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4 Interesting New Features From Microsoft’s Latest Windows 10 Update

April 30, 2018, 6:48 PM UTC

Microsoft’s new Windows 10 April 2018 update has officially arrived.

Owners of Microsoft’s flagship operating system for personal computers should get a notification from the Windows Update service used by customers to download software patches, security fixes, and other updates.

People can also manually download the Windows 10 update directly from Microsoft’s (MSFT) website.

The new Windows 10 update follows a previous major operating system update last October, which Microsoft called the Fall Creators Update.

Here’s some of the interesting new features from the latest version of Windows 10.

1. Timeline Should Help You Keep Track of Files and Photos

The new Timeline feature is essentially a way for people to better locate specific files, photos, or videos on their PCs.

People can use the service to scroll through a list of their past activities going back to a day or even weeks. Customers will see their activities grouped in hour-long chunks each day, so they can more easily find the emails or files they may have sent during those time periods.

2. Work Without Distraction

The Focus Assist feature is basically an easier way for people to turn off app notifications during specific times during the work day.

“Much of this time is spent on social media, where the constant stream of distractions across our myriad of devices makes it hard to focus,” Microsoft said in a corporate blog post on the feature. “With this update, we’re introducing Focus Assist to help you stay in the zone.”

3. Some Nifty Virtual Reality Updates

Microsoft said that the new Windows 10 Update would include the availability of its “Windows Mixed Reality for SteamVR” feature to more people outside of what’s known as “early access,” intended for people who want to try out the software before it’s ready for the mainstream.

The Windows Mixed Reality for SteamVR makes it easier for people to play and access virtual reality games from the Steam video game distribution service via their Windows-powered VR headsets.

Microsoft said the new Mixed Reality update (Microsoft refers to both virtual and augmented reality as “mixed reality”) allows for better motion controller feedback for users. Additionally, people can hold the Windows button and tap the trigger of a motion controller to more easily take digital photos within their VR games.

4. Do More Work By Talking

The new Dictation service helps people compose digital notes by speaking, with the help of their computer’s built-in microphone.

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From Microsoft:

With your cursor in any text field either in Windows 10 or in an app, simply press Win + H and start talking. The improved Dictation feature in Windows 10 will capture your thoughts quickly and accurately so that brilliant idea you just riffed on with your colleagues or the speech you’re practicing for your best friend’s wedding isn’t lost forever.

Not everyone will be able to access the new Dictation service, as Microsoft said it would be available in “select markets” without saying which places. Additionally, Microsoft said that the Dictation “experience may vary by region and device,” implying that it would work better in some places than in others.