Windows 10 for phones now available, for the worst phones

Microsoft have ended the speculation around a release date for Windows 10 on Windows Phone. The preview for Insiders is available now. Microsoft say this is the earliest preview...

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Microsoft have ended the speculation around a release date for Windows 10 on Windows Phone. The preview for Insiders is available now. Microsoft say this is the earliest preview they’ve ever done for Windows Phone, so expect far more of an alpha quality than beta. This preview is still very much under development and you’re going to see rough edges. The rationale for sharing it with you so early is to engage enthusiasts at every step step of the process (excluding conception). It also provides a platform for your feedback which Microsoft say they are listening for.

You will encounter bugs. You will see experiences that are clearly just not done yet, and UX that lacks polish at this point. It will improve as we go and new features, stability and performance improvements, and more polished UX will come at each step.

New in Windows 10 on Phones are the following features:

  • Full-size Background Image for Start: We believe phones should be intensely personal – so we’ve added another option to customize the start screen with a full-size background image.
  • More Quick Actions in Action Center: We’ve increased the number of quick actions available to you. Windows Phone 8.1 has four programmable quick actions – but with Windows 10 you also get an expanded view that can now have up to three rows.
  • Interactive Notifications: Notifications are now interactive, allowing you to take action directly like dismissing an alarm, or seeing images for maps. For example, for text messages, when the toast pops, you can quickly reply inline via text or voice.
  • Significantly enhanced speech-to-text capability: You can talk to virtually any data field you choose. Your words show up as you speak them – and punctuation appears automatically.  This feature is smart enough to understand when to use ‘two’ – the number — instead of ‘too’ as in ‘also’.
  • More powerful Photos app: From your very first launch, Photos will show the aggregated set of all your local photos and all your OneDrive photos

The biggest disappointment with today’s announcement is the availability is seriously limited. The insider program is for people who are willing to live on the cutting edge and accept the unreliability that comes from pre-release software are the kind of profile of users that will have flagship devices. There is no Lumia 930 or 1520 on the list of supported devices. While Windows10 will support almost every Windows Phone that can run Windows Phone 8, for now the starved list of devices that can get Windows 10 today is so restricted, it’s feels like a massive mistake. Microsoft just pissed off their biggest fans.

Windows 10 Tech Preview for Phones is available for:

  • Lumia 630
  • Lumia 635
  • Lumia 636
  • Lumia 638
  • Lumia 730
  • Lumia 830

If you do have one of the supported devices, you can follow the steps below to see if your country and carrier allow it.

  • Join the Windows Insider Program
  • Register your device to receive builds as over the air updates
  • Builds will come to you automatically as they are ready, after being validated by engineers at Microsoft and used on their own phones
  • Use the built-in Windows Feedback app to send us problem reports and suggestions
  • Updates will continue all the way up to the final build that goes out to all customers
  • You can roll your phone back to the previous OS any time you’d like

What features are missing in Technical Preview?

  • Messaging is currently missing a number of features you might use in Windows Phone 8.1, including dual-SIM support, search, message drafts, sharing voice notes and ringtones, Bi-Di language support, international assisted dialling, spam filter, viewing all group recipients, reminders and quiet hours through Cortana, multiple attachments and GSM support. If you use these features regularly, you’ll want to wait to install the preview until we get them into a future build.
  • Cortana is only available in English (United States) for phones. In other locales, you’ll get the standard search experience.
  • The Rooms feature is not available in the preview. You’ll still be able to get to your photo albums, calendars and notes, either on the web or by using other apps on your phone. You won’t be able to see your chat history or send or receive any new chats. If you have important info in your Rooms chats that you want to keep, save a copy to a different device before updating your phone to Technical Preview. For more info, take a look at the Rooms FAQ.
  • Some text in the preview will not yet have been translated into all available languages and will only appear in English. This text will be translated into all available languages by the time the final product is available.
  • The Phone app doesn’t have Dual SIM support or spam filtering in the preview.

 

More information on the Windows Blog.

 

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