Saturday, 19 March 2016 15:54

Windows 10 Mobile upgrade almost available in Australia

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Microsoft has released the definitive list of Nokia Lumia devices that can be upgraded to Windows 10 Mobile.

This list is limited to handsets that it is confident can continue to deliver a good customer experience for the life of the handset. It includes:

  • Lumia 1520, 930, 640, 640XL, 730, 735, 830, 532, 535, 540, 635 1GB, 636 1GB, 638 1GB, 430, and 435
  • BLU Win HD w510u, BLU Win HD LTE x150q,
  • MCJ Madosma Q501

The list excludes some devices currently running Windows 10 Mobile on the Insider program. Microsoft has advised that as Windows 10 delivers innovations, some older devices will not be able to upgrade successfully in the future – it has drawn a line in the sand so don’t expect handsets including 1020, 925, and 920 to be upgraded.

The Twittersphere has been awash with anti-Microsoft comments regarding older handsets but please remember that it did not make handsets (hardware) until it acquired Nokia’s phone business in 2014. It has no obligation to ‘old metal’ except that it tried and largely succeeded.

Users may also want to look over the list of ‘depreciable features’ not carried over from 8.1 Phone. None are deal breakers – unless you absolutely need the feature.

  • Notifications for missed calls, messages, and emails on contact tiles is not supported at the time of Windows 10 Mobile release.
  • Me Tile and Me Card are no longer supported.
  • Cortana can no longer search for apps, setting, email, text messaging, contacts and QR Codes on the device and can no longer open apps through voice commands.
  • "Hey Cortana" is no longer available on some upgraded devices.
  • Group tiles can no longer be used to receive social networking status updates.
  • Indoor Maps are no longer available for some locations.
  • Certain enterprise features, including Data Protection Under Lock, are not available.
  • At the time of Windows 10 Mobile release Outlook Mail app cannot open .EML attachments.
  • Outlook Calendar app does not support Tasks.
  • MDM (mobile device management) capability to prevent saving and sharing Office documents not supported.

And while apps, in-app purchases, files, and settings will migrate as part of the upgrade some may not if there are compatibility issues. You won’t know until you try.

The upgrade is available via the Windows Store using the Upgrade Advisor – this is a direct 1.4GB download to the device via Wi-Fi (as the OS upgrade would nuke your valuable wireless broadband allowance).

There is also a tool to roll back if things go pear shaped.

Read on for a hands-on with a Lumia 930.

The Upgrade Advisor requires you to have Windows 8.1 Phone fully installed with up-to-date patches and sufficient space so copy all your photos and music to a PC or OneDrive. You will also need a Microsoft Account to enter the Store. Regrettably I had factory reset the 930 and so had to go through that setup again – it was so much easier and quicker than Android.

I downloaded the Upgrade Advisor and after checking it told me that the phone was eligible, but my Australian ‘Carrier’ had not yet rolled it out, and I would receive notice when it was available. I figured as much as Telstra and Optus need to alter the operating system for the radio frequencies etc.

In going back – albeit briefly - to a Lumia 930 Windows 8.1 Phone released in July 2014 I was reminded of two things.

First, the quality of the device – the amazing 1920 x 1080, 441ppi, AMOLED screen, the colourful polycarbonate back, the 20MP class leading camera, Qi charging, and Snapdragon 800 made this a phone well ahead of the pack – that included Samsung S4, S5 and iPhone 5/s/6 at that time. Nokia knew how to make excellent handsets.

Next, the bold move to ‘Live Tile’ menu system that has become the foundation of Windows 10 – at least for touch. I think it is a huge improvement over the skeuomorphic and flat icons found in iOS and Android at that time.

So the 930 goes back in the cupboard awaiting notification before I re-gift it to a good home. And I know that it will give a few more years of very serviceable use.

And if you are wondering I am still using the Microsoft Lumia 950XL and am very happy with it. At present, it is having a rest as I road test the Samsung S7 Edge and BlackBerry’s new Android phone.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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