Colin Devroe

Senior Vice President Condron Media

Reverse engineer. Blogger. Investor. Photographer Hiker. Kayaker.

Continuum is great

In Gruber’s link to The Verge’s review of the Lumia 950XL and the Continuum feature (the feature that allows mobile apps to run like desktop apps when the phone is connected to an external display):

I’ve seen Continuum demoed, and technically it is impressive. I’m not sure though that it’s something anyone wants or needs. […] Why bother plugging it in to a desktop display and keyboard when the phone’s own display and on-screen keyboard are good enough? I could be wrong, because Continuum is so new, but my hunch is that Microsoft has built something technically impressive that very few people have any desire to use.

I do not agree. I would love to have a mobile phone that had enough power to be the only device I would ever need. I could walk into work, plug my phone into my display, and it be “business as usual”. If that mobile device had all of the power and storage of our current notebook computers (which doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility) how could you not want this? Why have two devices if you only needed one? Windows 10 and Continuum is much closer to that reality than anything I’ve seen from Apple. In fact, Apple has publicly stated that they think Microsoft is wrong in their approach — that one OS can be used for all devices. I disagree with Apple.

His other point, though, is spot on:

The rest of Warren’s review is pretty scathing. The dearth of native apps is suffocating the platform.

This has been the biggest issue for Microsoft for years. Here is what I wrote in the summer of 2013:

Most of the applications on Windows Phone are absolutely abysmal if they aren’t the official apps. The Instagram apps end up getting their photos deleted from Instagram because they use Private APIs. Not to mention that when compared to Instagram they’re terrible. The Dropbox apps, which aren’t official, are simply unusable. All of the official apps, however, such as Twitter, Spotify, and others are superior to their iOS counterparts in a number of ways.

I hope that Microsoft can get a lot of great applications onto Windows 10 in 2016.

I say all of this as being someone that uses an iPhone, iPad, and Mac daily. I’m all in on Apple’s ecosystem and have been for over 13 years. I do own a Windows 10 PC but it is only for testing at work. I’m watching both the Surface and Lumia line ups very closely and if Microsoft can find a way to get better apps in their offerings I’d consider switching.