With Microsoft expected to make big announcements around Windows 10 next week, Windows Phone users now have a new Phone Insider app to help them prepare for the next version of Windows Phone. The app is available now in the Windows Phone store and while it does not do much of anything a this point, it is a clear indicator that Redmond is getting Insiders ready for the next version of Windows Phone, likely to be named Windows Mobile.
The Phone Insider app replaces the Preview for Developers app that has been used to this point on Windows Phone and is designed to give Windows Insiders access to early builds of Windows 10 on their mobile devices. In fact the app’s install process removes the Preview for Developers app which was designed to give Windows Phone users early access to elements of Lumia Cyan and Lumia
Right now the app does a whole lot of nothing. It will prompt you for your Microsoft domain login which, unless you work for Microsoft, you don’t have one. However the app clearly lays the foundation for what Microsoft intends to do through the Insider program for everyone outside of Microsoft on their Phone. The key to it is to make sure you are registered as a Windows Insider in order for your to register your device at some point to start getting the preview bits of Windows 10.
All indications are that the next version of Windows Phone will be known as Windows Mobile, a return to a naming convention from several years ago but one I personally think is more appropriate.
In order to get the new bits you have to be registered as Windows Insider. It also means that if you participate that you will be getting beta bits, potentially as early as next week as Microsoft is expected to have a major Windows 10 announcement on the 21st of January. Clearly it will be beta – and maybe even a little painful – so don’t sign up unless you either have a second phone you can use to test or are willing to put up with some beta testing and beta bugs.
You can download the Phone Insider app in the Windows Phone store now free of charge. Signing up for Windows Insider is also free and can be done on the Windows Insider site.