Microsoft testing new radial color picker for inking in Word Mobile

It looks as if picking the perfect color for inking in the Word Mobile app for Windows 10 is about to get a little more interactive. As first spotted by Twitter user Ajith (via Windows Latest), Microsoft is testing a new radial color picker for inking in Word Mobile. The Word Mobile app is the free version of the app built for tablets and phones with a screen size of 10.1 inches or smaller.

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The radial color picker would replace the flat palette currently used in the app. Judging by the example provided, you'll be able to quickly use the picker to scroll through several default colors, then rotate a dial through varying hues of the selected shade.

For now, it's unclear if this is an A/B test, or whether it will eventually make its way to the release version of the app at all. Microsoft performs all kinds of tests of features in its apps (and Windows) that may never make it to production. Still, it looks like a useful method of color selection that adds a little more pizazz to the app. If it does make it through the testing phases, it will be interesting to see if the radial picker eventually spreads to other ink-enabled apps in Microsoft's stable.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • I like it. The old radial menu in OneNote was great until you realized how much it got in the way. This doesn't seem to get in the way, but still gives you the visual simplicity of a radial menu.
  • Does anyone know what the deal is with the office mobile (UWP) products? They seem to be still developing it, but not at the pace that they are doing so with OneNote. They seem to be complacent for the time being with the win32 applications. I thought the plan was to eventually move everything over to UWP. I'd love to see expanded functionality of the UWP apps, and not just cosmetic lifts.
  • Mobile Word, Excel and PowerPoint had been abandoned for a time after Microsoft finally placed the fully featured Office apps in the Store. Word Mobile's return to active development coincides with the app being bundled with Windows 10 by default starting with RS5/October 2018 Update. My guess? They're setting it up as an UWP replacement for WordPad down the line.
  • Be careful what you wish for. OneNote (Modern/UWP/whatever) is being driven towards feature parity with the intent it will be the only OneNote product. That has been the goal for several years and there exists a roadmap of all the features, done and planned. I'm not sure it will hit 100% parity, but it is likely close to 100% of what is intended to be supported. There is always that small percentage of features that 'telemetry' says 'no-one' uses ... except that small percentage that depend on them. Oh well.
    I actually think the 'mobile' products are pretty good for a high percentage of casual users. I'd hate to see them be developed with the intent of usurping the regular Office apps.
  • Yeah... Windows 8 style one note is back BUT its something new. Confused, oh no, wait its Microsoft, remove something good, forget about it. Release it again as something better. Hey MS, give us this option back in one note.
  • how can you download office mobile apps from the store? if you didn't already download it?
  • Search for Word mobile on the net. You should get a link to the store for the app. Once you have that select it, it will open the store app so you can download it. From there you will also find the rest of the mobile suite. I only know this because I did it last week after my Surface was replaced and had to start from scratch.
  • There is a windows central article for what every surface go owner should do first when they get one. The links to the office mobile apps are included in that article.
  • This would be great if it was also linked to the Surface Dial API.
  • I don't need the radial picker per se. If the image rendering is correct, it is good Microsoft is finally pulling resources into making Microsoft software more touch and pen friendly with bigger elements and iconography. A lot of design today is still too desktoppy. I hope this small step step will be a bigger step for mankind to put improving the tablet experience and half baked tablet features higher on the resource agenda for improving windows 10 going forward for 19 H1 and 2. It's long overdue.