Microsoft Releases Windows 10 Preview Build For Phones

Microsoft has launched Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones today, but first you’ll have to download the Windows Insider app from the Windows phone store.

This preview build is exclusively for smartphones

The new version built exclusively for phones shows close resemblance to its desktop and Xbox One counterparts. It offers a wide range of features, such as interactive notifications, sync between notifications on mobile and desktop and much more. It seems that this is way more than what Microsoft has been offering before and is a good step forward. According to Microsoft this is one of the earliest previews that they have done for Windows on phone and so there will be a few bugs and crashes, customer feedback is essential while promising improvements are on their way, the blog stated:

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.

There are a lot of features included in this first preview build a few of them are (via Windows blog):

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

This is just the beginning as future builds will have far more things lined up such as, the Microsoft Office team has built some terrific features for Word, Excel and PowerPoint. These features are built into new universal apps and so will work across all phones, PCs and tablets running on Windows 10. Though they are not included in this preview they will surely be coming soon, along with these new Mail and Calendar Apps from the Outlook team will also be included, another great feature will be Skype and VoIP messaging that will be integrated directly into the Messaging service.

One major limitation can be spotted and it is worth noting that this build includes Cortana, because of the work being done to converge across PC and phones. In this build Cortana is US-only and English-only and some of its features previously in Windows 8.1 Phones aren’t available in this version yet. Microsoft claims to make Cortana more powerful than ever before in the new Windows 10 and tells its users not to worry, let’s see if they live up to this promise in the next version.

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