Category Archives: Mobile

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This Week on Windows: The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Surface Book 2 and more

We hope you enjoyed this week’s episode of This Week on Windows, where we’re talking about the new Surface Book 2 and everything in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update! Head over here to read more about this week’s news, check out the Surface Book 2, or, find out what’s new in the Fall Creators Update.
In case you missed it:

Here’s what’s new in the Windows Store:
 Happy Hallowdays
 
Spook up your Halloween with this Collection of terrifying games, chilling entertainment, and haunting apps – on sale now through Oct. 31, 2017.
The Dark Tower

The fate of worlds lies with the last Gunslinger (Idris Elba), the only one who can defend the Dark Tower – which holds the universe together – from the Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey). Watch good and evil collide in The Dark Tower ($14.99 HD/SD), based on the best-selling book series by Stephen King. Get it now in the Movies & TV section of the Windows Store, two full weeks before it comes to Blu-ray!
Thumper

For a shattering combo of racing and rhythm games, Thumper ($19.99) sets a new bar, with classic rhythm action, blistering speed and brutal physicality. You are a space beetle, screaming down an endless track and crashing through punishing obstacles with simple, airtight controls.
Have a great weekend!

Visual Studio 2017 Update 4 makes it easy to modernize your desktop application and make it store ready

Last year with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, we introduced the Desktop Bridge to provide desktop applications a path to modernize with the Universal Windows Platform, and to distribute via the Windows Store and the Microsoft Store for Business to all Windows 10 PCs, including devices that are running the Windows 10 S configuration.
The primary developer tool at the time was the Desktop App Converter, a tool that converts your current app installer into a Windows app package (.appx file), which can be submitted to the Windows Store or deployed via your distribution mechanism of choice. With Update 4 for Visual Studio 2017 we now have great support directly in Visual Studio for your Windows desktop application projects (WPF, Winforms, Win32, etc.). With the new tools you can now as you develop them in VS by simply hitting F5!
Let me walk you through an example, step-by-step. I am starting out with this Winforms app that showcases various chart controls. It’s been created several years ago in an older version of VS against .NET 4. Now my goal is to release it in the Windows Store and incrementally modernize it. Here is how easy it is now with Update 4 for Visual Studio 2017.

Step 1 – Add Windows App Packaging project to the solution
Before we start we need to make sure our desktop application project is loaded in Visual Studio 2017 and builds without error. Then in the next step we want to package our application as a Windows App Package (.appx file) so our Winforms app can take advantage of all the same Windows 10 app deployment features that are available to UWP apps: clean install & uninstall, seamless updates, Store distribution and many more. To do this, we will take advantage of the new tooling features introduced in Update 4 for Visual Studio 2017. We are adding a new project of type “Windows Application Packaging Project” to our solution:

Now we need to specify our min/target versions…

…and let the packaging  project know which project output to include in the package. To do so we right-click on the “Applications” node and set a reference to our Winforms project – done!

Important! Select the “DistributionPackage” project as your startup project. Now hit F5 and watch how your app gets packaged, deployed and launched as a Desktop Bridge app. You can start testing and debugging in this new execution context. If you set the Winforms project as startup project and hit F5, you can still test and debug the unpackaged version of your application
Step 2 – Configure app for Windows Store release
Our app is already running as a Desktop Bridge app now and we have successfully tested and debugged it in this configuration. Next we just need to put some finishing touches on the package so it integrates nicely with the Windows 10 Shell (tiles, badges, etc.) and to make sure it conforms to the Store submission requirements. First thing, we need to replace the default visual assets that come with the project template with our real, application-specific assets. This is very easy now in Visual Studio 2017 with the Visual Assets Manager in the package manifest editor:

To prepare for our Store submission we need to create the application in the Windows Dev Center and reserve our application name, provide screenshots for the store front, set the price, age ratings, etc. If you are not planning to distribute via the Windows Store, you can skip this step.

Last thing we need to do before we can release our app to the public is create a package bundle that is ready to deploy and Store-compliant. This bundle can contain binaries for different architectures, resources for different locales as well as the symbols for our binaries so we can later make sense of any crash reports in the Dev Center or Mobile Center. This can be done for Desktop Bridge apps directly from Visual Studio now, just like you would do for any UWP app:

As part of creating the packages we also run the certification tests and then submit the package to the Dev Center for certification and publishing. You can try the result of my submission out now and install the sample app on your machine from the Store by clicking on the badge below – source code for the app is available for your reference here.

