Windows 10 Mobile has finally reached rolled out to public, and its has major changes from features point of view. If you still figuring out what is new in the Window s10 Mobile We have it sorted for you. In this post, I have covered most of of the new features in Windows 10 Mobile.
Alarm & Clocks:
The biggest annoyance fixed in the Alarm clock is selecting a custom ringtone. You can now pickup a tone from anywhere on your phone including microSD Card and OneDrive. When you select something from one drive, is locally downloaded. Also When the alarm is triggered the volume increases slowly.
One thing I would like to add here. The way Microsoft has designed the Music Picker here, it points to an app. IMO, if any app can deliver tunes in some form, it will show up here.
Alarm is now renamed to Alarms and Clocks as it includes World Clock, Timer and Stopwatch along with it. What I really liked about the world clock is lets you find out time in any city as per your time zone. So if its 5 pM here, and you want to know what is time in NYC, all you need is hit that compare button.
- Find out how much battery is consumed by display. Also popularly knows as Screen on Time. It is in percentage and can be seen for last 24 hrs, 48 hrs and 1 week. You also get to see percentage consumed by System, Display, WiFi and Mobile Data.
- Find out how much battery is consumed when in real use, and percentage when it was in background.
If you ever had a NON Lumia phone, and had cursed the default camera, its time to smile. Features of Lumia Camera which came with all manual control and improved photo processing is now the default Camera App on Windows 10 Mobile, available for all Windows 10 Mobile. Here is what you get:
- Full manual control for White balance, ISO, Shutter Speed and Exposure.
- You can either control each of them separately or drag the camera icon to left to show full radial control. This option is available for Video recording mode as well where you have option to control white balance and exposure.
- Change what camera button does from taking picture to Photo Burst mode or take video.
- You have Timer option with option to take photos every 5 seconds till the camera button is pressed again.
- Digital Video stabilisation is even available for low-end modes however the performance might differ.
- Camera Support lenses which are noting but apps that can be used with Camera App.
That said, depending on which phone you use, the camera features, performance and processing will change.
My experience of using Edge is pretty smooth. Heavy websites like Times of India, Hindustan Times, Verge, GSMArena, Arstechnica worked well even on slow internet speed. The only thing that I miss is extension support.
It’s the native & official File Manager app for Windows 10 Mobile which lets you move multiple files, and folders to another folder, or to an SD Card or even a subfolder. When you launch the app, you get to see the recently accessed files. Tap on the hamburger menu, and you should see one or two options. “This Device” and If you have SD , the name of the SD card which here is “Test SD”.
- Multiple File selection of any type works here.
- The files launch with their own default apps.
- You can Delete, Share, Rename and look at the properties. This is very similar to what you may have seen on Windows.
- Create New Folders.
- Complicated Search i.e. using REGEX is possible. By default it lists by Search ranking which can be changed to By Name, Size, New and Old.
- Share a link to music by tapping Share in the context menu.
- Automatically show more albums for artists when you’re exploring if you aren’t on a metered data connection to reduce data usage.
- The theme setting in the app is now tied to the related system setting.
- Improvements in the way the app searches for music on your mobile device.
- Popular settings from the desktop version of the app are now in the mobile version – look for settings related to Downloads, Media Info, and OneDrive in the mobile app.
Films & TV:
At the core, it’s the Video Player app, but if you are in US or countries where its supported, it opens up few more features. Here is what it can do:
- Watch video in portrait mode as well.
- The progress bar / seek control works very well now compared to its earlier version.
- You can cast the videos, any video, to wireless display.
- It can pick up video from anywhere on the phone, but you will have to give it a minute or more to see that happen.
- Supports Dark Theme
- Keyboard Shortcuts available.
This has been completely revamped. While the Windows Phone 8.1 version was very basic, and almost unusable in terms of functionality, Maps on Windows 10 Mobile has been completely revamped. First thing you should know is that it’s powered by Here Maps.
