The latest version of Microsoft for Windows 10 Mobile is a minor update and not an important one. With a strange name, lack of features and a series of improvements that most users will not even get, is there even a point to update? Keep reading for the answer.
On April 25, Microsoft will begin to implement its latest update for Windows 10 Mobile. The update shares the same name as its PC counterpart, the “Update creators”, which is strange considering that the update of Windows 10 Mobile does not have literally new features for “creators”. In fact, to say that it has new characteristics worthy of mention would be to boost it. Anyway, it is the latest and best version of Windows 10 Mobile.
The Creators Update for mobile devices is the second feature update for the platform. Unlike the previous update, which is considered an important update, Creators Update for Mobile is a much smaller version, similar to the way Apple will release “dot updates” to its main iOS releases every few months. This feels like an update points, which means some small improvements here and there, but in general nothing innovative. This will not always be the case, but Microsoft’s commitment to Windows 10 Mobile seems to have faded.
Without further ado, this is our update revision of Windows 10 Mobile Creators.
As always, if reading extensive reviews is not your thing, we have a video tutorial that shows all the most notable changes and features of this release.
Not much has changed on the surface when it comes to the Creator Update for mobile devices. A lot of work has been done behind the scenes to make the operating system work much more evenly, and with fewer errors to run the whole experience is quite pleasant. Because of this, Creators Update for Mobile is literally the best version of Windows 10 Mobile of all time, which is to be expected considering that it is the latest version of the platform.
This update makes older phones, like the Lumia 640, work better than before. This is almost unheard of when it comes to mobile updates on other platforms. Most of the time, Apple will launch a new update, and users will find that their phones are a bit slower or that the battery life will be a bit worse. Creator Update for mobile devices is the opposite of that, which makes everything run faster, smoother and improving the battery.
Windows Hello is also a bit faster and works from further away as well. Before, I had to hold my Lumia 950 on my face to unlock it with my eyes, but with the Creator Update I can make it go down in my hand, and just by looking at the lock screen I connect. Honestly, I’ve been quite surprised at how much better Windows Hello is in the Creator Update for mobile devices.
Microsoft has also improved the HTTP images in Live Tiles, and in the Action Center added the options to “Call back,” “Text” or “Remember me” if you miss a call. The action center improvements are nice, because they mean I do not have to access the phone application every time I lose a call to fix it.
There are also a lot of new system sounds, which align even more with the system sounds found on the PC. I really like the new sounds, especially the default ones. It is refreshing to see Microsoft focus on details like this, because they are important to the overall user experience. The new sounds are a breath of fresh air, one that I’m sure most people will appreciate.
One of the best changes made to the Creator Update is that you can now lock and turn off your phone’s screen while using Continuum. Simply press the lock button as you would normally to turn off the screen when you are on Continuous, and you will find that the Continuum experience will work perfectly. If you press the lock button again in quick succession, it will also block the Continuum experience. You can also set a timeout period for the Continuum screen, a good addition.
Cortana with Creator Update is a bit smarter than it was before. Now you can ask Cortana to activate the system commands, such as changing the volume, controlling the music and identifying a song. Cortana could already identify songs, but now she can use a voice command to get the same function. You can also set reminders to be repeated every month or year, which is a good addition for those who use long-term reminders.
Cortana’s own UI now has a completely black background instead of dark gray, which should very slightly improve battery life on OLED screens. Apart from that, however, there is not much newer with Cortana. A PC feature called “Pick up where I left it” would be great to watch, but Microsoft omitted the Mobile feature. (This is something like a trend with the mobile update).
Not much has changed on the surface for Microsoft Edge. Even the new “set separate tabs” function found in Creators Update for PC is missing here. However, there are some new features, and if you like books, you will love them.
Microsoft (strangely) created a new book-reading experience in the Edge application, with a dedicated shelf in the Edge center where all the books you buy or download are stored. The experience is quite pleasant, and the reading mode is full of features. You have a new read-aloud function, which is ideal for those who may suffer visibility problems, or if you are lazy and simply do not want to read yourself.
There is also a completely new section in the Windows Store devoted to books, where you can buy new books to read within Microsoft Edge. But everything feels a bit strange. Why build this functionality in Edge instead of building a separate reading application? And why does Microsoft face Amazon and Apple in the book market?
The Configuration app in the Creator Update for mobile devices actually received some changes and improvements, all of which are welcome. For starters, Microsoft completely gutted the old Wi-Fi selection area and delivered the new, improved and faster Wi-Fi selection user interface found on Windows 10 PCs. This is a much better experience in general, and taking into account that both experiences are now the same between PC and mobile, it makes much more sense for the user. The Wi-Fi Sense and Paid Wi-Fi services are now combined in their own area, and the data usage page has been updated with a new UI.
