What’s New in Windows 10’s 19H2 Update, Arriving Fall 2019

Windows 10's light desktop background

Windows 10’s 19H2 update will arrive in the second half of 2019, perhaps in September or October. Also known as Windows 10 version 1909, this will be the smallest, quickest Windows 10 Update yet. It’s practically just a service pack.

A “Less Disruptive Update” With Fewer Changes

Microsoft’s John Cable explains that this update “will be a scoped set of features for select performance improvements, enterprise features, and quality enhancements.” In other words, expect a select set of bug fixes, performance tweaks, and a handful of business features.

If you’re sick of big Windows 10 updates every six months, 19H2 is the update for you! Installing 19H2 will be more like installing a standard cumulative update like the updates that arrive on Patch Tuesday. It should be a small download with a fast installation process—no long reboot and purging of old Windows installations necessary.

Computers with the May 2019 Update (also known as 19H1) installed will get a small patch via Windows Update and quickly update themselves to 19H2. This will likely arrive sometime in September or October 2019.

With Windows 7’s end of life looming on January 14, 2020, Microsoft clearly wants to avoid a repeat of last year’s buggy October 2018 Update.

Other Voice Assistants on the Lock Screen

Alexa saying "I'm ready" on Windows 10

In current versions of Windows 10, Cortana can run on the lock screen. But Microsoft seems to be giving up on Cortana as a consumer product. It’s fitting, then, that Cortana is making way for other voice assistants. A change will allow other voice assistants—like Amazon Alexa—to run on Windows 10’s lock screen.

This is a small feature that should work automatically once Amazon has added it to Alexa. You can talk to your voice assistant, and it can hear you even while you’re on the lock screen, providing an answer.

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How to Use Chrome’s Hidden “Send Tab to Self” Feature

Google Chrome logo on a blue desktop background

A new “Send Tab to Self” feature in Google Chrome lets you quickly send tabs between all your Chrome devices. This feature, available via a hidden flag in Google Chrome, is available in the stable version of Chrome today.

How It Works

Sure, you can access open tabs on other devices via the History page without any hidden flags if you use Chrome Sync—but this new feature is slicker and faster.

Once you’ve enabled it, you’ll find a new “Send to Your Devices” option when you right-click on a web page. It’ll list all the Chrome browsers you’re signed into with your Google account—on Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS, Android, and even iPhone and iPad. Select a device to send a Chrome tab to that device.

Remember Google’s old Chrome to Phone browser extension, which let you send tabs from the Chrome browser on your computer to your Android phone? It’s kind of like that—but you can send tabs between your computers, too.

Like all flags, this is a work-in-progress feature. It may change or be removed at any time. Google may soon launch this as a stable feature that doesn’t require a flag. However, it’s available now in the stable version of Google Chrome 76.

RELATED: What’s New in Chrome 76, Available Now

How to Enable “Send Tab to Self”

This option is available as a flag. To find it, plug chrome://flags into Chrome’s address bar and press Enter. Search for “Send tab” in the search box.

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Microsoft Will Update Notepad Through Windows 10’s Store

Notepad icon on Windows 10's desktop

Microsoft just can’t stop updating Notepad. Every Windows 10 Update now includes improvements to Notepad, from support for Unix-style line endings to Bing searches and performance improvements. Now, Microsoft is set to update Notepad much more quickly.

This change is part of Windows Insider build 18963. It will arrive with Windows 10’s 20H1 update, expected sometime around April 2020. Until then, Notepad will be updated in the normal way—through Windows Update.

Microsoft’s Dona Sarkar and Brandon LeBlanc explain the change in a blog post:

Notepad has been a well-loved text editor in Windows for over 30 years. Over the last few releases, we’ve been making a number of small improvements to Notepad based on your feedback (including expanded line ending support, wrap around search, and indicating when there’s unsaved content.) Starting with this build, we’re making a change so that future Notepad updates will be automatically available via the store. This will allow us the flexibility to respond to issues and feedback outside the bounds of Windows releases. As always, if you have any feedback for Notepad, we welcome it in the Feedback Hub under Apps > Notepad.

