Today Microsoft have released a new version of Windows for the HoloLens delivered via Windows Update. Based on the April 2018 update for Windows 10 (code named Redstone 4) this is the first release update to HoloLens in nearly two years. Many of the changes to this build (17134.1011) are applicable to both Windows Mixed Reality in Windows 10 and HoloLens. The update has been available for just over a month but until now you had to reset your device to get the update, but now its available via Windows Update and won’t wipe your device.
Over all the build is faster, it is easier to manipulate objects, it has new features and many developer improvements.
Here is my list of changed to HoloLens April 2018 update
You can now adjust the size of an object with without out entering the special adjust mode. Just tap and drag the corners of the 2D UWP or 3D object and you can set it to whatever shape of angle you want. You can also use two fingers to resize object and to rotate it in your view.
When you launch an app from the start menu apps now it loads to the optimal size and position for a 2D application. For apps with 3D launchers HoloLens now places the app in your world without launching so you can launch it when you’re ready. 2D UWP apps now are wider so you can see more content for example the mail app now shows the Preview Pane. Plus there are animated 3D app launchers.
There are new voice commands like “Go to start” or “move this”
Updated Photos app
Microsoft have updated the Photos app to the version that ships with Windows 10. One of the main benefits with the new photos app is the ability to pin photos into your world. So you can view your photos in the app and then when you want to keep one visible just tap on “Place in mixed world” and then move the photo to wherever you want. It is a great wat to create a virtual picture gallery.
Updated Holograms app
The Holograms apps now feature extra objects taken from the Cliff House in Windows Mixed Reality. There are plants, chess pieces, shelfs and all sorts of object to customise your space.
Quick Video Recording
You can now quickly record a video by holding down the Volume Up and Volume Down buttons at the same time for 3 seconds. Do the same or bloom to stop.
Improved Space Management
It is now easier to manage holograms in your spaces when you have problems. In Settings, System, Holograms you can remove nearby holograms or Remove all holograms to delete them all.
Audio have been improved so you so sound that should be obscured by real walls will be detected
There is now a File Explorer app in HoloLens!
Microsoft have updated Microsoft Edge to the latest version that ships with Windows 10
Cortana is now an app, you can pin it to your world and access the features as you can on a PC
MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) support
Plug your HoloLens into a PC and from File Explorer on the PC you can transfer videos and photos
The web based device manager has a new look and feel gives you more access to the HoloLens features and sensors.
Developers have access to the research mode, which gives raw access to the system tracking cameras and sensors. You cannot build commercial apps with this but you can use it for research projects.
Spatial mapping has been improved, there are new APIs and other improvements (see Microsoft’s documentation for details).
How to install the new version of Windows on HoloLens
Installing the new version of HoloLens actually means factory resetting your device, so you lose whatever you have currently installed and setup. However, with the amount of changes it is well worth doing it. To get started go to my HoloLens upgrade guide.