So the latest Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones is now out, and we’ll be reporting, throughout the day, and probably late into the weekend about the new features, finds, fixes and issues in the latest build (10051). Thankfully, for those interested in the build but may be too busy to try it out, here is what the Windows team is officially saying about what is included in this build.
Firstly, Insiders on Windows phone can finally get their hands on the famed Spartan browser for mobile. Even though the browser is considered a universal app and should be similar to the desktop version, testers can put Spartan through its paces on their phones now. Similar to its PC counterpart, Windows 10 for phones will have both Spartan and IE 11 coexisting in this build, but Spartan is not the default browser. You’ll find it in the All Apps list.
As previously reported, there are also new Mail and Calendar apps to play with in this build. We’ll go more into depth about the functionality and feature sets of these new apps, but for now the Windows team would like to note:
Outlook Mail includes customizable Swipe Gestures, letting you swipe right or left to take actions like delete, flag, move or mark as read/unread. Also, check out the new email authoring experience. Outlook Mail leverages the familiar capabilities of Word to create a richer email experience. You can do formatting tricks like inserting tables, adding pictures and using bullets and text. Outlook Mail and Outlook Calendar connects to Office 365, Exchange, Outlook.com, Gmail, Google Calendar, Yahoo!, IMAP, POP and other traditional accounts.
Alongside the Mail and Calendar apps are new Phone and Messaging apps. Again, check back here later for hands on reviews of these new apps. In the meantime, we’re told that the new People app features a new visual design for the universal app that will be in future builds of Windows Technical Preview for PC.
There is also a new Maps app that will be used as the universal maps for the Windows ecosystem. For those of you who tried to test out the new maps on PC but were met with an error, here is your chance to try it out now. The Windows team is proud to include that the app “includes the best maps, aerial imagery, rich local search data, and voice guided navigation experiences from both Bing Maps and HERE maps, integrated together for the first time into a single app for Windows.”
Lastly, there is an update to the Apps Switcher, as we’ve seen in the recent leaked screenshots. The update includes support for landscape viewing. Folks toting around a Lumia 1520 will also get a new grid view of apps. It seems the benefits of phablets are finally becoming more prominent. The background app limit has also been extended to show up to 15 apps in use, up from the previous 7.
Alongside new features, users of the previous build might be happy to find that the Windows team also handled a collection of issues with some new fixes.
- We’ve updated the keyboard layout based on your feedback. The keyboard layout now has period, comma and emoji keys on first page of keyboard. Language switching is enabled by press-and-hold on the &123 key. There is also an option to replace the emoji key with the language switching key.
- We’ve fixed the Cortana icon resolution so it now scales with tile size.
- We’ve fixed the issue where the Photos app would fail to launch periodically when attempting to add a photo attachment to an email, OneNote or Facebook item.
- We’ve fixed the issue where the Microsoft Band wouldn’t sync with your phone after upgrading to Windows 10.
Now for the bad news. There are some known issues, but the team says they are hard at work addressing them for upcoming builds. For those faint of heart, or realistically, those that only have one primary phone, you may want to take a hard look at these notes.
- The Photos app’s tile will now pick up the phone’s theme color before it’s launched and then start showing pictures from your collection including OneDrive in the Live tile.
- There might be situations in which auto-upload of your Camera Roll to OneDrive may not be working. Please be sure to back up your photos especially if you need to use the Windows Phone Recovery Tool to go back to Windows Phone 8.1.
- The Office Hub has been removed from this build. You won’t be able to open Word, Excel, PowerPoint or OneNote files in this build. Preview versions of the universal Office apps will be available in the coming weeks.
- We are redoing how text messages are handled and processed by Cortana so in this build text messages cannot be read out over Bluetooth.
- After upgrade, some apps that have been installed onto a SD memory card will fail to launch. To fix this, uninstall and reinstall the apps.
- About 1% of the time, incoming phone calls may not play a ringing sound.
- Call + SMS filtering will not work after upgrade.
- For people upgrading their phone from Build 9941, there is a bug in which your phone’s MMS settings will be lost after upgrade. The new Messaging app doesn’t yet have the ability to re-enter these settings. You will need to use the Windows Phone Recovery Tool to go back to Windows Phone 8.1 and then upgrade to this build to get MMS working again.
- Also for people upgrading their phone from Build 9941, the tiles on your Start screen for the Camera and Photos apps may be missing or corrupt. You will have to unpin any corrupt tiles and re-pin the apps to your Start screen.
- On some phones, due to a scaling bug the dismiss button won’t be visible when an alarm is triggered. To stop your phone from “alarming “just touch the arrow and swipe up on the notification and off the screen to end the alarm.
- On phones with 512MB of memory, apps can randomly crash due to an issue with memory management.
- Flight mode cannot be enabled.
- Data connections can’t be disabled.
- You may need to re-pin the Phone app after the upgrade.
- The Insider Hub is now included on Phone but may fail to launch on some phones.
As with every build and per the new Microsoft mentality, the Windows team would love your feedback. The group is recommending those who are planning to test out the build, use the Feedback app to report concerns or make suggestions.
Note: If you are updating a phone from Build 9941 – please see the source below for a known issue regarding MMS that will require you to go use the Windows Phone Recovery Tool to roll back to Windows Phone 8.1 first and upgrade to this build in order to have MMS working on your phone.