This is a pretty crazy change: Does Notepad really change so often that Microsoft needs the ability to update it more often than every six months? Apparently, it does!

While surprising at first, it shouldn’t be a shock when you consider other recent developments. More and more apps have been casually moving outside of Windows to the Store. The new Windows Terminal application is delivered through the Store, and Microsoft’s new Chromium-based Edge web browser will also be updated through the Store more often than every six months.

Who knew Notepad would beat Microsoft Edge to the Store?

RELATED: Everything New in Notepad in Windows 10’s October 2018 Update

Windows 10 Will Show GPU Temperature in the Task Manager

Task Manager icon on Windows 10's desktop

Windows 10’s Task Manager is getting better for gamers. In Windows Insider build 18963, the Task Manager now shows your GPU temperature. This will be part of Windows 10’s 20H1 update, which will become stable sometime around May 2020.

This latest feature builds on the graphics processor features Microsoft has already added to the Task Manager in recent Windows 10 updates. Windows 10 already shows GPU usage information and statistics in the Task Manager—everything from your GPU’s name to its current available memory and utilization.

Now, “GPU Temperature” will also appear when you select your GPU on the Task Manager’s Performance tab. You can see your GPU’s temperature without any third-party utilities.

GPU temperature in Windows 10's Task Manager
Microsoft

There are some limitations: This only works with dedicated GPUs (not onboard or “integrated” ones). It requires you have a graphics driver that’s been updated to the WDDM 2.4 or newer driver model. And it only displays temperatures in degrees Celsius for now—not Fahrenheit.

We’re hoping Microsoft adds more temperature statistics to the Task Manager in the future. CPU temperature shown directly in the Task Manager would be an amazing feature.

Other interesting features in this build include Notepad updating through the Store, the ability to rename virtual desktops in Task View, an improved Optional Features page in Settings, a mouse cursor speed slider in Settings, and your account picture updating across more Microsoft services when you change it in Settings.

RELATED: How to Monitor GPU Usage in the Windows Task Manager

Can You Use AirDrop on a Windows PC or Android Phone?

Configuring AirDrop on an iPhone and Mac
Aleksey Khilko/Shutterstock.com

Apple’s AirDrop is a convenient way to send photos, files, links, and other data between devices. AirDrop only works on Macs, iPhones, and iPads, but similar solutions are available for Windows PCs and Android devices.

Windows 10: Nearby Sharing

If you’re just moving photos or files between two nearby Windows 10 PCs, you don’t need anything extra. Windows 10’s “Nearby Sharing” feature was added back in the April 2018 Update. This feature works a lot like AirDrop for Windows. With this feature enabled on two PCs near each other, you can quickly send anything—even files, by using the Share feature built into Windows 10’s File Explorer. The files are transferred over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

To set this up, visit Settings > System > Shared Experiences and enable “Nearby sharing.” You can choose who can send you content, but you’ll still have to agree every time someone wants to send you something.

Receiving a file sent with Nearby Sharing on Windows 10

RELATED: How to Use Nearby Sharing on Windows 10

Android: Files by Google (and Fast Share)

On the Android front, Google is working on a “Fast Share” feature that works like AirDrop and Nearby Sharing. Via a combination of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, it will let you share files, photos, and even snippets of text with other people nearby.

This feature isn’t out yet—9to5Google discovered a work-in-progress version in June 2019. It may take a while.

Until this feature goes live, you might want to try the official Files by Google app. It includes an “offline sharing” feature that uses peer-to-peer file sharing to send files to someone else with the Files by Google app nearby. In other words, it works a lot like AirDrop—two people with Files by Google installed can use the app to send files back and forth using Bluetooth.

AirDrop-style file sharing for Android in Files by Google

Cross-Platform Alternatives to AirDrop

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