What else does this enable for developers?
Aside from distributing and monetizing via Windows Store, your app now enjoys the modern deployment capabilities built into Windows 10. You don’t need to build an installer anymore, updates are automatic and differential. Uninstalls are guaranteed to be clean. Moreover, since your app is now in the Windows 10 App Model, you have access to UWP APIs and features, such as live tiles, Cortana integration, background tasks etc. Another important benefit specifically for Windows Forms apps is the new high DPI support in .NET 4.7, which is included in the Windows Creators Update (1703). Our sample app here is taking advantage of this new support, by following the steps outlined in this article.
And there is more
Talking about installers, did you know that your app package is also your installer on Windows 10? Users can just click to install it, as long as it’s signed with a certificate that is trusted on the target device. This enables you to distribute your modernized desktop application in the way that’s right for your scenario, without having to go through the Store – e.g. for LOB applications in an enterprise. Learn more about it here.

Conclusion
Getting your desktop application development project ready for Windows Store submission is easy now with Visual Studio 2017 Update 4. Once converted to a Windows App Package your app can take advantage of all the Windows 10 platform capabilities and start using new APIs and features on Windows 10. Here are some resources for more details:
Desktop Bridge docs
Desktop Bridge samples
App Modernization video on Channel 9
Are you ready to submit your desktop application to the Windows Store? Let us know about it here, and we will help you through the process!

Adobe XD CC: A New High-Performance UWP App for UI/UX Design

It’s a big day today – after a year of public preview, Adobe released Adobe XD 1.0 on Windows 10 and Mac: a new tool for user experience creators to design, prototype and share interactive designs for apps and websites.

When it comes to designing anything, it’s important to have design tools that support a fast and fluid process – one where you can iterate rapidly through a design, test, and build process: designing at the speed of thought. For interaction design, creative professionals have often used tools that excel at creating images of screens, but these tools that created static images have always missed something: transitions and interactions that demonstrate the experience. Putting an interactive prototype in front of stakeholders that they can try out is now a crucial part of the process, and being able to iterate on design rapidly based on the feedback from the prototype is essential. Being able to create a prototype without any coding is mandatory for this process. Almost a year ago, I wrote about a new app that fits these requirements, when Adobe released a public preview of Adobe Experience Design CC (XD) on Windows and Mac. Since then, Adobe was able to iterate quickly, releasing monthly updates of Adobe XD, responding to early customer feedback and an ambitious list of features that interaction designers wanted. We’re excited to share that today, Adobe XD as part of the Creative Cloud, is available today on Windows and Mac. Here are a few other reasons that that this is such an important release.
XD is a Universal Windows Platform App
Available through Adobe’s Creative Cloud subscription, XD takes advantage of the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) to deliver a modern, high performance, professional design tool. Whether you’re working with one artboard or a hundred, XD gives you the same fast performance. The rendering surface is accelerated by DirectX and the UI is implemented in XAML, C++ and JavaScript.  Using this architecture, Adobe was able to have maximum code reuse between their Mac and Windows versions yet take advantage of the most advanced, platform specific UI layout technology. During XD’s preview period, Adobe was able to iterate quickly, leveraging a proprietary automated testing framework for much of their code built on the Windows Application Driver. The end result is a high-performance, stable, professional tool.
Design, Prototype and Share in One Tool
In creating Adobe XD, the team thought of the whole Design/Test/Build workflow that interactive designers go through, and made an easy-to-use tool for designing experiences, creating rapid prototypes and sharing them with others to get their feedback. With Adobe XD, you can rapidly create screens with standard tools as well as utilizing tools that have been specially designed for UX designers. Repeat Grid, for instance, allows users to quickly create content grids based on a single element – helping designers to simulate the type of content they often have to create. The Assets Panel helps users reuse important design elements such as colors, character styles and symbols – so that making changes across an entire document is fast and easy. At 1.0 XD is also connected to Creative Cloud Libraries, allowing users to leverage content across documents and teams. You can also add artboards for common screen sizes ranging from Android Wear to Surface Pro.

Switching from design to prototype mode is a single click, and you can quickly connect artboards to communicate the flow and paths of multiscreen apps.

Once your prototype is ready for feedback, you can generate shareable web link of the prototype or embed it onto webpage or supported application. Since my team uses Microsoft Teams to collaborate, I can create a tab page in Teams using that link to share the design with my colleagues – they can interact with the prototype in Teams and we can chat about it there.

Designer and Developer Resources
In addition to the tools available, Adobe XD has a number of UI resources available for designers to use while creating, including Apple iOS, Google Material Design, Microsoft Windows, and Microsoft Office UI Fabric. Our Office and Windows teams worked closely with the Adobe XD team to deliver a great set of UI components that designers and developers can use to craft their user experiences. We will continue to work closely in the future as we help developers and designers take advantage of the Fluent Design System.

