Microsoft rolled out the Technical preview Build 10080 for Windows 10 Mobile last Thursday and with it came a lot of interesting features, UI changes, new Windows 10 universal apps as well as the usual bugs and instability.
After a few days of using the build as my daily driver, I put together a 1 hour video showing most of the new features and universal apps.
I have switched back to my regular Windows Phone 8.1 device, as this build 10080 is very buggy, unstable for regular daily use. I would regular using it on the weekends or whenever you are less likely to rely heavily on your phone.
So let's get right to it. Here's the video...
Start Screen customization: I think the first new feature you would want to try out in this build would be the start screen customization. With this new customization options, you can now choose either the "in-tile" background image or the full background image that lies underneath the tiles, the interesting feature is that now, you have the option to set the opacity level of the tiles, this to me is the winner here!
People Hub/Contacts: The people hub has taken a major design overhaul (as with almost eveything in Windows 10), I am still on the fence with this one. There is now a circle icon that holds your contacts' images, there has been an uproar from insiders about this change, it has also been implemented in Windows 10 PC, but the good news is that Microsoft is listening and I doubt this will make it to the final cut of Windows 10. Having circle images for a square/tile oriented OS is just out of place. Apart from that you see the new Windows 10 design being implemented though this is still very early stage but you can see where Microsoft is going with this.
Messaging App: The messaging app will be integrated with Skype, though we haven't see that implemented yet in this build, the messaging app is now a universal one. It is still in very early stage so I expect things to change as we progress. What's interesting is a video messaging button that is grayed out for now, meaning that you will be able to not just send SMS or skype chat but also do create, edit and send video messages from the Messaging app as well. Skype Qik integration anyone??
Settings Page: The settings page has taken a whole new look, looking more like the settings page on Windows 10 PC, items are now grouped into different categories. You can now pin different settings to the start screen and there is a "find a setting" search field box to quickly get access to the setting you need, this is the winner here.
Alarms app: Most of the new features in this build are all universal apps and we will start with the Alarms app which isn't just an app for setting alarms anymore but also has a Timer, World Clock and Stopwatch all inside.
Calculator App: This also is now a universal app and it also doesn't just do calculating but also does scientific, programmer calculating and it does converting too. But that's not the best part. The calculator app now stores in memory, all your last calculations, this is a nifty cool feature.
Outlook Mail&Calendar: The boring Mail client and Calendar app from Windows Phone 8.1 are now gone and replaced by the new universal app: Outlook Mail and Calendar. Both have been integrated into this pretty cool universal app. It is still in the beginning stages, hence not very usable and a bunch of features still missing, but if you want an idea what the finished product would look like, perhaps take a look at the Outlook mail app on either Android or iOS.
Windows 10 Store Beta: The Windows store you are used to is going away and a new universal, more sleek, more modern version is taking its place. There's a Store beta app, same one on Windows 10 PC Builds, it is in beta, so it's a work in progress, but it already offers a lot of promise. There are now Video/TV/Film section for purchasing movies or TV shows. There's also a Music section, though it hasn't gone live yet.
I expect to see a Books section sometime in the future too.
Office Preview apps: Microsoft has finally given us a chance to test out the new Office apps (Word, Excel and PowerPoint). In this build, you will be able to download the suite of Office universal apps from the Windows 10 Store beta. Microsoft has brought all the features you know and love from your Office apps on your PC to the mobile screen.
New OneNote: Access to password-protected section in your OneNote notebooks is finally here on the new universal OneNote app! This is one feature I have been waiting for. It has been available on iOS version for a while now and even though it doesn't quite work yet, it is good to see it is being worked on and be fully functional in Windows 10.
Universal MSN apps: All the MSN apps you know and love are also getting the universal treatment. If you are running the 10080 build be sure to check out the new...
- MSN Sports
- MSN Weather and
- MSN Travel
- MSN Money and
- MSN News apps
Project Spartan (Microsoft Edge): The new browser that will replace Internet Explorer is here. You can check it out and give Microsoft your feedback on what you would like to see either changed or improved on.
Cortana: Cortana is available in this build and is in a light theme (that you cannot change... yet). There are a few UI/UX changes but it is all in the name of the Windows 10 reference design. It is still the same Cortana you love.
Maps app: By far the best app in this 10080 Build, the Maps app is the most improved, most beautiful app from all the other universal apps in Windows 10. It has got a new design, more features and very very appealing UX. There are now street views and an option to see certain cities in 3D, it is really cool stuff. With his app, HERE Maps/Drive aren't relevant anymore to be honest.
Lumia Camera app: The camera app is now the Lumia camera app and there aren't a whole lot of changes there.
Unlimited background apps: The number of apps running in the background is now set to unlimited. remember the days when it was just 5 apps at a time, then it got bumped to 8 then 12 then... Now it is unlimited. I don't know if I like this. Feels Androidesque, because now I find myself going to the task viewer to manually close/exit apps. In Windows Phone 8.1, simply using the back button exits an app, but in Windows 10, even if you use the back button, the app just goes on in the background.
Tap to Pay: Microsoft is bringing "tap to pay" feature to Windows 10 mobile phones. There is now a new option in "wallets" to use tap to pay. this is a feature, though old, got traction after Apple started using it on its iPhone 6 phone.
There are a few new features in this build but a whole bunch of new universal apps to play with in this build.
Unfortunately, it is very buggy, so try to use it on a secondary device and give your feedback. Let's make Windows 10 Mobile great!!