Quick shot: Windows 10 Mobile's new one-handed split screen feature

Yesterday, Microsoft released build 10136 of Windows 10 Mobile to those on the Insider program. We'll be doing an in-depth look as soon as we get a moment we are at E3, after all. For now we want to show you the new one-handed feature in this build.

Starting in build 10136, Microsoft has put into a place a feature for phones with displays 5-inches or larger. By holding down the Start key, the whole display moves down to half the size, letting you navigate and interact with links or buttons with just your thumb. Once activated, the split position will hold but return to normal after a few seconds if no interaction is detected.

The feature works very well, although scrolling on the Start screen for now does not seem operable (likely early bug). The one-handed ability is particularly useful for using the Microsoft Edge browser, as you can now easily access the address bar. Indeed, Microsoft said they were exploring a solution to people's complaints about the address bar being at the top, and this may be it.

In terms of appearance, the feature looks okay but a little odd with the black background. Seems as if that space could use something extra, like a blur effect.

Microsoft is not the first company to do this display-resizing trick. On the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users can double tap the Home key to bring down the screen as well for one-handed usage. Likewise, Samsung (2013) and LG have also introduced their methods for one-handed usage on large phones. So if anything, Microsoft is just catching up to the competition.

Regardless, it is a great feature, and we cannot wait to make more use of it. What do you think of Microsoft's implementation? Let us know in comments.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.