This Is Just the Beginning
Having worked closely with the Adobe XD team for the past two years, this is a very exciting day. The designers, engineers, testers and product managers that I have met on the Adobe XD team are passionate about their product and are eager to hear your feedback as you try it out, use it and craft the next generation of user experiences. While today marks the 1.0 release of Adobe XD, the team has big plans ahead, including improvements for the way designers and developers work together. Read more about where they’re headed here.
You can download XD as a free trial or as part of Creative Cloud today. Adobe will also be hosting a live stream on UX design from Oct. 24-26. Watch and interact with Daniel Alegria, a Microsoft UX designer in action using XD on Windows. See the schedule and more content here.
Adobe has delivered a new, high-performance, UWP app that is useful to designers, and you should try it out today.

News from Adobe MAX 2017: Photoshop, Surface, and the future of creativity

We build Surface for people whose ideas are their currency. We want to empower people to create without limits by designing Surface to disappear into the background so that creators can immerse in their creative process. Whether it’s the high-resolution PixelSense displays that serve as a beautiful canvas, or tools like touch, Surface Pen and Surface Dial that keep you in your creative workflow and allow you to work more intuitively, Surface is meant to be a stage for your ideas.
When artists begin the process of creation, it’s likely they turn to Adobe Creative Cloud to serve as their toolbox, which is one reason why the latest wave of innovation from Adobe is exciting. Another reason is that some of the latest features align with what we believe is core to the Surface DNA.
Today, at Adobe MAX in Las Vegas, Adobe announced that it’s added custom integration with Surface Dial within Adobe Photoshop. This builds on recent integrations within Premiere Pro, to offer more Adobe customers the ability to dive into their creative workflow.
In the newest release of Photoshop CC, Surface Dial will enable you to easily manipulate some of the most commonly used Photoshop tasks such as brush manipulation, so that artists can remain focused on the canvas and their creations.

There is something magical about the combination of Surface Dial and Surface Pen. When you fold these capabilities in with the Adobe Creative Cloud and the collective power of Surface hardware, artists can create in more intuitive AND versatile ways to bring their ideas to life.
Inspiration can strike at any time, whether you’re in the office or not. Surface has been at the forefront of this growing trend and enabled people to work from almost anywhere. The coffee shop can be your office, as can your home. You don’t have to choose between power and portability. Create whenever or wherever inspirations strikes.
Take it from Marc Eaman, Director for Adobe Experience Cloud evangelism. From the boardroom to the plane, to the stage, Marc uses Surface Book traveling around the world. Having his Surface Book with him gives him all the capabilities he’d expect at his office, in a beautiful, light device. The performance, battery life, touch, and inking enables Marc to be creative and productive from anywhere.

There’s a bright spot at the intersection of technology and creativity. It’s born out of alignment between powerful hardware like the brand new Surface Book 2 and robust software like Adobe CC, and it’s brought to life through the magical creations you bring to life. This is why we’re also pleased to share that, beginning today, you can experience a free three-month trial of the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan with 1TB of cloud storage with your purchase of a Surface.* You’ll be able to take full advantage of these new tools and immerse yourself in Creative Cloud.
We’re excited to see what you’ll create.
*This consumer offer available October 18 – January 18, 2018 everywhere Surface is sold at retail (excluding China, India)

Documenting the Web together

Today, we’re excited to share some big news for developers around the world wide web: We’re committing our resources towards making MDN Web Docs the best place to go for web API reference. To kick things off, today we started redirecting over 7,700 MSDN pages to corresponding topics in the MDN web docs library powered by Mozilla.
In conjunction with similar commitments from Mozilla, Google, the W3C, and Samsung, we’re teaming up to make MDN Web Docs the best place for web developers to learn and share information about building for the open web.

