27th December 2016 Olivier

Detecting Continuum mode

One of the specific feature of W10M, unmatched by other mobile OS is Continuum.

What is the Continuum? Basically, this is a feature of some Windows 10 Mobile phones (the Lumia 950 and 950XL, for instance) that turns the phone into a sort of mini PC. It is a way to add secondary screen via a dock (HD-500, for example, that also allows to add a mouse and a keyboard) or a wireless display adapter (type Wireless Display Adapter). On this secondary screen, Windows 10 Mobile mode Continuum is close to the 10 Windows desktop interface. Applications that integrate the Continuum mode can then begin a mode full-screen as a UWP desktop application.

Windows 10 Mobile start screen in Continuum:










or: #000000;”>An example of application Continuum, from a MSDN blog:

It’s the same application, but it has a different view in Continuum (that would be sad not to take advantage of the space!)

Detection of Continuum

It’s a shame, WinRT does not provide a property indicating we are in Continuum or not. You can do it indirectly, hopefully. You must first check if you are on a mobile device by checking the DeviceFamilly property. If this is the case and the UserInteractionMode is ‘Mouse‘, we’re in the Continuum (in “normal” mode the UserInteractionMode is ‘Touch‘ on a mobile).

It should be noted that connecting a mouse or not has no bearing on the value of UserInteractionMode. It will always be ‘Mouse’ in Continuum.

Translation in code :


It would be nice to have a StateTrigger which allows to change the view depending on whether we’re in Continuum or not. Easy!

Code :

Nothing special, it’s a pretty basic StateTrigger. There is a State property, which can be basic or Continuum. The StateTrigger will be activated according to this value.

To find out if we went from the mode “Base” to Continuum (or vice versa), it register to the Window.Current.SizeChanged event. This event is launched when the window changes size, which is the case when it goes into the mode Continuum (or when we go back to “normal” mode).


Here’s how to use the StateTrigger

In phone mode :



And in Continuum



An amazing feature that will allow, soon I hope (hello Surface Phone) to have a phone that is also a real PC!

The code is on GitHub : https://github.com/Guruumeditation/Article-ContinuumDetection

Mobile and Mixed Reality engineer , Arcana Studio
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