Windows 10 version 1903 (also known with the “19H1” codename) will be the seventh major refresh that Microsoft is planning to release during the spring of 2019 with new features and improvements.
Also, it’ll be the first of two updates coming in 2019, and while we’re still months away from the final version, thanks to the previews available in the Windows Insider Program, we can already see some of the changes that will be coming to the “April 2019 Update” (assuming the name will follow the scheme as we’ve been seeing in previous releases).
In this guide, we’ll highlight the new features and improvements planned for version 1903 as they appear in each test preview. You can also check all the new changes coming to version 1809 (October 2018 Update) here.
- What’s new with desktop experience
- What’s new with Settings experience
- What’s new with input experience
- What’s new with system experience
- What’s new with built-in apps
What’s new with desktop experience
You can check out this walkthrough video with all the changes included in the most recent Windows 10 Insider Preview builds.
Starting with version 1903, Windows 10 is adding acrylic effect, part of Fluent Design, to the sign-in background. “The translucent texture of this transient surface helps you focus on the sign-in task by moving the actionable controls up in the visual hierarchy while maintaining their accessibility” — Microsoft explains.
In the taskbar, more specifically in the notifications section, Windows 10 is also including a new “disconnected” icon when there’s not an internet connection on your device. This icon will appear when no connection to the internet is detected for Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and Cellular adapters.
In addition, there’s a new microphone icon in the system tray which appears when your microphone is in use.
What’s new with Settings experience
In the update planned for April 2019, the Settings app is also getting a number of refinements.
Inside the properties page to manage Ethernet settings, you can now configure the static IP address and DNS server preferences. (Although this is new to Windows 10 version 1903, you’ve been able to configure these settings for wireless adapters for a long time.)
In addition, the corresponding Ethernet adapter name will now be listed in the sidebar under the “Ethernet” header so you can easily differentiate Ethernet entries at a glance if there’s more than one.
What’s new with input experience
This new feature update also introduces the Windows Ebrima font to read your ADLaM documents and websites.
According to Microsoft: “ADLaM is enabling literacy and growing in use for commerce, education, and publishing across western Africa. It was added to Unicode in Unicode 9.0. The Ebrima font also supports other African writings systems N’ko, Tifinagh, Vai and Osmanya.”
What’s new with system experience
As part of the 19H1 development, Microsoft is also introducing a new group policy for prevent the use of security questions for local accounts. This can be found under Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Credential User Interface.
In the Registry, when pressing F4, you’ll see a caret at the end of the address bar, expanding the autocomplete dropdown.
What’s new with built-in apps
Sticky Notes has been around since Windows Vista, and even though, it has received a number of updates, it’s been pretty much the same app since the beginning. Starting with version 1903, Windows 10 will introduce version 3.0, which will include some significant changes.
For example, your notes will now sync across your devices, including Android and iOS devices using your Microsoft account.
It’ll feature a new formatting bar to change colors for each note, and you’ll be able to select the new “Charcoal Note” theme.
Opening Sticky Notes, you’ll find a new home that organizes all your notes into a single interface that also has a search box to quickly find your notes, and now there’s a settings page to customize the experience.
Other improvements include tweaks to the interface so now is more polished and performs faster. The app now supports assistive technologies and Narrator. You can navigate using the keyboard keys, mouse, touch, and pen, and Sticky Notes is now supported in high contrast.
Snip & Sketch
The Snip & Sketch is getting a small update that adds options to delay a snip for up to 10 seconds. Clicking the New button, you’ll see three new options, including “Snip now”, “Snip in 3 seconds”, and “Snip in 10 seconds.”
Editor’s note: This guide includes features and improvements that appeared until Windows 10 build 18252. It should be noted that this guide focuses on features for consumers, as Microsoft is also adding other features aimed for enterprises, which aren’t included here. (This guide was originally published on September 4, 2018, and last updated on October 4, 2018.)