Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 October 2018 Update is being made available to existing machines today. All you have to do is visit Windows Update to manually trigger this latest update, or wait until Microsoft starts pushing it out more broadly to PCs next week. Either way, the update includes a number of new features that improve Windows 10 whether you’re using it for work, gaming, or a mixture of the two.
Most importantly, Microsoft is finally using machine learning to stop future updates from installing when you’re using your PC. That feature alone makes it worth getting this latest Windows 10 update today.
Microsoft has been focusing on making Android and iOS phones work better with Windows 10, and the new Your Phone app is designed to bring a lot of these efforts into a single destination. Your Phone primarily works with Android devices right now in the October 2018 Update, and you’ll be able to sync photos and text messages. Your Phone makes it quicker to pull a photo from your device and immediately copy and paste it into a document you’re working on.
The biggest feature of Your Phone, however, is the ability to send SMS messages from your PC, using your phone. This is limited to Android devices right now, but you’ll be able to send and receive messages in the app and they’re sent from your phone. Microsoft says it’s working to try and make the Your Phone features available on iPhones too, but Apple has restricted access to SMS data in iOS so it will require a big change to get this Your Phone feature working with the iPhone.
Microsoft is also working to bring cloud clipboard support to SwiftKey in the future, and this will allow you to copy or paste data between a mobile devices and Windows 10. That will make cloud clipboard even more useful across multiple devices.
Windows 10 search is changing significantly next year, but for now the October 2018 Update introduces new search previews in the Start menu. Search results will automatically appear in a new preview pane when you start searching. It’s particularly useful for documents, as the contents is now displayed as a preview in the search results. If you search for an app then the preview contents will change into a list of files you’ve used recently with that app, much like the jump lists that appear as context menus in the taskbar.
Microsoft always adds new features to its Edge browser with every Windows 10 update, and the October 2018 Update is no different. You can now stop videos from autoplaying sound, and better manage the websites you allow to autoplay in the first place. Edge is also getting some Fluent Design improvements with prettier tabs and new effects.
Task Manager has been gradually improving with Windows 10, and now Microsoft will let you see what apps are draining your battery. A new column in task manager categorizes apps into their power usage, so you can close apps that are drawing a lot of battery life when you’re mobile.