In an interesting and very useful mistake, many people who try to upgrade their Windows Phone handsets to new Windows 10 Mobile build are receiving, instead, the mysterious Windows Phone 8.1.2 (Update 2/GDR2) release. This update will be included in new phones like the Lumia 640, and will apparently be delivered to some modern Windows Phones in the months ahead as well.
As a bit of background, there is apparently a glitch in the Windows Insider app/process where people go to upgrade to the latest Windows 10 build on their Lumia handset but receive Windows Phone 8.1.2 instead. This happened to me this morning with my Lumia 830, so I’m going to try and keep it on this OS so I can check out the new features. Here’s what I can see so far.
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Settings. The terrible, non-sortable and non-searchable Settings interface from all previous Windows Phone versions is now subdivided into settings groups (Network+Wireless, Personalization and so on) and can finally be searched. Finally! And, you can now pin individual Settings apps to the Start screen: Just tap and hold on the setting you want to access that way, then choose “pin to start.”
Bluetooth keyboard support. This won’t be truly useful until Windows 10 and the universal Office apps, but in Windows Phone 8.1.2 you can actually connect to a Bluetooth keyboard and use it in apps like Word Mobile. However, navigational keys (like Start) don’t work, so it’s not the full Windows experience.
Lumia 930 support. While the Lumia 930 was explicitly left out of the list of devices on which you can install the new Windows 10 build, if you install the Windows Insider app, sign in and choose Fast Track, and then run Phone Updates (in Settings), you’ll be given Windows Phone 8.1.2. Pretty cool, and since this is a final shipping OS, I don’t see any reason not to do it. I’m installing it on my own 930 right now. (I’m not sure yet if this works with the Lumia Icon as well.)
That’s all I see so far. If you do get this update and find something else new, please let me know.