During the second day of the company’s Build 2017 conference, Microsoft formally announced the next major update to Windows 10. Previously, the update was known as Redstone 3, but now it has an official title: the Fall Creators Update. Yes, this name is absolutely boring and isn’t as “creative” as some might want, but hey, it’s something.
So what’s new in the Fall Creators Update? A bunch of stuff. Most notably, Microsoft has formally introduced its Project Neon design language as the Fluent Design System which focuses on bringing the evolution of Metro to Windows 10 devices. It features blurred transparencies throughout the experience, smoother animations, and just a cleaner experience overall. Some apps, such as Groove Music, have already begun adopting the new design language, while core Windows elements will adopt the new look as well over the course of multiple Insider builds that will roll out to developers over the coming months.
Fluent Design will deliver intuitive, harmonious, responsive and inclusive cross-device experiences and interactions. For developers, Fluent Design is built to help you create more expressive and engaging apps that work across a wide range of device and input diversity.
In terms of features, there’s plenty to talk about here. For instance, a new function called Pick Up Where You Left Off lets continuity between devices happen more seamlessly and powerfully. Essentially, any task you perform on one Windows 10 device, you can continue on another. It’s similar to how Apple manages continuity across iOS and macOS, but Microsoft’s take is much more extensive as it works on Windows, iOS, and Android.
Another feature called Timeline creates an improved Task View interface that lays out recently-used apps for you to interact with at later times. You may have lost your place in your workflow that you had open a few hours ago, but with Timeline, you should be able to recover it just by scrolling down in Task View. Timeline also works across devices in conjunction with Pick Up Where You Left Off so you can travel back in time no matter which device you’re using.
If you need a metaphor, think of Timeline as sort of a system restore function, in which you can bring up points in the past and pretend the time between them never happened and your computer hasn’t changed. This feature will certainly be handier than a standard system restore and will work more efficiently for those who tend to keep losing their place, like me.
OneDrive placeholders are also making a comeback in the Fall Creators Update, but not in the way you may expect. Microsoft has given the feature a new name: Files On-Demand. It allows for users to store data in the cloud and sync it across devices without having to download it to multiple devices. Microsoft talks about the function as allowing you “to open online files from within desktop or Windows store apps using the Windows file picker. Simply select the file you want to open in the file picker, and the file will automatically download and open in your app.”
Furthermore, you’re covered in both your home and professional life since it works with your personal and work OneDrive, as well as your SharePoint Online team sites.
The feature will first land for Insider members before an initial launch to the public this fall.
Another feature coming to Windows 10 is a cloud-based clipboard literally called Clipboard. It allows users to paste text, images, and more into a little box and sync that data across devices. Microsoft is trying to solve that problem many users face when trying to paste, say, a link in a browser on their desktop but wanna do so on their phone instead. I’m telling you, this is one of the best additions to any OS I’ve ever heard, so I’m super excited to try it out.
Finally, Microsoft also touched on a new app called Windows Story Remix. It allows users to essentially create videos out of photos and videos, but with more features than you’d expect. You can source videos and photos from multiple devices with the Story Remix app (iOS, Android, or Windows), import 3D models into your projects, and even let the app create a video reel for you with music and highlights from your clips. There’s a bunch to talk about in this department, so watch the video below to get a better fell for the new app that will also be introduced to the public later this year.
The Fall Creators Update is headed to Insiders today, with those on the public release of Windows 10 getting the update this Fall. The features mentioned here today aren’t the only ones that will make it into the update once it’s finished and refined, so expect more and more about the new software to emerge over the coming months.