They say big things come in small packages. But when Microsoft releases its second semiannual Windows 10 update next month, it’ll be mainly small things in a big package.
That’s not to say users won’t be pleased with a spruced up start window, preinstalled browser and assorted nips and tucks, but this update continues the Microsoft tradition of introducing helpful, but smaller feature updates and tweaks in the fall, while saving more prominent changes for the spring.
This version of Windows 10 is the first to come with the new Chromium-based Edge browser preinstalled. It boasts a Collections feature that handily captures and stores snippets from web pages in a scrolling window on the right side of the screen. Just drag a page to the window and review any time, or send saved items to Word or Excel.
Vertical browser tabs make it easier to keep tabs on large numbers of open pages. Smart copy saves snippets along with their formatting, including images, links and text stylings.
Edge also has a built-in tracking prevention capability and it blocks unwanted programs.
The Widows 10 upgrade provides a helpful boost to the Alt+Tab function that traditionally has been used to switch among open apps. Now it can rotate through several of the most recently used tabs within the Edge browser.
The Start menu is getting facelift. Functionality basically remains the same, but users will notice cleaner look punctuated with new, simply designed icons for apps, semi-transparent background on tiles and options for light and dark themes.
Windows chief Brandon LeBlanc stated on the Windows blog that the new release, Build 19042.508, is the “final build” of the update. Testing is ongoing for a few more weeks.
The update will be available to all next month, but registered members of the Windows Insider program can obtain copies now from the Release Preview Channel.
Microsoft has also introduced new features for the Your Phone app. The program currently allows Android users to mirror their phone screen with a desktop PC.
Now, greater integration between the phone and PC is available. Users will be able to view links, images and notes acquired on their phones on their desktop PCs as well. Tapping the share button selecting the “Your Phone companion app” will transfer images and files to the Windows 10 PC.
In addition, Contacts can now be easily shared between devices. A new Contacts section will be added to the desktop Your Phone app. Selecting contacts will bring up phone numbers, email addresses, and addresses for home and work. You can send a text message or place a call from the app. An overhaul is planned for the appearance of the Your Phone app as well.