Some Tweaks in the Windows 10 April 2018 Update


The Windows 10 April 2018 Update was released on April 30th, 2018, and it has a number of new features that Mac users will care about.

This is the third in a short series about these new Windows 10 features: Some Tweaks in the April 2018 Update.

In two earlier posts, I have explained two of the major new features in the Windows 10 April 2018 Update that are important to Parallels Desktop® for Mac users: a “Handoff-like” feature for connecting to your iPhone®, and the new Windows 10 Timeline. This post covers a number of other smaller features in the update – features that will also be of interest to Parallels Desktop users.

“Redmond: Start your photocopiers.”

Microsoft has long been accused of copying features from macOS®.

As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, I’m fine with this when Microsoft copies good features from Mac®, but I really get annoyed when Microsoft copies the bad features. It appears that Microsoft may have realized that they copied some bad Mac features, and they are backing out of them just has Apple® has done.

Transparency

In my opinion, use of transparency was one of the silliest additions to the Mac user interface in recent years. Microsoft copied it, and then Apple added a way to turn off transparency. Microsoft has copied the turn-off also. See Figures 1a and 1b.

Windows Update

Figure 1a_Transparency in Windows

Windows Update

Figure 1b_Transparency in macOS

Disappearing scroll bars

Another Mac feature that I strongly dislike is disappearing scroll bars. Once again, Microsoft copied it, and when Apple added a way to turn off the disappearing, so did Microsoft. See Figure 2.

Windows Update

Figure 2_Scroll bars

Mute button in the browser

Apple added a really useful feature to Safari a while ago: mute buttons you can use with those really annoying websites that start playing really loud videos immediately. Microsoft has added this same feature to Edge. See Figure 3.

Windows Update

Figure 3_Mute buttons in the browser

Nearby Sharing

An underused great feature in the macOS is AirDrop, which enables an easy, quick file transfer from one Apple device to another. AirDrop premiered in macOS Lion in 2011 and was added to iOS later. Microsoft has added a similar feature in the Windows 10 April 2018 Update.  Microsoft calls this feature “Nearby Sharing,” a surprisingly catchy name for a Windows feature.

The Nearby Sharing feature in Windows 10 is implemented using WiFi and Bluetooth®, very reasonable technology choices. Unfortunately, while Parallels Desktop supports Bluetooth sharing from a Windows VM, Parallels Desktop does not make the VM visible as a separate Bluetooth device. Therefore, Parallels Desktop users cannot make use of Nearby Sharing in the Windows 10 April 2018 Update.

Excellent Ideas from Microsoft

Here are three more new features in the Windows 10 April 2018 Update not copied from the macOS.

Startup apps

You can now easily configure some applications to automatically launch when you boot your Windows 10 VM. See Figure 4.

Windows Update

Figure 4_Startup Apps in Windows 10

Data usage

You can now set upload and download limits, both for Windows Update and for individual applications. See Figure 5.

Windows Update

Figure 5_Data Usage Limits

New capabilities for Cortana

Cortana gains a Notebook and lots of new skills in the Windows 10 April 2018 Update. See Figure 6.

Windows Update

Figure 6_Cortana’s Notebook and new skills

These are just a few of the many features in the Windows 10 April 2018 Update – the ones that I believe will be of particular interest to Parallels Desktop users. If you are interested in some of the features not mentioned in our blog, here are four excellent overviews of theApril 2018 Update:

What’s new in Windows 10 version 1803, theApril 2018 Update

Windows 10 Redstone 4 (version 1803): All the new features and changes

Windows 10April 2018 Update: A cheat sheet

Windows 10April 2018 Update (version 1803): 7 Best HIDDEN Features

Remember to upgrade your VM to the April 2018 Update to take advantage of these new features.

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