After a month of seeing no new Windows 10 Mobile builds, members of Microsoft's Fast Ring Insider preview program are finally getting blessed with Build 10549, which brings several enhancements to Cortana, messaging, emoji and fixes specific to the Lumia 1020.
Gabe Aul, head of Microsoft's Insider program, announced the new build in a blog post, following the rollout of Build 10565 for Windows 10 for the PC. However, Build 10549 is a single-update build, which means users have to get this build from Windows 8.1 instead of updating directly from the previous Build 10536. Aul says those who attempt to do the latter will end up with a black screen due to a bug that his team only discovered on the eve of Build 10549's release.
Insiders who are already on Windows 10 builds will need to revert to Windows 8.1 using the Windows Device Recovery Tool. From there, they'll need to install the Windows Insider app, go to Fast Ring and reboot their phone. Build 10549 should automatically download and install with no problems.
"If you choose to remain on Build 10536 - that's fine too," says Aul. "You will not receive today's build but we're working to ensure you'll be able to receive the next one."
Build 10549 took a long time coming. With the new update comes improvements made to Cortana, which recently learned Japanese so it can be used by Insiders in Japan. Cortana is also smarter now and works in English for Canadian and Australian Insiders.
The Messaging app also gets a slight improvement with a text box that expands with longer messages. Previously, the app was limited to three lines, which makes it difficult for users to write longer messages. The Universal messaging app integrated with the phone and video app — already included in Windows 10 Build 10565 — is not yet available, but Microsoft says it will be available in "an upcoming build."
Unicode's diverse emoji are also coming to Build 10549, a feature that has been available for the PC version since Build 10547.
The new build also brings back the Lumia Camera app for Lumia 1020 users. In previous builds, users were unable to take full advantage of the massive 41-megapixel camera on the Lumia 1020 because of the absence of Lumia Camera, so the latest build should bring some good news to Lumia 1020 users.
Build 10549 also promises fixes for a number of problems, including issues causing the Windows Camera app to crash, swiped away notifications to appear on top, SD card apps failing to launch, pinch-to-zoom failures in Maps, and disabled call-blocking, among several others.
As expected, Build 10549 comes with a number of issues. For instance, users upgrading to the new build may find that some of their apps are missing. This can be fixed by resetting the phone. Rebooting the phone also causes message notifications to disappear, but Microsoft promises a fix in an upcoming build. Lastly, Skype for Business and WhatsApp calls may not work on this build, but users can work around this by uninstalling and reinstalling the apps.