Windows Phone might become an orphaned platform in the next three to five years thanks to the job cuts Microsoft committed to on Wednesday, but for at least the near future the platform will continue to receive updates.
Microsoft this week released the latest preview build for the mobile version of Windows 10, letting Windows Insiders get a good look at how the operating system is shaping up.
Issued as build 10149, this version of the Windows 10 is apparently much more responsive and polished compared to previous efforts. “Overall, you’ll find the OS more responsive to use. We’ve got more work to do here but we’re happy about great progress made in this build,” says Gabe Aul, the head of the data and fundamentals team inside of Microsoft’s Operating Systems Group, in a blog post. “We’ve been using this build internally for a few days and have really loved it. It is faster, more stable, and more polished overall and has been lots of fun for us to see come together.”
Beyond the UI and UX improvements, there are couple of other changes.
The web browser that comes with the OS has been renamed from Project Spartan to its more official name of Microsoft Edge. Moreover, after listening to user feedback, Microsoft moved the address bar from the top of the main app screen to the bottom. It’s also unlocked the ability to view the desktop version of websites using the browser.
The OS’s photos app has also been updated, with phones that have at least 1GB of RAM able to display animated GIFs. Moreover, should the user choose to turn on the option, the app supports automatic photo uploads via OneDrive.
Lastly, there are a couple of enhancements to Cortana’s functionality—she’s now able to send emails, for instance—and users can use use the flash on their rear-facing camera as a flashlight.
Check out Gul’s post for a full rundown of what’s available with this update, and apply to join the Insider program to see the changes for yourself.