The Windows 10 Technical Preview has been available to the Windows Insider Program since last fall, and at that time, Microsoft said that soon a new build of the operating system would be coming, along with a Windows Phone 10 preview. Both of those arrived this week.
The first build of Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones is available now for Windows Insiders. The Windows Phone 10 OS will run on phones and small tablets. It allows for easy personalization with backgrounds, and the OS's app accessibility and notifications have been enhanced. Notifications contain added ability to respond from the notification shade, and they no longer require users to open the app from which the notification came.
One of the highly anticipated features of Windows 10 and Phone 10 is Spartan, a new browser. The new OS also promises more integration with the Cortana intelligent personal assistant, along with updated Office, productivity, and entertainment apps, including Outlook and the calendar application.
Participation in the program for phones will work as it did for PCs. Those interested should join the Windows Insider Program and register their device to receive builds as over-the-air updates. Builds will come automatically as they are ready, after being validated by engineers at Microsoft and used on their own phones.
From there, participants use the built-in Windows Feedback app to send Microsoft problem reports and suggestions, and updates will continue all the way up to the final build that goes out to all customers.
Not for Amateurs
Since the preview is a shared code base, participants should expect that builds for PCs, tablets and phones will usually be timed to come out at the same time, but may not always share the same day or same build number. That's because sometimes a bug will affect one but not the other and Microsoft might require another build to fix it, the company said.
Microsoft cautioned users that the new OS for phones is a work in progress. "Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones is here today, but it's far from being finished," Microsoft's Gabe Aul wrote in a blog post. "In fact, it's fairly similar to your current phone (assuming you have Windows Phone 8.1), just a little rougher around the edges, and with a lot more potential to grow."
The Technical Preview will only be available on the Lumia 630, 635, 636, 638, 730 and 830 phones. Also not available in this build is dual SIM support. More limitations: Cortana is only available in English on U.S. phones, and, the preview's accessibility features are extremely limited.
Microsoft advised users not to put the preview OS on their primary phone, and only to install it if they are extremely adept with Windows phone, in other words, if they are able to revert back to their phone's previous OS if necessary.
"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," Aul said. "You'll be getting an insider's view and getting builds that normally would have only been available to Microsoft engineers in the past."