Opinion

Revisiting Windows 10 Mobile (Preview) with build 10536

Just released on the Fast Track of the Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview, build 10536.1004 is a significant advance in the development of the phone version of Microsoft’s all encompassing operating system. As someone who had visited this in the past, I was unsure of whether it was worth returning again so soon after giving up but initial impressions are that this is a much more stable product which is not too far from being ready to ship.

Installation from a Windows 8.1 phone is eased this time with the build having a full installer; no jumping from version to version the get there. Once that is done, you’ll run through the process of reinstalling some of your existing apps. Not everything came across cleanly as I’m guessing there’s a conflict between replacing Win8.1 apps with Win10 versions but uninstalling them does the trick.

From my own perspective, finally having internet sharing (now called mobile hotspot) working is good news… I’m using it now for this post. Bluetooth support is much better too but there’s still room for improvement. Regional support for Cortana has to get built out further by Microsoft because you’re missing out if it’s not being used; a quick switch to the UK and I was back in business again.

From the start screen the UI keeps the familiar tiles but as you delve further apps begin taking on a more generic style like cross platform apps. Many criticisms have been aimed at this because it seems Microsoft may be sacrificing the platform’s own identity for the sale of making it easy to port apps. It appears now that the “hamburger” menus are not so popular any more…

Is it worth upgrading? Right now I’d say it’s close; it’s much more stable on my Lumia 930 and most of the main features are working now which means this could be running on your main phone. With Microsoft having a big Windows 10 reveal early next month, it’s likely that the OS is close to complete and is not far from shipping on new hardware very soon.

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