Windows 10 Mobile is the biggest change ever for Windows Phones. Here’s 5 things you need to know.
1) Windows 10 Mobile: Device Support
Right now the only supported phones for preview releases of Windows 10 Mobile are Lumia smartphones and the HTC One. However, by the time Windows 10 Mobile ship, expect to see plenty of other Windows phones and tablets supported. Windows 10 Mobile will support ARM system-on-chips from Qualcomm’s Snapdragon line and IA-32 system-on-chips from Intel and AMD.
The Microsoft Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL are the first PURE Windows 10 Mobile devices. The handsets are now available and you can see how they compare in our Microsoft Lumia 950 vs Microsoft Lumia 950 XL article, where we look at hardware, specs and connectivity.
The approach with Windows 10 Mobile is markedly different, though. Microsoft is going for the ONE PLATFORM approach and early word on Windows 10 for tablets and PCs is fairly positive; Microsoft appears to have ironed out A LOT of Windows 8’s kinks and foibles.
2) Windows 10 Mobile: Universal Apps
A really cool feature of Windows 10 Mobile is that it uses a universal app system that allows devices written for Windows 10 on a PC to be easily ported to Windows 10 Mobile devices. This essentially means that any app made for the PC can run on a Windows 10 Mobile device with not much code tweaking involved.
3) Windows 10 Mobile: Microsoft KILLS Support For Android Apps In Project Astoria
Microsoft has big plans for porting Android and iOS apps over to Windows 10. This was back in April last year, however, the plans now appear to have gone south — at least in the case of Android apps, anyway, which Microsoft has now confirmed as DEAD.
There could still be hope for iOS applications, but Microsoft — for better or worse — appears to have expanded-out Project Astoria, which you can read in more detail about below:
“We’re committed to offering developers many options to bring their apps to the Windows Platform, including bridges available now for Web and iOS, and soon Win32. The Astoria bridge is not ready yet, however other tools offer great options for developers. For example, the iOS bridge enables developers to write a native Windows Universal app which calls UWP APIs directly from Objective-C, and to mix and match UWP and iOS concepts such as XAML and UIKit. Developers can write apps that run on all Windows 10 devices and take advantage of native Windows features easily. We’re grateful to the feedback from the development community and look forward to supporting them as they develop apps for Windows 10.”
4) Windows 10 Mobile: “Continuum”
Another killer feature of Windows 10 Mobile is Continuum. This is a feature that allows a Windows 10 Mobile device to be used as an ad hoc PC. On supported devices you’ll be able to plug your Windows 10 Mobile phone or tablet into an external monitor and plug in a keyboard and mouse and the device’s user interface will scale up to resemble a “PC-like” desktop interface.
5) Windows 10 Mobile: The EDGE Browser
Windows 10 Mobile will include a modern new web browser called Edge. The big thing about Edge is its new rendering engine, EdgeHTML, which will make browsing much faster. Edge also supports reading lists, on-screen annotations, and extensions.
“As far as Microsoft Edge is concerned,” reports Softpedia, “the default Windows 10 browser is currently powering only 2.25 percent of the world’s PCs. While its market share is quite low, keep in mind that Edge only exists on Windows 10, and right now, this version barely powers 10 percent of the desktops.”