A couple of months back I was given the chance by Vodafone to upgrade early. The choice was then clear, stay with Windows (‘upgrading’ from a Nokia to latest Microsoft phone), go back to Android (same as my work phone) or switch to Apple (work phone up-to about a year ago).
I fundamentally prefer the Windows phone/mobile/Windows for phone interface so opted to stay put.
One tempting advantage of moving to the new device (beyond the fresh battery as my Nokia was struggling to last a day) was to try Continuum.
I got very excited about Continuum on release. Here are my pros and cons from a month or so of (attempted) use with the display dock:
· Very simple to use and setup using the ‘gadgets’ feature which I’d previously not really seen the point of in Windows 10.
· The dock itself (see pic) is nice and has a ‘paperweight’ kind of feeling – not too light to feel flimsy but light enough to carry easily.
· Using the phone for control (mouse trackpad and typing) work nice enough.
· The dock comes with two cables, one with wall connection for power and one for connecting to phone – this has become my home charger with the Microsoft original now at my work office desk.
· Great at offering functions when my primary home device (iMac) isn’t available – for example going through emails, browsing, etc.
· I didn’t manage to pick up a dock for free (as has occasionally been the offer) so had to spend a little extra for one on eBay.
· You don’t get a HDMI cable with the dock, so it has added to the switching on my home TV (2 HDMI ports) between PlayStation, Apple TV and Sky Box. This is another thing you’d have to find and carry when traveling (I didn’t take one on holiday and the gite’s TV only had scart cables so I couldn’t use it).
· The Store. It’s perhaps the information manager in me, but the Store is awful. The lack of an easy filter (currently just a limited Microsoft controlled collection/listing for Continuum enabled apps) is a glaring gap. That so many sites and user forums have listings of games and other apps that work with Continuum shows people are having to work around Microsoft’s own approach.
· Existing non-Continuum apps. It would be really nice if these just appeared in phone dimensions, rather than not being accessible at all.
· If I was to carry a mouse and keyboard on the go, are you really saving much space from a laptop? Perhaps, but probably not from the netbook I would have used on the go c.10 years ago.
· The dock to phone cable included is fine for desk usage but not so great (length wise) for working with my TV and wanting to be sat back on my sofa.
· The sound comes through the phone speakers not my TV. Admittedly the speakers are better than in my last device but it seems, from searching help forums, that audio output is a little random in terms of which monitors/tvs/etc. respond to c’ connections.
Overall, still huge potential. However the App issues, which normally don’t bother me as I’m happy with what my phone device can do (phone, podcasts, contacts, messaging, Facebook, browsing, maps), become acute when trying to take the phone device to the next level. With the larger screen you want more games and apps.
I would recommend it though for organisations where staff are on the move and could hot desk using Word and other core apps as they go. Perhaps best for those who work in environments such as journalism, consultants (although they may want their own dock for when at client sites) and where you don’t often need to be at a desk but do want to check emails, etc. when you do – perhaps in a retail or factory environment.
My name is Ian Gardner and I am interested in various topics that can be seen as related to learning, technology and information.
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