Microsoft Finally Updates Windows 10 Mobile for Phones

Microsoft Finally Updates Windows 10 Mobile for Phones

It’s been over a month, but Microsoft has finally shipped a new build of Windows 10 Mobile for phones to Windows Insiders on the Fast ring. Actually, check that: Microsoft has in fact shipped two new builds of Windows 10 Mobile to Insiders. Why is that, you ask? Microsoft. That’s why.

After fumbling around for a few weeks, first silently, and then with a Sinofsky/Pravda-style explanation that did not in fact explain anything (and which I purposefully didn’t even write about since it was so pointless), Microsoft seemed poised to deliver a new Windows 10 Mobile for phones build late last week. And then they didn’t. And then they did, sort of, but only for about 200 people. By mistake.

If you’re starting to get the idea that the same Windows team which so elegantly handles Windows 10 builds for PCs treats Windows 10 Mobile builds for phones like some sort of absurd clown car of high comedy, well, you’re not alone. And while I’m not sensitive or shallow enough to claim that this kind of buffoonery really makes me nervous about the future of this platform, well, you know. It’s bad enough that Microsoft is getting killed in the market. The death from within stuff is both unnecessary and particularly hard to take.

Anyway, the new build. Sorry, builds. If you’re using Windows 10 Mobile for phones and have configured your handset to accept Fast ring updates, you will see two of them this morning: Build 10514 and build 10536. So you’re going to be installing for a while. And actually longer than you think: After you’ve installed these two updates, you’ll be prompted to install build 10536 again. In fact, this will take so long you’d be better off going back to Windows Phone 8.1 and then installing the Windows Insider app and updating from there, Microsoft says. (Of course, you’d lose all data and installed apps doing so.)

The good news?

Build 10536 includes a ton of useful updates and fixes. These include:

An improved Photos app. If you use Photos on Windows 10 Mobile for phones, you know how useless this app is. Well, now it’s not. The improved Photos app in this build includes many of the obvious features Insiders have been asking about, such as a folder view so you can easily access your OneDrive and local folders, including those on the SD card. Finally. It also includes Favorites, faster photo viewing and context menus, and more. Be sure to check Store to make sure you have the latest app version.

One-handed mode. The one-handed mode that was previously exclusive to large handsets will now work on any device. So just press and hold on the Start button to slide the display down so you can access items that would normally be out of reach at the top of the screen. (To reverse this change, press and hold on Start again or press the blank area at the top of the screen.)

Windows Feedback is now included so you can share your feedback.

Insider Hub app is now installed by default again.

Mobile hotspot functionality has been restored.

Voice input now supports Japanese and English (India) speech recognition.

Two-factor authentication is fixed when setting up a device for both text and phone authentication.

Start screen “loading” issues are fixed. This means that the Start screen will actually display.

Quiet Hours\Do Not Disturb has been fixed.

Lock screen display delay has been fixed.

Pinch and zoom in Maps now works as expected.

Known issues. Despite a one-month gestation and a lengthy multi-build install, this build does include some issues too. None seem particularly bad, to be fair, though you should make sure your OneDrive photo upload settings are correct, since this build can bork that in some cases. And Lumia 1020 users should know that, for now, you won’t be able to get some unique Lumia Camera features (like 41 MP capture and DNG file support) until a future update. So you can return to Windows Phone 8.1 or suck it up. (These issues only affect the 1020.)

I’m looking forward to the next mobile build in mid-October.

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