We’re still waiting for Microsoft to completely reveal Windows 10 for phones and let users try it out on their own devices. That hasn’t stopped an intrepid leaker from giving users just a taste of what they’ll get when the operating system does arrive, and a few of the screenshots highlight why some might choose a Windows phone over Apple’s iPhone.
Twitter user @S1z33 shared the leaked pictures recently. Sadly, the pictures of what appears is definitely Windows 10 for phones, but doesn’t give us a comprehensive look at everything we can expect from the final version. That being said, we do get a look at the Settings app and the Action Center notification area.
The Action Center in the leaked Windows 10 for phones screenshot has a pull out drawer that contains 12 different settings shortcuts. That’s notable, Windows Phone 8.1 introduced the Action Center, but it only had four buttons for different settings. The Action Center is a combination of the iPhone’s Notification area and Control Center. Windows Phone allows users to customize what settings they can quickly access, something that Control Center doesn’t.
The Settings in Windows 10 for phones looks completely different from what we’re used to, which is great. Windows Phone 7 introduced a long list with text and settings organized individual and sort by priority. To be blunt, settings in Windows Phone 8.1 are an outright disaster. Windows 10 for phones includes a new Settings app that organized different settings into categories. These are the same categories that are available in Windows 10 on notebooks and desktops. Descriptive icon sits on the far left with a description right beside them.
Both of these screenshots include a look at a feature that’s beyond what Apple is doing with the iPhone and iOS. One of the only complaints level at Control Center is its lack of customization. Like Windows Phone 8.1, the iPhone’s Settings app is also just a long list of functions that can easily confuse buyers. Alone though, they aren’t enough to convince someone buying an iPhone to buy a Windows 10 phone instead.
It’s the synergy here that’ll appeal to potential iPhone buyers. Apple has sold users on the idea that their smartphone should be simple and easy to use. These screenshots highlight how Microsoft is planning to retool their message to buyers and use the same strategy. Microsoft is hoping to attract users to Windows phones with by positioning them as companions to their PC experience. In theory, it’ll be easier for buyers to use a Windows 10 phone because they know how to use Windows 10. The Action Center and Settings app aren’t unique to Windows 10 for phones. They’re both included in Windows 10 for every other device. All versions of Windows 10 are equipped with Universal Apps, these apps are the same across different devices, but adapter their interface to different screen sizes. Settings appears almost exactly as millions of users will see it on their notebook and desktop. The Action Center looks a bit different but behaves in the same way.
Whether smartphone buyers actually buy into the idea that they should pick up a phone running Windows 10 because it acts as a perfect companion to their PC remains unclear. There are other things holding up Microsoft’s progress in the United States. It hasn’t produced a flagship handset itself since early 2014.
Microsoft has confirmed that it will have a new flagship smartphone running Windows 10 to announce at some point this year. Windows 10 for phones isn’t going out as an update on existing Windows Phones until later this year. The company appears to be just days away from letting users test Windows 10 for phones through its Insider Program though.