We’ve heard ‘Windows Phone is dead!’ news so many times. But, that’s not real for Microsoft at least. Yes. Lumia production is stopped. But, that’s not going to stop their software development. Only some users who don’t know what’s going on in the Windows Phone world and few WinPhans out here are using Lumia devices.
Microsoft has been working for so long to unite Mobile and PC. It was started with Windows 8 & Windows Phone 8, then comes Windows 8.1 & Windows Phone 8.1 and finally Windows 10 Mobile and PC with UWP capabilities. But, that’s not the end. Even, Windows 10 can’t unite Mobile and PC idea with the lesser support of Continuum features.
So, Microsoft has gone even further to unite the OS deeply with Composable Shell aka CShell. The goal is to bring an adaptive, scalable UI across all types of device form factors, including PCs, tablets, phones, Xbox and HoloLens.
CShell is Microsoft’s new Windows Shell that will eventually replace the existing Windows Shell in future releases of Windows 10. It’s an adaptable shell that can scale in real time, adapting to different screen sizes and orientations on the fly. CShell is a shell modularized into sub-components, which can transition between those components when required, making for a far more flexible user experience on devices that have multiple form factors.
Our friends at Windows Central, have explored the accidentally pushed Build 16212 and found that it’s a build with CShell components. We also quoted that Microsoft has some plans for future mobile and it’s happening. So, let’s go through the new features that they have discovered.
Unified Tile Experience
CShell enables the same Start experience found on a PC on phones, which includes that additional large Live tile size, context menus, and all the same options found in those context menus, such as the ability to turn Live tiles on and off for specific apps. You get the same experience found on desktop on a phone powered by CShell.
The Action Center is also shared across PC and phone with CShell. When you swipe down on Action Center, you get the same, familiar Action Center design you already know from desktop PCs, directly on your phone. At the bottom, you can see your Quick Actions, all of which are customizable just like they are on PC. At the top, you see your latest notifications, which are also actionable and can be swiped away when needed.
Another new addition is a universal landscape mode that works on the Start screen and Apps. Turning your phone sideways shifts the entire UI, including Live tiles, into landscape orientation.
CShell also introduces a number of new improvements to the Continuum experience. Windowed mode is here, enabling the ability to run several apps at one time directly on your phone when connected to an external screen. It supports Windows Snap and Task View, too. Fluent Design elements also work when in Continuum, another nice touch.
Silverlight is going away!
Silverlight apps do not launch with CShell. Tapping on a Silverlight app such as WhatsApp simply does nothing, because Microsoft intends to drop Silverlight support with its next attempt at Windows phone. Most of the Silverlight apps including WhatsApp will not be supported with CShell. So it’s high time for the developers to update their apps to UWP.
So, with all these pieces of information, it’s clear that Microsoft is working on another Reboot of Windows on phones !!! Stay tuned!