Windows 10’s second big update, dubbed the “Anniversary Update”, is finally here. This is a huge update that touches every corner of the operating system. It includes many, and more changes than the November 2015 update did. The windows 10 Anniversary update will report itself as version 1607 build 14393. Despite the fact that it technically launched in August instead of July. If you don’t have it yet, try checking for updates in Windows 10’s Settings > Update & Security.Also Read : How to get Windows 10 1607 build Anniversary Update Version 1607 build 14393
The Anniversary Update will include improvements to Cortana, Windows Hello and Ink. In particular, the Edge browser will support biometric logins. So you’ll be able to easily sign into websites with your fingerprint and much more.
Here are some highlight changes on Windows 10 Anniversary Update
1. The start menu has gotten a cleaner, more sensible redesign.
2. There’s a dark mode for all you goths
3. Bio metric authentication (Windows Hello) can be used to sign into apps and websites
4. Cortana can be augmented through apps and bots Cortana can send notifications from your phone (even Android ones) to your PC, Apple Continuity style.
5. You can finally switch between virtual desktops with a single gesture (a four-finger swipe) Some UI refreshments and new icons. Notifications can now include images and more detail.
6. Task bar icons for UWP apps can show notification counts and other badges.
7. Microsoft Edge finally has support for extensions, as well as gestures for navigating back and forward.
New Features And Improvements On Windows 10 Anniversary Update
With the Anniversary Update, Microsoft has added several new features to Windows 10. Re imagined some features, and fixed a lot of bugs (and added some, too). From the Start Menu to the Developer Mode, Microsoft has improved a lot of features in the OS with the Anniversary Update. There are a ton of small improvements in this major update. Which makes it a really great upgrade for existing Windows 10 users.
New Improvements on Windows 10 Start Screen
Microsoft slightly re-imagined the Windows 10 Start menu in the Anniversary Update.
With the Anniversary Update, Microsoft is adding a bunch of new improvements to the Start Menu, for both desktops and tablet devices. When you open up the Start Menu on your Windows 10 PC. The first thing you will probably notice is the lack of the All Apps button. That’s right, Microsoft is removing the All Apps list from the Start Menu instead. Microsoft is merging the Recently Added, Most Used, and the All Apps lists in one single list. In the Start Menu, you will firstly see the Recently Added apps. Following that will be the Most Used list, and then you will find all of your apps. This is a very nice replacement for the All Apps list. And it essentially makes it a lot easier to get to the All Apps list.
Also Read : What’s New on windows 10 Start Menu.
Start Screen Is Now A Lot Easier To Use On Tablets
Microsoft has also changed the Start Screen for Tablet devices with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. There isn’t a lot of improvements in the Start Screen. But Microsoft made some minor improvements to make the Start Screen easier to use for Tablet Devices.
You’ll see that Microsoft has ditched the All Apps list for the Start Screen too. When you open up the Start Screen in Windows 10 Anniversary Update. You will be greeted with the Live Tiles And when you open up the All Apps list from the sidebar, you’ll notice that it’s very similar to what we had back in Windows 8/8.1.
Accessing Cortana Is Now A Lot Easier
In the Anniversary Update, Cortana can now be accessed from the Lock Screen. This is very useful on tablets, especially when you don’t want to unlock your device to get a quick info from Cortana.
Cortana’s receiving a barrage of beneficial upgrades, too. Becoming more proactive and powerful as Microsoft grants her greater access to the Office, Outlook, and Calendar apps.
You can see that enhanced awareness in Cortana’s coupon suggestions in Edge, too. Cortana can also sniff out flight times and other crucial data in your correspondence in order to create reminders. Or allow you to create custom reminders for random facts you need to pull up at any time, like “What was my hotel room number again?”
Developers will also be able to bake Cortana into third-party apps. But there is some potentially bad news: In the Anniversary Update, you’ll no longer be able to disable Cortana completely.
New Improved Action Center
Just like most of the other features in the Anniversary Update, Microsoft is adding a couple of new features and improvements to the Action Center to make the feature useful on the desktop. When you open up the Action Center in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, you will notice that Microsoft has slightly improved the user interface of the Action Center and it now looks a lot better.
You can set priority levels for individual apps, so that notifications you care about most will appear at the top of your Action Center feed. Also you can set limits for how many notifications a given app can spit out into Action Center, with the default set to three.
If you receive more than three notifications, older ones are hidden to surface notifications from other apps, too, so one popular app will No longer dominate your Action Center. It’s a lot more useful than the original design, and much more visually appealing, too.
The best feature, which Microsoft calls Notification Syncing basically notifies you about the notifications from your smartphone on your Windows 10 PC. It’ll also let you know when your phone’s battery is low, or when you miss a call, which can be pretty useful at times. What’s impressive is the fact that this feature works with Android, as well as Microsoft’s own Windows 10 Mobile operating system.
