As promised in January during a special Windows 10 event, Microsoft has finally released the Technical Preview build of Windows 10 for smartphones. Microsoft's Gabriel Aul took to Twitter to announce the release on Thursday, reporting that additional information regarding the Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones will be made available in the near future.
But don't get too excited just yet. As of this article, Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones is limited to six Lumia devices: 630, 635, 636, 638, 730 and 830. Don't see your phone listed here? Grab the Windows Insider app and you'll be notified when the preview is ready to be downloaded and installed. Potential testers will need to be enrolled in the Windows Insider program to toy around with Windows 10 for phones.
"Some phones, regions, and mobile operators might not support Technical Preview," Microsoft stated (opens in new tab). "If your phone isn't listed, and no preview builds appear under Enroll in the Windows Insider app, then your phone isn't supported and it may or may not be supported in the future."
Like Windows 10 Technical Preview for desktops, phone testers will see a special Windows Feedback app that allows them to respond to questions regarding the build and to report any problems that may arise. Given that Windows 10 Technical Preview is a work in progress, problems are expected, so keep that Feedback app busy. Remember, feedback is what will help shape the final product that is expected to arrive this summer.
"You will likely feel like this first preview build for phones seems 'less complete' or 'earlier' than the PC," Aul wrote in the latest Windows blog. "That's true—it is. Although Windows 10 is built on shared code that runs on both PCs and phones, keep in mind that Windows 8.1 for PC was finished months earlier than Windows Phone 8.1, so the PC build has had more bake time."
Aul's update said that Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones will include interactive notifications, additional quick actions in the Action Center (up to three rows instead of the mere four apps as seen in Windows 8.1), better speech-to-text capability, a better Photos app and the ability to display a full-size background image on the Start screen.
Aul also listed several known issues that have crept into Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones. For instance, users will not see existing alarms migrated to Windows 10, nor will they see apps displayed in Battery saver mode. Video playback will be sluggish when using a Bluetooth headset, and syncing to Microsoft Band will not work after updating to the newer Technical Preview build.
So why the short list of phones? Why aren't more devices currently supported? According to Aul, Microsoft wants users to have a way to revert their Windows phone back to its original state if something goes wrong after upgrading to Windows 10 Technical Preview. The current list of phones has recovery images that are available to download.
"We created a new tool called the Windows Phone Recovery Tool that will restore that image if necessary," he said. "We haven't bricked a single phone during all of our internal testing, but it is not impossible, so you should be aware that there is some potential risk for you. In addition, bugs could prevent access to important features for you, including phone dialing and other core functionality."
To get into the Windows Insider program, head here.