MDN is a core part of Mozilla’s overarching mission: to ensure the Internet is a global public resource, open and accessible to all. We believe providing web developers the best possible information will enable them to deliver great web experiences that adhere to established standards and work across platforms and devices. We are excited to have Microsoft, Google, The W3C, and Samsung on board as we continue on our journey to make MDN the premiere resource for developers.
— Ali Spivak, Head of Developer Ecosystem at Mozilla
Representatives from each of these organizations will also be serving on the MDN Product Advisory Board, a committee dedicated to making MDN your definitive place for useful, unbiased, browser-agnostic documentation for current and emerging standards-based web technologies. The MDN Product Advisory Board is also looking for active individuals from the web community to serve on the board. If you’re interested, find more details on MDN web docs.
Web docs should just work for everyone
Redirecting our API reference library to MDN is the next step towards consolidating our compatibility info in the same place you probably already frequent for general web documentation. Earlier this year, we began the effort to backfill the MDN browser Compatibility tables with a column representing the Microsoft Edge browser.
Over 5000 MDN edits later, the entire web API surface of Microsoft Edge (as of the 10/2017 Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Build 16299) is now documented on MDN, and will continue to be kept up-to-date with each new release of Windows and our EdgeHTML browser engine.
Example of a Browser compatibility table on MDN Web Docs
One of our guiding principles in developing Microsoft Edge is that end users should never have to worry about which sites work in which browsers. This philosophy—”the Web should just work for everyone“—led to our choice to target the “interoperable intersection” of web APIs in our browser engineering.
Just like with end users, we think it’s well overdue for developers to have a simpler view of web standards documentation. Developers shouldn’t have to chase down API documentation across standards bodies, browser vendors, and third parties—there should be a single, canonical source which is community-maintained and supported by all major vendors.
For these reasons we’re all-in on making MDN the home of web standards documentation. Not only is MDN a veritable encyclopedia and thriving community of all things web development, it’s also an institution in itself–a living monument to our collective history—as web developers and enthusiasts, web standards advocates, and browser engineers–of developing the web forward.
Documenting the web forward
MDN was founded over 10 years ago in 2005 as the Mozilla Developer Center and later become known as the Mozilla Developer Network. Just as the Mozilla Organization was founded out of Netscape, the Mozilla Developer Center grew from the original Netscape Navigator browser docs.
Similarly, the Internet Explorer Developer Center was first published online from the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) several years before that in the late 90s to help introduce and showcase Dynamic HTML (“DHTML”), Microsoft’s precursor to the modern DOM and CSS object model.
Microsoft Internet Explorer Developer Center on MSDN Online, circa 2000. Courtesy of the Internet Archive Wayback Machine
Fast forward to the modern web platform of today. The competing Netscape and Internet Explorer browsers from the bygone era of the early web are now subjects of tech archaeology, not site compatibility testing. From the final releases of IE culminating with the birth of Microsoft Edge, we replaced earlier Microsoft technologies with emerging industry standards–the modern DOM and ECMAScript standards for DHTML and VBScript, HTML5 for ActiveX, a common browser extension model for Browser Helper Objects (“BHOs”).
Through all this change, MDN has grown up alongside the web, and today has over 34,500 documents, 6 million monthly users and 20,500 contributors. From its initial Netscape product docs, the breadth and depth of MDN’s content has radically expanded to encompass the state of the art of modern web development—so much so that recently the site was restructured and rebranded to reflect MDN’s commitment to being a browser-neutral community resource. We are excited to join Mozilla, Google, The W3C, and Samsung in making MDN our home for web standards documentation and dedicated to helping it grow even further to meet your needs.
We will continue to maintain Microsoft- and Windows-focused documentation on Microsoft Docs (docs.microsoft.com/microsoft-edge), including Windows-specific test guidance, information on the Edge DevTools, and upcoming details about Progressive Web Apps in the Windows Store. And you’ll still find the latest Microsoft Edge status, changelogs, and news at our Microsoft Edge Developer site (dev.microsoftedge.com).
Please join us in supporting and contributing to MDN web docs! We’re all building this Web together; let’s document our hard work!
— Erika Doyle Navara, Senior Dev Writer

What’s new in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update


 With the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, we are introducing some fun, new ways to get creative – from bringing mixed reality and 3D to the masses, to faster broadcasting for gaming, to turning photos and videos into real memories, and so much more. The Fall Creators Update can be experienced on a wide variety of Windows 10 PCs and on a range of Windows Mixed Reality headsets.
You can get the Fall Creators Update in a few different ways. If you already have a Windows 10 PC and have automatic updates enabled, the update will be delivered to you when it’s ready. If you are an advanced user and would like to get the update manually, visit this blog post to learn how to get the Fall Creators Update.
Here’s what’s new in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update:
Windows Mixed Reality

With Windows Mixed Reality, you can escape to the most immersive experiences – touring top travel destinations, getting inside the most exciting games, attending the most popular events, even travelling across time and space – right in your own home, with you at the center of everything.
Amazing experiences don’t need to be expensive or complicated. All you need is a headset and a compatible Windows PC. And, to enhance your experience, try out the extras like headphones and advanced motion controllers. A variety of headsets and motion controllers are available from leading makers like Acer, Dell, HP, and Lenovo. Headset-motion controller bundles start as low as $399[i]. Check here to see if your existing PC is compatible, or shop the exciting new models available this holiday season.
Photos

The reimagined Photos app now gives you the ability to add filters, text, 3D effects – and soon full 3D objects – and even digital ink to your photos and video clips for great storytelling complete with soundtracks, themes, and transitions. To help you get started, select the create button and two or more photos or videos and the Photos app will automatically bring together your memories into a video. Keep this cut to enjoy and share, remix it with just the click of a button, or edit it yourself to get it just right. To start creating your own personal story, go to the Photos app – free with Windows 10.
Mixed Reality Viewer

With Mixed Reality Viewer, you can see 3D objects – either from the Remix3D.com community or your own creation from Paint 3D – mixed into your actual surroundings through your PC’s camera for powerful ways to bring your story to life. Start creating in Paint 3D and select Mixed Reality to view your creation in your real world or go straight to the Mixed Reality Viewer app, free with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, to get started.[ii]
My People

Quick access to your top people. Now you can pin your top people to the taskbar for one-click access to those who matter most. Communication apps, starting with Mail and Skype, come up together custom-filtered by individual. Tap on your pinned contact to send an email or chat using Skype without having to open the apps.

