Software

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update: Five promised features that are missing

Some of Microsoft's most heavily trailed new features failed to make the final cut, and while some have just been temporarily delayed, others have vanished without a trace.

While Windows 10's Fall Creators Update adds a few useful-sounding new features to the OS, some of the most interesting additions are still missing.

Some of Microsoft's most heavily trailed new features failed to make the final cut, and while some have just been temporarily delayed, others have vanished without a trace.

Here are the five promised features that won't be included in the Fall Creators Update (FCU).

Timeline

The Timeline feature will basically provide the equivalent of a browser history for your desktop, allowing you to search through files, apps and sites you've previously had open.

This ability to jump back and pick up what you were doing will extend beyond PCs, with the feature also able to track what you're doing on Android handsets and iPhones running Microsoft's Cortana.

In July this year, Microsoft revealed that Timeline wouldn't make the Fall Creators Update as originally promised. Instead the feature is now scheduled to be rolled out to those testing early builds of Windows 10 under the Windows Insider program later this year, and will probably arrive for mainstream Windows users with the next major feature 'Redstone 4' update in March/April 2018.

SEE: Toolkit: 21 useful Active Directory scripts for Windows (Tech Pro Research)

Cloud clipboard

Also geared towards making it easier to work across different devices is cloud clipboard, which will allow users to copy images, links, text and even documents between a Windows 10 PC and phones running Android, iOS or Windows 10 and using Microsoft's Swiftkey keyboard.

A hands-on with an early version of the clipboard showed it being accessible by hitting the Windows key + V to bring up the cloud clipboard in Windows 10.

However, despite being shown off in Build 2017, the feature is now expected to be added by the next feature update in Spring 2018.

Story Remix's 3D features

One of the most impressive aspects of Windows 10's new Story Remix feature — a tool to make it easy to create quick video clips — was its ability to blend 3D and 2D images in a believable fashion.

In a demo of Story Remix earlier this year, a video of a free kick on goal during a soccer game saw the ball transformed into a 3D fireball, with the flaming projectile accurately following the curved trajectory of the ball and leaving a trail of smoke in its wake.

To create believable-looking scenes, Microsoft says the feature relies on a variety of surface detection and tracking technology, which may explain its absence from the Story Remix feature that the FCU will add to the Photos app.

While it will not be included with the main Story Remix feature in the photos app, a Microsoft exec says the feature will be available before the next major feature update in Spring 2018.

Capture 3D app

Originally supposed to be added to Windows 10 by the Creators Update in April this year, Windows 10's impressive Capture 3D feature is once again nowhere to be seen.

In a demo in 2016, a Microsoft employee used a HP X3 handset to create a full-color, 3D scan of a real-world sandcastle, simply by pointing the camera at the castle and walking around it.

While the Capture 3D app looked easy-to-use and polished, there is no news on what has happened to the app and with Microsoft recently putting the nail in the coffin of Windows 10 Mobile, it may now never see the light of day.

Some features of Windows 10 Continuum — which allows a Windows 10 phone to be used as a full desktop PC — have also not materialized, possibly another casualty of Windows 10 Mobile's poor performance.

Progressive Web App support

Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are basically web apps — written using web languages such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript — that function almost identically to native apps, for instance, able to work offline and be installed on your PC.

Microsoft had previously indicated that Windows 10's Edge browser would match rivals Chrome and Firefox for PWA support with the release of the Fall Creators Update.

But while JavaScript Service Workers, a key building block for allowing PWAs to work offline, will be supported by the Edge browser following the FCU, the functionality will be unavailable by default, hidden behind a developer flag.

Microsoft is now talking about adding broader support for PWAs to Edge at a later date.

3-screenshot-from-2016-10-26-151949.png

A 3D scan of the sandcastle being captured using the camera on a HP Elite x3 phone, running the Windows Capture 3D app.

Image: Microsoft

More on the Fall Creators Update

About Nick Heath

Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic. He writes about the technology that IT decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

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