Microsoft Graph is coming to the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, and it’s the technology that will help to seamlessly connect all your devices. If you never heard about Microsoft Graph, in technical terms, it’s the API endpoint to access data in the Microsoft Cloud for both consumers and commercial users, and data across Windows, Office, and the array of services hosted by Microsoft.
It was previously only available for commercial use as part of Office, but now it’ll be available to everyone on Windows 10.
Using the Microsoft Graph, apps and services can easily find data, such as user profile information, or content like files or documents on OneDrive, and even calendar and messages coming from Exchange. Other services participating in the graph, include OneNote, Planner, Outlook, and more will keep coming.
Basically, the Microsoft Graph is the connectivity glue between devices, and it’s a huge deal.
Think about how you use technology today. Typically, you do your shopping online, read articles, research papers, create documents, and connect with family and friends.
The only issue is that while you do all these things, you use different devices, including a iPhone or Android phone, and more than one computer that probably is connected to other devices like a printer, camera, and other peripherals.
As you try to tackle these activities they create many inconveniences, as your contacts may be stored in one device, and there is not an easy way to resume working on tasks as you move to different devices.
Microsoft Graph is the solution that makes possible to connect devices allowing content and activities to seamlessly move between devices, whether you use on iPhone, Android device or a Windows PC.
On the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, you’ll see how the Microsoft Graph ingrates and makes the OS more useful on a number of new features, including in these:
Timeline is a new feature built inside Task View that allows you to view all your current (and past) tasks across Windows 10, iOS, and Android devices.
Using Timeline, you can quickly pick up where you left off when moving between devices. In addition, this functionality also extends to other Microsoft apps on Android and iOS thanks to Cortana integration.
On your computer, Cortana will even leverage Timeline to intelligently prompt you using notifications to pick up where you left off.
Using the Microsoft Graph, clipboard is an easy way to copy and paste content between devices. For example, you can copy a piece of text on your desktop and paste it on your phone using the SwiftKey keyboard app.
This is similar to Apple’s Universal Clipboard, but with the difference that Microsoft plans to support a true universal clipboard across Windows, iOS, and Android, not just Mac and iPhone devices.
Additionally, this feature will come to Office in a near future. For example, you’ll be able to paste text or an image to a Word document that you copied on your phone.
The ability to access your files stored in OneDrive without having to download them first is nothing new. It was previously known as “placeholders,” but Microsoft replaced it with selective sync. The feature is now coming back with the Fall Creators Update as “OneDrive File On-Demand,” but it’ll work a little different.
As before, you’ll be able to access your files stored in the cloud without having to download them first, but the feature will work more intelligently. For example, if you recently opened a file online, then it’ll sync to be available offline. Opening files on your computer will also sync them to be available without an internet connection. Otherwise, you’ll still need to configure a folder or files individually to make them available offline.
In short, the software giant is moving beyond the strategy that only included Windows, and it’s realizing that most Windows users will use different devices from different platforms. And the only way to help Windows to succeed is to integrate services, such as the Microsoft Graph to make other devices work better. As a result, you’ll start to see new cross-platform features, such as Timeline, improvements to help you pick up where you left off, Clipboard, and OneDrive File On-Demand.