Five months after its general initial release, Microsoft is already prepping for the first major update to Windows 10, codenamed Redstone. Windows Insiders have already started seeing some of this work in recent builds, although Microsoft has stated that it’ll be a while before we see any new features popping up on our desktops. For now the company is making improvements to OneCore, to prepare it for upcoming features.
But what can we look forward to? Little is known about what to expect in the next iteration of Windows 10, although we can expect plenty of bug fixes and more improvements to the Edge browser. In terms of features, we’re pretty much in the dark for now, but one feature that we could potentially see is Interactive Live Tiles.
This feature has been on users' radar for a long time, especially after Microsoft Research teased it early last year. Some videos were released showing off the concept, letting users interact with the tile in different ways depending on context and content. One example shown was the mail app, which expands from the regular live tile to an interactive view, letting the user scroll through their inbox and select a specific email in the app. Another example was the weather app, which expands and lets you toggle between different days of the week.
The concept was given more validation at the Ignite conference last year, in a presentation focused solely on Live Tiles, Notifications and the Action Center. Here, Microsoft mentioned how Interactive Live Tiles are being developed and “coming to Window 10 in one of its future updates.”
But with Live Tiles being mostly confined to the Start Menu on the desktop, it makes more sense to focus on the mobile experience. Interactive Live Tiles would greatly improve the user experience on Windows 10 Mobile, helping to achieve Microsoft's original ambition with Windows Phone to have people looking down less at their phones. They would act similar to widgets, and let users manipulate app content much faster by allowing certain tasks to be done from the tile without having to open the app.
With Redstone being the first major update to the OS, it would seem that this would be a great feature to include, if Microsoft can actually pull it off. Recent Insider updates have been focusing on improvements to OneCore, and it was reported that some features may be delayed due to these efforts. But here's hoping that interactive live tiles will arrive with the second Redstone iteration later this year.