Want to download the Windows Phone Technical Preview? Read this first

The Windows 10 for Phones technical preview is coming tomorrow to most WP8.1 Lumias except the Lumia 930/Icon. Now many of you may be ready to download and install the preview on your phones as soon as it comes out. That’s admirable, but you may need to slow down and think first. Before reading any further, here are three words. Hard reset. Soft reset. Roll-back. If it took you more then five seconds to remember what those are, don’t bother reading any more. The tech preview is most likely not for you.

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Now, many of you may have heard of the Windows Phone dev preview and how you can use it to get early, stable, FINISHED updates to your phone. This is not that program. They only share the words preview in common. The Windows Technical preview is truly offering you a preview release of an unfinished OS on your phone. Here’s what could happen: things may not work, the software may fritz on you, the phone app may freeze when you need to call emergency services, the skies may split apart and rain down judgement on you (Maybe). The point is, everything that can go wrong has a high possibility of going wrong and you should be prepared for that. The best way to install the preview is on a secondary phone if eligible or on your primary phone if, and only if you have a back up you can fall back on. If you’ve read all this and you’re still rather hell-bent on installing the tech preview, in Microsoft’s words “Don’t say we didn’t warn you” if you think “S/Mime is a way of escape from an invisible box, you may be better of sticking with Windows phone 8.1”.

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The current Windows 10 Mobile Technical Preview had this list of known issues:

  • Existing alarms will not be migrated to Windows 10. Workaround: Reset alarms after upgrade
  • Wi-Fi settings don’t roam when phone is upgraded to Windows 10. Workaround: Manually set Wi-Fi settings when on Windows 10
  • VPN not available in current Windows 10 builds. Setting will fail to launch. Coming in a future update.
  • Additional language keyboards may not be present and may not be able to install on US builds after upgrading to Windows 10. Workaround: Reopen the Windows Insider app and re-select Insider Fast/Slow again. The download of keyboard packages will then work
  • Photos app will fail to launch periodically when attempting to add a photo attachment to an email, OneNote or Facebook item. Workaround: Try again. Succeeds after a few attempts.
  • Quiet Hours is missing the automatic rule that enables Quiet hours during calendar appointments marked busy. Also the setting “Anyone breaks through if they call 2 times in 3 minutes” us unchecked but enabled.
  • Apps are not displayed in Battery saver after the upgrade.
  • Access Point Names (APNs) in recovery images can fall out of date. For some phones/networks, this will block the cellular data and MMS capabilities of a phone when recovering back to the base image. Workaround: Before using the Windows Mobile Recovery Tool to recover, record the specific APN settings on your phone. Set manually once phone restored
  • Cellular data not working while roaming, despite enabling data roaming. Workaround : The setting doesn’t work the first time it’s enabled. Turning off and then turning on again will enable data while roaming
  • Using a Bluetooth headset while playing back video results in low frame rate for video, due to a bug in the interaction between video playback and Bluetooth. Workaround: Use wired headset for listening to audio when playing videos.
  • Sync to Microsoft Band doesn’t work after updating to Windows 10. If you have your phone synced to Microsoft band, it will not pair after the update to Windows 10. Workaround: After upgrade to Windows 10, go to Bluetooth settings, un-pair the Microsoft Band device and re-pair it.
  • DataSense resets data use history on upgrade to Windows 10. No workaround: Will calculate correctly after the reset.
  • Trying to set lock screen picture will fail at times. Workaround: Re-attempt the operation.
  • After upgrade, tapping on “Playlist” from start screen or from within Music App fails to play music. Playlists are greyed out.
  • Cortana tile and settings are missing on the start screen after upgrade. Workaround: Go to app list and re-pin the tile

In addition some found it so slow as to be nearly unusable. Now of course that was a very early build, and it is likely that the next one will be much more refined,  but it still seems unwise to load the OS on your primary device if you rely at all on a being able to reliably receive phone calls, send email and a lot more.

If you’re still undeterred at this point, here’s a bunch of links to read up on.

How to Reset your Windows Phone device

How to Recover your Lumia Software

Terms and Conditions for Windows 10 Technical preview

Will you be installing the next Technical Preview when it comes out? Let us know in the comments.

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