Here's our list of the top five new features and improvements coming in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update later this year.

Microsoft's next major version of Windows 10, known as the "Fall Creators Update," is coming along at a decent pace right now. With just a couple more months of development, we wanted to round up the top five features we're most excited about that are scheduled to show up in the Fall Creators Update.

There's so much coming with this release of Windows 10, but if I had to round it down to five big picks, these features are what I would choose. (A few notable features that didn't make the list, that I'm also excited for include improvements to Microsoft Edge, more settings in the Settings app, and battery life improvements.)

Emoji panel

Starting off with one of the smaller, but still incredibly useful new features, Microsoft is finally giving us a dedicated Emoji keyboard panel with the Fall Creators Update. Accessible from any text input field, hitting the WIN + .(period) will open up a small window full of Emoji that you can select and insert into your text.

Up until now, Windows 10 hasn't really had a dedicated way of getting access to Emoji. You could use the touch keyboard, but that wasn't easy or convenient for users who use a mouse and keyboard. Now, with the Fall Creators Update, it's as simple as hitting a quick keyboard shortcut. This is easily one of my favorite new additions to Windows 10 during the last couple of years.

If you're not a huge fan of Emoji, the new Emoji panel has been designed in a way that it's never actually visible unless you want it to be. It's completely hidden unless you hit that key combination of WIN + .(period), which means you won't get annoying Emoji taking up space on your screen when typing.

My People

We've written about My People before, but that doesn't mean we can't include it in our list here! I'm incredibly excited for My People, because it allows me to pin my favorite contacts directly to the taskbar for super quick and convenient conversations and the sharing of documents. You just pin a contact, select their icon and begin chatting away!

My People also adds the ability to share cool "Shoulder Taps" that are animated Emoji that pop up on your desktop. This only works for the people you have pinned, so unless you pinned annoying people, it shouldn't happen all that much. It isn't as much of a distraction as I initially thought it would be, which is a plus.

I'm seriously hoping third-party services will be able to integrate into the My People Hub. Right now, only People, Mail and Skype apps have access to it. I hope to see GroupMe, WhatsApp, Telegram and other social media sites hook up to it, too, because it'd make life so much more convenient when communicating with family and friends.

On-Demand Sync

On-Demand Sync is another top requested feature from Windows Insiders, and it's finally coming in the Fall Creators Update. On-Demand Sync gives OneDrive users the ability to see all of their OneDrive documents and pictures in File Explorer without having to download them first. This is a feature that originally existed in Windows 8.1 and has now been improved upon dramatically with Windows 10.

Being able to see your OneDrive documents without downloading them means you also get to save bandwidth and space on your local disk. On a device with a small amount of storage, syncing OneDrive before would require you to download your entire OneDrive library, eliminating the whole point of a cloud-based file storage service.

On-Demand Sync allows you to only download the files you need. For example, if a user has a Word document on OneDrive that they need to edit, they can double click it like any regular file, and Windows will quickly download it for local editing. Once done, OneDrive will sync the changes, and then remove it from your local disk to free up the disk space it took up when you downloaded it for editing. Pretty neat stuff.

Fluent Design

Fluent Design is less of a feature and more of an overall design movement for Windows 10. It's already showing up in apps for Windows 10 Creators Update users, but with the Fall Creators Update, we're expecting it to show up throughout the actual system, including the Start menu, Action Center, and in apps like Microsoft Edge and Cortana.

The Fluent Design System is a significant change in Windows design for Microsoft and is a much cleaner, lighter UI for Windows users. A lot of the changes will be subtle, but for those with keen eyes, you'll notice it. Fluent Design finally makes Windows 10 look good, something Windows has lacked ever since Apple upped its software design game on macOS.

It's worth noting that the Fluent Design System is a journey, and won't be showing up all at once. As mentioned above, Fluent Design is already in several Microsoft apps on the Creators Update. We should see it in more areas in the Fall Creators Update, and then in even more places across Microsoft software and services with Redstone 4, Redstone 5 and later Windows builds.

Timeline

I'm really quite excited for Windows Timeline, Microsoft's new glorified "recent apps" screen for Windows 10. Unlike the current Task View feature, Timeline includes not just currently running apps but apps that were open in the past, as well as apps that were opened on other devices that you're logged into. This feature is far more useful than I was originally expecting it to be.

Timeline works across devices, even on devices that aren't Windows based. iOS and Android users will be able to see certain apps that were open on their phones on their PCs, allowing them to quickly pick up where they left off on their Windows 10 desktop, laptop or tablet. Microsoft is catering to all mobile users with the Fall Creators Update, whether you're a Windows Phone, iOS or Android user.

There's also a super convenient search function built into Timeline, which allows you to search for apps that you've had open in a long list. This is particularly useful if your timeline is full of apps from all sorts of devices, you just search for the app you want and it'll load right up.

What do you think?

That's our list of features we're most excited about in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. Of course, opinions differ, and we want to know what you are most excited for, too, so let us know in the comments.