store and you can purchase a bunch of different books from there — once purchased, you can start reading it on Microsoft Edge. The book reading experience is quite powerful on Microsoft Edge, but at the end of the day, do you really want to read a book on your laptop?
Microsoft Edge now lets you view virtual reality content on the web thanks to support for WebVR, too. What’s even neater is that the browser now supports Web Payments, which means paying for things online is going to get a lot easier as the feature also integrates with Microsoft Wallet. However, both WebVR and Web Payments are two of the latest web technologies, so don’t expect them to see them in any mainstream website anytime soon.
Virtual Reality is also a pretty big part of Windows 10 now. Well, kind of. Microsoft is now including Windows Mixed Reality on Windows 10 which you can use with a Head Mounted Display (read: MR headsets) to be able to experience Universal Windows Platform content in a mixed reality environment. The feature is going to play a huge part in the future of computing, but at this moment, the experience is pretty rough and it simply requires a lot of polish. And oh, you can’t actually buy the Head Mounted Displays for Windows Mixed Reality just yet.
Another interesting new addition for the Creators Update is Paint 3D — an app built specifically for creating 3D content on Windows 10 devices. Paint 3D is mainly built for users with devices that sport modern technologies such a stylus and a touch display. Users can create amazing 3D content using a stylus like the Surface Pen which they can also show off on Microsoft’s Remix 3D platform. But if you have a device that doesn’t have a stylus or a touch display, you will probably go back to the good old Paint app.
And lastly, we have the new features for gamers: the new Game Mode and a built-in game broadcasting feature. Game Mode allocates more resources to games when it’s enabled, which enables games to perform slightly better. The improvements gained from Game Mode aren’t going to be significant if you have a beast of a PC, but it might help tremendously when you barely have the minimum required specs for a game. Game broadcasting, on the other hand, is a neat feature which basically allows you to stream any game in Windows 10 without needing to install any extra software. The feature is pretty nice to have, but it requires a lot of polish. In other words, it hasn’t reached the “just works” level yet.
There are a lot of other minor new additions in the Windows 10 Creators Update — for instance, there’s a new Dynamic Lock feature that improves security in Windows 10 by automatically locking your PC when you’re away from it. There’s also a new Cortana mode for when your PC is idle, making it easier to use your voice to interact with your PC when you are away from it. The stock apps in Windows 10 also picked up a range of different improvements that significantly contribute to making Windows 10 a better operating system with the Creators Update. There’s even a new Picture-in-Picture mode that lets you watch a video or video call someone on Skype when you’re working on something else. What’s neat about this feature is the fact that 3rd party developers can integrate it into their Universal Windows Platform apps which means it will start showing up in more Windows 10 apps soon.
You see, the Windows 10 Creators Update is a combination of really big stuff which are not ready for prime time and minor stuff that play a huge role in improving the user experience in Windows 10. The Windows 10 Creators Update is undeniably a step in the right direction for Windows and Microsoft. Yes, there are flaws in the update, but that’s something which can be fixed with the upcoming Redstone 3 update later this year. As it stands, the Creators Update isn’t ground-breaking, but it is still a substantial update that progresses Windows 10 in a meaningful way.