Yesterday Microsoft unveiled lots of new stuff. While HoloLens was surely the winner of the evening, the most important announcement was Windows 10 and its version for phones. In our poll surprisingly many of our readers claimed to be not satisfied with yesterdays announcement, but here are some reasons why you still should definitely try out the new OS on your phone – and why it will be awesome eventually.
1st – It ain’t finished yet
Unlike previous Developer Preview builds, the technical preview of Windows 10 for phones will be a Windows Insiders build. The difference? While developer preview builds were mostly finished at their release (and only smaller bugs needed to be fixed) Windows 10 is not. Microsoft is relying on your feedback, and will tailor the OS depending on it. Don’t like how something looks? Report it. Microsoft will make the OS like the users wish it, and if nobody gives feedback, there won’t be many changes. So, try out and tell them what you like or do not like.
2nd – It is finally consistent again
For me this was one point that made Windows Phone 8.1 so disappointing. Some apps have boot screens, some do not; some apps close on a press on the back button, some do not. Maybe everything looked more or less the same, but it behaved differently. In my opinion this ended in a not premium feeling user experience which was what made Windows Phone originally so special and great.
What one could see from the key note yesterday: Now at least everything behaves the same. You may not like how it looks, but then again, report it.
This consistent-ness also applies to the design, but only as long as we are talking about Microsoft’s own work…
3rd – a new design
To be honest, I thought the old design of Windows Phone was better, but now everything looks the same, and with everything I mean literally everything from phone, over pc, to Xbox. With Windows (Phone) 8.1 this was not a valid point. Everything was meant to look the same, but had clear design differences in the end. Not huge ones of course, but they certainly existed. Windows 10 however is one OS, and one OS can only have one design.
In terms of design is seems Microsoft is moving the navigation bar to the top and abandoning the grey, circled icons. I would love to see this come back, and also pivots seem to be icons instead of pure text now.
This also brings a few problems. Whether the new OS looks better or not is up for debate, but 3rd party apps – which we know are often taking long to get updated – will still use the old design. This will probably result in a mix of both designs. Long term this will not be a problem, but short (and maybe even middle) term it all may look like a mess. However, again, if you want text pivots back, report it.
Same for the hamburger menus and navigation bars. If they will find a consistent use within the whole OS I do not mind having hamburger icons, but they are certainly badly placed – they would be much better down on the bottom, which is clearly visible on these two pictures where also a back button seems to have found its way to Windows Phone – useless, since they have a capacitive back button. Additionally the classic navigation bar with circled icons seems to be getting abandoned in most apps. Not a change I welcome, but again, it may change back.
Also the design we were presented is for sure not final anyways. Not only this, Joe Belfiore seems to have used the white design on its phone, which may be a reason for the – for some people – bad looking new UI.
One request by me: Please bring back the navigation bar to the bottom and with circled icons. That’s the only thing I do not like. (Please give it a like if you agree)
4th – new features and new apps
I guess I do not need to write much about that. A new Office, new universal apps with cool new features, and new features within the OS itself like actionable notifications all nicely round up the list of changes in Windows 10.
5th – Xbox is back
Not only did Microsoft present a new way of Xbox working together with Windows yesterday, but the last weeks have shown: More new titles (or updates for games) come with Xbox Live support. This has been one of the major criticism of 2014, and Microsoft seems to have heard you. It is a little too early to tell the future of Xbox on Windows for phones, but it can be predicted with a very big probability, at least.
Tl;dr: What we were shown is not how it will be in the end. Microsoft surely will not change the whole OS again, but smaller design changes will be made. And the new features are cool!
Some pictures by The Verge