In the area of the device, Microsoft has also improved the Bluetooth user interface, cleaning it up a bit and adding a new Bluetooth device experience that is much simpler. Unfortunately, many of the Bluetooth connectivity issues that users seem to have faced with Windows 10 Mobile have not been fixed. Personally, I have never encountered such problems, but people have told me innumerable times that the problems they have encountered are still a problem even with the latest update.
Now you can configure Glance so that it is always on when you load. Actually, this is not a new feature and something that was brought back with the Creator Update. The Glance screen feature actually stripped most of its customizable features with the anniversary update last year, and it seems that now Microsoft is slowly adding backup options such as being able to keep the screen on while charging.
Now there is a new category of Applications in the center of the Configuration application, where you can quickly uninstall and “reboot” the applications that are installed on your device. The restart option is really useful when an application is damaged and you need to restore it again as if it had just been installed on your device.
Finally, there is a new “sidebar” function that is displayed below the rest of the content on the screen when you are on a particular configuration page. It is called sidebar because when it is in PC or in Continuum, it is shown on the side. In phone mode, it is displayed below the content. The sidebar is there to offer you links to help and other configurations that may be useful. For example, in the Bluetooth area, you can find a link to Wi-Fi in the sidebar.
The strange thing is that with Creators Update for PC, Microsoft added many more features to the configuration application, such as more customization options and even a new nightlight mode, which would be perfect for mobile devices. As a result, these features have been omitted from the mobile version. Microsoft says they will arrive on the platform when they are ready, but the fact that they are not here in the Creator Update is a bit disappointing.
Microsoft has made several improvements to the Windows Update with the Creators Update on mobile devices. For example, you can now pause updates for up to 35 days, which is convenient if an update is causing problems. Microsoft also did it so that Windows no longer surprised him with an update that must be installed offering the user more frequent alerts when an update is ready.
So, for example, if an update has been downloaded and needs to be restarted for installation, Windows will notify you before it is restarted, so you will receive many warnings that it will occur. You can also choose a time for the installation of the update, which gives you much more control over when an update will interrupt the activation of your phone.
However, the most important changes in the Windows Update are under the hood. Microsoft introduces a new unified update platform (UUP) with Creators Update, which promises up to 35 percent smaller downloads when new versions are available. This is ideal for users who have limited data plans or have very slow download speeds.
There is a new application included with the Creator Update that allows you to view the content created with Paint 3D. But this is the point: Paint 3D applications are not available in Windows 10 Mobile. It’s just an application for PC, so the View 3D application is useless. Literally, its only function is to see the content created in 3D from the Paint 3D application. If you want to download the content you created on a PC to see on your phone, I think this is a great application for you. If not, it’s basically a waste of space.
Conclusion: What is the point?
The Windows 10 Mobile Creators update is a bit disappointing.
Sure, the improvements under the hood are much appreciated, but I expected more than what is offered here. This is supposed to be an important update for Windows 10 Mobile, just like in Windows 10 PC. However, Microsoft skimped on the mobile version, cutting out features that are available in the PC version that would be so welcome on mobile devices, such as nightlight mode.
Most improvements under the hood will not even reach the devices that benefit most from them. Microsoft plans to deploy the Creator Update on only 13 devices, and the Lumias 930, 830 and 1520 will not receive the update. Those are the devices that would benefit most from these improvements, and Microsoft removed them directly from the equation.
Seriously, what is the meaning of this update? It does not bring anything new to the table that is “worthy” of its own version, and most low-profile improvements are wasted in the fact that the devices that would benefit from them are not even receiving the update. Microsoft states that it is committed to Windows 10 Mobile, but this update tells me that the company is not committed.
Actions speak louder than words, Microsoft, and their commitment to Windows 10 Mobile is definitely not shown in the Creator Update. Why is it even called Creator Update on mobile devices? There is no creator feature None. No 3D Paint, no Windows Ink, literally nothing.
The Creator Update for Windows 10 Mobile feels more like a last minute idea than anything else. I hope this changes with the next update scheduled for later this year, but, by the way, things will look, we will have another empty update in the fall. I can not help but wonder if users would be lost if the Creator Update for mobile devices did not exist. I really do not think they do. The Anniversary Update is fine as it is, with the Creator Update improving a bit. However, the lack of new features is a real blow, especially for fans.
Negativity aside, this is still the best version of Windows 10 Mobile to date. As a minor update, it’s a great release. I recommend the update, but you probably will not notice many new improvements on the surface, even if it’s supposed to be an “important” version of Windows.