The time for speculation and rumors has eventually passed. Microsoft, months after it originally planned to, lastly released the Windows 10 Mobile Upgrade. Made especially for smartphones running Windows Phone 8.1, the upgrade includes tons of new features, new app designs and a Store that works in tandem with the marketplace Microsoft supplies to users on regular Windows 10.
For those running Windows 10 on their notebook or desktop, Windows 10 Mobile will seem familiar, almost boring in a sense. Those that are used to Windows Phone 8.1 will find a software experience strikingly different from what they’re used to, though also undeniably influenced by what Microsoft has done in the mobile space to compete with the iPhone and Android since 2010.
Here are some quick Windows 10 Mobile tips to get you started after you’ve given your Windows phone permission to upgrade.
Make Windows 10 Mobile Look Like Windows Phone 8.1
Almost every app in Windows 10 Mobile looks very, very different from what Microsoft offered users with Windows Phone 8.1.
You can’t get those apps to look like they once did. If there are features missing that you appreciated, there isn’t a way to get them back either. Your sacred Start Screen is exempt from that though. You can make it look like the Start Screen from Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8 from the Personalization settings. Just ditch the background picture and go back to having your photos appear in just the Live Tiles themselves. Head to Personalization then select Start in the Settings app.
Use The Gadgets App
New to the Windows 10 Mobile experience, the Gadgets app gives you a single place to control all the little add-ons that you might pair your Windows phone with.
Whenever you connect with a new accessory, the Gadgets app will store a profile of it. It then lets you visit that profile to change how your device behaves whenever it comes into contact with that accessory. For example, you can have the Gadgets app automatically launch Groove Music or Spotify whenever you connect to your car’s stereo or connect to a specific set of headphones – both of which I do.
Look for the Gadgets app in the app list.
Turn On Automatic Quiet Hours
Nothing shatters a night of rest and relaxation like having your smartphone beep and chime repeatedly as you’re trying to get away from it all. Quiet Hours, a feature of the Cortana personal assistant, makes it very easy to ignore messages and alerts during a set time.
Open Cortana by tapping on the Search button. Next tap the menu button in the top-left corner of your screen and select Notebook. Tap on Quiet Hours, and use the Automatic Rules option to decide when you absolutely don’t want notifications from your Windows 10 Mobile powered phone.
Send Messages from the Action Center
The Action Center isn’t new in Windows 10 Mobile. Users have been able to swipe down from the top of their display and get a look at all their notifications since Windows Phone 8.1. Windows 10 Mobile does make it easier to act on notifications sitting in the Action Center though.
Instead of tapping on a message or a Facebook update, tap the arrow in the far right corner of the notification to get a list of options. Messages lets you reply without going into the app. Facebook gives you buttons for liking and sharing content.
Swipe Away the Navigation Bar
Lots of Windows phones getting the Windows 10 Mobile upgrade now have physical Back, Start and Search buttons. Some others use on-screen buttons, sometimes making it difficult to focus when watching a movie or television show on your device.
If your device has on-screen buttons, swipe up from the bottom edge of your screen to hide them. Now you can focus on your video. Note that this works in all kinds of apps, not just those that revolve around video.