It would seem that if we are at the end of the Windows 10 Mobile era then it is going to be a whimper rather than a roar as this platform heads into the sunset.
When Microsoft announced rollout plans for the Creators Update a couple of weeks ago the mobile release had all of two sentences in that post on the official Windows blog which indicated it would roll out on 25 April.
The day before when Microsoft's Yusuf Mehdi revealed the 11 April official release date on the same site there was no mentions of Windows 10 Mobile anywhere within the big article about the Creators Update and all of its new features and enhancements.
Then yesterday, John Cable who is Director of Program Management for Windows Servicing and Delivery, updated everyone about the current status of the Creators Update rollout. He mentions that millions of machines are now running the Windows 10 Creators Update, makes some recommendations about providing feedback to Microsoft if any issues are encountered after the upgrade, and closes with the suggestion that users continue to wait for the upgrade to arrive via Windows Update instead of forcing the install via the Media Creation Tool or the Windows 10 Update Assistant.
Missing from this update was any indication that plans were on track to release the Creators Update to the 13 eligible Windows 10 Mobile devices on the previously announced date of 25 April.
It was not until nearly midnight on the U.S. East Coast that a simple tweet from Microsoft's Windows Insider Chief Dona Sarkar that confirmed the mobile version of the Creators Update was rolling out as scheduled.
For those waiting for the Mobile Creators Update, that's rolling out in waves across regions now.— Dona Sarkar (@donasarkar) April 26, 2017
No big fanfare, no series of blog posts highlighting the new features, or any other key information for Windows 10 Mobile users.
There is one document tucked away on the Windows IT Center entitled What's new in Windows 10, version 1703 IT pro content that was updated yesterday. Not the normal channel to see a list of new features but if you scroll all the way to the bottom of the article you will find a header labeled Windows 10 Mobile enhancements.
Under that is a list of new features for Windows 10 Mobile in the Creators Update:
-- Lockdown Designer
-- SD card encryption
-- Remote PIN resets for Azure Active Directory accounts
-- SMS text message archiving
-- WiFi Direct management
-- OTC update tool
-- Continuum display management (Individually turn off the monitor or phone screen when not in use; Individually adjust screen time-out settings)
-- Continuum docking solutions (Set Ethernet port properties; Set proxy properties for the Ethernet port)
When you take a look at that list it is really directed at enterprise and business customers and not towards consumers.
So with the lack of an an official list of what new features have been added for consumers in the Windows 10 Creators Update I have used our Redstone 2 Mobile Build Tracker to create a list of the various new features and enhancements that were announced during testing.
You know with the minimal attention the mobile rollout is receiving it sure feels anti-climatic doesn't it?
Between the very public testing via the Windows Insider Program, there were 19 mobile builds released to testers over eight months, plus this update is only being made officially available to just 13 Windows 10 Mobile handsets. When you add those two things to the lukewarm push from Microsoft around the release it is no wonder that fans, enthusiasts, and users feel abandoned and left without any information from the Redmond company in this area.
Anyway, here is my reconstruction of the various new features that were pushed out to Windows 10 Mobile that should be part of this final release:
-- Improved sound set with higher quality and shared sounds across desktop and mobile devices using Windows 10 Creators Update.
-- Missed call notifications now have actionable options to call back, text, or create a reminder to follow up later.
-- Unified Wi-Fi settings between desktop and mobile. Added capability to join Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) networks on the phone.
-- Mobile Dictionary Improvements: Option added to prevent auto-correction being used on incorrect versions of the word you want to use. Option to remove a word from the auto-correct dictionary. Expanded text prediction to more languages.
-- Simplified camera interface for ease and accessibility including high-contrast, on screen timer, Settings shortcut on screen, and zoom slider.
-- Unified Update Platform (UUP) which will allow future updates to use differential downloads to save bandwidth and time for receiving and installing updates.
-- Book purchase and reading added to Microsoft Edge Mobile. Library is accessible through the Windows Store and offline ePub books can also be viewed in the Edge browser.
-- Microsoft Edge can now read content aloud.
-- Apps can now be reset to clear settings and clear up any app related issues.
-- Cortana voice control added for other music apps including iHeartRadio and TuneIn Radio.
-- Expanded options for Cortana reminders and added Every Month and Every Year.
-- Web payments API available for Microsoft Edge Mobile.
-- Improved high contrast view of mobile UWP apps.
-- Combined Bluetooth and Connected Devices settings.
-- Option to pause updates for 35 days.
-- Updated Share Icon.
While it seems effort was made to align as many features and options between the desktop and mobile versions of Windows 10 with the Creators Update there are many missing as well.
If this is the end of Windows 10 Mobile as we know it then it is a very quiet exit indeed.