Updated: Windows 10 Mobile release date, news and features

Windows 10 Mobile release date, news and features

Windows 10 Mobile is the latest often-changing name of Microsoft’s phone and tablet operating system, and it’s not coming alone, as we learned at Build 2015.

Formerly known as Windows Phone 10 and then Windows 10 for phones, it’s bringing some friends (though, some would call them rivals), with Android and iOS app compatibility.

There’s going to be an easy way for developers to port over their existing code, and that means more apps running on Windows 10 Mobile devices.

That bodes well for Microsoft’s goal of having Windows 10 on one billion devices in two to three years. Also a big help to increasing its Lumia phone sales is the free Windows 10 download for all W8.1 devices.

Every device running Windows Phone 8.1 right now will be updated to Windows 10 in time. According to Microsoft at its MWC 2015 press conference, it will be updating all the devices it can to the new platform and hopes to have it done by the end of the year.

After months of rumors and speculation Windows 10 Mobile has been officially unveiled by Microsoft. Forget Windows Phone 9, in fact forget Windows Phone altogether, because this is supposed to be Windows… on a phone.

This first build is simply a technical preview of Windows 10 Mobile, and as such contains just a sampling of the features we’re expecting to eventually see.

As an unfinished build, this Windows 10 Mobile technical preview is liable to be unstable, and Microsoft recommends caution when installing it – maybe on a secondary Windows Phone device rather than your main phone.

To get started, download the Windows Insider app from Microsoft’s digital storefront. Oh, and only users with the Lumia 630, Lumia 635, Lumia 636, Lumia 638, Lumia 730 or Lumia 830 will be able to install it for now.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The next major upgrade for Windows Phone
  • When is it out? Later in 2015
  • What will it cost? Nothing, it’s a free download

Windows 10 Mobile release date

Windows 10 will ship for desktops later in 2015 and there’s every chance that the phone version will arrive at around the same time. Unfortunately Microsoft isn’t getting any more specific than that at the moment.

Windows 10 Mobile has begun seeding to selected testers now to help developers get their heads around the new platform.

Windows Phone 10

The good news is that when it does fully launch it will be available for a year as a free upgrade to existing Windows devices, including those running Windows Phone 8.1. So if you have a Windows Phone 8.1 handset you should be able to get Windows 10 on it before the year is out.

One OS to rule them all

The key thing to know about Windows 10 Mobile is that while the version running on your handset will be optimised for a smaller screen it’s still just considered Windows 10.

So apps and features will look similar on your phone to on your desktop. You get the full versions of Office, Word and PowerPoint and they will look and operate much the same as the desktop versions.

Settings screens will also look and operate in the same manner across devices and apps will be universal, so Photos, Music, Videos and more will be much the same on desktop, phone and tablet and you can switch between Windows devices almost seamlessly.

It’s all about unity

Speaking of seamless switching, Windows 10 is designed to be unified between devices, not just with a similar look and universal apps, but by having phone and desktop work together.

So for example if you clear a notification from the Action Centre on your Windows 10 Mobile, it will also disappear on your computer and vice-versa.


You’ll also be able to open and edit Microsoft Office documents on all your different devices, as files will be synced in the cloud and a recent docs list will give you quick access.


You’ll still get live tiles with Windows 10 Mobile and it doesn’t look identical to the desktop version, but it’s not far off. A background image will bleed through the translucent tiles, allowing you to personalise the Start screen beyond just changing the colours.


Swipe to the right and you’ll get an apps list as before, but now recently installed apps will be shown at the top, so you can more easily find whatever you last downloaded.

Windows 10 for phones leak

There’s also a new layout to the settings screen, making it look a lot more like the version found on desktop and tablets. In fact a few leaked screenshots of the Windows 10 Mobile technical preview have emerged, so you can see the settings screen for yourself above, along with Action Center (or whatever it ends up being called this time round).

As you can see there is a wider range of quick settings than on Windows Phone 8 and a different colour scheme, with blue icons.

YouTube : www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsZgtqsY2M4

Keyboard and messaging

The keyboard is getting a bit of a touch-up on Windows 10 Mobile. It’s still the Word Flow keyboard from Windows Phone 8.1, but now it can be resized and even moved around the screen, so you can position it perfectly for your device and fingers.

Windows 10 keyboard

Plus you can look forward to in-line messaging, allowing you to switch between SMS and Skype without switching apps and it’s rocking some fancy dictation skills, as it can output symbols rather than writing the word and will even head into your contacts list to check how you spell a person’s name when you speak it.

Camera and photos

The new photos app will be one of many universal apps and being universal it also syncs your images across all your Windows 10 devices using OneDrive.

Not only that, it also removes duplicate images, automatically creates albums and automatically enhances your photos by removing red eye and the like.

Photos app

If you’re not using a Lumia phone then you’ll also see some big changes to the camera app, as Lumia Camera is becoming the default app on all Windows 10 handsets. It brings with it auto-HDR, 4K video recording, Rich Capture (which can combine images to create one superior photo) and Dynamic Flash, which takes a photo both with and without flash and then lets you adjust the flash level after the fact.

If you’re already using a Lumia then you won’t have to wait for Windows 10 Mobile to make use of these features, but the new version of Lumia Camera will also be faster both to launch and take photos than the current version.

Microsoft Edge

Big things are happening to Internet Explorer as part of Windows 10. In fact it’s going to be replaced with a new name: Microsoft Edge. That’s the official name. Previously, it was codenamed Project Spartan.

