Microsoft Windows 10 Timeline feature may not be entirely new! Here’s what Apple, Google already offer

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New Delhi | Published: May 1, 2018 6:07:15 PM

Windows 10 April 2018 Update comes close on the heels of the regular updates that Microsoft keeps rolling out periodically for all the users.

windows 10, windows 10 april 2018 updateThe biggest improvement that Microsoft is touting with this update is the Timeline feature

If you are a Windows 10 user, your machine must already have received or may receive a notification for the Windows 10 April 2018 Update. The Windows 10 April 2018 Update has already started rolling out to all the Windows 10 devices, whereby the complete rollout is likely to be done by a few days later. The biggest improvement that Microsoft is touting with this update is the Timeline feature, which is essentially a rundown screen for all the apps, files, and pending work from earlier. Besides this major feature, the Windows 10 April 2018 Update brings a host of other things, including Dictation, new Edge browser enhancements, and Focus Assist.

The Windows 10 April 2018 Update comes close on the heels of the regular updates that Microsoft keeps rolling out periodically for all the users. While the Timeline feature is likely to give users a lot of convenience by saving time to open a website or an app all over again, it is not something that has not been done before. The rivals such as Apple and Google already offer similar features to the users – some even with additional improvements and functionalities. The feature being talked about here are the Continuity feature on macOS and Google’s cross-device synchronisation.

The Continuity feature on macOS is an improved and matured version of Timeline that Microsoft is now releasing as a part of the Windows 10 April 2018 Update. It lets the iPhone, iPod touch to be paired with the Mac so that all the apps, calls, SMS, and files stay in sync across the devices. This means that you can pick up the apps and files where you left, regardless of the device you are on. However, this is not everything when it is pitted against Windows 10’s Timeline. Continuity allows making and receiving calls to mobile and landlines via the Mac, in addition to sending SMS, MMS, and turning the Wi-Fi hotspot instantly via the connected iPhone or iPod Touch device.

Apple rolled the Continuity feature in 2015 with the OS X Yosemite and iOS 8.1, which serves as an umbrella name for four main functions – Handoff, Phone Calls, SMS Text Messaging, and Wi-Fi Sharing. All the iPhones running on iOS 8.1 or later, as well as the Mac devices running OS X Yosemite or higher are compatible for the Continuity feature, provided that the latter has at least Bluetooth v4.0 for low-power connection across the devices. This can be checked by visiting the System Information on Mac devices. Alternatively, the compatible machines can also be quickly checked via iPhone by going to the Settings -> General -> Handoff & Suggested Apps. If there is a compatible machine available nearby, it will appear on the following screen.

Coming to Google’s clutter of operating systems that will hopefully one day find the desired synergy among them, the Chrome OS was recently refreshed to introduce Google Play store and support for major Android apps. Google’s standalone platform for the low-cost laptops and PCs is entirely independent of Android platform, however, the company has worked around to minimise the hassles of sketchy support for apps, as well as the sync across devices. Google uses the standard account service to sync all the data across all the devices signed into. With the help of the cloud data management, the user does not have to bother about the data he left unfinished on his Android device to be completed on his Chromebook later.

As the sync feature across Google devices is reliant on the Internet, there are no hardware restrictions, if any, to possibly prevent the sync process. Not only are the apps and files are synced, the bookmarks and web pages are also available on all the devices. However, unlike the Continuity feature, Google does not allow making calls and sending SMS using the Chromebook due to teething problems that Chrome OS is experiencing until it gains a reasonable foothold.

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