Personal digital assistant Cortana is close to its ‘final design,’ says Aul
Microsoft released on Tuesday the latest version of its Windows 10 Mobile build (10136) for Windows Insiders.
Redmond is only offering the build to phones running Windows Phone 8.1 and users who have opted into the Windows Insider Fast ring.
“If you are running the previous build offered to the Fast ring (10080) and you want to get this build you will need to go back to Windows Phone 8.1 via the Windows Phone Recovery Tool first. Once you’re up and running on Windows Phone 8.1, go to the Windows Insider app and select Insider Fast again,” explained Gabe Aul, engineering general manager at Microsoft, in a blog post.
Aul blamed this complicated procedure on a migration bug affecting upgrades from 10080 to the current build, a bug that he pledged would be fixed for future builds.
Build 10136 promises improvements to the user experience, including a transparent PIN that slides up over the Lock screen, and changes to fonts, icons and layout.
There are also improvements to Cortana, the digital assistant competing for attention with Apple’s Siri. Cortana now supports tracking flight and package alerts, as well as alerts for going to work, going home and to the airport. Microsoft also tweaked the user interface, adding sultry dark theme colors. Cortana is close to its “final design,” Aul noted.
Microsoft has also made some fixes to the camera function, including performance and reliability improvements. Users can now navigate through old photos or double-tap to zoom in on a photo.
In addition, Microsoft is enabling one-handed use for phones with a screen size of 5 inches or greater. To enable it, users should press and hold the Start button and the screen will slide down so the user can reach items at the top of the screen. To slide the screen back up, users tap the black space at the top of the screen or press and hold the Start button again.
Aul was noncommittal on exact release date for Windows 10 Mobile, even though Microsoft has set July 29 as the released date for Windows 10 for PCs and tablets. Aul said Windows 10 Mobile would be released “later this year.”