Windows 10 was highly anticipated for a long time, and with good reason; it’s a great operating system that’s incredibly intuitive for basic functions, and some great updates on older Windows systems. It’s a system that’s translated well to tablets, and there are many features you can enjoy exploring when you own one.
In fact, there are so many great features, it can be hard to know about all of them without a little bit of guidance. Lucky for you, we’ve done research, and found a few features for you to test out on your Windows tablet. Check out 10 of these tips and tricks below!
1. Voice-activated searches
For those times when you need to quickly check a recipe, but your hands are messy, or when you’re putting away groceries, but need to settle a song lyric debate, Windows 10 can conduct voice-activated web searches, and even check the weather for you, or show you the news. Just activate Cortana, Microsoft’s computer assistant, in the Settings screen, and say “Hey, Cortana,” to activate her.
In addition to searches, Cortana can set up reminders, and tell you when they come up, so enjoy your computerized secretary completely hands free!
2. Side-by-side app viewing and use
Ever want to consult your calendar on your tablet while you also browse the web? That might be fine on a desktop, where you can control window size, or even have multiple monitors. But on a tablet, you’re generally stuck only having one app open that fits the whole window. Not so with tablets with Windows 10.
Tap and hold the top of the first app, and drag it to the right or left of the screen. Then, open or switch to the other app you want to see, and tap and hold that one, putting it on the other side of the screen. Tap the divider between the apps to change how big they are, and otherwise, enjoy having Netflix and Microsoft Word open at the same time on one device.
3. Write, instead of typing
Many tablets don’t come with external keyboards, including Windows 10 tablets, and they instead make do with a Touch Keyboard that takes up part of the tablet screen. For these tablets that come with styluses, there are more options for writing than just the internal keyboard that also lets the stylus be more than a throwback to the days of Palm Pilots.
In Windows 10, if you bring up your Touch Keyboard and tap the keyboard icon in the bottom left-hand corner, you can actually write on your screen, and predictive text will type out what you’re scribbling. Just tap the blank keyboard option with the pen picture to activate this function. Then, with your stylus, or even your finger, you can hand write notes in case you can’t access another keyboard, or if you just prefer handwritten notes that are easily shared.
4. Share files easily
Speaking of sharing files easily, Windows 10 tablets have increased ability to share files and URLs quickly and easily with other, nearby devices. Open the Share interface in your file or webpage with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi activated, and you’ll find PCs and other tablets with Nearby Sharing enabled. Just tap the one you want, and that device will get a notification that they’ve received something from you, which will download quickly.
This Share functionality also works for phones, and can be the best option to get photos to your tablet, as tablets and phones can’t use flashdrives. Generally this sharing takes place fastest on Wi-Fi, but Bluetooth works, and don’t worry; most of the time, your device knows which one is fastest at the moment, and will use this one, so you can easily pass things along between devices.
5. Tame your notifications
If you need a period to get some work done, a Windows 10 tablet is already your friend. The built-in Tablet Mode lets you ignore other apps (unless you split the screen, as in the first tip), and on top of that, it has an easy way to disable app notifications.
Hold the Action Center icon (or right click it), tap on “Hide Notifications For,” and select a time of 1, 3, or 8 hours. With your timer set, enjoy the temporary reprieve from notifications, and seriously get some work done. Also, all of your notification settings are in one convenient place. Head under Settings >> System to disable certain notifications, or all of them, depending on your preferences. Again, think about how you want to use your device, and make it work for you!
6. Stream to other compatible devices
Your Windows 10 tablet can stream video on its own, but if you want to use a bigger screen, you just need a compatible device, like a Roku, or an Xbox One S. Type “media streaming” into the Windows 10 taskbar, then select Media Streaming Options and follow the instructions. This can help you stream videos that you keep on your tablet, like self-made ones, or stream games or other apps that aren’t so readily available on compatible devices. Since you can also watch Netflix offline with Windows 10, this could be handy on days when the internet is a little unreliable.
7. Record your screen
Want to film your awesome victory in an app game for posterity? Or want footage of you working in an app for a how-to video? Windows 10 has that functionality built right in. While you’re in a game or app, click on the Windows key on your keyboard, and press the letter “G” at the same time. From there, follow the prompts to record, and utilize the video however you want to later.
8. Windows Timeline
Windows 10 is better than ever at keeping track of what you’re doing in your tablet. Use the Windows Timeline by tapping the Task View button to see what files and apps you most recently had open, even syncing across devices, so you can dive right back into a project, no matter where you started it. This function is very useful if your tablet runs out of battery, or otherwise has to restart. You can find where you were quickly, and keep going.
9. Task Scheduler
Another handy function in your Windows 10 tablet is the Task Scheduler. You can use it to schedule tasks in your tablet to happen at particular times of day. You can set your device to automatically look for updates at 12:00 p.m., or to shut down at 9:00 every night. Just type “task scheduler” into your task bar to get started, and enjoy having your device do work to maintain itself so you don’t have to.
10. Quick Assist
For those of us who aren’t tech savvy, or that are close to people who aren’t tech savvy, Quick Assist in Windows 10 is a game changer for getting help with tech issues. One of the big problems with trying to help friends and family with tech is, quite often, you’re not physically there to help them. You have to hear about their issue on the phone, or you have to ask for help in that way.
Quick Assist is an app on Windows 10 that lets you remotely access the tech-defunct person’s device, like a tablet, see what the issue is, and fix it, all while they watch. This can help them learn tips of their own for later, having learned them better with the visual element, or it can just fix the issue entirely so they don’t have to worry anymore, and no one has to tear their hair out while trying to help. Quick Assist is available on all Windows 10 tablets, working in both directions.
To use it, tap on the Quick Assist tool, or search for “quick assist” in the start menu. From there, follow the onscreen instructions to Give assistance, or Get assistance, and enjoy your newfound ease with tech!