Windows Phone 10 vs Windows Phone 8.1: The Top 5 Differences
Microsoft is expected to release Windows 10 by the end of this July. With Microsoft’s new OS just a matter of months away, let’s look at how the Windows 10 for Phones preview compares with Windows Phone 8.1.
Unified User Experience
Windows 10 aims to give unified experience to users across all the devices including Desktops, Laptops, Smartphone’s and Tablets. Microsoft has tried to merge the Windows platforms, which was absent in Windows Phone 8.1.
Various functionalities that were introduced in Window 8.1 like the Action Center, notifications drop-down and Windows “brain”, will now sync with the Windows 10 of your desktop, allowing you to read mails, receive invites or messages and read them simultaneously on different platforms. The same has been incorporated in the messaging apps too, allowing you to chat through your Smartphone’s even while working with your Laptop, without any third party app!
New Start/Home Screen
Windows 8.1 had allowed customizing your background, which showed up inside the Live Tiles. Though it was useful to many users who loved to customize to get a new look of their Home Screen, the problem was that these backgrounds made the content of the tiles illegible sometimes.
With Windows 10, the background is put across the whole screen; the Live Tiles turn transparent and show up more in the background. This is just similar to the backgrounds on iPhone or Android.
There are also new sections for recently installed and recently updated apps, helping you manage your apps in an easier way.
New and Improved Apps
- Photos app has become Universal, behaving similarly in Phone as well as Desktop. Your gallery is now populated by shortcut buttons allowing you to easily manage your albums, folders and settings for the app. The new app will also group your photos by Collections, allowing you share your albums with family and friends. A menu button now sits on the top left-hand corner of the Photos app, ensuring a better user experience with a smaller font. Photos app will show the aggregated set of all your local and OneDrive photos.
- Settings app too has become universal and features the same top-mounted title bar. It now has smaller fonts and borderless icons. This change has grouped the settings together, which earlier had long and giant lists.
- Windows Phone 10 now has a new Outlook interface, allowing you to fully format your text the way you do in your desktops and even add tables. This was missing in Windows Phone 8.1 where Outlook wasn’t user-friendly and looked to be made only for visually fitting in the screen.
- Microsoft office apps will be preinstalled in Windows 10 phones, and will be a universal apps working across various Windows platforms. The apps will enable real-time collaboration and touch-first input.
- A new Xbox app in Windows 10 for phones will offer game streaming and multiplayer gaming among various device types and also allow interactions with gamer friends.
- A new Camera app is going to come in Windows Phone 10, which will save you from juggling between apps as Nokia Lumia currently comes with two camera app interfaces.
- A new browser known as Project Spartan is coming out with Windows 10, which is going to replace Internet Explorer. It will offer tools like reading view and on-screen handwriting markup to help you highlight things. The browser will be much faster and more compliant with the modern Web standards.
In Windows 8.1, you could only tap a microphone icon from the on-screen keyboard for messaging, email and Cortana searching, but with Window Phone 10, you will be able to speak to almost every text-entry field.
Your words will show up as you speak them and this feature will easily identify the use of words with similar sound words like ‘two’ and ‘too’.
Action Center and Notifications
The existing Action Center in Windows Phone 8.1 allows only four slots for settings, in Windows 10 for phones, six more quick setting has been added.
A major change in Action Center is that the notifications have been made interactive. For example you can dismiss an alarm or even reply to a text directly within the notification. The same holds for pop-down alerts where you can directly reply within the alert.
These differences are just based on the technical preview of Windows 10 on Phones. There might be some changes in the upcoming months before the final build is released. However, the chances of some major or dramatic changes are also quite less. The plethora of new and improved features going to be introduced in Windows 10 for phones will definitely attract new users and also give an enhanced experience to the current Windows Phone 8.1 users!
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