Microsoft has released an updated version of Windows 10 Technical Preview (build 10051) for smartphones. It’s available for most recent Lumia devices. Eventually Microsoft plans to open up the previews for non-Lumia phones as well.

So what’s new in the latest build? The web browser, the mail and calendar apps, and a whole lot more.

windows 10 spartan phone

This is the first version of Windows 10 for smartphones to include the Project Spartan web browser which recently arrived in preview builds of Windows 10 for desktop devices.

Spartan is the code-name for a new web browser uses a different rendering engine to Internet Explorer and adds new features including a Reading View and Reading List. Just like the desktop version of Spartan, the mobile version of the browser isn’t the default web browser for Windows 10. Internet Explorer 11 still serves that role, but Spartan is available for folks that want to test it.

Other new features include Outlook Mail and Outlook Calendar apps which are now built into the operating system, new Phone and Messaging apps, a new People app, and a new Maps app.

The app switcher has also been tweaked to support landscape orientation, a new grid layout for large-screened phones, and support for displaying up to 15 recently used apps.

photo via Windows Central

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9 replies on “Latest Windows 10 preview for phones adds Spartan browser, new mail, calendar, and phone apps”

  1. One problem that I hope is temporary, and not a design choice is that the Outlook mail “app” (it’s baked into the OS) doesn’t allow you to place individual Live Tiles on the start screen for each of the e-mail accounts that you use (nor individual sounds for message receipts under each account, nor individual e-mail signatures for each account). This was one of the most compelling features that convinced my friends to switch to WP. Its loss (if by design, not just an incomplete beta) could be a serious blow to WP.
    For my various business and personal ventures, I track 7 e-mail accounts, and with WP7/8 I was able to see / hear instantaneously which of my accounts had received messages, and how many unread messages there were in each account (with 0 touches required). With the current Outlook configuration, I can still access all of my accounts, but the process of accessing them requires several touches, and cannot be instantly visualized. In its current state, I find my e-mail almost useless; what used to be possible in less than 1 second now takes several minutes. And before you ask, I immediately posted this to the Insider Feedback, but I want to make sure that MS sees this in as many venues as possible, to reinforce its critical nature. And the fix could be as complex as re-writing Outlook to add the functionality (including making the Calendar as quickly useful as the old “Mail, Calendar, and People” app, where I could see appointments for the week color coded by account on a single screen, and even a month on a single screen) or as simple as to make the MCP app additionally available.

    1. I believe that it is now available for all Lumias, except for the 930/Icon, which still has an issue that MS is working through . . .

  2. I don’t have a windows phone device but I am running windows 10 on a spare laptop. I was quite interested in getting the last build to try out Spartan. Too bad it crashes every time I try to start it. Hope it is more stable on phones.

    1. I too have been unable to use Project Spartan, albeit on rather dated hardware. At first it wouldn’t even launch, but it has since launched to the point of showing a window, but it will not respond to anything I do. I have yet to get it to load a single website. Hope it works better with a future update.

      1. I had a similar experience on one of the desktops that I am testing W10TP on, but then it just began to work. Perhaps one of the fairly frequent updates (2-3 times weekly) fixed it. It appears to be working fine on my WP (just loaded on my L920 Friday).

    2. thats why its called “beta” and why you received it for free..(to try )

      1. While Windows 10 is getting to the “beta” point, there is still much that is Alpha. Things don’t work or there are place holders for things that are not even part of the build yet. I have sent a couple of reports to Microsoft. Spartan seems to be pre-Alpha. Most people I have spoken with can’t get it to run at all. I am on the fast build so I expect odd things to happen. I am just surprised Spartan is not farther along. I have no intention of keeping Windows 10 on this laptop. Once this first version of Windows 10 reaches RTM I will wipe this machine and wait to try the next new OS that will run on it.

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