Edge Browser improvements
If you use Windows 10’s default Edge browser, you’ll find some welcome improvements. First off, Edge is (finally) getting extension support. You can install them by clicking the ellipsis menu at Edge’s upper-right corner, scrolling down to Extensions, and installing them like any other app. The initial wave is limited to 13 separate extensions, with support for add-ons from AdBlock Plus, LastPass, Evernote, Amazon, Office and more.
Alongside Extensions, Microsoft has added a couple of other features to Edge with the Anniversary Update. The browser finally lets you “Paste and Go” a link, choose where downloaded files are Stored, make it clear your browsing data every time you close the browser, set a default download location, and it also now supports swipe left/right to back/forward. These are just some of the new minor additions which Edge was missing back in the initial release of Windows 10. These are some very minor additions, but they make Edge an ease to use.
More interestingly, Cortana will now pop up with coupon suggestions when you’re web shopping with Edge. Now that’s handy—as is Edge’s newfound ability to sync your bookmarks and more between multiple devices, as long as your Microsoft account is set to sync information across PCs.
Edge is also following Chrome’s lead in intelligently auto-pausing content not central to the webpage. Annoying Flash ads, in other words. That should help you squeeze more life out of your laptop or tablet battery.For Developers the Anniversary Update brings some new goodies for EdgeHTML (the web engine for Microsoft Edge). The browser finally supports the Web Notification API, and there’s also support for the Fetch and Beacon APIs. With the Web Notifications API, a website can easily push a notification which will show up directly on the Windows 10 Action Center.
Say hello to apps and websites – Windows Hello
Windows Hello, which is the biometric authentication system which debuted with Windows 10. This is one of the best features that Microsoft added to Windows 10. It uses a special camera (usually found on the latest PCs and laptops) to scan your face and let you log into Windows without using a password. It rarely fails for me, and it’s so solid and seamless. Microsoft is making Windows Hello even better in the Anniversary Update, with integration into apps and websites. Windows Hello support will be available in Microsoft Edge to allow Windows Hello login through the browser to supported sites and web apps.
Windows Hello biometric authentication support is moving beyond the login screen to Windows Store apps in the Anniversary Update. That means that if you have hardware to support it—and software that supports Windows Hello—you’ll be able to sign into apps with your face or the swipe of a finger.
The ability to sign into websites using Windows Hello in the Edge browser was an anticipated Anniversary Update feature, but it ran into some road bumps. Microsoft officials say biometric authentication for websites will be supported in Edge once the FIDO 2.0 standard officially rolls out in a few months.
Windows Ink Workspace
There is a major new feature in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update which Microsoft has been promoting a lot lately, and that is Windows Ink. Windows Ink is mostly relevant if you have a Windows 10 laptop or a tablet with a touch display and a stylus, such as the Surface devices. With Windows Ink, users can sketch over the screen and share it via different services. Right click on Taskbar and select show windows ink work space button.
Playing to its productivity strengths, Microsoft bakes numerous inking improvements into the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. You can pull up a dedicated “ink workspace” (pictured) with tools and apps that support styli, and auto-create Cortana reminders based on written notes. The operating system also includes a “digital ruler” that you can slap onscreen to ensure your digital scribblings line up straight.
It sounds nifty, but two of the three dedicated inking apps Sticky Notes and Sketchpad feel lackluster and like they’d be better as a single app. Screen Sketch’s ability to quickly grab a screenshot, mark it up, and share it online is handy, though. Microsoft’s also collected a slew of ink-enabled apps in a dedicated section of the Windows Store, which is a useful touch.
Windows Ink also integrates with the Maps app on Windows 10, allowing you to plan your journey just by sketching over the Maps app. Also, remember Sticky Notes? Well, the Sticky Notes are now part for Windows Ink. Microsoft has updated Sticky Notes with an improved design, and the company added some new themes to Sticky Notes as well. Cortana also integrates with Sticky Notes
Pin a window or program on all desktops
That’s not the only update to Windows 10’s awesome power-user tools. The virtual desktop feature introduced in the new operating system now lets you pin an open app to all of your virtual desktops—handy if you always want a particular program front-and-center.
To activate the new feature, open the Task View used to manage virtual desktops, right-click on the window you want to pin, then select Show this window on all desktops.
Now that window or program will always be accessible on all Desktops.
Also Read : Working With Virtual desktops On Windows 10
Windows 10 Dark theme
Speaking of desktop tweaks, the Windows 10 Anniversary Update adds a new dark theme for folks who find stock Windows 10 too bright. Microsoft hadn’t fully completed the Windows 10 UI last year, but it’s starting to look a little more polished now. Most laptop displays and monitors have black bezels. And the continued use of a dark mode across the OS just bleeds naturally into the corners. You can switch on what I call even darker mode in settings. It will switch built-in apps that typically use a white background over to black. Find it at Settings > Personalization > Colors.
Microsoft has also tweaked the Windows 10 UI in more ways than just a dark theme. The all apps list is now an integral part of the Start menu, and Live Tiles are now chase-able. This means if you see something like a news story on a Live Tile You’ll go directly to that news item when you click the Tile instead of simply opening the homepage of an app.
