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Windows 10 and Universal apps across devices

During the Windows 10 event, Joe Belfiore had the opportunity to show us Universal apps coming with the Windows 10 experience on multiple devices.

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Starting with Outlook as a universal app, the client is identical no matter which display you are using, with a simple swipe left or right gesture to delete or flag an email, which synchronises your actions within seconds, the ribbon bar is shared with Word, which comes pre-loaded with Windows 10 alongside PowerPoint to give the full Office experience straight out of the box, which appeals to enterprise and users alike.
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The universal apps all use the same source code, its simply formatted differently on each device to display upon the device in question, so if you are using your phone, it displays the same settings and features as the PC, just on a smaller screen and some settings will be off screen awaiting a gesture to drag in the relevant options.
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Next up was the universal calendar, the same feature rich, colourful calendar was available across Windows 10 PC and phone. With the same pinch to zoom options, and colour themes with the useability of Outlook calendar and the current calendar app found on Windows 8.1 PCs
windows.10.universal.pictures.hub
The new Pictures Hub looks like they spent a lot of work on it, the hub on both devices shows a similar ui to the current pictures hub, however the pictures are now being pulled from the cloud and arranged in a date order display, one nice addition is the hub will now detect multiple duplicate images and merge them into the best image, set either automatically using the OS, or by the user, which brings us nicely to the Albums universal app.
windows.10.universal.albums
The albums app goes to the effort of checking geotags and arranging your pictures in album form, grouping pictures by location and date, if your friends are with you and your both taking pictures, the Album app will know this and group shared OneDrive resources allowing you to save the album and share with social networks. The hub now features Auto-Fix by default, meaning your photos always look their best, with no red-eye, washed out or dark images all receive the Auto-Fix and always look their best, even if the option isn’t required it can be disabled, but why would you want to I don’t know.
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Project Spartan came next, with a completely redesigned browser for all Windows 10 machines. The browser has had its rendering engine rebuilt with many new neat features.
The first thing I noticed was the Vista inspired aero-view with the web content displayed right from the tabs.
windows.10.universal.spartan.browser
The new browser, codenamed Project Spartan has included three new modes that help us be more productive on the web, the way we interact with web content and discuss it with our friends via email or on social media. The first of these new features is Note-taking.
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This mode allows you to capture the web content and make notes directly on the canvas of the web, allowing collaboration with friends or upload to social media.
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Using the clipping tool you can select parts of the frozen web content and by pulling up the Windows 10 share charms bar you can send the content with your notes, directly to any contact, social media site or OneNote to join your other OneNote files.
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The next new feature is Readability view, in this mode your web content gets streamlined to remove adverts and gives you an impression of the website as if it was in book form,
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this is also cached to your offline reading list, enabling offline reading of web content for when you are on the go.
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Support is built in for PDF files, which will speed up the way you browse without having to constantly switch apps to get the full story.

The third new feature in Project Spartan is our own digital personal assistant, Cortana. She will be embedded into the URL bar and she’s only a call away.
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I will move onto Cortana on PC in my next article. So stick around!

Gary Jones

Author: Gary Jones

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