For a company that once held a funeral for iPhone and Blackberry, Microsoft’s phone future hasn’t really been looking that rosy. For die-hard fans, however, there’s hope on the horizon.
Microsoft’s fabled Surface Phone has reportedly finished basic testing and the final prototypes are out. The Surface Phone, the true successor to Windows Phone, has a lot riding on its shoulders. Windows Phone was a great idea on paper, but a dearth of apps from the very beginning and notably, the absence of Google services, undermined the platform. Developers also appear to have avoided the platform.
Microsoft did make a valiant attempt to revive the OS with Windows Phone 8 and Windows 10, but that hasn’t really worked out either.
With the Surface Phone, Microsoft promises two features that will “change the game”, so to speak, for Microsoft. The first is continuum, a feature available on select Windows Phone devices right now, and support for Windows Store apps.
Continuum is an interesting idea wherein your phone can also be your PC. It’s not a new one, and Android devices have long had the feature, but the promise of a desktop Windows experience from a phone is more appealing.
The Windows Store apps compatibility is a much bigger deal. Microsoft is busy pushing Windows developers to the UWP (Universal Windows Platform) model, wherein apps are developed and published via the Windows Store. Apps so made are, in theory, compatible with any Windows 10 device, including mobile devices.
Once it catches on, Windows Phones, like the rumoured Surface Phone, will have a larger library of apps to choose from.
According to TheWinCentral, retail sources have confirmed to them that the final prototypes of the phone are out for testing. Interestingly, these prototype phones are to be foldable. TheWinCentral also claims that while the hardware is almost ready, software issues are holding back the launch. Apps and the OS must be properly optimised for the split-screen, foldable form factor.