[sc:windows-category ]So it was finally time to take the plunge and install Windows 10 Mobile on my phone. I’ve been holding off to get a reasonably stable release as the only phone I have that supports Win10 is my main phone.
First off, installing and enrolling in the Windows insider program was pretty straight forward, however before installing Build 10166 (which was the current release when did my upgrade) I of course did a full backup of my data.
There was quite a few reports that the upgrade process was not quite there yet and after doing the update that’s quite apparent.
After downloading the update, it took quite a while to install (close to an hour) and one it rebooted in to the start menu it went in to a continuous “loading…” loop. It’s a well known issue caused by having many tiles on the start screen.
A simple hardware reset to factory defaults along with a re-install of 10166 cleared up the issue.
I spent a few days with 1066 and after 10512 became available I decided to upgrade but couldn’t seem to get the phone to identify there was an update to do.
After searching around for a while I finally figured out that after the 10166 install, my Windows Insider setting had been put back to the default of no preview releases. Switching it back to the fast ring resolved the issue and the phone identified the 10512 release.
However after several attempts at installing it, it failed each time. There wasn’t any obvious reason for the failure and the error message wasn’t very helpful. After a few days of poking around I finally decided to reset the phone back to 8.1 and try and do a clean install of 10513 from that.
The Windows Phone Recovery Tool is used to go back to 8.1 and it re-flashes the phone from scratch. The 925 only has a base 8.1 image available so after the reset, Update 2 had to be re-installed.
Once that was back on the phone, I once again had to re-enrol in the fast ring and then the 10512 update came down without issue.
However, when I went to install the English Canada keyboard, I found it failed several times. It turns out that the 10512 update also resets your Windows Insider status so I once again had to re-enrol in the fast right. After that the keyboard updates came down.
Restoring my data was straight forward with two exceptions:
- One of my picture folders simply would not copy over to the phone and I have yet to find a way to create a new folder on the phone.
- I used “contacts+message backup” to export my SMS/MMS messages (my contacts are on my Exchange server so no need to do them) which worked fine, but after installing it on Win10 it didn’t show up in the settings menu. I had to access it from the Store, which wasn’t a big deal, just a little unexpected.
Once everything was back I re-added my accounts and everything was up and running.
Basic OS Features
Overall there are a lot of similarities between 8.1 and 10, but there are also a lot of differences. Here are some of my first impressions in no particular order:
- The live tile “counts” look wrong somehow. The font is too thin I think.
- Live tiles often “flicker” when updating.
- Live tile counts for e-mail are often wrong.
- The application list feels very cramped to the left hand side of the screen, a bit of white space might be nice.
- The notification center seems at little laggy at times.
- There’s no easy way from the notification center to connect to a new WiFi network.
- The lock screen font seems too thin as well.
- Alarms no longer show up on the lock screen or the glance screen.
- The new transparent keypad on the lock screen is neat, but I don’t know if I like it.
- Overall performance isn’t too bad but it’s still pretty slow and unresponsive at times.
- I don’t like the decision to switch the order of the task list.
- The new cursor controller on the keyboard is a neat idea, but I still haven’t gotten use to it.
One big problem I found with build 10166 is that it was eating my cellular data really fast. About 500meg a day, which is a problem with I only have a 500meg data plan 🙂
I had to turn off cellular data on the phone and I haven’t turned it back on yet though it looks like I probably could based on the current data usage from the phone.
Probably the biggest issue was using my phone as my music player in my car. Connecting through Bluetooth was easy enough but Groove Music is still a mess. Until very recently it “forgot” the current playlist any time it was unloaded from memory and it still doesn’t start auto playing correctly when the car stereo connects to the phone.
Groove Music has come a long way, but it still misses artist info and other details when connected to the car.
Microsoft is set to announce new hardware and presumably a release date for Windows Mobile 10 on Oct 6th, so are they ready?
Right now I’d say no, there’s a long way to go before I’d consider it ready.
But beyond that, I have to say I’m kind of disappointed with it. Windows Phone 8.1 had a nice unified feel to it and Windows 10 Mobile feels like a hodge podge of ideas all thrown together, hoping to make a whole.
It feels like they’ve sacrificed the “sole” of Windows Phone to try and get market share, which is sad in some ways but not surprising at the same time.