Once the app is loaded, it shows current location along with nearby streets and landmarks. on the right you have a transparent pane which helps you go 3D, Find current location and option to choose Aerial or Road view, show traffic and incidents, and lastly you can turn on street side. The hamburger on top left, gives you access to Search, Directions, Favourites and 3D Settings.
One thing that is noticeable is that during turn by turn navigation, the map shows two next direction points. The immediate next shows up in bigger, while the next to next stop shows in trim band.
Now lets talk about major changes :
- Maps can be downloaded offline like in Windows Phone 8.1, and you can do it on mobile data as well. The restriction to download it only over WIFI has been dropped.
- Supports Day and Night Mode.
- Speed Limit Warning which you can manually change.
- You can set preferred direction mode i.e. Walk, Bus or Car.
- Option to Move Offline Maps to SD Card. Read more here
- Lane guidance in turn-by-turn navigation.
- Pin Work and Home locations to Start for one-tap directions to these two locations from wherever you are.
- Streams live footage from select traffic cameras. It’s available only for selected locations like North America.
The best part of using the new map is you don’t need two separate apps now. It can be used for Maps and Turn by Turn direction on the move which makes more sense now.
Multiple Microsoft Account:
So with that gone, you now only have Accounts. This is the central place for you to attaching a Microsoft Account with your device. This is similar to how Android uses the first Google Account to attach everything. Go to Settings > Accounts > Your Account and you can add multiple Microsoft account, but the first is always your primary account. Microsoft has allowed to have additional Microsoft account at many places like switching accounts for OneDrive, Xbox App and so on.
At the same place you have access to Sign-in options, Work Access, Sync your Settings, Kids Corner, Apps Corner and Provisioning. More on this here.
Notification Center / Action Center
While the looks of Notification Centre or the Action centre remains about the same, there has been some major improvements and new features that should have been there since day one. Here is the list:
- You can launch the Individual Settings with a long press on any of the quick actions. All these are configurable.
- Options like WiFi, Bluetooth, etc can be turned on or off without going to the settings.
- Toggles for Mobile Data, Cellular Data are also available.
- While quick action is still limited to 4 settings, you can expand it show even more settings which counts to maximum of 16.
- You can hide Notification banners, alarms and reminders from lock screen.
- Manage Notification for Individual Apps has a privacy option now. You can choose to keep them private if you leave them unattended.
- You can clear Notifications from action in Bulk / App Basis or at individual level.
- Reply to Messages through Notification Center.
Renamed from Calendar to Outlook Calendar, the app is much improved and is useful in some real terms. The first thing you get to see, after you launch the app, is current day schedule along with current week in stripped format. You can tap on any of the day to see the schedule, and it seems right below the current day schedule. This way you have the details of the current day schedule and select day schedule at a glance.
Tap on the month name, and it will open the month view, but not replace the schedule you were looking at. You can scroll to change months quickly. The calendar app supports multiple accounts, switch to agenda mode or todays view quickly from the menu bar. You can also filter accounts using the hamburger menu.
Settings allows you to
- Choose different theme colour.
- Switch to dark or light theme.
- Select First day of the week, Working Hours, Week Number and add alternative calendars
Adding Holiday calendar can be done only through the web.
Starting with Windows 10 Mobile, the email+ Account settings is gone. Instead this app is strictly for email and it can sync calendar, contacts and emails. The advantage of using this is that you not only have decimated email client which gets updated all the time, it works with any email client.
- Supports Multiple accounts including Yahoo, Google, and more.
- Light and Dark Themes
- Caret browsing is supported
- Swipe Left and Right can be used for Flag, Read/Unread, Delete or Move. You an configure each account differently for this.
Related Reading: How to setup linked inboxes in Windows 10 Mobile.
A lot of changes here from look and view perspective, and some new features.
Caller ID Integration now does not depend on any firmware. While I haven’t tried this on any of the NON Lumia phones, but this is how it is setup in Windows 10 Mobile.