People-first Sharing. Sharing is as easy as dragging a file directly onto the pinned contacts in your taskbar. Or share directly via the ‘Share’ picker by choosing from the recommended list of your top people.

See emoji from pinned contacts. Emoji from your pinned contacts are able to appear and animate right from the taskbar – an extra level of emotional connection and expression between you and the key people in your life.
Cortana

Voice-activated Power Commands. In addition to exciting voice-activated features like reaching Cortana above the lock screen, you can now ask Cortana to shut down, restart, or sleep your PC.[iii]
Microsoft Edge

Annotate your books. When you select text, you have a whole lot of new options to personalize your books. You can add highlights in four colors, underline, add comments or copy text. You also have the ability Ask Cortana to find more information about the content you are reading without leaving the reading experience. Visit the Windows Store to get a book to personalize.

Pin your favorite websites to taskbar. Pinned sites are back! Pin a website to the taskbar from Microsoft Edge to have the icon show up in the taskbar for instant access. To get started, go to menu, select “Pin this page to the taskbar,” and the site icon appears on your Windows taskbar!
Edit URL for Favorites. You can now edit the URL of any favorite in the Favorites menu or the Favorites Bar. Simply go to Hub, then Favorites; right-click on a favorite and select “Edit a URL.”
Full screen mode (F11) in Microsoft Edge. Simply press F11 or choose the new Full Screen icon within the Settings menu (three dots) to take your websites full-screen. You can exit Full Screen view by pressing F11 again, or by clicking the Restore icon in the top-right corner.
Microsoft Store
You may have also noticed a new Microsoft Store logo on your Windows 10 device. We’ve unified the Microsoft Store on both Windows 10 and Xbox for a simpler shopping experience. Microsoft Store – whether shopping in a physical store, online, or through your Xbox or Windows 10 device – is the best destination to seamlessly discover, experience, download and buy the latest products and content from Microsoft and its partners, including hardware, games, entertainment, apps, and more.
Security

Ransomware protections. To better protect against ransomware attacks, we’re introducing Windows Defender Exploit Guard that helps protect files from unauthorized changes by nefarious applications and your applications from unknown exploits. Additionally, Windows Defender Antivirus now has specific safeguards in place, along with default enhanced coverage that is delivered instantly via the cloud protection service. These and other security technologies protect against persistent ransomware campaigns like Cerber, Locky, and Spora, as well as global outbreaks like WannaCry, and Petya.
Stay productive
Continue on PC. You know those websites, searches and articles that you pull up on your iPhone or Android phone?  Now you can forward them to instantly open on your PC, so you can continue what you’re doing – researching that project, shopping for those shoes, finishing that article – with all the benefits of the bigger screen.

Microsoft Launcher. With just a quick swipe-to-the-right, Microsoft Launcher for Android offers a tailored feed of your important events, top news, recent activities, favorite people and most frequently used apps. And, Microsoft Launcher has been designed to make it easy for you to seamlessly continue what you’re working on – whether it’s photos, documents and more—on your PC.

OneDrive Files On-Demand. When you save your files in OneDrive, now you can access them just like any other file on your PC without filling up your disk space. Easily tell which files are available online only or offline. Online-only files download on demand with a double-click, and you can make them online only again to free up space. Or you can select files to always be available offline. Click here to learn more about OneDrive Files On-Demand and how to enable it.

Find My Pen. Windows can now tell you where you were when you last inked on your computer, which makes finding a lost digital pen a lot easier.
Pen as PowerPoint clicker. Through the Bluetooth connection to your PC, your pen becomes a PowerPoint clicker. Present like a pro –advance your slides just by clicking the button on the back of the pen. 
PDF annotations and form filling. Now you can fill in PDF-based forms within Microsoft Edge, save them and print them. And with the annotations capability extended to PDFs, you can ink on PDFs, highlight text and erase your annotations.
Better PDF viewing. When PDF docs show up sideways, you can now rotate them and even adjust file layout for easier reading.

Currency Converter. In response to one of our top customer requests, there’s now a Currency Converter included in the native Calculator; even works offline for when you’re traveling internationally and want to avoid connection charges.
Recover PIN and password from lock screen. No more getting locked out of your device. If you’re using an AADP or MSA account and you get stuck at login, you can now reset your password and PIN straight from the lock screen after verifying your account identity.

