A new preview version of windows phone 10 was released yesterday (04/10). I installed it on my Lumia 630 and will show you some screenshots with my comments.
At first: Do NOT install this preview version on your „main phone“, which you use on a daily basis. After playing around with the preview version for about 1 hour I can definitely say: It’s not for daily use! Maybe you agree after reading my short review.
Side note: When making a screenshot on the phone a toast notification was shown „Couldn’t take screenshot“, but the screenshots were still created, shown in the „photos“ app and I was able to „share“ them with the OneDrive app. 🙂
The installation process, which took about 30 minutes
After the installation completed the first thing I wanted to checkout was the new calendar app. Is it good? Is it the version that was shown by MS? How does it compare to my app Week View ?
Starting the calendar app for the first time
Wow, the calendar app has changed completely. This has nothing to do with the calendar in windows phone 8.1 and also is completely different from the calendar in the previous preview version of windows phone 10.
It looks nice when you see it for the first time…but the 2 views are the only ones you will see! There is no week view, month view, year view, searching for appointments, the „modern UI style“ is completely gone and was replaced by android like „burger menus“ (the menu with the 3 bars in the top, left corner) 🙁
The first screenshot shows a „day view“, quite similar to the one in outlook, you can scroll up/down within the current day and swipe left/right to navigate to the next or previous day.
Looking for an overview of your appointments this week or want to navigate 2 weeks in the future? Not with this app.
The second view is an „agenda view“. It allows infinite scrolling up and down.
If you look very close, you can see the texts for „Today“, „Agenda“ and „Day“ are truncated at the bottom – something that occurs in other apps too.
While both views are looking nice, they are absolutely not tailored to the smaller windows phone screen. It looks like „outlook on the phone“. The „…“ menu on the bottom, right of the screen in WP 8.1 and the command bar were easy to use when holding the phone in your hand – the burger menu is NOT.
I tested this on a Lumia 630 with a relatively small screen and I was not able to select the burger-menu on the top, left corner with the hand that was holding the phone.
WHY, MS are you trying to copy android?!
Next thing I did was adding an appointment by pressing the „+“ icon, which now is on the top, right corner of the screen.
When you select the start date, this dialog is shown.
Trying to change the time of the appointment leaded to this:
Yes, the time selector now is a „combobox“ and the values you can select are hidden by the on-screen keyboard. If you look close, you can see the text below the time selection box.
Android, iOS and Windows Phone 8.1 use dedicated controls to make selecting date and time simple, by using your fingers on the phone screen. The date/time selection in WP10 preview has nothing to do with it.
As said: To me this looks like runnning outlook, which was made for the PC, on the phone. It has nothing to to with a tailored phone experience.
Nice thing to mention: The details text seems to use a word engine now, that checks the spelling (see the red underlining of my blog url). Btw. the link in the detail text no longer can be „clicked“, it does not navigate to the web page, as the old calendar did.
The calendar live tile (and the tiles from the calculator and alarm clock, which I will show you in more detail later) are not transparent and do not adapt to the theme colour of the phone, which I set to yellow.
On major limitation of the WP 8.1 calendar is: appointments that were not created directly on the phone and are older than 2 weeks were „hidden“ in the built in calendar. They still exist (when you open the windows live calendar in the web browser, you can see them) but they are not shown in the built in calendar.
I never understood this useless limitation. Windows mobile 6.x was able to show ALL appointments, even when they occurred 2 years ago. WP 8.1 is not.
Btw. my app Week View has a workaround for this limitation: you can sign in to windows live inside the app. This allows Week View to load appointments directly from your windows live calendar and show them in the app. So Week View bypasses this limitation of Windows Phone.
Did the new WP10 calendar change this?
Are you able to see all your appointments?
Seems that not the case. 🙁
When you scroll back in the agenda view, your calendar very soon gets very empty. 🙁
This is, what you see, when you click on the burger-menu on the top, left corner on the screen. You can select the calendars to show.
The first icon in the new „command bar“ starts the email app (did I say, this looks like outlook?), the second icon is the calendar, the third icon with the smiley allows you to give feedback and the last icons brings you to a settings screen.
Ok, let’s try out some other apps: The „Calculator“ and the „Alarms & Clock“ apps, which do not have a live tile that adapts to the phone theme color.
Nothing special about the calculator beside it uses the burger-menu too… 🙁
The „Alarms and Clock“ was completely redesigned too and now contains a „World Clock“, a „Timer“ and a „Stopwatch“. Nice! 🙂
Interestingly it does not contain the burger menu like the calculator app. It has some kind of „command bar“ but this command bar looks completely different from the one of the calendar app.
I guess consistency did not play a major role in the development process of these apps. Ok, it’s a preview version. Maybe MS prefers developing things and throwing them away again instead of thinking about a consistent design first.
The next app I tested is the „File Explorer“ app.
Wow, this app has it ALL!
A command bar that looks like the one we know from WP 8.x, an android-style burger menu on the top left corner…and some icons that look like the ones used in windows 10. 🙂
But it’s working and shows thumbnails of your pictures, when you navigate to the „Pictures“ folder. 🙂
Next stop: The „People“ app
In fact there are 2 „People“ apps now: The „old“ people app, which is called „People Legacy“ and the new one, which is called just „People“.
The second screen shows the new people app in action. As the logo on the top, right corner implies: This is an early alpha version. It still allows you to select your contacts and see info about them. When you select a contact, it shows an image of the person in a circle and contact data in white text on ligh-yellow background. Ok…still a lot of work to do for MS.
The third screenshot shows both people apps pinned to the phone start screen.
Two things to note here:
- The „huge“ live tile size, which was supported by the people app in the previous WP10 preview version is no longer supported. The live tile supports „small“, „medium“ and „wide“ size now.
- I really like the „wide“ tile of the new people app 🙂 – there are so many peoply on it!
Simply a must have, if you want to show everybody that you have a loooot of friends! *gg*
„Project Spartan“, the new web browser is included in this preview version of windows phone 10. It looks great and I did some tests with it.
I will do some more test, including performace tests of it in a later review.
Across some other apps I tested it is obvious that the current WP10 preview version has some scaling problems
Some more impressions:
The E-Mail and the calendar app have dedicated buttons to give feedback.
My overall impression: There is still a lot of work to do for MS and maybe it would be a good idea to sit together and talk about a consistent design and in which direction the platform should evolve.
I prefer the current „modern style“ of windows phone 8.1 apps. The menu and command bar is accessible with the same hand that holds the phone – the burger-menu which is used in many of the new apps is not.
Creating common apps and a common store for windows „on the desktop/tablet“ and windows phone is a great idea but apps really need to be tailored for the phone!
Simply running outlook on the phone, which was designed for the PC and for mouse interaction will not work.
I also sent feedback to MS, maybe it’s helpful. 🙂
I you have questions according to the WP10 preview version or want me to try out something for you, send me an email!