I have been running the Windows 8.1 Update 1 on my Lumia 930, while I miss a few key apps but that aside the build is stable and offers a great usability experience. Having enrolled in the Windows mobile Insider program, I got the notification to upgrade to the Windows 10 Mobile Insider Build 10080.

I have split the post into 2 parts

Feedback on the Upgrade Experience from Windows 8.1 Update 1 to Windows 10 10080

  1. The upgrade was very rocky! Trial, Error & Retry…
  2. The battery totally drained out during the upgrade.
  3. There was no guidance available either on the insider app or blog…
  4. If you are planning to upgrade, make sure you have a backup and that you are on Windows 8.1 Update 2 (if you are upgrading from Update 1, you are setting your self up for failure).

Do not upgrade from 8.1 Update 1 to Windows 10 build 10080

You are on your way to a lot of pain if you are upgrading from 8.1 update 1 to Windows 10. After a few restarts the install completed… However the phone was stuck on a “Loading…” While the notifications and settings screen continued to work, the home screen never loaded. Panic!!! I was hoping that the Windows Insider website would offer some solution considering the update was out since 14th May and I only upgraded on 16th May, but to my despare all I found on the official blog was a post announcing build 10080… What 0 comments! Microsoft decided to lock down the comments section on the blog post for some reason… Really!

“Hey Microsoft, consider adding an rss feed to your blog…!”

Heading over to the windows central blog it was a relieve to see I wasn’t the only one, most of the Lumia 930, Lumia 1530 and Lumia Icon users had run into the same issue. Reading through the list of comments, a lot of people had suggested restarting the phone three times to fix the issue. However, that didn’t work for me… I downloaded the Windows Phone recover Tool took a backup, the windows phone recovery tool downloads 1.7 GB worth of firmware. The install went smooth and the phone was back up and running on 8.1 update 1 build in no time. You can read more on how to rollback to Windows 8.1 Update 1 here. I was immediately notified that I could upgrade to the Windows 8.1 Update 2 build. After a few installs and restarts I was on Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2. The day had been adventurous so far, so I decided to take the plunge I opted to upgrade to Windows Mobile 10 Build 10080 again. This time around, the upgrade went well and I got back the home screen in less than 10 minutes. As noted in the blog post on the windows 10 insider blog, most of the apps showed as unavailable but I was able to uninstall and reinstall them fairly quickly.

User Experience

This build didn’t feel like Windows 10 Mobile is any where close to prime time. The overall experience was poor…

General Feedback

  1. Battery Killer - A full charge running in battery saver mode with average usage does not last for more than 3 hours.
  2. Furnace - The phone heats up very quickly.
  3. Crashes - Almost all apps crashed after 5 - 10 minutes of usage.
  4. Unstable and Slow - The home screen usually hangs up on “Resuming”. The app’s pinned to the home screen don’t load up or a few pins go missing or the layout is distorted.
  5. Basic functionality broken
    • The people hub doesn’t work
    • Unable to pin tiles
    • Unable to take screenshots by using volume down and lock button
    • Unable to access photos from whatsapp
    • Cortana doesn’t search with voice commands, fails with a cryptic error code
    • A lot more…

App Specific Feedback

  1. Outlook Mail
    • Common inbox for multiple email accounts, full support for rich text! While I like the idea of a common inbox, having my work email, personal email and LinkedIn squashed into one app didn’t feel so nice. When you press + to create a new email, you don’t have the option to change the “from” mailbox. I guess you will end up sending a lot of work emails from your personal accounts.
    • While I like automatic pull of my work email, I prefer manually refreshing my personal email. I wasn’t able to change the sync settings of individual accounts.
    • Windows phone have always allowed pinning individual folders to the home screen. Unfortunately pinning individual folders to the home screen isn’t possible any more. I was however able to ping individual folders with in the Outlook Mail app for quick access.
    • Quick Delete and Flag - The left and right swipe to delete and flag emails is very well implemented. Deleted emails can be recovered from the delete folder, which shows up as a jump to option once the email has been deleted at the bottom of the screen. While you can very quickly flag emails, there isn’t any way to retrive all flagged emails in the app.
    • Quick navigation - While the emails are grouped by conversation, when reading an email from the conversation, there is no left swipe or right swipe option available to move to the next email. You have to navigate back and select the next email. Not very helpful when you are trying to glance through a grouped conversation.
    • Rich Text Support - I was hoping to be able to add a table or other objects as I am able to in a word app. But this was a let down…
  2. Notification center
    • Indivdual Notifications - Finally it is possible to control notifications at a granular level of each notification rather than being limited to just at the app level.
    • What can Notify - It is possible to control which apps can notify via settings.
    • Notifications not in sync - So i get notified on for a new facebook message, I acknowledge the notification in the notification center, later I go to the facebook app, I still see the notification in the facebook app. So the notifications don’t seem to be staying in sync. Needs improvement.
  3. New Photos Preview App
    • Aggregated view - I liked the over all aggregated view of photos. It is possible to flip from the aggregated view to individual albums. When fliping from the aggregated view to albums, I was always greated with a black screen, so this functionality didn’t work for me. No way to roll the aggregated view up further to month or year.
    • Favourite functionality gone - Can’t see any way of marking indivdual photos as favourites. Earlier it was possible to tag individual photos as favourite and access them quickly and easily through the automatically created albums.
  4. Universal Office apps Now that the Store Beta is included in this build, it is possible to download the Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote Preview apps.
    • I must say using word, excel, power point and oneNote has been the highlight of this build. The experience is nothing short of amazing!
    • This specific document I was editing, has been created using a custom template. It was amazing to see the custom styles available to me while editing the document on my mobile. Very impressive.

Summary

I had fun checking out the Windows Mobile 10 build 10080 preview. Generally pleased to see the improvements in the platform, Microsoft has nailed the design and common workflows people go through and tried to simplify this immensely. In certain areas it still feels Microsoft is playing catch up for example the browser - Project spartan, I am sure at some point Spartan will become very good, but till then I wish the platform was open enough and I could use my favourite browser Crome! Unfortunately the experiences in the windows 10 mobile preview build are very half baked at this time. The app’s are unstable and unfinished… If I stay on the preview for any longer, I would spike my electiricity bill considering the battery drains out after an hour of intense usage. I will bail out by rolling back to Windows 8.1 Update 2, I look forward to a more stable and usable Windows 10 build…. :satisfied:

Cheers, Tarun!

Related Posts

About Tarun Arora

Tarun Arora is obsessed with high-quality working software, DevOps, Continuous Delivery and Agile. His core strengths are Azure, VSTS, PowerShell, SQL and WPF. He is a Microsoft MVP in Visual Studio Development Tools and the author of 'DevOps & ALM with TFS 2015'.