Next week sees the launch of the latest major Windows 10 update, the first of two major updates for the year according to Microsoft’s twice-annual release schedule. The rather uncreatively named April 2018 update will release on Monday, April 30, bringing some new productivity and interface features and some upgrades specific to gaming.
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Those gaming updates are a bit smaller than those we’ve seen in the past, though. Preview builds for this update have showcased a revamped Game bar, with quick toggles for microphones and cameras and easy access to media captures, as well as an easily visible clock. You can also toggle between light and dark themes. All nice interface changes for those Game bar features you definitely use all the time.
This update should also see some changes around VR and mixed reality, including improved compatibility with SteamVR. Haptic feedback has been added to motion controllers for SteamVR games, and you should expect improved performance thanks to optimized VRAM usage.
But Microsoft are focusing on more general usage features as the big points of the update. Timeline tracks your Windows 10 activity through the past 30 days, letting you search through whatever you were recently working on and pick it back up. Focus Assist blocks “distractions” from specific apps during work hours that you set, and an improved Dictation feature should make speech-to-text a bit easier.
You’ll be able to mess around with all these new features next week. Hopefully things go a bit more smoothly than some of last year’s updates, at least one of which seemed to introduce some bizarre stuttering issues across many games.