Microsoft has revealed the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, its latest big upgrade with better desktop and mobile integration, VR, and more. Announced at BUILD 2017 today, it’s the follow-on to the Windows 10 Creators Update, that began rolling out last month to what Microsoft says is now a cohort of more than 500m devices.
Microsoft already offers a movie-editing app, this new software will make the process a lot more automatic. It’ll intelligently add a theme with a soundtrack and cinematic transitions, for instance. Remix 3D objects can be added in to both photos and videos, and if you’ve got a device that supports Windows Ink, you’ll be able to annotate memories too before you share them. Ink text can be pinned to individual people or objects, and then follow them as they move through the frame.
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Microsoft has been readying its Fluent Design System, a way to easily create cross-device experiences that look right on a variety of screen shapes and sizes. It’s intended to help apps work correctly across everything from phones, through tablets, to laptops and desktop PCs with big displays.
However, the Fluent Design System is about more than just screens. Indeed, it’s also intended to embrace devices that might have no screen at all, such as wearables or Cortana-powered smart speakers. Microsoft says the Fluent Design System will be able to cope with apps that interact through touch, ink, voice, gaze, and gesture, in addition to the traditional keyboard and mouse.
Microsoft’s Timeline feature promises to make that a whole lot more streamlined, with the ability to go back – using a simple, calendar timeline – to see what you were working on in the past. Then, you can automatically reload the entire experience of that moment, including apps, files, and websites.
Timeline will support search, so you’ll be able to go hunting for your previous projects using keywords. It’ll also be available cross-device: if you move from one PC to another (or, indeed, to a smartphone), Cortana will offer to open up the old project, even if you’ve never used those files on that computer.
Windows 10 Fall Creators Update plans to make much better use of it, no matter the device you’re currently using. For a start, there’s what Microsoft is referring to as “Pick Up Where You Left Off”, powered by the Cortana virtual assistant. If you close your PC, the document you were working on will load on your phone or tablet for you to carry on editing.
Microsoft is boosting its clipboard to cover all the major platforms. In principle, you should be able to copy anything on Windows 10, iOS, or Android, and then paste it onto another device. Microsoft says it’ll support photos, text, animated GIFs, map links, and more.
Microsoft is pushing virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality hard, and the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update will see a number of features in that wheelbase made standard across the platform. Biggest improvement is the support for the Windows Mixed Reality motion controllers. They’re handheld controllers for navigating virtual 3D space, with no requirement for markers or sensor lighthouses on the walls around you.
Microsoft is saying is that the Fall Creators Update will come later this year, presumably sometime from September 2017 onward.