Microsoft has rolled out the latest test build for Windows 10 Mobile, the upcoming version of its operating system aimed at smartphones, adding the usual bug fixes and enhancements. However, a flaw means that users can install it only from Windows Phone 8.1.
Build 10549 of the Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview was made available overnight to testers on the Fast ring of Microsoft’s Windows Insider programme. It adds a number of improvements to features like Cortana and the messaging app, as well as fixing problems uncovered by testers.
Windows 10 Mobile appears to be having a rockier road to full release than the version of Windows 10 for PCs and tablets, which launched at the end of July. As an example of this, Microsoft is warning testers that upgrading can cause their phone to freeze, and that it should be installed only using Windows Phone 8.1 as the baseline.
“We discovered a bug late last night that caused phones upgrading from Build 10536 to get stuck at a black screen after this new build is installed. Rather than making you wait a little bit longer for us to fix this bug, we decided to release this build as a single update from Windows Phone 8.1,” explained Gabe Aul, Microsoft’s director of programme management for the Windows Fundamentals team, writing on the Windows blog.
Among the improvements in this build is support for testers in Japan and in English for those in Australia and Canada. The Messaging app now has a text box that can expand as text is entered, rather than being fixed in size, while a future build for mobile will include the integrated Skype capabilities, Aul said.
Meanwhile, Lumia Camera is no longer uninstalled when Lumia 1020 users update to Windows Mobile 10 from Windows Phone 8.1. Microsoft fixed this because Lumia Camera is not yet available in the Store for Windows 10 devices. Those who have already upgraded will need to use the Windows Phone Recovery Tool to revert to 8.1 if they still want Lumia Camera.
Other fixed problems include one that prevented users launching apps saved onto a flash SD card if the card had been removed and reinserted, while the Camera app no longer crashes when some applications launch it to capture a picture, and pinch-to-zoom now works properly in the Maps app.
Microsoft has said that Windows 10 Mobile will be available as an update to existing devices in December, but will feature first on two new Lumia handsets coming in November.