Latest preview build includes boosts to Cortana and Camera, as well as easier one-handed use
Microsoft has released a new preview of Windows 10 Mobile as the company’s mobile OS edges closer to a public launch.
Promising a raft of improvements and inclusions, the Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview Build 10136 offers a range of aesthetic improvements such as new fonts, colours and icons, along with new added features for the likes of Cortana and the phone’s camera.
It is now available to download for any Windows Phone 8.1 users who have opted in to the Windows Insider Fast ring.
One of the major steps forward is a move to make using a large-screen phone with one hand easier. The new build comes with a new feature which, when a user presses and holds the Start button, makes the screen slide down, allowing you to reach items at the top of the screen.
This can then be easily reversed by tapping the black space at the top of the screen, or pressing and holding the Start button again.
Microsoft says this will make using devices with a screen of five inches or greater, as one-handed use will also naturally time out after several seconds and return to regular view.
Also included in the new build is a range of improvements to Cortana, Microsoft’s voice-control system.
Moving forward, Cortana will feature alerts for going to work, home or other locations such as airports, where it can also help track your flight, much like its Android and iOS cousins.
Users can now also ask questions concerning weather, currency information, and stock quotes, with answers coming directly inline, making it easy to quickly check on multiple locations or stock tickers.
Lastly, the camera and photos apps have also received several new features, top of which is the ability to double-tap to zoom in on a photo.
In the Photos app, you can tap on a month to get a list of months so you can quickly “jump” to photos taken a while ago, and also comes with performance and reliability improvements.
Certain Lumia handsets, including the Lumia 640, 640XL, 930, Icon, or 1520, can now also run the new Lumia Camera Beta, which is the same app as the new Windows 10 Camera app, but with additional features that light up based on Lumia hardware.
Microsoft is set to launch Windows 10 to the public on July 29, however there is still no concrete release date for the mobile edition.
“While we’re making good progress, we need more time to deliver the optimal experience for mobile devices and you can expect Windows 10 Mobile to release broadly later this year,” Microsoft’s Gabe Aul wrote in a blog post announcing the new build.
“We’re incorporating lots of the great feedback from Insiders, so keep it coming!”
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