Windows 10 for Phones

March 19, 2015

Windows 10 for phones is looking to be much better than Windows 8 for phones. Some of the new features in Windows 10 for phones are an improved Action Center, improved speech-to-text, an improved photos app, interactive notifications, and full sized art for the start screen. There’s also selected Lumia handsets running Windows 10, as it is in the Windows 8 phone.

No matter what device you’re using – PC, tablet, phone – Windows 10 is built to run across all manner of devices, and they share the same core platform. It’s a shared codebase. Microsoft’s tagline for the new OS is ‘one product family, one platform, one store.’

Office

Microsoft have confirmed recently that its Office team have built new features into new universal apps for Powerpoint, Excel, and Word. They’ve been optimised for touch-based input, and will include the Office Ribbon. You will also have access to your recent documents.

Outlook

The Outlook App will be the same, and sychronized, across every device – PC, laptop, tablet, and phone. You could do half an email on one device, then the other half on another, as they will be updated instantly so long as you have internet connection.

Maps

Windows 10 will have a Maps Universal App, rather than ‘Maps’ and ‘HERE Maps’ on the current Windows 8 software, which should make it much simpler for users. There will be street-side views, 3D imagery, and navigation features.

Photo

The new Photos app as been made easier to edit photos on and to navigate. It’s also a lot easier to fast forward any videos to find whatever bit of the video you’re looking for. All your shots will be in a chronological order in the same layout, and you will have the option to show photos/videos from your OneDrive too, so you don’t have to use a separate app for that. There’s rumours there will also be folders available to create. There’s also another new feature, named ‘Albums’, enabling you to put groups of photos into themes and share them with your friends. This will be one of the many, like Outlook, Universal Apps, so all info will be automatically be added to all your Windows 10 devices that are connected to the internet. So all your photos/videos will be on your laptop, tablet etc too! 🙂

New keyboard (with joystick!)

Much like older model of laptops that have a small joystick in the keyboard to move the cursor, the new Windows 10 for phones will have one! Placed between the 123 button, semi colon, shift, and ‘z’ key. To use it you tap and hold it, and a ‘D-pad’ will appear and you’re able to slide your finger around to move the cursor. Very unique effect!

Recently installed Apps

There will be a new section named ‘Recently Installed’ showing you your most recently installed apps.

New tile art

With Windows 10 phones you can choose a photo to appear fullscreen behind your apps menu. Any tiles that don’t have a solid colour will go a little transparent so that you can see the picture behind it.

Cortana

The trusty assistant (Microsoft’s equivalent of Siri), Cortana, will be in the Windows 10 phones. She will however be limited to US-only and English-only, for some reason. Microsoft say that eventually she’ll be “more powerful and capable” with language support and more skills. In Microsoft’s attempt to give her more personality, the blue circle on the screen representing her will differ, depending on what you have asked her.

New Settings menu

The new Settings menu has 10 sections: system, devices, network & internet, personalisation, accounts, time & language, ease of access, private, update & recovery, and extras. This should be a lot easier and simpler to navigate than the previous Windows phone menu.

Calendar

The Calendar app will also be Universal, which should be very helpful for those of us with a busy schedule! It will also be integrated into Outlook. The app will give you an overview of the week, showing how busy each day is with details of specific entries below in chronological order.

So what do you think of the new features? Have they changed enough? Have they changed too much? Let us know! We think it’s looking to be pretty great! 🙂

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