One thing that Microsoft are keen to do with the next update for Windows is one platform for all devices. This means that the same operating system running on your Windows 10 PC will be the same OS running on your Windows Phone device.
Through the Windows Insider Programme, Microsoft has allowed anyone the opportunity to test a very early preview of Windows 10 for their PC. Looking at what has been achieved with the OS development so far, it’s clear to see that if the OS will be the same across devices, there will be some changes to the Windows Phone experience that we know with the 8.1 update. Let’s take a look at features we could expect to see with the Windows 10 update for phones.
Windows Phone 8.1 users already get the option to add a picture overlay to their Live Tiles on the start screen. However, a lot of users are looking to use a wallpaper as the complete background from edge to edge. Like the current way that Live Tile wallpapers work with “transparent tiles”, using a background wallpaper would give a translucent look to the tiles so you can see your wallpaper through them while providing an experience that still allows users to still see the tile outline.
We’ve already seen Windows Store apps emerging on the Xbox One but what about a favor returned to the Windows platform. Again, as this is going to be one OS across all devices, Windows 10 will be the core OS for the Xbox One.
With a new Xbox app coming with Windows 10, it would be awesome to see games being streamed from your console straight to your device. This could mean that Xbox games could be played on your tablet or even your phone!
@RpLayy I’ll be focusing more on what we are doing on Win10 in January, it’s time for us to talk about gaming on Windows.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) December 12, 2014
We’re all hoping to see what the Xbox team will be doing with Windows 10 later this month!
Interactive Live Tiles
Interactive Live Tiles were demoed by Microsoft Research back in April last year and sparked excitement among Windows Phone users. This is a great opportunity for Microsoft to leverage more of the fantastic work made within Microsoft Research like they have with Skype Translator.
The ability for developers to integrate interactive live tiles will allow users to play music from their pinned Music app by pressing a play button on the tile. The app won’t load, it will just play music. It will offer a new experience for users which I think will be very welcomed in the Windows Phone community.
MixView Live Tiles
While it is unlikely that we will see this exact feature integrated with the next version of Windows, one rumored update to Live Tiles is MixView or “exploding Live Tiles” which some users who have used the Zune software before will remember.
The idea, similar to the previous concept above, will offer a way that users can interact with their apps without having to enter the app itself. All the work is done from the MixView Live Tile which would show when the user interacts with it on their Start Screen. For example, the user could hover over their Facebook Live Tile, that tile would then pop up into focus and various other tiles would appear around it showing recent notifications, messages and other relevant information to the user.
As I think this is already in the works, let’s hope that we get to see it in action later this year.
‘Spartan’ Web Browser
Spartan is the codename for a new Microsoft web browser which is set to ship with the Windows 10 release. As this is going to be one OS across all platforms, there is no doubt that Spartan will see its way on to the Windows Phone platform. From what’s known, Spartan will be a lighter web browser than it’s predecessor, Internet Explorer. It will have extension support much like Google Chrome has which is something that I’m sure many users will be happy to hear.
It’s currently unclear whether Spartan will be replacing Internet Explorer or that we will see the IE12 release alongside Spartan with Windows 10.
Microsoft Office has always been great for keyboard and mouse users, however the experience is somewhat hard when you’re using a tablet or phone through touch. Microsoft have developed a touch friendly version of Office which can be seen near the end of the video above. Users are hoping to see this released with the upcoming Windows 10 OS making it a much welcomed update to Windows Phone’s Office experience.
Bluetooth Keyboard Support
While not something that you might want to see available for the smaller devices, the larger phablet devices have the capability of being useful in productivity. If we see the next update for Office coming to Windows Phone devices, it only makes sense that we can get the most out of our phablet using a Bluetooth keyboard.
And much more!
Microsoft are going all out to make the Windows 10 experience the best that it could be. Hopefully this means that they will take features that are key to Windows Phone and blend those into Windows 10 just as much as we want to see cool features from Windows 10 appear on the phone. One example would be the ability to place your Live Tiles wherever you like as Windows 8.1 tiles are in a set grid format unlike Windows Phone. There needs to be more customisation for users to really make their Windows Phone their own.
I can’t wait to see what Microsoft do with Windows 10 and we will hear more on the latest update on January 21! What features are you looking to see incorporated into the new OS? Discuss in the comments section below!