Windows 10 for phones is still very much in development and yesterday Microsoft released their latest build 10080. Since Microsoft first spoke about Windows 10 coming to phones, way back in January, enthusiasts naturally expected their flagship phones would be amongst the first to receive the tech preview. We we wrong.
Microsoft have given multiple reasons for the delay in getting Windows 10 on high-end Lumia’s, the first being partition stitching.
We have a feature that will be coming soon called “partition stitching” which will allow us to adjust the OS partition dynamically to create room for the install process to be able to update the OS in-place. Until this comes in, we needed devices which were configured by mobile operators with sufficiently sized OS partitions to allow the in-place upgrade, and many of the bigger phones have very tight OS partitions.
With those delays aside, now in build 10080 of Windows 10 for phones, support for the Lumia 930 and the international verison, the Lumia Icon has arrived.
Specifically, it supports the Lumia 930/Lumia Icon, Lumia 640 and 640XL, and our first non-Lumia phone – the HTC One (M8) for Windows.
After installing the update, my Lumia 930 the phone rebooted and failed to load the home screen tiles. The phone hadn’t been bricked as the notification draw allowed me to access settings and tapping a notification, launched that app. A reboots later and the results was the same, no tiles. The strangest experience was tapping on the home button, it displayed a mouse cursor in the top left of the screen, yep a windows desktop cursor, on a phone, just plain weird. The only explanation I can think of is some early code in this build that is preparing for Continuum where the phone can convert to a full PC.
At this point I had resolved to resetting or potentially restoring the phone. Holding down the volume down, power and camera button for around 10 seconds and the phone rebooted. To my surprise the phone started and the tiles were there, with their new smaller margins.
The excitement of having the Lumia 930 was quickly dashed when I realised many apps would launch, like almost none of them. So another couple of reboots and no change, it was time for a hard reset.
This part I take responsibility for. When I purchased my Lumia 930, I bought a grey import, meaning it came from Asia somewhere, not even sure specifically where it was sourced from. When I got the device it came with English as a pre-installed language, so during set up this was an option and since then I’ve seen no differences compared to a locally sourced device. Now I do.
After updating the Lumia 930 to Windows 10 build 10080 and resetting the device, there was no English option on the phone. The list of options appeared scrollable, but any touch point on the screen would register as a selection, not the start of a scrolling gesture, so it appears the language options just aren’t scaled correctly.
I’ve been a Windows Phone user since the early days of Windows Phone 7 and have been through the setup screens dozens of times across a number of devices. Despite not knowing any of the available languages, I chose one, probably a variant of Chinese. Knowing the sequence of screens, I made my way through the setup, connecting to my WiFi (thankfully the on-screen keyboard was in English) and signing into my Microsoft Account. Out the other side, I see the tiles again. I had thought I could dive through settings and install English as a language and it worked, but again the tiles were unresponsive.
My last option is to connect the phone via USB and use the Windows Phone Recovery Tool. It’s currently downloading a new version of the build and at 1.91GB, it’s my last hope of getting back to a working Lumia 930. Fortunately it’s not the only phone I own, but if you have rely on your Lumia 930 or Lumia Icon, I’d hold off on testing that Windows 10 tech preview for now. It’s expected there’ll be bugs for sure, but not like this and after waiting almost 6 months, it most definitely wasn’t worth the wait.
I’ll update this post if I manage to get the phone working again, but let us know in the comments if you’re a Lumia 930 owner. Have you tried the update and had issues?
You can read more about Windows 10 Build 10080 for phones on the Windows Insider Blog.