Windows Insiders rejoice, for a new Windows 10 Mobile preview build is out ! Microsoft had announced the same yesterday. The build however, is only available for devices that shipped with Windows 10 Mobile and a few other devices that saw an upgrade from Windows Phone 8.1 with the addition of the Lumia 635.
Highlights of this new build include improvements to the Action Center, notifications, Continuum, Cortana, Settings, emoji, Edge, lockscreen, navigation bar, battery settings and battery saving experience and a whole lot more.
Let’s start with the update to the Action Center. Now individual app notifications in the Action Center no longer repeat the app icons for each notification. The icons will only appear in the header that groups together all the app-specific notification. This means you’ll have more content visibility. Notifications will now have a live tile-like look to them. This means that the notification area has been turned into an eye-candy. Their layout has also been made more flexible. Notifications can also have ‘hero image’ for content bigger image sizes.
We also get insights from Cortana in the notification area. You can also prioritize these notifications like in Andoid 5.0. You get three levels of priority– Normal, High or Top. You also get the ability to add, remove and rearrange the Quick Actions that are available in the Action Center.
Now let’s get to the all important Cortana.
Cortana is now easier to use than ever. Setting reminders is now much easier. You can now set Photo Reminders by taking snapshots of something you need to be reminded about or can use content from select Universal Windows Phone apps to set reminders.
The Settings app have also gotten a visual makeover. You now get individual icons for pages which makes the UI less messy. A droupdown flyout for page suggestions makes the service easier to use. You can now also change the navigation bar settings as well as vibration settings. The Glance screen has also been revamped to make it simple to use. You also get an Android-like Battery Use page that will allow you to manage background settings of individual apps. Windows Update can also be scheduled to avoid working in the background when you are most actively using your device.
For the social geeks out there, the emoji section of the keyboard has been revamped to arrange emoji in the following order: Favorites, Smileys and Animals, People, Celebrations and Objects, Food and Plants, Transportation and Places, Symbols, and ASCII emoticons.
Another significant improvement has come to Microsoft’s proprietary browser. Edge will now get better copy/paste options along with a better way of managing tabs. If you click on a link to open a webpage via another app, it will open a new tab which can easily be closed by pressing the back button.
Continuum will also support USB Ethernet support. There are a few issues with this as Microsoft lists, though:
- You may see an error message the first time you connect. There is nothing wrong with your adapter, and the message will be eliminated in a future update.
- Not all adapters are supported yet – more will be added in a future update.
- In this update, you will not see a visual indicator that you are connected, so if you want to double-check that it’s working you can turn off Wi-Fi and cellular data.
- Windows 10 Mobile supports proxy configuration for Wi-Fi and VPN connections. Proxy support for LAN connections will be available in a future update.
The build brings a number of new features and enhancements but just like any other preview build, it has a few bugs that need to be resolved. Here are the known issues listed by the Redmond giant:
- Language and speech packs are unable to be downloaded and will show errors due to a backend issue.
- We’re investigating a crash with the Camera app when going into your camera roll.
- There is an issue in which you may see duplicate apps under All apps showing as pending despite being installed and usable on your phone. You may also see some apps stuck in the Store.
- You may see square boxes in certain apps when using some of the new emoji – Microsoft is still getting support for the new emoji added throughout the systems, this will be resolved in a future build.
- In some cases, users might get in a state where neither space or enter are working on the keyboard. If that happens, pressing and holding one of the apps in the All apps list until a context menu appears may resolve the issue. If this doesn’t work, you will need to reboot.
- UPDATE: There is a bug in this build preventing Tweetium from launching.
- UPDATE: Facebook Messenger will fail to launch from Start or All apps. As a workaround, you can open Facebook Messenger via the Facebook app or open Facebook Messenger from Cortana. You can also tap on notifications from Facebook Messenger to open the app as well. This bug impacts numerous other Windows Phone 8.1 apps such as WeChat, Transfer My Data, and UC Browser too.