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Microsoft's Timeline feature hits Windows 10 Insider Preview builds

20 December 2017

Build 17063 for Insiders is now rolling ou in the Fast ring with a whole batch of new changes and improvements. It's a quick way to move from one machine to another, much like Apple's continuity feature in iOS and macOS.

Created to compete against rival Apple's Continuity system and owing the same debt of gratitude to Linux vendor Canonical's Convergence concept, Microsoft's Timeline feature is created to make juggling multiple devices as simple as possible. By default timeline shows various snapshots of the apps you were using at a particular time, including an annotated scrollbar to help you find your way. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Windows Key + Tab to launch it.

While the current Task View shows the thumbnails of your open apps and other items, Windows Timeline will show up to 30 days of past activity across devices.

Sets is being tested with a small number of Insiders, however, so there's a good chance you won't have access to it yet. Sets allows you to group similar applications within a single windows, which are then accessible via a tabbed interface. It's very much tabbed browsing but for every Windows 10 app. Initially, Sets will only support Universal Windows Apps and the company will soon roll out the feature Office and win32 apps next year.

Gestures will also allow you to pinch and zoom on a trackpad as it has also been improved for precision touchpads.

Microsoft says it's also beginning to align Windows 10 programs with its new Fluent design language, starting with the Action Center and the Start menu, which now look, as Microsoft puts it, "acrylic". You can manage lists and reminders from this interface, and access all the skills available in Cortana. It remains to be seen if the vast majority of third-party developers will support this, or if this will remain a mostly Microsoft-specific feature as major company apps support it already.

There are a ton of changes and improvements in Windows 10 build 17063. Microsoft has been battling for years to fix DPI scaling issues in Windows, and the company is now introducing a new setting in the display settings to let Windows automatically fix scaling for apps.

Easier Connection: No more remembering cryptic HomeGroup passwords in order to connect to another PC. This is helpful if you remote into your PC, or if you dock your laptop to a monitor and the resolution and scaling changes. You can also tap on a "See all" button to check out everything you were working on in a given day - or you can just use the search bar.

Microsoft's Timeline feature hits Windows 10 Insider Preview builds