The thing that grabbed me the most about the Microsoft Creators Update announcement was that updates to Microsoft Graph were included.
‘Microsoft what?’ I hear you ask.
Microsoft Graph, according to the tagline, bridges the gap between Windows and your phone. Because Windows has never been that great on phones, but an awful lot of people use the software on a laptop or desktop.
One article I read describes it as ‘a timeline of everything you’ve done on your PC, with wireless copy and paste thrown in’. Now that doesn’t sound too great to me. I’m one of these people who wipes cookies every time I log off, even on a Mac. Plus, I’m slightly OCD about clearing caches and cookies on my phone to save space for the important things like apps and games. I hardly need a complete timeline of everything I’ve ever done on the PC.
But for some people, I can see that would be a draw. A colleague is completely tech-averse and struggles with many aspects of the standard software on our work machines. If she could just go back to the page she had open five days ago instead of having to reopen it today, that would be ideal for her.
Microsoft Graph’s Timeline feature aims to be that time machine. It is designed for people who use Microsoft across different devices and platforms, but can also help those who only use one device but often need the same webpages, files or apps on a daily basis. There is no word yet on how far back the timeline will stretch, or whether it will be able to cope with upgrades. All will likely become clearer as the Fall Creators Update arrives on devices worldwide.
Integration with Cortana
Like Google Drive, which allows documents to be accessed on multiple devices, Microsoft Graph’s integration with Cortana permits users to switch from PC to smartphone at will. Cortana will prompt users to specify whether they want the same tabs opened on the smartphone as they had on their PC.
Changes to Microsoft Clipboard
Another change rolled out in the Fall Creators update is a new cloud-based feature for Microsoft’s Clipboard. This will allow users to copy and paste items across connected devices. It is likely to require the use of the SwiftKey mobile keyboard app and may well only work across Windows machines and popular smartphone models. But it’s better than not being able to use copy or paste in the first place, I guess. For ‘items’ read photos, links, paragraphs of text and most probably gifs.
Also cloud-based is an upgrade to OneDrive, Microsoft’s cloud storage solution. Using the new Files on Demand option, users can access their files in the cloud. As before, files will be fully accessible offline if necessary, for those times when the web connection is flaky or absent entirely.
There is likely to be something for everyone in the Fall Creators update. Microsoft is catering for people like my colleague, who think that technology is way too complicated. In the same update, they are also helping those of us who regard technology as something to be played around with. In short, Microsoft is doing its best to keep you engaged with its product.