Windows 10 Technical Preview for selected phones has been rolled out by Microsoft for selected handsets. The first preview of the new Windows 10 for phones includes new features such as background images for the start screen, improved notifications center, various much-needed user interface updates and changes throughout the OS and much more.
The biggest and very welcome change so far seems to be to the user interface and gone are the days of the ‘Metro UI’ with panoramic views and headings that cut off. Hamburger menus are the norm now and make for a very clean and uniform user interface with reduced clutter.
The list of supported devices is very small at the moment and is expected to grow with time. However, if you have one of the below devices, you can head over to the Windows Insider program website to download and install Windows 10 on your device.
- Lumia 630
- Lumia 635
- Lumia 636
- Lumia 638
- Lumia 730
- Lumia 830
Yours truly has not gotten his hands on a Windows 10 compatible device at the moment so first-hand impressions are lacking. I have been reading up on various previews from around the web from reputable websites so you can get a fair idea of what to expect if you are interested in installing the technical preview.
Paul Thurrott has a good in-depth series of articles in progress on the new features in Windows 10. Two parts are up on his website as of writing this article which can be read here and here. Microsoft’s websites and blogs don’t provide as many details on the feature updates as Paul has already provided.
Ars Technica had a Lumia 830 to test Windows 10 on. They have in-depth coverage as well on the number of changes in the OS and wrap up their first look with the below:
This preview is clearly quite early, with many parts unfinished and un-updated. We don’t have the new Office apps, or the new integrated Skype and SMS app, for example. I think it’s rather too early to use this on a daily driver phone. Picking up a cheap Lumia 635 at the Microsoft store is, for the time being, perhaps the best way to kick the tires of the preview.
The Verge has not put Windows 10 on phone through the paces yet but they had a hands on in January which provides a brief overview of the new features.
Gizmodo has a fun walk through in the form of GIFs which does not go into much detail but only covers what they think are the best 6 features in Windows 10 for phones.
Expect more details to be uncovered next week on this but for now, initial impressions show that Microsoft has touched every nook and corner of the operating system and this seems to be yet another reboot (and the best one from the looks of it) for Windows on smartphones.