Windows 10’s April 2018 Update (version 1803) is the next major update releasing after the Fall Creators Update. In this new version, Windows 10 is introducing yet again a new set of features and enhancements to improve the experience.
This is the fifth refresh Windows 10 is receiving, and it delivers improvements for cross-device and sharing experiences. You’ll also find changes around privacy, performance, design, productivity, and much more.
In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at the ten best new features and improvements coming to the April 2018 Update for Windows 10 (version 1803). You can check out everything that is new with this new version here and those hidden features you may not know are coming this spring.
- 1. Timeline
- 2. Nearby sharing
- 3. Focus assist
- 4. Fonts
- 5. One-click Bluetooth
- 6. Graphics settings
- 7. Diagnostic data
- 8. Data usage
- 9. Game bar
- 10. Fluent Design
Timeline is perhaps the biggest and best feature you’ll find on Windows 10 version 1803. It’s an extension of Task View that allows to find and resume activities you’re working in the past. It could be from an activity from a Windows 10 device, or another PC, Android, or iOS device connected to your Microsoft account.
In short, Timeline enhances Task View allowing you to pick up where you left off any activities in the last 30 days, as well as activities on apps that are currently running on your computer.
You can access Timeline with the new update Task View button in the taskbar. In the experience, you’ll see a list of running apps at the top, and Timeline activities appears at the bottom, sorted by day with two rows of activities.
- How to stop syncing Timeline activities to the cloud on Windows 10
- How to disable Timeline on Windows 10
2. Nearby sharing
The April 2018 Update also introduces Nearby Sharing, which is a feature that lets you share any file and web links with minimal efforts wirelessly to nearby devices using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity (similar to Apple’s AirDrop feature).
- How to enable Nearby Sharing on Windows 10
- How to change Nearby Sharing default transfers location on Windows 10
3. Focus Assist
Starting with the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, “Quiet hours” becomes Focus assist, and it’s a handy feature that allows to put a block to notifications to avoid interruptions to stay focus.
This feature isn’t new to version 1803, but the feature is getting a massive overhaul that makes it qualify as a new feature.
You can now configure the experience in a number of ways. You can enable Focus assist quickly through the Action Center context menu in the taskbar, and in its new settings page built into the “System” section, you’ll find options to turn it on using priorities to allow certain notifications to break through your quiet hours.
Focus assist also introduces automatic rules that lets you select the time and activities when you don’t want to be disturbed and Focus assist will turn on automatically.
- How to use Focus assist with automatic rules on Windows 10
- How to use Focus assist with priorities on Windows 10
Fonts is a new experience built into the Settings app that offers the ability to quickly manage fonts on your device. Using the settings page, you can click a font family to view more details with the option to uninstall, preview size and face, and metadata information.
On OpenType Variable fonts, you can also access more properties to explore the capabilities of the font clicking the “Variable font properties” link under the “Metadata” section. The properties page lets you preview axis details and variation of the fonts.
Starting with version 1803, you can download and install new fonts directly from the Microsoft Store. Simply click the Get more fonts in the Store link, select the font, and click the Get button.
5. One-click Bluetooth
Windows 10 makes Bluetooth pairing a lot quicker and more convenient. Starting with the April 2018 Update, Windows will detect when a Bluetooth device is in range and ready to pair and it’ll pop a toast notification with a Connect button to quickly complete the setup, instead of having to dig into the Settings app. But of course, this only works with compatible Bluetooth devices.
6. Graphics settings
Another best new feature on Windows 10 version 1803 is the new Graphics settings manage graphics preferences for apps on systems with multiple GPUs.
The new settings are found in the new Advanced graphics settings page inside the “Display” settings. Using these settings, you can now configure an application to use a specific graphics processor, instead of Windows 10 deciding for you to save battery life or improve system performance.
You can manage graphics performance for classic and Microsoft Store apps, and these settings will always take precedence over other settings configure in other control panels. However, in some apps, you may need to change GPU settings within the app itself.
7. Diagnostic data
The April 2018 Update now allows users to review and delete the data your device sends to Microsoft to improve the overall experience on Windows 10.
In order to review the information, in the Diagnostics & feedback page, located in the “Privacy” section, you must turn on the Diagnostic data viewer toggle switch, and click the Diagnostic Data Viewer button to access the app.
8. Data usage
Users who access the internet with a limited connection will now have more control over their data usage as the Data usage feature is getting a number of improvements, including the ability to set the data limit per adapter to help you avoid going over your data plan, and you can also restrict background data to reduce data usage.
9. Game bar
The Game bar, the experience that quickly lets you access to gaming features is getting a significant update with a new design, easy-to-use settings, and new clock. Options to use dark, light, or current theme color. And new buttons to capture, turn on microphone and camera, and edit the title of your Mixer stream.
10. Fluent Design
On version 1709, Microsoft begun the gradual roll out of Fluent Design — a system that moves away from the boring flat design and introduces a new set of guidelines and features that allow developers to create more immersive and engaging experiences.
Windows 10 April 2018 Update continues expanding the new design, and you’ll find tweaks and new elements using this new interface design.
For example, the staring with this update, Windows 10 turns on the Acrylic material effect in the taskbar, Clock & Calendar, Volume, My People, touch keyboard, handwriting panel, Share experience, and Settings app.
In addition, the Start menu now includes Reveal highlight while hovering items in the “All apps” list and Live Tiles.
The April 2018 Update introduces some tweaks in the light effect in different areas, and when using the light theme, the Reveal highlight effect is more noticeable than before showing darker borders when hovering items, but it removes the Border Reveal effect on lists and tree views.
These are what I consider the best new features and improvements included with the Windows 10 April 2018 Update (version 1803). Do you have a favorite feature that wasn’t mentioned? Tell us in the comments.
Originally published on February 2018, updated on April 2018.