Microsoft Continuum for phones could be the phone-to-desktop experience you’ve dreamed of
We’ve already hit most of the big news to come out of the Build 2015 keynote address earlier today – at least, the stuff that wasn’t completely dev-focused and of limited interest to end-users like us. But as we rushed to bring you news of the now-Edge browser and the latest HoloLens demo, there’s one we had to put a pin in – not because it’s some minor gimmick or anything so easily dismissible, but because we wanted to come back around and give it the attention it deserves: Microsoft Continuum for phones.
Continuum itself isn’t that novel of an idea: it attempts to bridge the gap between the screens on our phones and larger monitors by allowing you to dock your phone with some desktop hardware and keep working with your same apps and data. Motorola worked on a similar idea a while back, and this was once the dream for how Ubuntu on phones would work. The problem has been actually pulling it off.
From what Microsoft demoed today, though, it might have just cracked that nut. Continuum lets phones connect to an external monitor and traditional PC input devices and give users a desktop experience that should look very familiar. The app you see below is PowerPoint for phones, but with the flexibility of the app to adjust to new form factors, it’s essentially the same UI as you’d interact with on a full-fledged PC. You’ll even be able to use this PC mode on a monitor while still working with a separate display on your phone.
What Microsoft showed today was a simulation, as Continuum is going to require new hardware to function as Microsoft intends it, but maybe that’s just one more reason to look forward to the first wave of pure-Windows-10 phones.