Fully one month after its previous release, Microsoft has finally provided a refreshed new build of Windows 10 Mobile to Windows Insiders on the Fast ring. But build 10549 offers yet another complexity for testers to wrestle with: With this build, you have to upgrade from Windows Phone 8.1. That means wiping out any phones that are already using previous Insider Preview builds.
Yep. That’s the sound you hear. wa-waa-waaahhhh.
Why this draconian step? According to Microsoft, which it discovered a bug late last night—yep, last night—that caused phones upgrading from build 10536 to get stuck at a black screen after the new build is installed. So rather than make you wait even longer, Microsoft decided to release this build as a single update from Windows Phone 8.1 only.
The good news: If you decide to stick with build 10536, you can just wait a bit—hey, what’s a month between friends?—and upgrade to the next Fast Ring build instead.
“We know having to go back to Windows Phone 8.1 to get this new build is a bit of work,” Microsoft explains. “By doing so you are also helping us test the upgrade path that millions of Windows Phone 8.1 customers will take to upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile, so we appreciate the adventurous Insiders who choose to go this route and give us feedback.”
Here’s what’s new in this build:
Cortana improvements. Cortana now works for users in Japan and for English speakers in Australia and Canada. You can find out more here.
Messaging improvements. The text box you use to write text messages in the Messaging app can now be expanded as you write. (This build does not include the integrated Skype capabilities that we just got in Windows 10 for PCs.)
Emoji improvements. This build includes support for Unicode emoji’s. “Consistent with Unicode’s vision, we’re excited to offer people all over the world with emoji that reflect more human diversity,” Microsoft explains. “We added this capability to the PC with Build 10547 and now we’re extending to mobile. Check out our new diverse emoji and let us know what you think.”
Good news for Lumia 1020 users. If you upgrade to this build on a Lumia 1020, the Lumia Camera app will no longer be uninstalled. This lets you take advantage of all of the features that are unique to the Lumia 1020’s PureView camera.
Issued fixed. A number of issues from the previous build are fixed here, including Windows Camera app crashes, touch keyboard issues, screenshot saving problems, and more.
Known issues. As always—hey, it’s Windows 10 Mobile–there are a number of known issues in this build, including missing apps (which will require a phone reset), no notifications until the first time you unlock the phone, and problems with apps that can make phone calls (workaround: reinstall them).
I will now start the 27 hour process of getting this build installed. Don’t hold your breath.