- First Install Trucaller. It will prompt you to enable the caller id feature automatically. In case you cannot see. Do this.
- Go to Settings > Phone and look for a link which says “Choose Apps”. When you do that it takes you to Default Apps section where you can “select an app you want to use for caller id”.
- Select Truecaller.
- Next time you will get a call, a line identify the caller name will show up.
- This also integrates in the call history.
However, this still not as good as the Android integration.
T9 Search aka Search By Number: This also made it through, but right now limited on the dial pad. So as you type the number it matches with recent calls, history and contact book. Next, tap and make a call.
People (Contact Book)
This app has been revamped as well. While overall it might feel the same, but things are different now as it is more App oriented when it comes to social part. You can add apps like Facebook and others separately, and they appear into the list.
When you launch the app, the first thing you will notice is the big tile of your social account is gone and is taken over by Search box. Then you have timeline of your social apps, followed by groups.
Related Reading: Tips and Tricks for People App on Windows 10 Mobile
Apart from the revamped look and feel, there are two major changes. First you can create your personal albums right on the phone and transfer files to them. You can even have an album cover for it. Second, you can get access to photos on microSD Card using the Folders section. There is no need to have it connected to PC to get all this done.
Few more features:
- The photos from OneDrive show up automatically in your Photos App. While this feature was indirectly available before, now its integrated natively. It is possible hide them if you feel it looks complicated.
- You can delete multiple videos from Windows 10 Mobile unlike Windows Phone 8.1 where you could only select multiple pictures and video deletion was painfully one by one process.
- Display location of the image. Tap on menu > file information and scroll to the end see the location. You can launch the map from there. This only works if you have enabled location option for camera.
- You can create virtual albums. More on this here. For physical albums, you are still dependent on PC.
- It is also possible to Trim Videos right from the app.
- You can also Print Photos.
Available under settings, this feature lets you manage and control all the privacy feature, on per app basis. So if you want apps not to use Microphone, you can turn it off from here either on global level or for individual apps.
If you find this very close to Windows 10 PC settings, you are right. This section has a major change with all new icons, search, option to pin each setting, and better organised.
Windows Store has changed a lot, with new features, option to find apps in a better way, but also comes with hiccups. Restricting myself to only whats new, here is the list:
- The Hamburger Menu which gives you access to everything. Apps, Games, Settings, My Library, Downloads and updates. Options like View Account, Payment Options, Redeem a Code etc are Web based. This is annoying.
- Installed Apps can be launched directly from the store instead of it first opening in the app list and then one had to tap again on the app to launch it.
- Since it is a universal app, you an filter ratings and comments based on Mobile only. Other options to filters are Most Helpful, Most Recent, Highest Rated, Lowest Rated etc.
- Stores can now show popular IAP and Price Drops.
- Streamline my Purchase Experience : If you don’t wan to sign-in overtime for the purchases you make from the store, you can enable this option. This is little risky as anybody who has access to your phone will be able to buy anything. Make sure to password lock the phone when using this.
Related Reading : Windows 10 Mobile Supports Installing APPX files directly.
Voice Recorder & Native Call Recording
This is probably the new app for Windows Phone 8.1 users, and comes with features of professional audio recorders. You can start recording or resume or use in one click, the files are automatically saved and can be trimmed if needed. You can mark key moments in recording to point important things. Call Recording is a part of this, but is only supported on new phones like the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL. Find out how to enable it.
Games App from Windows Phone 8.1 has been dropped, and now you have Xbox App which is one stop for all your games on phone. The app also integrates features which lets you connect with your Xbox One. You can view your Achievements, Game DVR Feature, Connect to Xbox One, et al. Xbox One will be powered by Windows 10 in future and we expect a lot to come in the app as it matures.
Related Reading: How to send messages to multiple friends on Xbox
This should cover most of the things that I saw in Windows 10 Mobile, if you thing something that was missed, let us know in the comments.