Today, Microsoft released the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, which adds a number of interesting new features to Windows, and adds even more Fluent Design to the user interface. The Verge lists the 10 biggest new features and changes, while WindowsCentral has a longer, more detailed review of the update.
I’ve been running the final version of this update for a while now on my workstation and my Surface Pro 4, and this is one of those updates that adds nothing but welcome changes and new features. There are two ‘features’ that really make a huge difference to me, and which have me mildly excited about Windows for the first time in ages.
The tentpole feature – Timeline – is really nice, and allows you to easily scroll back in time to look at applications, documents, websites, and more that you opened in the past. It’s like the history feature of your browser, but instead of just websites, it also covers apps and documents, while also combining the histories of other Windows machines you own. Timeline will clearly raise a number of privacy concerns, so luckily, it’s optional, and you can turn it off.
The second ‘feature’ isn’t really a feature per se, but more a clean-up of the Windows UI that’s clearly an ongoing process. Microsoft is adding Fluent Design to all of its applications, and it’s slowly adding it to core parts of the operating system as well, such as the Start menu and the various applets. Fluent Design adds some much-needed depth and distinctiveness to the otherwise flat user interface, and has nice, unobtrusive animations and highlighting effects that make using such a flat UI a lot less… Cold?
It feels like the next big step in the “Fluent Design-ification” of Windows is a big one: Explorer. While Microsoft is replacing more and more old Win32 parts of the operating system with new, modern Fluent Design counterparts, Explorer is the one big holdout that’s still fully Win32, looking horribly out of place among all the fast, new, and responsive Fluent Design parts of the operating system. I can’t wait for a modern replacement.
All in all, this is a no-brainer update that makes Windows better, so unless you have some specific reason to hold out on updates, go ahead and install it.