After about a month of silence, Microsoft has rolled out the first preliminary version of Windows 10 Technical Preview for smartphones. Anyone who has signed up for Windows Insider program can start downloading the build 9941 on their devices right now.
The preview build brings an array new visual and hidden changes to the table for Windows phones. The first noticeable thing is new Start screen has – somewhat – translucent tiles and the background image really sits in the background completely instead of in the tiles. Although, Microsoft has promised to retain those transparent tiles and an option to set an image as a background in the tiles.
@OpenPlumbob yes… Were planning to include both the "full background" and "in the tiles" options.
— joebelfiore (@joebelfiore) February 13, 2015
The new Settings menu is more optimized and organized resembling with Settings app of Windows 10 Technical Preview for desktops.
Action Center has now many more quick shortcuts and also allows you to dismiss or clear single notifications. Now, you can also expand notifications to get more information about an alert. Other features improved keyboard with precision pointing stick, voice dictation, a new shortcut to emoji, and new File Explorer app.
The build also comes with a new set of Universal apps i.e. feature packed version of calculator with all scientific calculations and photos app. To no surprise, the Windows maker has offered a Feedback app so as to receive suggestions and feedback regarding the development of Windows 10 for phones.
For a quick note, the preview build is only available for select Lumia smartphones that have at least 8GB of internals storage as well as Windows Phone 8.1 installed. Supported phones for Windows 10 Technical Preview are the Lumia 630/635/636/638, the Lumia 730 and the affordable flagship Lumia 830.
A more extended support will come later as Microsoft has kept away the Lumia 930/Icon and the 1520 from the first round of the release. The duo does not have a dedicated partition for the new OS, and the Redmond developers are prepping a tool called “partition stitching” that will expand the partition dynamically.
How to install Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones
- Make sure you must have a phone from the above list of supported phones running Windows Phone 8.1.
- Download and install Windows Insider app.
- Join the Windows Insider Program, sign in the app and choose either Slow or Fast lane to receive the early builds of Windows 10 for phones.
- Once it’s done! Check for updates and follow the screen instructions.
As it still has rough edges, we recommend to take backup of your device in prior to install the preview build because it would be in-place upgrade. FYI, Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones will expire on October 1, 2015.