The biggest addition is that on desktop at least you can now mark up web pages with notes and drawings and then share them with other users, though we’re not sure whether this feature will be available on the smartphone version or not.

More to come

That’s all we know so far. We can expect to learn more about the Windows 10 platform as a whole over the coming months before its release toward the end of 2015.

Windows Phone 10 previous rumors

Windows Phone 8 is well over a year old now, yet until recently we knew very little about Windows Phone 10.

Originally it was expected to be with us by the end of 2013 as it was thought that Microsoft may adopt the annual software cycle made popular by Apple in an attempt to keep its mobile OS fresh and, more importantly, relevant.

That didn’t happen, but from the information that we’ve been able to gather so far it looks like Windows Phone 10 could be a massive overhaul, in fact it might not be Windows Phone 10 at all, but instead just Windows 10, as Microsoft is seemingly looking to unify its operating systems, so it’s not surprising that it’s taken over a year.

However we did recently get Windows Phone 8.1 to tide us over, while leaks highlight that Windows Phone 8.5 may also be on the cards and Microsoft is expected to reveal Windows Phone 10 at an event on January 21.

Before we get our teeth in Windows Phone 10 we need to visit the rumors surrounding version 8.5. It’s been confused with the ninth iteration of the platform before, and it’s important to make a distinction between the two.

Windows Phone 8.5

It looks like there might be such a thing as Windows Phone 8.5 in the works, but details are slim on the ground. All that’s really known so far is that there will seemingly be some potentially quite substantial changes to the Start screen interface in Windows Phone 8.5, but there’s no word yet on what form those changes may take.

It’s also worth noting that while we list this as a Windows Phone 8.5 feature it’s entirely possible that it may end up in Windows Phone 10, especially as so little has been said about Windows Phone 8.5.

Now we’ve got Windows Phone 8.5 out of the way we can get back on the Windows Phone 10 trail.

We’re scouring the web everyday to bring you all the latest on Windows Phone 10 and we’ll be constantly updating the information below to give you the best picture of what’s to come.

Windows Phone 10 release date

Early rumors pegged Windows Phone 10 for 2014, but that’s been and gone and we’re still on Windows Phone 8.1. More recently a leaked document mentioned dates of between Q2 and Q3 of 2015, which covers April-September and that’s just for a preview build, so the final release might be even later.

That’s now looking almost certain as Windows 10 has been announced and is expected to launch this year and it seems that this will be the basis for Windows Phone 10.

While we might not see a final build of Windows Phone 10 for many months yet it looks like Microsoft is starting to prepare for a launch, as according to WinBeta it’s been sending builds of Windows Phone 10 out to select partners, though apparently it’s an old version with little in the way of new features.

Microsoft has also created an app called ‘Phone Insider‘, which appears to let Microsoft employees test out the new OS. Hopefully it will be opened up to the general public soon though.

We also may have heard about one of the first Windows Phone 10 handsets- the Microsoft Lumia 940.

Windows Phone 10 or just Windows 10?

For a while we’ve been seeing reports that suggest Microsoft may look to ditch the divide between its smartphone platform and the one it uses for tablets and PCs – rolling them all into one tidy bundle called Windows 10.

It now seems that’s exactly what’s happening, as with its announcement of Windows 10 Microsoft claimed that the OS would work on screen sizes ranging from four to 80 inches. Not only that but the company specifically stated the Windows 10 would be the next version of Windows Phone.

Whether that means it will just be called Windows 10 or whether it will still be called Windows Phone 10 isn’t clear, but either way it should be heavily based on the desktop operating system. Hopefully we’ll have a better idea of both what it’s called and how it looks after Microsoft’s January 21 press event.

Windows Phone 10 features

Murtazin gave some early insight into the design of Windows Phone 10. Saying that apparently it will be a complete overhaul which will remove the tile based Metro interface that Windows Phone is currently known for.

Murtazin went on to say that the interface would be more influenced by Android than iOS. That makes sense, given the general overhaul, since we now know that it will apparently be based on Windows 10, and cross-platform app code compability.

Exactly how Windows Phone 10 will look and behave is still unclear, as it’s unlikely to be identical to the desktop version, but there’ll obviously be unity between platforms and a similar design language.

However given that Live Tiles are still a part of Windows 10 it may not look a million miles from Windows Phone 8, especially as Microsoft will only need the touch focused element of its new OS on phones.

But even so, as a version of the desktop operating system it could well be more powerful and versatile than Windows Phone 8, which could be where Murtazin was coming from in saying that it will be more like Android than iOS.

More recently we’ve heard from sources speaking to The Verge that its interface will be designed to fit with both Windows 10 and the Xbox One and that Windows Phone 10 will be a combination of the Windows Phone of old and Windows RT.

A unified app store

Windows 10 is bringing Universal Windows apps with it. The idea with them is that there will be a single app store across all Windows 10 devices, whether servers, desktops or (presumably) smartphones. However the smartphone bit hasn’t been confirmed yet, so Windows Phone 10 may or may not share an app store with the rest of Windows 10.

Windows Phone 10 devices list

One of the big issues with Windows Phone 8 was that you couldn’t get it on your Windows Phone 7 handset, instead you were lumped with Windows Phone 7.8.

Lumia 1520

It’s thought that Windows Phone 10 won’t be so restrictive, with Windows Phone 8 users in line to get the upgrade which means you shouldn’t have to worry about picking up a Nokia Lumia 1520 or HTC 8X.