Microsoft’s first Windows 10 preview for phones is out, giving users an opportunity to get an early look at the revamped mobile experience. The company detailed a lot of changes coming to mobile devices later this year, but sadly not everything is available just yet in this early preview. Instead, Microsoft is giving fans a tiny teaser of of what’s to come. The good news is that things are off to a decent start.
One of the bigger changes made in Windows 10 for phones is just how more accessible it is. The software still looks the same, but now you can better personalize the experience with actual full-size image backgrounds, and the quick actions menu has been expanded to make tweaking the device just one-click away. Both are no-brainer additions, but they immediately make a noticeable difference.
Delving deeper, notifications are now interactive, which means you can take action directly. The execution is a lot like what you’d find in other ecosystems; when a notification comes in, simply pull down and you can reply without jumping into the full app. What’s a little different about Microsoft’s implementation, however, is that you can reply by both text and speech-to-text, making it super easy if you’re behind the wheel or don’t really have your hands free.
Unfortunately, in this preview build, the new Mail and Calendar apps aren’t available to try out, so we’ll have to keep an eye out for updates down the road. There’s much more coming, too, and Microsoft is promising that the built-in apps will be much faster and more tailored for the Windows 10 experience. That’s one of the bigger focuses of Microsoft’s vision this year: to make Windows 10 sync and work seamlessly across multiple devices.
While it’s neat to get an early glimpse at what’s to come, the experience is a little sluggish at the moment, so you probably don’t want to install the preview on your daily driver. As of now, devices like the Lumia 630, 635, 730 and 830 support the newest technical preview (you’ll need to be part of Microsoft’s Insider Program to partake). Other more popular phones, like the Lumia 930, 1020 and 1520 aren’t included just yet, but support should be coming down the road.
Check out the video above to see Windows 10 for phones in action.
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