Ever since Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile started hitting people's PCs, tablets and phones we have been asked about an updated Windows Central application. On more than one occasion, I have been also said that we expected the app to come into the coming weeks, which stretched on longer than anticipated.
Luckily, we are finally nearing the open public beta testing period of our new app, so I figured we would give an update on the status and a quick look at what to expect!
First up are some screenshots with the first ones being for Windows 10 Mobile.
In the gallery below you can peek at the app for Windows 10 desktop, which is the same as the mobile app but scaled up.
Windows Central App FAQ
Now we can tackle some questions you likely have about the upcoming Windows Central App!
Will the app be free and/or have ads?
Our new app will be free and launch 100% ad-free with no stipulations. Between paying for the app's development, the loss of ad-revenue, and our giving away of the app we will be losing money on this project.
How can I sign up to be a beta tester?
You don't. The app will be listed openly in the Store, and anyone can download it as it will be an open beta, near-final version of the app. We'll have more details when we announce it properly including where to leave feedback.
Will it be a Universal Windows app (UWP)?
Yes, it will be available on day one for PCs, tablets, and Windows 10 Mobile for your phone and is a true Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app
Does it support Continuum?
Yes, it does.
What happens to the old app?
Nothing. It will stay on the store as a free version for legacy 8.1 users. The new app will get a new link and store listing.
What features will it have?
We were aiming for app parity with our older app. That includes:
- All our news stories
- Article comments + like/dislike + reply
- Account login
- Site search
- Full forum integration
- Embedded video playback
- Feed refresh
- Live Tile
- Push notifications
Why did it take so long?
There are the usual roadblocks and items that took longer than expected. The holidays also didn't help besides waiting for Windows 10 Mobile to stabilize. For instance, forum integration is a huge project in and of itself. Being able to Quote and Thank a post as well as create one and log in to your account are not at all trivial.
Our last hurdle is getting the Live Tile and Push Notifications up and running, which is what we are working on for this week before we go live. We're also going to attempt to enable actionable notifications for comments and forum replies if time permits.
We know you folks have high expectations, so releasing an app with some of those core features missing would just result in an endless stream of complaints.
Who is making the app?
Our new developer is Daniel Gary (@danielgary) and his company Gateway Apps. Daniel has been a friend and supporter of our site for years, and his company is responsible for many official apps on Windows Phone and Windows 10.
Seriously, when will it be released?
We think we are on track to release it this week (for real). There is some last minute polishing and testing of the Live Tile and notifications left, but we think that it can be wrapped in the next few days. From there, we will take feedback, bug reports, and iterate builds before we remove the beta status. Since we are launching mostly feature complete the beta tag is more or less a formality for wider testing and feedback.
On behalf of the entire Windows Central team and Daniel Gary, we'd like to thank you for your continued patience regarding the release of our new app. We know you folks are passionate and do not want to disappoint you.
Tell us what you think of the design in comments and what features you will want next!