The next build of Windows 10 for Phone is now available. The latest release is build 10136, is a welcome update after a very poor quality build last time that was frankly, unusable. This time there’s improvements to Cortana, changes to the Photos and Camera apps, as well as better support for one-handed use on screens of 5” and greater. As you’d expect, there’s plenty of bug fixes.
In the post to announce this build, head of the Windows Insider Program, Gabe Aul says after announcing the July 29th date for the PC release of Windows 10, many people are asking for a Windows 10 on phone release date. To that, he says, there not ready to name a date yet, only that it’ll be ‘later this year’ which tells us there’s still months away from release. .
We’re live! Windows 10 Mobile build 10136 is now available: http://t.co/0g8mruNlpR
— Gabriel Aul (@GabeAul) June 16, 2015
The new Windows 10 build 10136 is rolling out now through Windows Update to the fast ring, while those on the slow ring will have to wait a while.
Getting the update
What is usually a pretty straight forward process to get a new build is somewhat complicated this time because of a bug in the last build.
If you are running the previous build offered to the Fast ring (10080) and you want to get this build you will need to go back to Windows Phone 8.1 via the Windows Phone Recovery Tool first. Once you’re up and running on Windows Phone 8.1, go to the Windows Insider app and select Insider Fast again.
This is required because of a migration bug affecting upgrades from 10080 to this build so that upgrade path is not supported. This is painful but Microsoft prioritised shipping the build over fixing the issue and making you wait any longer. They decided (based on user feedback from Windows Insiders and Twitter) to not to hold off just for migration issues to be fixed.
Some users previously had to go through 2 “hops” to get to the latest build on your phone. This time round, they’ve made this better and you will be able to upgrade directly to the latest build in a single hop regardless of which Windows Phone 8.1 build you’re starting from.
If you’re on build 10080 and don’t want to flash back to 8.1 to get this build, you don’t have to do anything. You won’t be offered this build but your phone will still be configured for the next one, and the expectation is that the next build to have the migration issue fixed so you’ll be able to upgrade directly.
Here is what’s new
Tons of fit and finish changes
There are far too many subtle changes in the UX to cover. You’ll notice some obvious ones right away, like the PIN pad is now transparent and slides up over your Lock screen image instead of displacing it. You’ll see many changes to fonts, icons, layout, etc. and the UX will feel more complete than what you used in 10080. There’s a lot of refinement to the UX and we can expect to see more of that work in the next build.
Improvements to Cortana
Cortana’s experience has gone through a rich set of improvements and is now very close to the final design. There’s plenty of adjustments to cards in Cortana’s homepage and in the hamburger menu. This again is based on feedback from Windows Insiders and added the dark theme colors to Cortana’s UI to make the UI more cohesive with the rest of the OS.
Tracking of your flights and packages has also been enabled so whenever you get an e-mail with flight or package information they show up in the Cortana experience and Cortana will also alert you about them. Alerts for going to work, going home and the airport are also enabled again. Further you can ask questions to weather, currency information, stock quotes and more and get the answers directly inline. That makes it easy to quickly check on multiple locations or stock tickers. To explore further and get the full experience you can tap on these results.
Photos and Camera improvements
In the Photos app, tap on a month to get a list of months so you can quickly “jump” to photos you may have taken a while ago. You can also now double-tap to zoom on a photo. The Photos app also comes with performance and reliability improvements. If you’re running this build on a Lumia 640, 640XL, 930, Icon, or 1520 – check out the Lumia Camera Beta and make it your default camera app. The Lumia Camera Beta is the same app as the new Windows 10 Camera app but with additional features that light up based on Lumia hardware. Let us know what you think!
If you have a device with a screen of 5 inches or greater, it’s now easier to use your device with one hand. Press and hold the Start button and your screen will slide down so you can reach items at the top of your screen. To slide the screen back up, tap the black space at the top of the screen, or press and hold the Start button again. One-handed use will also naturally time out after several seconds and return to your regular view.
Issues fixed from Build 10080:
- Fixed the MMS bug in Build 10080, and you should receive MMS messages normally.
- Fixed the issue where touch will stop responding on the Lock screen preventing you from swiping up to unlock your phone.
- Fixed some visual glitches in Action Center when expanding/collapsing.
- Fixed the issue where the text in the People app was too small.
- When you toggle the Wi-Fi quick action in Action Center, it now disables/enables Wi-Fi instead of taking you to the Wi-Fi Settings page. This was one of the top 5 pieces of feedback from Windows Insiders.
- Your Start screen background should be scaled correctly now.
- You can add a detailed status to display on your Lock screen from apps like Outlook Calendar without having the Settings app crash.
- Fixed the issue where a mouse cursor would appear when pressing the back button on your phone.
There are some known issues with this build and for that you should head to the Blogging Windows site for more information before doing the update.