The Acer Jade Primo is a smartphone designed to run Windows 10 software. It’s also one of the first phones that’s expected to support Microsoft’s Continuum for phone feature. This lets you connect an external keyboard, mouse, and display to use your phone like a desktop computer.
Microsoft has two Lumia phones with support for Continuum on the way. They should be available in November with prices starting at $549.
But Acer’s Jade Primo might be cheaper: Semicurrent reports the company has announced that the Jade Primo be available in the Philippines in December for about just over $400.
When you connect a supported phone to an external display, Continuum will provide a desktop-like user interface. The Start Screen becomes a Start Menu. There’s a desktop and taskbar. And apps take advantage of the extra screen real estate to display multi-column views.
There are some limitations. Right now Continuum for phone only allows you to view a single full-screen app at a time. And you’ll only be able to use Universal Windows Apps, which means legacy Windows programs that haven’t been converted into Windows Store apps won’t run.
That said, Continuum does present some interesting features. You can use connect your phone to a desktop dock, for instance, and edit Office documents on a big screen using keyboard and mouse shortcuts. While you’re doing that, you can still take calls, respond to text messages, or even surf the web on your phone. The phone continues to function as a phone even while it powers your desktop experience.
Microsoft will begin rolling out Windows 10 software updates to older phone soon, but none of those phones have the hardware to support Continuum. But it looks like you may not need to spend all that much money to buy a phone that does have the right hardware.
In the Philippines, Acer is reportedly going to charge 18,990 PHP, which is about $408. It’s not clear if that price includes the desktop docking station, (although Acer is expected to offer a desktop bundle in at least some markets), and it’s also not clear if the phone will cost more (or less) in other markets. But the price makes this phone very competitive with other recent smartphones: it’s cheaper than a 32GB Google Nexus 5X, for instance.
The Jade Primo has a 5.5 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel AMOLED display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage. It has a 21MP rear camera and an 8MP front camera.
Dang, early reports had the Windows version of this phone having an Intel x86 processor (not the Snapdragon now mentioned), which might’ve allowed running full desktop applications (not just mobile apps).
Well, to be fair the idea of Universal Apps is for them to eventually replace desktop apps… So not just mobile apps, as the idea is for you to be able to do everything you could do on the desktop.
Just like the projects to help porting of Android and iOS apps, they’ll also be pushing for desktop developers to port their desktop apps to Universal as well… They’re essentially pushing for Windows to become platform agnostic and no longer matter if it’s running x86 or not…
So, it’s just a question of when and if that’ll happen as to how useful this will be… For now there’s the Universal Office Apps, Outlook, etc. and we’ll see how it goes from there…
I doubt that many full functioned applications (e.g. Photoshop, AutoCAD, ArcGIS, etc) will be downsizing to make even Universal Apps at any point in the near future. I would imagine the process would be daunting. That said, I don’t expect to be running any of my hydro-meteorological simulations on a phone anyway, but it would certainly be a major coup if Continuum can allow people to run application programs in which they are already invested (training and $).
Well that’s the thing, we’re well past the point that it’s just a phone anymore…
The performance of a modern high end ARM SoC is right up there with the latest ATOM, higher if comparing GPU performance… So, other than legacy support, there isn’t a reason to stick to x86 anymore unless you need a lot of performance but most people don’t and that translates to a a very large market that developers couldn’t just ignore…
Mind, the traditional PC market has been declining for years now and Universal Apps provides a way to drop the bloat and legacy issues that prevent traditional programs from evolving to newer needs and prevent them from taking advantage of new usage opportunities.
While Universal Apps can still let people use existing knowledge and training because Continuum supports all the same keyboard shortcuts, layouts, etc as you would use for the traditional desktop…
Want to cut in paste in Word, with a keyboard attached you would do it exactly the same as you would with the traditional desktop version… among other examples.
Besides, there are other benefits… Universal apps are more secure, more stable, can provide developers a wider user base by supporting and combining multiple platforms that used to be separate, and being platform agnostic allows you to use the same app on multiple device form factors and it adapts as needed instead of the user needing to adapt to it, along with the benefit to developers that they only need to support one version of their app under Universal but can still sell that same app on multiple platforms… In the end that’s a net benefit but it will just take time to see that benefit as the platform needs to grow and establish itself first.
It’s just hard to see that potential as a early adopter and it is true that developers still need convincing but where there’s potential to make money the developers will eventually go there…
No support for Chrome or Firefox browsers in either phone or desktop modes. I don’t think IE is supported either, only Edge.
There’s no reason that either of those browsers couldn’t be adapted to be compatible with Continuum.
In Chrome’s case, of course, Google has no desire to lend Continuum and more credence as a viable platform than it needs to.
The support is there. Chrome and Firefox simply need to make it happen.
They could make a browser for it. There are a few other browsers, such as UC Browsers, already available for Windows Phone 8.1.
Comments are closed.