Eye Control. Making Windows more accessible particularly to people with disabilities, Eye Control beta lets you operate an on-screen mouse, keyboard, and text-to-speech experience using just your eyes; requires compatible eye tracker, like the Tobii Eye Tracker 4C.
Narrator (screen reader) intelligence. We added a feature to our screen reader to generate image descriptions using Microsoft Cognitive Services for images that lack alternative text.
Dictation: We added support to Dictate text in Windows using modern speech recognition services, which uses cloud-based intelligence.
Choose your performance/battery balance. New Performance/Power slider* lets you set the right balance between battery-life longevity and system performance and responsiveness.  Optimize for battery life on a long flight; go with performance when you’re gaming or photo editing at home.[iv]

Here’s a tip! With the all-new Microsoft Tips app, you can master the basics of Windows 10, see what’s new in the Fall Creators Update, learn surprising and little-known tricks, and try things out with a press of a button. Type “Tips” in the search box on the taskbar to find the app, or look for it in the Start menu.
PC Gaming

Game Mode. You can now easily toggle Game Mode for the game you’re in, directly from the Game bar.
Mixer: Mixer broadcasting will load and start faster than before. Also, when broadcasting to Mixer, you can now determine audio stream sources.
New help options: We’ve added a new “Xbox Networking” section in Settings under Gaming, to help PC gamers identify and ensure network connection quality while using voice chat and playing multiplayer games.
GPU in Task manager. Windows Task Manager now displays information about the graphics hardware and performance of your system.
3D in Office[v]

Windows and Office together are the best duo for doing. 3D, now in Office, helps you increase visual and creative impact with 3D objects in your PowerPoint presentations, Word, and Excel documents. View, resize, and rotate a 3D object with the 360-rotation handle, pull content from the Remix 3D community or locally from your PC, plus even use a brand-new transition type, Morph, with 3D models in PowerPoint to create cinematic transitions between slides. This 3D technology builds upon the already-robust productivity experiences in Office, including inking with a digital pen.
The Fall Creators Update begins rolling out worldwide today. Visit your local Microsoft Store and Microsoft.com to experience the Fall Creators Update with free demos and workshops, or get assistance from our expert Answer Desk technicians, including a free consultation to determine if your device is eligible for the update.
Discover and learn more about Fall Creators Update with free digital skills workshops and Create and Play events, through direct access to Microsoft technology. For more information about workshops taking place in your area this fall, check your nearest Microsoft Store.
[i] Estimated retail price; actual prices may vary. Selected models only; dependent on retailer availability.[ii] Remix 3D catalog available in select markets; experience may vary by region and device. Online access required to use Remix 3D from within the application[iii] Cortana available in select markets; experience may vary by region and device. Cortana above the lock screen is hardware dependent. User must enable within Settings. Learn more at microsoft.com/en-us/cortana/get-started/pc.[iv] Available on most Intel and AMD devices with battery.[v] Office 365 subscription required; sold separately

Windows 10 Tip: Get started with the Windows 10 Maps app

To get started, select the Start button, then select Maps. If you’re on a Windows 10 PC, you can click here to open the app.
Drop a pin

If you see a location that you want to save on the map, just press and hold (or right-click) the location, then select Drop a pin. Once your pin is dropped, select Save in the details pane, and then choose Favorites or a collection where you want to save it.
Add any search result to your favorites or a collection

Select Search and type a name or address. Select the location you want in the search results, and, in the details pane, select Save, and choose where you want to save it: Favorites, a collection you created earlier, or a new collection.
View favorites and collections

Select Saved places to see all your favorites and collections. Your home, work, and car are always at the top of favorites, so you can quickly get directions to them from anywhere. If you sign in at Account on the upper-right before you save places, so you can see them in Maps on all your Windows 10 devices.
Head over here for four ways you can use ink in Maps, and have a great week!

New Map Control features in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

The Maps team has been busy making improvements and adding new features to the Maps platform for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. In addition to performance and visual improvements to the 3D engine, we are introducing features requested by users, like the ability to import 3D models into the map and support for layering and binding for map elements. We also are making enhancements to the styling API to allow clients to specify base map styles and visual states for their own map elements. Finally, we are announcing a places API to see relevant information of a place right within the current context of the calling app.
Without further ado, please see the highlights below and keep your feedback coming!
3D Buildings
You might recall that some 3D buildings were missing in the previous release. We have been working hard since then to bring them back (and improve the ones that didn’t look correct) with this update.  Keep an eye out for more 3D buildings in the next few months!

