Windows 10 has reached its first birthday but that doesn’t mean the operating system is the final package – far from it.
Part of Microsoft’s aim for Window 10 is also to make it the last Windows operating system, updating it continuously over time. The second of the major updates has just arrived, under the fitting name of Anniversary Update.
Microsoft has a number of big and small changes up its sleeve. To find out what's new watch the video below and read on:
Windows Ink is a brand new feature with the Anniversary Update, which enables you to take notes and annotate documents on your screen.
It’s primarily aimed at those with touch screens – particularly those that use a stylus – but anyone can use it by clicking on the pen icon found at the bottom right of the screen.
There are several different parts to Windows Ink, including Sticky Notes, Sketchpad and Screen sketch. One of the standout features on the Sticky Notes is its ability to recognise handwriting and understand the messages when using a Surface Pen.
So if you note down ‘meeting tomorrow at 9am’, for example, you can click it and set a reminder with Cortana.
New look Start Menu
Hopefully the Anniversary Update will have ironed out some of the Start Menu bugs a number of users faced, but we’ll have to wait and see for sure. However, Microsoft has definitely focused its attentions on improving the ease of the Start Menu by shuffling a few parts around.
The company has tidied elements up a little, squeezing the likes of the Settings and Off buttons down to give you instant access to your full list of apps.
Tweaks to the Action Center
The Action Center has had some small improvements, including the ability to reorganise the quick action icons (which you couldn’t do before).
You’ll now see a number indicating how many notifications you have on the Action Center icon in the Taskbar, to keep you that little bit more informed.
Microsoft Edge extensions
Microsoft’s new web browser Edge has caught up with some of its rivals by finally adding extensions to the extra features you can use.
There aren’t many for the moment but Microsoft are continuously working with a number of developers who’ll add more into the mix with time. Those that are available should make browsing the web a little easier using tools such as the Amazon Assistant extension which helps you shop for products.
A bunch of other smaller tweaks have been made such as the ability to always clear history in Edge whenever you close the window – a useful addition for those of us concerned about our personal data.
Microsoft’s signature digital assistant Cortana hasn’t gone unnoticed throughout the Anniversary Update.
The voice-powered software can now be summoned directly from the Lock Screen, simply by saying “Hey Cortana” (although you’ll have to set it up first by opening Cortana, selecting the Settings cog icon and switching On ‘Let Cortana respond to “Hey Cortana”’).
Set ‘Use Cortana even when my device is locked’ to On and you can ask Cortana to add a reminder for you or start playing music without even having to login.
Cortana can now search within text-based documents too now, so you can mention few words from a Word document and Cortana will seek it out.
Elsewhere, if you use the Cortana app on Windows 10 Mobile or Android, you can respond to notifications from your phone at your desktop.
And the rest…
There are a whole load of other changes, big and small, in the Anniversary Update.
- The Settings area has had a minor refresh but you can now search settings.
- There’s an option to schedule periodic quicks scans of your PC with Windows Defender.
- You can switch to a new Dark Mode if you find the screen too bright.
Have you tried your Windows 10 PC since the Anniversary Update arrived? Let us know what you think in the Comments section below.