If you’ve been testing both Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile as part of the Windows Insider program, you know that Windows 10 Mobile has been trailing well behind its desktop/tablet counterparts from a quality perspective. But with initial Windows 10 development finally winding down, Windows 10 Mobile is becoming a bigger priority for Microsoft. And some recent leaks suggest that the quality of this product is starting to really improve too.
I will say this, regardless of when we do see new public builds: with the most recent Windows 10 Mobile build for Insiders, I’ve had much better results by upgrading and then instantly resetting my testing handsets, in effect performing a clean install of the build. And in doing so, I’ve seen a level of quality that was previously unimaginable. No, it’s not as clean or stable as the desktop/tablet version of Windows 10. But it’s not unusable like previous builds either.
This change was always going to happen, of course. On the eve of Build in April, Windows lead Terry Myerson told me that I should expect some major quality leaps for the desktop builds of Windows 10 in May/June and then for Mobile at a later date. Some more recent reports have pegged that date roughly as July, which makes plenty of sense given that Windows 10 is basically complete and is simply being fine-tuned at this point.
But a few leaks are bringing this point home.
First, a site called MSMobile.pl has leaked some shots of Windows 10 Mobile build 10149. There are a number of nice changes seen in these shots.
Edge address bar on the bottom. To keep Edge consistent between desktop and mobile, Microsoft put the address bar on the top of the app in both, and many complained this was less than ideal on Mobile. Well, it’s fixed: The Edge address bar appears on the bottom of the app in this build, where it belongs.
Improved All Apps. This could just be a scaling thing, but it appears that the app icons in the All Apps list are bigger and thus more finger-friendly, plus they look better too. And the letter grid you get when you tap a letter header is now more attractive and again takes up the full screen (which it does not in 10136).
Flashlight quick action. This is a little goofy, but it’s one of those things that Android and iPhone have had for years: you can add a Flashlight tile to quick actions so you can easily use your phone like a flashlight. Nice.
There are a few other small changes, so be sure to check out the original screenshots.
A video of Windows 10 Mobile 10151 also shows a few small but important UI refinements: Smooth scrolling and, more important, a pleasant new app open animation. In the latter case, the user taps a tile and the Start screen quickly fades out and then the app fades in. This is much nicer than the ridiculous animation we see in the current build (10136), where the tile you tap visually slides to the left (yes really) before the app loads.
Thanks to @FaiKee for the tip on that one.
I’m hoping to see new Windows 10 desktop/tablet and Mobile builds as soon as this week. And as I noted in Heading to the Finish Line, the Quality of Windows 10 Surges, things are really looking up. I love it when a plan comes together.
Tagged with Windows 10 Mobile