Windows 10 Mobile Build 10136 Hands On

Windows 10 Mobile Build 10136 Hands On

This week Microsoft pushed out build 10136 to Windows 10 Mobile Insiders after over a month with no new builds or updates.

As we mentioned on Monday, this build required Insiders to revert back to Windows Phone 8.1 because of a migration error from build 10080.  Microsoft decided to hide this build from those on 10080 to prevent any bad upgrades and provided the aforementioned advice to revert to WP 8.1 to get this new build.

As you get started in this new build you will quickly find that an old friend appears to be missing.

Internet Explorer is no where to be found however, Project Spartan is in place but it lacks the new branding as Microsoft Edge still at this point.

After installing the new build on a Nokia Lumia 830 I posted a large image gallery that will let you see around the update and take in some of the changes that have been incorporated between builds.

There is a lot of fit and finish and many of the UI enhancements are quite subtle but here are a few that stand out for me so far.

Windows 10 Mobile Start Screen Folder

We have had folders available on the Windows Phone Start Screen for some time now but in this latest build there is a slight tweak. As you can see above the Music + videos folder is open. Instead of just an empty grid of squares there is a small caret arrow as a target for closing the folder.

Action Center Alerts

Action Center Highlighted Alert

In the Action Center you can now use a similar caret arrow to expand/close individual alerts. What I really like about this is the way other alerts fade out and only the expanded alert is bright. Certainly a small thing but makes it easier to read those individual alerts.


Cortana Headlines

When scrolling through your highlights on Cortana the header changes as you move through different categories. I just noticed this yesterday for the first time and thought it might be new but the same thing happens on Windows 10 Build 10130 so I am guessing it came when Cortana got her big makeover.

I also noticed that in the Xbox App my Hotmail account is known, since it is on the phone, and I did not have to enter my email address and password to validate it. This is a big plus and I hope the ability to do this in other apps will be possible.

While this is only a few of the things I picked up in the fit and finish of this build it is good to see. In past Windows 10 Mobile builds there were always misaligned icons, text that just made things look very rough and now everywhere I have explored none of that is apparent.

As for performance there is still quite a bit of lag.  For instance, when I tap a tile to open an app there is a 1-2 second delay before the tile reacts to my tap and begins to open the app.  Gabe Aul did tweet that they continue tuning app start up so this lag is a known issue.

Another thing I see regularly is the dreaded Resuming… and the march of the dots across the screen.

More than once I have also had the Cortana/Search tile on the Start Screen go blank.  It still opens Cortana however, it eventually loses its Cortana circle icon. Compare the image below with the first in this article.

Windows 10 Build 10136 Start Screen

It seems, as I have watched social media and interacted with others installing this new build, that there are other issues impacting users as they upgrade such as missing or non-functioning apps such as Music, Photos, Outlook Mail and Calendar and others.

Many have resolved these issues and others by resetting the phone after installing 10136. This reverts it back to a fresh out of the box experience instead of an in place upgrade.  Some have even gone to the extreme of re-flashing Windows Phone 8.1 back on the device because they felt it was just an un-useable build.

You can definitely see that this product is still months away from a release but I am sure as the Windows team puts the finishing touches on Windows 10 for desktops the focus will shift to mobile. That is when we should start to see things really come together.

Are any of you planning to make this build a daily driver?

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