3D Objects
We are adding a new MapElement called MapElement3D. Along with MapModel3D, this new API can be used to import and display 3D objects with ease. Think about fancy 3D push pins, cars, planes, etc.  The possibilities are endless!
Here are some great examples of MapElement3D displaying 3D models at a specific location, orientation and scale on the Windows 10 Map Control:
Avatars

Cars
Clouds
Map Layering APIs
We also are adding a new MapLayer class, the first derivation of which is MapElementsLayer. Unlike the existing MapControl.MapElements API, this can be used to manipulate groups of elements independently as a unit or to designate a joint purpose.
Bind your data to the map using MapControl.Layers
You can bind elements on the map to your own custom collections of business objects with the Map Control.Layers API.
See How To: Display points of interest (POI) on a map.
Map Styling APIs extensions
We are extending the current set of Map Styling APIs for Windows 10 Map Control. In the previous release, we added the MapStylesheet API to allow you to dynamically change the look and feel of the map in real-time. In this release, we are adding support for two new properties on MapElement: MapStyleSheetEntry and MapStyleSheetEntryState, which can be used to more deeply customize the appearance of your map elements using one of the default style entries and states or custom ones.
See How To: Customize Your Map Elements
Here are some examples of the customization that can be done of map elements using the new styling extensions on the Windows 10 Map Control:
Integrate your elements better with the base map using MapStyleSheetEntry
You can make your map elements look like they are part of the base map by setting their style to an existing entry in the map style sheet such as Water. See MapStyleSheetEntry for the full list of entries you can chose from.

Bing logo is rendered by the Windows 10 Map Control through changing the map polygon’s MapStyleSheetEntry property to Water.
Implement states on your map elements using MapStyleSheetEntryState
You can further modify the appearance of your map elements by leveraging default states like Hover and Selected in the map style sheet, or override them to create your own. See MapStyleSheetEntriesStates for the full list of states you can chose from.

Bellevue Square, City Center and Meydenbauer POIs are rendered by the Windows 10 Map Control through overriding the scale of the existing UserPoint entry and changing the map icon’s MapStyleSheetEntryState property to a custom state that extends the existing Hover and Selected entry states.
Place Info
Finally, we are happy to announce the new PlaceInfo API that allows you to see rich relevant information of a place without the need of switching context, in a pop-up UI, right within your own app.

https://github.com/Microsoft/Windows-universal-samples/tree/dev/Samples/MapControl
API Updates and Additions
For a list of the APIs added since Windows 10 Creators Update, please see here the following resources:
MapElement: MapStyleSheetEntry, MapStyleSheetEntryState and Tag properties
MapElement3D
MapElementsLayer
MapStyleSheetEntries
MapStyleSheetEntryStates
PlaceInfo
For more details on all new APIs go to MSDN.

Check out the new In-app ads dashboard in Windows Dev Center

We are happy to announce the new Monetize -> In-app ads section in Windows Dev Center. This is your one stop shop to create and manage the ad mediation settings of your UWP and Windows 8.x ad units.
You can find the In-app ads section under the Monetize section in the left navigation. On choosing this option, you can view your in-app ads dashboard that lists all your ad units, along with additional details such as application name, ad unit type, mediation settings, etc.

On clicking the ‘Create ad unit’ button, you will be taken to a new page where you can specify the ad unit details, configure the ad mediation settings for the ad unit and submit. The ad unit will then appear on your in-app ads dashboard.
Do note that you no longer need to start a submission to be able to create an ad unit – simply reserve your app name and you will be able to create an ad unit for it.

If you wish to change the mediation settings of an existing ad unit, simply click on the ad unit, change the settings and save.
For more information on these new experiences, please refer to this article.
We hope you enjoy the new experience! Please send your feedback to aiacare@microsoft.com.

A conversation with Surface and Marimekko designers on the intersection of customization, design, and tech

Since our very beginning, Surface has set out to inspire a generation of creators to do more, create more, be more productive, and have more fun. This is the heart of our mission in Surface; it started five years ago to create the most productive devices on the planet, to empower people to create. And now we believe nothing should stand in the way of bringing your ideas to life.
Surface has continued to evolve to bring customers even more of what they love in their next laptop. Beyond new magical experiences from Windows, Office, and other app partners that help people create in new ways with our innovative hardware, we want to celebrate the intersection of technology and design. You should feel proud to pull a Surface—the ultimate laptop—from your bag, wherever you are. And the influence of fashion, aesthetics, texture, and color make the technology more personal, an extension of your style and personality, like your favorite sweater, handbag, fragrance, and home accessory.
How did our design team set the strategy for the new intersection of technology and style? And how do global design companies think about the aesthetics and color in ways that can influence Surface? We’ll explore that today with one of our lead Surface designers, Quan Jasinski, and Sami Ruotsalainen, Senior Designer from our newest Surface accessory partner, Marimekko.
I first sat down with Quan who works nearby in our Surface design lab.
Eric: Hello, Quan and thanks for taking the time to speak with us. We all want to know how you decide on the next color or design for an accessory or device?
Quan: Color has many filters and it allows us the opportunity to share the emotional connection and offers a personal experience. Colors and materials are critical to craft this moment.
As designers at Microsoft, we love to use our hands and hearts when creating new products and experiences. We are consistently inspired by everything around us varying from consumer behavior, cultures merging, nature, architecture, art, science, fashion, sports, and the list goes on. Absorbing these experiences, we begin to understand how to create a holistic experience that merges technology into lifestyle.
Aqua is a soft and approachable color. When creating Aqua we drew inspiration from our natural surroundings which helped develop its friendly attributes. This color works beautifully with our materials, from the richness of Alcantara through to the depth and sheen of anodization on our pen. It complements the rest of the existing palette while adding a hint of lightness.

