Microsoft may be way down with regards to its aspirations in the smartphone market, but don’t count the company out just yet. Windows 10 Mobile hasn’t been the savior that Microsoft hoped would help its smartphone sales rebound, but it isn’t stopping the Redmond, Washington-based company from forging ahead with the Redstone 2 update for Windows 10 Mobile.
In fact, Microsoft used its Ignite 2016 conference to highlight some of the features that will be coming to Windows 10 Mobile users. Neowin was nice enough to catalog the enhancements, all of which are geared towards improving the Continuum experience. For those not in the know, Continuum allows you to hook your [supported] Windows 10 Mobile device to a mouse, keyboard and monitor via an external dock for a quasi-Windows 10 desktop PC experience.
In its current incarnation, Continuum will crash if you put your Windows 10 Mobile device to sleep — Redstone 2 alleviates this problem. You’ll also be able to invoke Continuum using a wireless dock without even touching your smartphone thanks to Proximity Connect (which means that you could leave it in your pocket or purse the whole time — provided that you have enough juice left to handle desktop-class multitasking).
Speaking of multitasking, users will now be able to “put apps into resizable windows” instead of being relegated solely to full-screen mode. Apps can also be snapped and pinned to the taskbar. Another advancement will allow you to customize the Continuum Start menu independently from what’s seen on your smartphone. Just because you have your Windows 10 Mobile Start menu tweaked to perfection doesn’t mean that you necessarily want that experience to mirror over on a larger screen. This is a welcome tweak from Microsoft on this front.
Microsoft also explained that it still doesn’t have plans to enable Windows 10 Mobile to fully support ARM64 processors due to the fact that devices are currently shipping with no more than 4GB of RAM onboard. This definitely seems like a rather shortsighted move by Microsoft, especially considering how fast hardware advances and that operating systems like Android and iOS have already made the transition (and each mobile OS runs on 64-bit processors with less than 4GB RAM).
For those firmly entrenched in the Windows 10 Mobile camp, Redstone 2 is tentatively scheduled to debut in Q2 2017.