Introducing the Windows 10 Anniversary Update
Cortana gets more clever, fingerprint sign-ins come to apps and there’s a real treat for Adobe-loving creatives and Xbox gamers
Windows 10 is the latest version of Microsoft’s operating system – and it’s about to get some cool new features.
The Windows 10 Anniversary Update will be made available on August 2nd. Windows 10 is designed to work with laptops and PCs and tablets and phones with both keyboard and touchscreen controls. It gives you the same experience across all your devices.
But what’s coming in the Anniversary Update? Cortana gets cleverer, apps get fingerprint sign-ins and there’s a real treat for Adobe-loving creatives and Xbox gamers.
Here are the features we’re most excited about…
1. Password-free sign in to some apps and websites
Ever felt frustrated when you cannot remember the login details to a website you last used in 2014?
Windows 10 will help you log-in without a password. Windows Hello is a cool biometric security feature that enables you to sign-in with a touch to a laptop or tablet that has a fingerprint reader.
Now Windows Hello is being extended to certain apps and even websites accessed through the Microsoft Edge web browser. With some laptops you can even sign in with a smile. Face and iris recognition technology is available on Windows 10 laptops with Intel RealSense cameras.
2. Smarter drawing and writing on screen with Windows Ink
Windows 10 is designed to work with touchscreens as well as your keyboard and mouse making it perfect for use with digital pens.
You can even write directly onto webpages and save to share with friends with its Microsoft Edge web browser. The on-screen writing experience gets much better with Windows Ink for everything from design apps to writing quick notes.
Creatives can really benefit. Microsoft has been working with Adobe to make apps like Illustrator even more pen-friendly. The Illustrator Blob Brush, for example, has been optimised for Windows Ink so the ‘ink flows smoothly from your pen when you draw’.
Writers and businesspeople can also write onto the screen in Office apps. While jotting down reminders and shopping lists is easy, as is annotating webpages in Edge. What's more, all your pen-friendly work from across different programs can be found in the Windows Ink Workspace – which works like a Start menu for the pen.
3. Get important information, fast
Cortana is a digital assistant that comes with Windows 10. It can recognise your voice as well as typing. You can already use it to search your laptop for a document, set a reminder or add an appointment to your calendar.
Now it gets smarter.
- It will remember important things like your frequent flyer number or a parking space and remind you when you ask
- Ask a question or add a new meeting to your calendar without having to unlock your phone
- Get notifications on your Android smartphone or iPhone that sync with your Windows 10 device
- Switch on your Xbox One with your voice (if you have a console)
4. Pinterest ‘Pin It button’ comes to Windows 10
From planning weddings and summer wardrobes to collecting tattoos we ‘might’ have, Pinterest has changed how we use the internet. Much of this is down to its ‘Pin It’ button which sits along the top of your web browser for you to pin things you like as you go from site to site.
This ‘Pin It’ button extension hasn’t been available on the Windows 10 Edge web browser – until now. The Pinterest Pin It button is among the first web extensions being made available for Edge – alongside Amazon Assistant. There will be many more to come. You’ll be able to get it from the Windows Store.
5. Windows 10 PCs get cosy with Xbox One
Windows 10 is designed to work with the Xbox as well as your PC, laptop, tablet and phone.
And the lines between Windows 10 and Xbox One now become more blurred for those who have both a laptop or PC and a console. With Xbox Play Anywhere, when you buy a digital game from the Windows Store you’ll get both the Xbox One and Windows 10 version.
What’s more, you can switch from console to PC or laptop and all your game-saves, progress and add-ons will go with you.