At Build 2015, Microsoft announced that later this year, after the launch of Windows 10 for phones, new Windows Phones would be able to double as a PC on a second screen while simultaneously maintaining full smartphone functionality. During the presentation there were brief mentions of mouse and keyboard support but very little was shown of the subtle visual differences when projecting Windows 10 to a larger monitor from a Windows Phone.
Luckily a new video has surfaced online which shows Windows 10 mobile build 10069 running in an emulator using mouse and keyboard functionality and reveals just how seamless the use of Windows 10 will be on phone compared to PC. Using a mouse with a Windows Phone automatically enables scrollbars in universal apps and tooltips when hovering the cursor over content. Users can also customize the mouse the same way they would on a PC with left and right-handed options and the usual keyboard shortcuts used by PC owners work in same way on Windows Phone as do the arrow keys for scrolling the Start Screen and app content.
During the Build 2015 announcement video, Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore seemed very confident with this new feature and claims that “You’ll be able to carry a new phone device in your pocket and then, at any time, connect it to a mouse, keyboard and larger screen and unleash a PC experience almost like the one you’d get on a full PC device.” Note that this full functionality will only be available on new Windows Phone devices. It’s unclear how much of this experience will be available on current hardware though there is limited Bluetooth keyboard usage available in Windows 8.1 devices which suggests at least some of these features could appear after the Windows 10 for phones upgrade.
With this new ability to double as a full Windows 10 PC and the release of truly portable keyboards such as the new Universal Foldable Keyboard, smartphones are more than ever becoming a convenient way to get work done while away from the office or home.
What do you think about the evolution of the Windows Phone as a full PC? Will you be using a mouse and keyboard with yours?