As the latest Windows 10 for Phone preview is now rolling out, Microsoft’s Gabe Aul has posted a blog update outlining some of the new features that are in this build. There are a lot but equally, there are a lot of known issues which could be a show stopper for some of you. As I posted this morning, keep in mind this is a beta release so you can fully expect bugs to be a part of it. Perhaps the most exciting news is that the new Project Spartan web browser is included in this release.
As expected and promised, the second Technical Preview of Windows 10 is now available to Windows Insiders. The update released around 10:00 AM PST this morning and for those who are a part of the Insiders program and have the Windows Insider app on their Lumia phones, you should check for updates on your phone to get it. The build is 10051 for those keeping score at home.
As I noted in my post earlier this morning, this preview is still very much in beta and will have bugs and other issues. But it is an update that many of us have been waiting for since February. You can read the full blog post on the update here.
One of the big changes coming in Windows 10 is the unified app store where no matter what device you are using – Windows 10 PC, Tablet or Phone – you go to one store to get the universal apps for all the platforms. Today Microsoft has announced another step forward in this process. Earlier this month in the Windows 10 Store beta we saw the Movies & TV section go live but you couldn’t actually access any content. That has now changed and over the course of the next 24 hours, all users should see this roll to the Store beta on their devices.
While there is still now official Starbucks app for Windows Phone, one of the best alternative apps is Starbucks Locator. The app is developed by Lancelot Software and it has just received another significant update, its 3rd in the last month or so. The new update, version 184.108.40.206 for those keeping score at home, brings a host of new features and fixes including a new icon that tells you if the stores being listed near you are open at the moment. It’s a quick and easy way to see which store closest to you is open for that late night latte run.
Later this morning, likely around 10:00 AM PST today, we should see the next preview for Windows 10 for Phone. This will be the 2nd release of the preview for phones, following on the first release that happened back in February. This update will have a wide range of Lumia phones which it will work on – virtually all of them – and all indications are this build will be far superior to the that first release with a huge number of bug fixes, new features and applications. And while I certainly don’t want to be a sourpuss about it, I would like to remind everyone that what we see today in Windows 10 for Phone will very much still be in beta. Not everything is going to work and there will be issues. Unless you are willing to put up with those issues, it may be best to wait to installed it.
HERE has issued updates to their three main apps for Windows Phone, HERE Maps, HERE Drive+ and HERE Transit, all addressing the same issue with HERE account sign-in amongst other fixes. The updates are all available now in the Windows Phone Store and users of these apps should get the updates, especially if you have had issues signing into the HERE service or having issues with synchronization of your Favorites and Collections. HERE Maps is now at version 220.127.116.11, Here Drive+ is at version 4.2.5964.1 and Here Transit is up to version 18.104.22.168 for those keeping score at home.
My personal favorite version of the Angry Birds franchise, Angry Birds Seasons, has received a new 15 level episode honoring the NBA, aptly named NBA Ham Dunk. The new update also brings the game up to version 5.0.0 for those keeping score at home. It is the latest free update to the game which now sports hundreds of levels for hours (and literally I mean it) of entertainment on your Windows Phone.
For those of you who are AT&T customers and use the myAT&T app for Windows Phone, there is a minor update available in the Windows Phone Store. The update, version 22.214.171.124 for those keeping score at home, allows you to view your Rollover Data as you could when this particular update was first released a couple of weeks ago. Some users however were having some issues with it not showing data correctly or the app freezing (I was one of them). It appears that the issue has now been fixed in this re-release of the update.
The Fitbit for Windows Phone app has received an update that should help those of us who use the All-Day Sync feature. If there has been one complaint I’ve had about the app so far it has been the reliability of this background sync feature. Now it seems to be resolved. The update, version 126.96.36.19901 for those keeping score at home, dramatically improves the All-Day Sync functionality. It is much more stable than the previous release and it is on by default now. Having tested this last night and this morning, I can tell you it is noticeably better than before and the app actually stays connected to my Fitbit Flex via Bluetooth constantly.
Vine for Windows Phone has been out since November 2013 and aside from a few very minor updates has remained virtually untouched. It was, until today, a classic example of there been an app update gap for Windows Phone when you compare it to other platforms. Today a new build, version 2.5 for those keeping score at home, has hit the Windows Phone store and it is a significant improvement over the previous version. The biggest feature by far in this update is the ability to upload previously shot videos from your camera roll. This means you can now, finally, shoot a video now then Vine it to Twitter later.