Windows 10 Mobile now available for all supported devices

Windows 10 Mobile (the successor to Windows Phone 8/7... which themselves were the successor to Windows Mobile 6 & below... makes me wonder why they can't settle with one name for their mobile OS...) is now available for all supported devices.

Although it is not officially released yet for anything other than latest flagships from Microsoft, you can still get the RC build of Win10Mo (10.0.10586.29 - The same as the one installed on just launched Lumia 950/950XL) simply by joining the Windows Insider program.

I have tested it on my last-gen flagship device, and am happy to announce that it is stable enough for everyday usage.

Major changes from WinPhone 8.1 include revamped UI, new apps, features & performance improvements.

If you feel like trying it out, simply install "Windows Insider" app on your WinPhone. Open the app & agree to all terms. Follow the instructions. Check for updates. Install the special update which was not available before. All done. Enjoy the new OS!

Please note that it is not officially out yet for these devices, so there may still be a few bugs to straighten out before official release on these devices, so upgrade only if you're up for it. Otherwise, simply wait a few months until it's officially out for all supported devices.

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I may post my in-depth impressions on the OS later. Will include screenshots if i do. B)

Happy holidays in advance! ^_^

I forgot to mention, make sure you select Fast Ring instead of Slow Ring. AFAIK, this update is only visible to the Fast Ring users, even though it's stable release.

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^ Just a little throwback to the previous WinPhone support thread i made last year. May still be useful to someone.

Here's my overview of the OS:

Pros:

Many improvements to Windows Phone 8 that make it more competitive to it's competitors

Many visual improvements make it one of the better looking mobile platforms. The live tiles are far more customizable now.

It is noticeably faster than it's predecessor. Apps open up quickly, and multi-tasking is faster.

Frequent updates mean you'll see things improve in real-time. But there's a catch... (see cons)

Cortana is out of Beta. It's actually pretty decent now, it can manage your phone for you, it can look up anything for you, it can hold simple conversations with you... all that is great, but it's a little suspicious cause it requires you to share your location (via GPS) every single time you want to use it... I can't think of any good reasons for it being a requirement of it.

Cons:

App library still falls short of Android & iOS (though that is supposed to change soon due to easier app porting, but it is still upto individual app developers to decide if they care enough about the platform to port their apps to it)

Automatic updates can't be turned off (Just like Windows 10 on PC)

Not bug-less in it's current state

Edge Browser is not stable (Crashes occasionally on heavy websites. Video streaming issues, etc)

Here Maps is still useless in Pakistan. The only way you can currently use Google Maps on your device is through your web browser, which is not that great of a experience.

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New Live Tiles, App Drawer, Notification Menu & General Settings:

This is how the new Live Tiles look like. You can customize their transparency, opacity, size & color in the personalize menu. The background "wallpaper" can be set to anything as well.

The accent colors are now available in a lot more variety as well. The themes available are still Dark & Light (White text on Black display or Black text on White Display).

The App drawer is slightly better arranged, and scrolling is smoother.

The new notification menu is awesome. It has everything you could want to put up there. It's honestly even better than the one on Android.

The settings menu is streamlined and much simpler and straight-forward. Everything is arranged as it should be. All settings are easily accessible.

New & Upgraded Apps:

Internet Explorer has been replaced by Edge Browser. Is it any better than IE? Yeah i think so. Is it comparable to Chrome or just about any well-rated browser on Android? Nope.

Cortana has been upgraded as well. It is more intelligent & can hold conversations better. Not perfectly understanding though for non-native speakers.

Microsoft has finally included a proper file manager on their OS. It is not the same one that was optionally available for Windows Phone 8.1, this is a whole new one with better functions.

Microsoft Office Trio has been upgraded as well. It seems quite decent for that unfortunate moment when you must rely on your phone to edit a document. You can create them too, but they'll be a lot more hassle to make on your phone.

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Other smaller things worth mentioning:

There's a new one hand mode. Pressing and holding the Win key turns it on. What it does is that it divides the screen in two boxes. The top box remains blank. The bottom box shows whatever app you're viewing. It is certainly handy for larger phones which are not very single hand usage friendly.

The lock-screen has been slightly tweaked as well. The PIN unlock screen is transparent now. It kind of looks a little better.

The UI of all apps has been simplified similar to Google's new format.

The keyboard includes a joystick now (for correcting spelling mistakes).

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Conclusion:

It is a noticeable upgrade over it's predecessor. I predict that Windows Phone user share will see some visible increment. Would it be able to take over any of it's competitors? I don't think so, not for a while anyway. Is it better than it's competitors? Depends on your preferences. Is it worth trying out? Definitely.

I can say this with certainty that Windows 10 Mobile is a fully capable mobile OS, it doesn't feel inferior anymore.

Rating: 8.1/10 :P

Very nice & detailed review. Definitely worth trying this new update.

How to downgrade to Windows Phone 8.1:

If you've upgraded to Windows 10 Mobile & are not satisfied due to the bugs or any other reason, then restoring back to 8.1 is very simple thanks to Microsoft's Official Device Recovery Tool.

To downgrade, simply download the tool here.

Connect your phone to PC via USB cable. Install the tool. Run it. Follow instructions & select "Reinstall software".

It will then download the appropriate firmware for your phone & install it.

All done!