Xbox Play Anywhere
Universal apps are the secret sauce in one of the Anniversary Update’s highlight new features: Xbox Play Anywhere. This awesome feature from Microsoft lets you buy a game once and play it on Windows 10 and the Xbox One console alike, complete with cross-platform multiplayer and cloud-based saves that travel with you from device to device.
The Xbox One is finally getting Windows apps. It feels like a promise that was made years ago, but it’s finally coming true with the Anniversary Update. As Windows 10 now powers the Xbox One, Microsoft will start rolling out an update to its console to provide support for Cortana on Xbox One and the new universal apps.
A slew of Microsoft Studios games will be Xbox Play Anywhere enabled in the coming months, from Gears of War 4 to Forza Horizons to Sea of Thieves, aka the most interesting game at E3 2016. Look for the first Play Anywhere games toland in September. Here’s hoping the PC versions are more like the superb Forza Horizon and less like the rushed (read: buggy and meh) Quantum Horizon andGears of War: Ultimate Edition ports.
Universal Skype app
Skype rolled out a new Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app for the service, and the Skype Preview is baked into the Anniversary Update after being snubbed in Windows 10. It’s pretty simple and effective, complete with support for those fancy chatbots Microsoft’s been banging on about.
Not all features are included quite yet, though—you can’t use real-time translation, for instance.
It feels like Windows 10 has so many Skype apps it’s difficult to know which one to choose. While there’s a desktop app and integration into the Messaging app in Windows 10, Microsoft has created a new universal app that’s designed to be the future of Skype on Windows 10.
Bash Is A Great New Feature For Developers
Microsoft surprised the developer world when it unveiled bash for Windows earlier this year. If you’re a developer then Bash on Windows 10 is a big deal, for everyone else it’s something you won’t really use. Microsoft is essentially adding the Linux command line to Windows 10, and it’s a great addition for Linux developers that need access to all their tools on Windows.
It’s an optional Windows feature you’ll need to go in and enable, but once it’s setup you’ll receive updates if Microsoft tweaks it in the future. It might even help convince some developers to create apps for Microsoft’s platform.
This will only appeal to developers, but it shows just how far Microsoft has come in the Satya Nadella era. Microsoft has partnered with Canonical, the organization behind Ubuntu Linux, to bring Linux’s beloved Bash shell to Windows 10. Our Bash on Windows 10 deep-dive reveals how this dark magic works. And there’s already encouraging news for this implementation. Linux’s most deadly command won’t kill your Windows 10 PC when you run it in Bash.
The Bash shell technology is actually powerful enough to run graphical Linux software and even Ubuntu’s full-blown Unity desktop in Windows 10—though it’s still severely limited overall. Microsoft doesn’t want Windows 10 to turn into a Trojan horse for Linux adoption, after all.
Alongside Bash, there is a big new feature in Windows 10 for both developers and consumers, and that is Project Centennial. Centennial basically allows Win32 developers to distribute their classic Win32 apps via the Windows Store while taking advantage of new Universal Windows Platform features such as Live Tiles. For example, if you develop a Win32 app, you can easily bring it to the Windows Store using the Desktop App Convert (aka Project Centennial).
If you’re more into building PCs than tweaking desktop settings, one new Anniversary Update feature will be an absolute treasure. Windows 10 now allows you to tie your operating system license to your Microsoft account, rather than the specific hardware inside, using a new tool dubbed “Activation Troubleshooter.”
Activation Troubleshooter to fix activation issues after hardware changes. Before this, users had to contact Microsoft support team using the built-in Contact support app to troubleshoot and fix Windows 10 activation problems. PC users running Windows 10 Anniversary Update builds (stable build coming in July or August) can now address most of the common activation issues using the new activation troubleshooter. Which built-in to Windows 10 Anniversary Update builds.
Refresh Windows Tool for Windows 10
The Refresh Windows Tool seems to be a potent option for anyone looking to clean up their system and remove unnecessary content. Users can opt to keep their personal files untouched, or do a complete refresh that leaves only the OS itself intact.
An improved Windows Defender
If you install a third-party antivirus program in Windows 10, Windows Defender automatically disables itself. But thanks to a new feature called Limited Periodic Scanning. Windows Defender can now act as an “additional line of defense” to your existing antivirus program. When Limited Periodic Scanning is turned on, Windows Defender will turn itself on to scan your PC periodically. (And send you a summary of its findings when the scan is complete.) without interfering with your existing antivirus program.
For enterprise users, the Anniversary Update will bring Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection. Stopping advanced malicious attacks on networks and Windows Information Protection. Which is itself designed to help protect corporate data.
Windows Update now features Active hours. Which you can set to correspond to the hours you’re normally active on your computer. Windows will not restart your device to install updates during these hours. You’ll find the Active Hours in the Settings menu, under Update & security > Windows Update > Change Active hours. You can only designate up to 12 hours as active.