Windows 10 Mobile - Continuum, Window Hello and performance

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Windows 10 Mobile – Continuum

Windows 10 Mobile’s Continuum is

one of the OS’s most interesting and potentially useful features.

Continuum enables you to turn any mobile running Windows 10 into a

desktop computer using a specialist Microsoft Display Dock.

The

dock costs £70 and lets you connect a Windows 10 phone to an external

monitor, keyboard and mouse. Once connected, it casts the desktop version

of Windows 10 onto the external monitor. Universal Apps should in

theory also switch to their desktop layout when being used in Continuum

mode.
Windows 10 mobile
I can see Continuum being a key selling point for Windows 10 Mobile in a variety of situations.

For

businesses, Continuum could act as a quick and easy way to launch

PowerPoint presentations in meeting rooms. It could also be a big draw

for students looking for a cheap way to edit Word documents and type up

essays.

Sadly, I haven’t had a chance to test Continuum yet since my

review sample didn’t come with Microsoft’s Display Dock. I’ll be sure

to update my review the moment I get my hands on the dock.

Windows 10 Mobile – Windows Hello

Since

Apple launched its Touch ID sensor on the iPhone 5S, fingerprint

scanners have become all the rage in the world of smartphones.

Google

rolled out fingerprint scanner support in its latest Android

Marshmallow update, and the Nexus scanner is a key selling point in its

latest Nexus 5X and 6P smartphones. Samsung, HTC, Sony and Huawei have

also added scanners to their latest flagship smartphones, toting them as

the ultimate mobile security solution.

On Windows 10 Mobile,

Microsoft has chosen to go in a different direction, using

its Windows Hello feature to secure smartphones.

Windows Hello

is currently in its beta form on Windows 10 Mobile. It lets you lock

Windows 10 smartphones to your eye’s iris – which Microsoft claims is a

more unique biometric identifier than a fingerprint. I tested the

feature on a Lumia 950XL and found, while its detection capabilities are

decent, you have to hold the phone fairly close to your face for it to

work.
Windows 10 mobile
This is fine when you’re trying to unlock a phone in the

comfort of your own home, but can lead to some awkward looks in public

spaces. I managed to scare more than a few people on my tube ride home,

while vacantly staring at the Lumia’s screen waiting for Windows Hello

to detect my iris.

Windows 10 Mobile – Performance

The fact I

haven’t had a chance to test Continuum leaves me nervous because, as

is the case with most operating systems at launch, Windows 10 is a

little buggy.

I’ve not experienced any device-killing bugs yet,

but there are a million and one minor issues that add up to hamper the OS’s

overall performance. Both the Lumia 950 and 950XL are prone to

stuttering and at times chug when launching applications or navigating

between menu screens.

The new Maps app is also fairly finicky. On

multiple occasions when I launched the Maps app, it either wouldn’t

load any geographic information or threw up bizarre locations when I

searched for local addresses.

The bugs aren’t deal-breakers, but they give the OS a slightly unpolished feel.

Should I upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile?

Windows

10 Mobile is a big update to Microsoft’s smartphone offering, and it has a

lot of potential. The move towards Universal Apps and a standardised

user experience across Windows PCs and smartphones is an excellent idea.

However,

for the time being, they’re just that – good ideas. Developers are yet

to take advantage of the changes Microsoft has made. For now Microsoft

seems to be the only big player taking advantage of Windows 10’s “one

code to rule them all” approach.

For general consumers already

embedded in the competing iOS and Android ecosystems, there’s

currently no killer feature, or serious reason to jump to a Windows Phone

that wasn’t there in Windows Phone 8.1.

Verdict

Windows 10 Mobile is a move in the right direction for Microsoft, but it needs time to develop.

(apester:5660456f41f2d0122b05615c)

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