Eric: It really is a stunning tone. How do you come of this this? Where do you seek inspiration?
Quan: Typically, I check my list of various websites, blogs, and feeds to get my “inspirational breakfast”; I need to constantly keep my eye on what’s happening and what’s developing. Travel and new experiences are always inspirational, even something as minor as taking a different road to work can change the way you view the world. And in general, the creative environment at Microsoft allows the designers to share and inspire each other through conversation.
Eric: Can you describe your process from ideation to creation?
Quan: Being inspired by our surroundings is what generates creative thinking. I start with a good understanding of what the essence of the product experience is through research and a collection of inspiring products, images, and materials. From there I translate these collages into a defined color story that envelopes all parts and accessories of a specific product.
I then use the established story and color direction to begin developing the color in physicality, mostly through iterative sampling and prototyping with materials in our model shop. There is a lot of fine-tuning in this process to create the perfect color and finish. Often the biggest challenge is making sure the color is cohesive and crafted to compliment material palette. We work relentlessly with our partners from engineering to manufacturing to master our intent into the materials with a high level of quality and refinement
Eric: Sounds very intensive. Why does hardware aesthetic matter in technology, and how has it evolved?
Quan: Technology is no longer seen as a tool just for data, function, and business use. It has evolved into a much more personal and intimate experience that we integrate into several elements of our lifestyle. We live with our technology, it’s often the first thing you see in the morning and the last thing you see before going to sleep. If we are living with something this much, then we want it to look beautiful, feel inviting, and evoke confidence. Consumers understand that design is now a choice when purchasing products, and they have become savvy to what is considered good design.

Eric: It does seem like customization is so important to people. I’ve personally experienced the desire to make tech personal and unique, which is one of the reasons I love what I do. What excites you most about designing for Surface?
Quan: Surface offers meaningful and powerful devices across their portfolio. It is exciting for me to work through a lens of materials and colors as we build our new products and experiences
I learn so much each day by being part of a team that creates a hybrid of technology, design, materials, art, science, engineering, and information.
Making a fashion statement with tech accessories:

Finnish design house, Marimekko is renowned for its original prints and colors. You’ve probably seen their high-quality clothing, bags, and accessories on fashion runways and in stores. The company has been doing this since 1951, so we were thrilled to partner with their experts on a collection of accessories for Surface. I had a chance to speak with Senior Designer Sami Ruotsalainen to understand how they approached applying their legacy and style to Surface.
Eric: Hello, Sami and thanks for taking the time to speak with us. We’re so excited about this collaboration. Can you tell us a bit about the design process at Marimekko?

Sami: We always start the process with a creative brief that sets the tone for each collection. We have an archive of over 3,500 patterns, sometimes we select a pattern from there and often we also create new ones. Marimekko is a lifestyle brand, and our product portfolio includes home décor items, ready-to-wear, and bags and accessories.

The heart of Marimekko is our in-house printing factory in Helsinki, Finland, where we cherish our art of print making and craftsmanship in design. In fact, the printing mill where over a million meters of fabric is printed annually is located right next to our offices and design studio. We partner very closely with the craftsmen of the printing factory to develop new prints and colorways for our collections. As you can imagine, color is incredibly important to us and we are able to mix new colors together in our color kitchen also located in our printing mill.

Eric: Tell us a bit about the Marimekko for Microsoft Surface collaboration
Sami: Microsoft Surface and Marimekko both present a bold, positive and inclusive approach to design. This collaboration felt like a natural fit and we are so excited about the entire line of accessories.

For the Marimekko for Microsoft Surface products, we chose some of Marimekko’s most iconic prints to bring personality and customization to the Surface family. Some, like Unikko (poppy) and Kaivo (well) were created in the 1960’s and have been an important part of Marimekko’s collections ever since.. Siirtolapuutarha (city garden) and Räsymatto (rag rug) were both created in the last ten years and have become contemporary Marimekko classics.
All four patterns represent the creativity and spirit of Marimekko and give Surface users an opportunity to customize their devices – and since these devices are used on a daily basis, what better way to bring joy and happiness into people’s everyday lives than with an accessories line that brings a pop of colour to your life!
The new aqua Type Cover, Surface Arc Mouse, and Surface Pen will be available at Microsoft Store and Microsoft.com.
The Marimekko for Microsoft Surface collection is available right now. Visit your local Microsoft Store or Microsoft.com to dress up your Surface.