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Windows 10 Technical Preview for Phones!

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The brand new Windows 10 Technical Preview is out for Lumia phones, and it looks awesome! Let's see what Microsoft has to say:

The earliest preview we’ve ever done

This is the earliest publicly available preview we’ve ever done for Windows on phones. This preview is still very much under development and you’re going to see some rough edges. We’re sharing it with you so you can be with us at every step, and provide your feedback to help make this the best release ever—because it’s the one made for you. You will encounter bugs. You will see experiences that are clearly just not done yet, and UX that lacks polish at this point. DON’T WORRY! It will improve as we go and new features, stability and performance improvements, and more polished UX will come at each step.

You will likely feel like this first preview build for phones seems “less complete” or “earlier” than the PC. That’s true—it is.  Although Windows 10 is built on shared code that runs on both PCs and phones, keep in mind that Windows 8.1 for PC was finished months earlier than Windows Phone 8.1, so the PC build has had more bake time.  But we’re not worried about getting a great final product out or the progress we’re making.  Much of our work until this point has been on platform development rather than the completeness of the UI, so a lot isn’t immediately visible – like the fact that we have a common OS core and app platform across PC and phones. But those ‘fundamentals’ represent a ton of work and are going to enable a lot of cool things to come, like apps that work seamlessly across devices, consistent manageability of devices, and the ability to run a whole new generation of Office Universal Apps on all of your Windows 10 devices.

Who should try it?

If you’re a Windows Phone customer and love to try the latest stuff before anyone else, or a Developer or IT Pro who works with Windows Phones, joining the Windows Insider program and trying out this build may be right for you. You’ll be getting an insider’s view and getting builds that normally would have only been available to Microsoft engineers in the past.

What’s included

There’s a lot to love about this build, including familiar features and small improvements, as well as some great new capabilities. Take a look at some of the highlights for this first preview build:

  • 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

There are also some things Joe showed that will be coming in future builds.  For example, our Office team has built some great features into new universal apps for Word, Excel and PowerPoint, which work across phones, tablets, and PCs running Windows 10.  Although they are not included in this build, you will see them coming soon.  In upcoming builds we’ll also include the new Mail and Calendar Universal Apps from the Outlook team in Office, as well as IP-based messaging from Skype and others, integrated directly into Messaging experience.

We know that some things will also look like a step back. This includes Cortana. Because of the work we’re doing to converge across PC and phones, Cortana in this build will be limited to US-only and English-only and some of the features you use in Windows Phone 8.1 aren’t yet enabled in this new codebase. Once again, DON’T WORRY! Cortana will be more powerful and capable in Windows 10 than ever before, with more capabilities and language support than ever before. Windows Insiders will see those changes come alive in future builds. You can see more about Cortana in Windows 10 here.

Of course, this being just a little preview, it's far from perfect (absolutely normal!). There are quite a few issues and bugs which need to be squished, such as the fact that VPN is not yet available, Language Keyboard issues, the Photos app may fail every now and then when attaching pictures in other apps, no roaming, Lock Screen pictures will fail at times, etc.. You catch the drift. But that is not the point. This technical preview is supposed to be used as a bit of a showcase of the new OS, not a new update to use as a daily.


Who can get this update?

For the first preview, the only supported devices are the:
-Lumia 630
-Lumia 635
-Lumia 636
-Lumia 638
-Lumia 730
-Lumia 830


This sounds far too inviting.. How do I join?

Instructions on how to join the Windows Insider program and get your phone set up are available on the Windows Insider website at http://insider.windows.com. As with this post, I recommend that you read the instructions carefully so you can upgrade easily and comfortably.

 

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