Microsoft's Gabe Aul updated Blogging Windows with a report that a new build of Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones, 10051, is now available to those in the Insider Program who have signed up for the "Fast" ring. This new build adds support for more phones, provides new and updated apps, and fixes a number of known issues.
Aul stated in his update that the new Project Spartan browser is now included in the phone version of Windows 10 Technical Preview. This browser uses a new rendering engine that was developed from the ground up to handle the modern Internet. Project Spartan isn't set as the default browser, so Insiders can still rely on Internet Explorer 11 to surf the vast oceans of the World Wide Web on their device. The Project Spartan browser includes early versions of Reading List and Reading View.
In addition to the new browser, Windows 10 Technical Preview introduces native Outlook Mail and Outlook Calendar apps. Featuring a new UI, these are Universal Apps that allow the end user to switch between email and the calendar without having to exit back to the main screen. Additionally, Outlook Mail comes with Swipe Gestures that are customizable and provide a familiar, native Word-like experience in a mobile environment. Both apps connect to a number of accounts such as Google's Gmail and Microsoft's Office 365.
Aul said in the blog that Windows 10 Technical Preview includes new Phone, Messaging, People and Maps apps. The Messaging app has a fresh new design as does the new People app (which is also universal). This is also the first preview of Microsoft's Maps Universal App, which includes data pulled in from Bing Maps and HERE maps.
Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones arrives with an updated apps switcher. Customers merely press and hold the "Back" button on the phone to get a listing of apps that have recently been used. The app switcher works in landscape mode, and the length of recently used apps list has grown to 15.
As for what's fixed in the new Technical Preview build, Aul said that the keyboard sports a new layout based on customer feedback. The Cortana icon resolution now scales correctly, and Microsoft Band can finally sync to Windows 10. Several issues with the Photos app have been resolved, including a picture problem in the Live tile and a problem attaching a photo to an email, Facebook or OneNote entry.
In addition to the new features, Aul also provided a list of known issues that users may see in this most recent build. One problem is that customers can't open Word, Excel, PowerPoint or OneNote in the Office Hub because the Hub is no longer available. He added that the universal versions of the Office apps will be provided soon. Another problem is that users can't interact with Cortana using Bluetooth because the team is still working on the Bluetooth/Cortana connection.
"I'm very excited to get this build out to all of the eager Windows Insiders who have been waiting since our first preview build to try Windows 10 on their devices," Aul said. "We are still very much in the thick of development and this build still has some rough edges, but there is also a lot to be excited about here as well."
Customers using Build 10051 are encouraged to use the Feedback tool to help fine-tune Windows 10 for phones.