Prior to its launch, we’d unparalleled access to Windows 10 because of Microsoft’s Insider program, that was essentially a means for developers and early adopters to try the machine as it moved through versions.
Throughout this method, Microsoft discussed a brand new capability called Continuum. You’ll find that this name isn’t utilized in the brand new feature has become called ‘Tablet Mode’.
However, both names give a clue as to the the brand new feature is made to do, and that’s give a seamless experience for users of Windows technology. With increased 2-in-1 PC/tablets for sale (as well as more standard laptops with touchscreens), Microsoft desired to discover a way for Windows 10 to adjust to its surroundings.
And that is what we have with Tablet Mode. In this way, it’s Windows 10’s response to bridging the gap between touch and conventional mouse and keyboard use; something that didn’t go down very well with Windows 8.
A touchy subject
The issue with Windows 8 is that it was about touch. Keyboard and mouse users were treated as second-class citizens. The enhancements in Windows 8.1 went quite a distance to solving these problems, with elements like the taskbar appearing over the Start screen if you needed it to.
The issues with Windows 8 ran deeper though, as it would be a confused mess in other locations, like the Charms. The Charms bar gets axed in Windows 10, however they still were built with a role to experience for tablets and, somewhat, it seems retrograde to revert everything to the Taskbar and Start menu.
However in other ways it doesn’t, which is why Tablet Mode exists; it will help Windows 10 become touch friendly when it’s needed to, and non-touch friendly when you don’t. It’s also designed to bring a far more consistent interface across all Windows 10 devices instead of having dual Desktop and Start screen modes, as we been on Windows 8 and 8.1.
This process could be automatic. Basically, Tablet Mode detects whether or not a keyboard is mounted on your computer. Once the keyboard is detached, it becomes a tablet and this can automatically launch than this, though – begin to see the Tablet Mode settings section later on within this guide for more information.
You are able to manually enable it ought to you want to. This might be useful if the detach fails properly or you desire to use your screen like a tablet (even when you’ve kept a keyboard attached).
Associated with pension transfer widely used settings, Tablet Mode could be launched via a button within the Action Centre. Action Centre in Windows 10 is designed to be the home for Notifications and to do anything whatsoever that does not require launching the settings app.
Click the Action Centre icon within the Notification place to launch it after which select ‘Tablet Mode’ from the options at the bottom. It conveniently sits alongside other buttons you are able to toggle on and off for example Flight Mode, Wi-Fi, Location and Bluetooth, and it is underneath any Notifications you receive from apps.
Do you need a tablet for Tablet Mode?
One of the clever things about Tablet mode is that it’s completely automatic. However it doesn’t necessarily have to be and you can start it manually. Bizarrely, it isn’t touch specific, therefore the option to use it is there even though you have a non-touchscreen device.
We’re amazed at this, but Microsoft must have decided it was impossible to implement in this manner. While Tablet Mode isn’t useful on the non-touchscreen device, it is something which could be utilized on a standard laptop, which doesn’t have a detachable keyboard.
How? Well, say you’re doing a presentation or you desire to use the touchscreen to select music in a party; you are able to change your laptop from as being a device set up for mouse and keyboard use into one in which the touchscreen is the main approach to control.
In Tablet Mode you can toggle whether you would like the app icons hidden on the Taskbar. For some reason hiding them is the default behaviour, however, you can disable this.
Windows 10 features several key usability features that make entering Tablet Mode much easier. Your device will automatically adjust for touch input as well as your desktop and Start Menu change. Windows 10 doesn’t choose a complete reintroduction of the Windows 8 Start screen, but it’s kind of similar.
The Start menu becomes full screen, much like it had been in Windows 8 and is permanently open on your hard drive, so it’s more like an iPad-style home screen launcher in the background.
If you have used the Start menu in Windows 10, you’ll know just how much it’s changed from the version in Windows 7. The brand new Start menu has live tiles around the right-hand side. You can right-click any file, folder or app in Windows and choose ‘Pin to Start’ to incorporate it here.
On the other side you get a listing of recently used programs, as well as shortcuts with other key destinations, such as the Settings app along with a shortcut to the File Explorer. You may also shut down, restart or put your PC to rest out of this menu, too; click ‘Power’ and another menu appears with one of these options. The live tiles work in exactly the same way because they do in Windows 8 so that you can drag them around the menu should you wish to re-order them.
Tablet Mode introduces an altered form of this Start menu. The left-hand side of the menu now has three icons. The very best ‘hamburger’ icon enables you to access your most-used apps. This part is much more such as the desktop form of the beginning menu and your User Account is shown at the top – you can lock the screen or sign out here just as you can in Windows 8 and 8.1.
This menu is joined by a Power button (which enables you to definitely restart, turn off or sleep) and the other icon at the end so that you can scroll down through a listing of app your apps, not only the ones that are pinned towards the Start menu.
In Tablet Mode, you may also swipe up on the left side to spread out the All Apps menu, so that you can browse your entire apps list. Tap a letter around the All Apps list to visit instructions chooser and quickly jump to a different section.
If you are connected to another display – that you be around a convertible PC or tablet, such as the Surface Pro 3, the beginning menu won’t go full screen. Instead it will be exactly the same size as normal and it also be constantly open. Another main thing Tablet Mode changes is how the Taskbar looks.
It becomes simpler in terms of features – even though you can continue to reach everything you need. It spaces the taskbar icons in the Notifications area and removes those you do not need (mostly unnecessary third-party icons). You just see Wi-Fi, battery, sound and the Action Centre icon left. Plus the ever-present clock, naturally. The App icons are hidden automatically, too.
