Monday, May 4, 2015

Take upgrading to #Windows10 for phones under advise. @Microsoft @Windows

Hi! First of all I dedicate this post to make Windows 10 for phones better and to provide feedback for Microsoft to implement in later versions. This post is not meant to bash on the platform. I am a Windows Phone user since 2 years now and I love the platform. I honestly think WP is underrated by most of the smartphone users. So why this post… Well maybe you own a Windows Phone with WP8 or WP8.1 and you are thinking about upgrading it to Windows 10 for phones pre-release using the Insider program.

First of all it’s a good thing you want to try out and help to make Windows 10 better. I did the upgrade on my backup phone and with this post I will try to convince you to do the same. At least not on your primary phone. Since this is a beta release a lot of functions still not work or don’t work as you are used to. Microsoft also states this when enlisting for the insider program.
The version I currently have installed is 10.0.12534.59.
Here are my first experiences using the new Windows 10 for phones pre-release. I will try to update this post when I work more with it or install newer builds along the way. For now I hope it helps you to decide if you are pursuing the upgrade or not.

Now using Outlook app for mail

I like the Outlook App in general. Mainly because it’s not using ActiveSync technology but the Exchange (online) web API EWS and therefore you can apply RMS to your messages and also you get the same experience as in OWA or Outlook. The Outlook App is also more efficient in connecting to your Exchange environment. In the past I have seen phones overloading the Exchange CAS servers because there was a bug in the phones software (mostly iOS). Because of this app this belongs to the past. But what I don’t like is that the App doesn’t give me updates when I receive a new message. Maybe this will change in later versions but in this version it doesn’t.

Battery drains like hell

One thing I noticed is that the battery usage is crazy bad. Also the phone seems to generate a lot of heat which I think results in bad battery usage. To put things in perspective, I charged my phone all night and removed it 4 hours ago and I have 15% left.

Calendars are now handled in the Outlook App

The experience is ok by terms of managing your calendars but since it’s now an incorporated feature inside the app I don’t receive my next appointments on my standby screen anymore. You are also not able to change to the monthly view. I used this a lot to quickly see if I have gaps in my calendar when making new appointments. Maybe this comes in a later version but for me this is a deal breaker in the pre-release.

Keyboard layout is changed (confusing)

So there are many improvements in the keyboard layout Microsoft says. But I don’t like them very much. I am a bi-lingual user so I often change my keyboard and language settings from Dutch to English and vice-versa. In this version you need to make a lot of effort to change it because there is no direct button. Also they have added a comma button on the left side of the space. I was used to have the emoticon icon there so now I almost every time hit the comma instead. Very annoying. And last but not least I think Microsoft changed the size of the keys in the keyboard to accommodate the new buttons. If you have a large screen this will be okay but I am using a Lumia 925 which had a 4.5″ screen and therefore I make more mistakes typing.

SIM Pincode screen is a bit buggy

When you start the phone and you have the pin code for your sim card set you don’t see what you type. It’s ok if you don’t look but if you do it can be a bit confusing to determine you typed in something or not.

Installed apps keep on loading

I have a lot of apps that don’t load properly anymore, even the build in Apps like the camera. I personally don’t use a lot of different apps except for the camera, whatsapp, Lync, calendar, phone, mail and to register my car trips , etc…, but most of the time they keep on hanging in the “Loading…” screen.

Terribly slow on current phones

So as said before I installed this version of Windows 10 for phones on a Lumia 925. It’s a nice enterprise great phone which had a 4.5″ screen, Dual Core 1.5Ghz Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ S4 processor and 1GB RAM. But Windows is crazy slow on this phone. Maybe this will improve or maybe it will only provide optimized experience for the new and announced Windows 10 phones.

Cortana is still only available in English

I love Cortana. In fact I have changed my phone region to use it. But having changing the region of the phone to English UK or US comes with some drawback. For example I cannot install apps that are posted in app store of my region (Netherlands). I also find using Cortana to read incoming messages and to have Cortana dial my contacts a bit hard. Because of the fact most of my contacts have dutch names Cortana doesn’t understand them very well. As said I love Cortana but I really hope Microsoft will release it to more regions (like mine).

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