Apple’s stranglehold on mobile operating systems has begun to loosen in the last few years. With Android still appealing to those looking for cheaper smartphones and Microsoft breaking into the mobile market with their Windows phone, it looks as though the tech wars of the 90’s have been reborn. With Windows 10 coming our for mobile, Microsoft seems to be ready to challenge Apple’s dominance in mobile OS. Here are ten things you can expect from Windows latest mobile operating system.
1. Cross-platform connectivity
Windows 10 is an attempt to interconnect its array of devices using the same apps on desktop PCs, tablets, smartphones and even its Xbox One gaming console. They are even reporting that it will work with the upcoming HoloLens virtual reality device. At MWC 2015, the company announced that any device currently running Windows Phone 8.1 can be upgraded to Phone 10 by December 2015. This also means that you can use any app you download on your phone from any Microsoft device. An app you download from the Windows store will even work on your PC if it has WIndows 10 installed and will sync with all your Windows devices instantly. Microsoft is calling this feature “Universal app”.
2. New OS visual design.
The look of the Windows 10 OS has been dramatically altered. Every page now sports a translucent background which indicates that placing an image for your background will still be visible no matter what content your interacting with without being a distraction.
3.Improved User interface
Windows 10’s settings screen menu resembles a PC menu rather than a mobile OS menu. Also, the new “Download Tank” allows users to access recently downloaded apps with a quick right-swipe. Some may prefer this to feature most often used or favorite apps in this tank not on the home screen, but it’s hard not argue that this is still a step towards streamlining app access instead of scrolling down the app index to the alphabetical location.
4. Updated notifications and saved progress across platforms
This function allows to check alerts on one device and not be reminded to check the same alert on anther device. This interconnectivity even extends to activities started with an app on one device and continuing it with your saved revisions on another Windows device.
5. New Web Browser
Microsoft that renamed it’s older Internet Explorer browser to Microsoft edge. This latest version of Windows classic web browser promises to be just as customizable and user-friendly as Chrome, Safari or Firefox. Browser histories will be save on all devices with Windows 10 install, both desktop and mobile.
6. Improved Personal Assistant
Microsoft’s answer to Siri, Cortana, has been upgraded to include better voice command and search responses, more connectivity with other Windows apps and more accurate search results. While initial results showed a slight decrease in voice responsiveness from Windows Phone 8.1, the developers ensure tech journalist reviewing the preliminary models back in the summer of 2015 that it will be up to that previous OS’s standard. Microsoft is also promising that Cortana will also send email via voice command upon Windows 10’s release. Third party apps specifically for Cortana are also currently being developed and could emerge in 2016.
7. New Text Editing tools
The new OS can edit text in the same way as Microsoft Word. This means that you’ll be able to cut, paste, copy, customize text and fonts and sizes in the same manner as you would a Office document.
8. New Task Switcher
Holding the back button will allow access to four different apps in this switcher rather than scrolling sideways between all the apps you’re currently using, creating a smoother experience.
This newest Microsoft mobile OS seems to offer more collaborative functionality, improved design and a mobile experience closer to that off using a desktop PC rather than a typical smartphone or tablet experience. Whether or not this reimagining of Microsoft’s mobile design will succeed commercially may depend on the user’s comfort level. Those with more desktop experience most likely will be relieved to see a smartphone or tablet behaving like the mini-computer it is. But the modern incarnation of the smart device has been a feature in our lives for so long (Apple’s iPhone came out way back in 2007) that users who have grown accustomed to swipes and touch screen controls may see this as more confusing instead of easier to use. It all depends on what you’re used to the most.