We’re not sure why this is, but you can turn them back on if you wish. Actually, you are able to turn any Taskbar feature back with that Tablet Mode removes by default – the app icons, notification icons, touch-keyboard button and language switcher.
The touch keyboard icon disappearance is a bit of a strange one, but we guess the reason is the keyboard will still appear automatically if you tap into a text box, browser address bar or similar. So the button not being there’s no huge issue.
On the other hand from the Taskbar, the beginning icon has become joined by a back button, so that you can cycle to previous apps. If you were in the Start menu and then launched an application, tapping the back button takes you to the beginning menu. It’s a much more phone-like experience.
Gleam Search icon as well as the Task View button. Search in Desktop mode (which includes the Cortana voice assistant) is by searching bar. In Tablet Mode it’s an icon by default, offering a more simplistic look. Apps are full screen in Tablet Mode, whether they’re Windows Apps you download in the Windows Store or traditional desktop apps, for example Microsoft Word.
This is not as ridiculous as it sounds – we’re all accustomed to using tablet apps on items like iPads, and Microsoft is trying to attract those sensibilities. It will take a little getting used to initially, however. In Tablet Mode you’re also able to quit both desktop and new Windows apps in the same way you can in Windows 8; by dragging them right down to the bottom middle of the screen.
Windows apps also have their X icon hidden because of this (though if you be utilising a mouse in Tablet Mode these will reappear). To maneuver b between apps, Microsoft hopes you will use the new Windows 10 Task View feature. Using Task View is a lot more intuitive on a touchscreen device.
On a laptop or desktop, Task View is quite secondary to just switching between open icons around the Taskbar or using Windows with the Tab button ([Alt]+[Tab] still works as well, as you’d expect).
Task View is a fine new accessory for Windows 10. However, you cannot say it’s a groundbreaking new feature, as it is mostly a repackaging of what has gone before. But what’s new is its accessory for the Taskbar. This brings it to the attention more users. Until now, lots of people who used Windows wouldn’t have even realised that pressing the Windows button with the Tab you could even take them to an interface to flick between apps.
Fewer still may have realised there was a means in the touch form of Windows 8 (not 8.1) to switch between app screen – flicking in in the left of the screen raised a switcher menu. Just like the Charms menu on the other hand, it had been underused and it is now long gone, so it’s best to have an even better feature to replace it all with.
But, it isn’t in keeping with state that Task View doesn’t have a new features, since Task View includes a Multiple Desktops feature (though it’s only available in Desktop mode). Although this is a brand new feature to Windows, it’s not a brand new feature to computing in general; for example it has been featured in Apple’s OS X operating system for several versions.
Multiple Desktops are intended primarily for work, where you may have your email open on a single screen, a spreadsheet on another and so forth. To prevent distraction, you can open different apps on several desktops, so you can move between the desktops using Task View and shut the additional desktops if they are no longer needed.
Snap into it
Another change to app behaviour in Tablet Mode is the way you snap apps towards the sides of the screen. As was possible in the Windows 8’s Start screen, you can pin two apps side-by-side in Tablet mode. So that as in Windows 8.1 (but not original Windows 8) you can adjust the split.
Simply drag the bar that runs down forwards and backwards apps. Aero Snap in Windows 10’s desktop mode now enables you to do a four-way split, but you can’t do that in Tablet Mode (we actually like the capacity to do it in Desktop mode, though).
If you used touch back throughout the Windows 7 days, you’ll realize that using a touchscreen using the desktop isn’t the best time in the world. It was really hard to hit the prospective you wanted with your finger, also it just wasn’t a good experience. Windows 10 is way better, though, and there’s virtually no uncertainty in touch.
Thing about this certainly is dependant on better touchscreen tech available these days. But, Microsoft has additionally been working hard making the desktop an atmosphere where touch can thrive, rather than be ‘second best’ to mouse and keyboard.
Tablet and 2-in-1 devices (with a detachable keyboard) are still in the minority with regards to the amount of Windows devices available, and it’s difficult to observe that changing for the short term.
This is exactly why Windows 8 was this type of mistake for Microsoft; it went too far towards catering for touch-based PCs that are half the normal commission of all of the Windows devices sold. And that is also why Tablet Mode is such an excellent addition for Windows 10. It’s there when you want it and gone whenever you don’t.
And for people with hybrid tablet/laptop devices detaching the keyboard and transitioning to Tablet Mode is really a seamless experience. No longer is it just a case from the hardware being touch-ready, now Windows is as well. With Windows 10, Microsoft has worked hard to bridge the gap between desktop experience traditional PCs and tablets and contains succeeded.
Tablet Mode settings
Tablet mode can be automatic when you detach a keyboard, however it doesn’t have to be. Inside the excellent new Settings app, visit ‘System’, then ‘Tablet Mode’. You will see a toggle switch to switch Tablet Mode off or on, but it’s the settings underneath that are more interesting.
You are able to choose what you want Tablet Mode to complete when you initially sign into your PC. Tell it to remember to switch Tablet Mode off or on depending on that which you used last. Or select to continually visit the Desktop or to automatically switch to Tablet Mode (therefore if your PC detects a keyboard it still won’t switch).
The option below this enables you to control how automatic Tablet Mode is. You can make it automatic when a keyboard is detached, or you can prefer to get prompted using a pop-up on the desktop. And finally, you can choose not to be asked and for it not to be automatic (however, you can continue to invoke it manually).