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[RANGFORT]The definitive Windows 10 Creators Update review

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Microsoft's newest software update for Windows 10 is almost here, and it contains a whole load of tweaks and enhancements for everyone.

On April 11, Microsoft will roll out its next major update for Windows 10, which introduces a new set of features and enhancements to the OS. The update will roll out under the name "Creators Update," and is as its name implies, and update focused on being creative with Windows 10. Although the update is aimed at "creators," a lot of the features coming in the update benefit everyone, which is reassuring because the update will be rolling out to everyone for free.

The Creators Update is the third major update to Windows 10 since the original launch in July 2015. The Creators Update is the first of two major updates scheduled for 2017, meaning more improvements are on the way. I'm personally not much of a fan of the name "Creators Update," because there aren't that many new features directly for creators. The update is more well-rounded than that, bringing a selection of new features that everyone will enjoy.

Without further ado, this is our in-depth Windows 10 Creators Update review.

Video walkthrough

If reading isn't your thing, check out our detailed 26-minute video walkthrough of all the most noteworthy changes and features coming in the Creators Update.

Start menu and Action Center

In what seems like a natural evolution of the Start menu, Microsoft finally added the ability to create "live folders" with the Creators Update, which can be pinned to your Start menu, just like how you can on a Windows Phone. You simply click and drag one tile over another tile, and the live folder will automatically create itself. You get a nice overview of all the apps in that folder, and have a number of tile-resize options too. As of right now, there's no way to name these folders, however, which is something that I would like to have seen be added.

Microsoft also added a new option that allows you to remove the Apps List from displaying front and center whenever you open the Start menu. By default, you'll still see your Apps List, but if you toggle a new setting in the Settings app, you can hide it in a submenu, allowing you to make your Start menu look even more like a Windows Phone's Start screen without all the clutter of the Apps List. Of course, you can still get access to the Apps List via the hamburger menu. I'm personally really happy to see this new option in the Creators Update, and is one that I've switched on with all my devices.

Several small improvements take Start in the right direction.
Even with the Apps List minimized, typing on the Start Menu still works so you can instantly begin searching for whatever you like. Being able to remove the Apps List makes for a much cleaner and streamlined Start menu experience, though I know many power users will disagree.

There hasn't been any huge redesign of the Start menu, which is a good thing in my book. It appears Microsoft finally settled on a Start menu design that it likes, so it should remain with us for the foreseeable future. It's the same story with the Action Center, nothing appears to have changed on the surface, but there are a couple additional functions worthy of note.

For example, apps that are currently installing or updating will see a progress bar directly in the Action Center. There's also a new "Night Light" toggle in the quick access area, a feature that we'll talk more about shortly. Cortana now has the ability to create notifications that feature large text, which stand out when buried under a number of other notifications. But apart from that, everything else is pretty much the same.

There are still some oddities in regards to the UI between the Start menu, Action Center and taskbar. While both the Start menu and Action Center feature have blurred transparency, the taskbar doesn't. What that means is you're getting two different kinds of transparency with elements that are seemingly connected. Why? Who knows. Microsoft hasn't fixed the issue with the Creators Update. though.

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