On Friday night the second development build of Windows 10 for Phones became available to download via the Windows Insider preview programme. After a few hiccups during the release process and people hitting the servers with a ‘check for update’ request every few seconds, things settled down and the download became available. However what became apparent was that the phones that weren’t part of the initial preview, were getting Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2 aka ‘GDR2’.
I decided to hang fire when requesting the update and waited until Saturday morning when things were quieter and my download request on my Lumia 820 came through without any delay. As per the initial reports I received GDR2, which to be honest I was pretty pleased about.
One of the things I’ve been wanting to try out is the Bluetooth HID keyboard support so later in the day, I dug out my keyboard (a no-name third-party keyboard) and switched on Bluetooth on the Lumia 820. It looked to pair the device and up popped the keyboard, so I typed in the code presented on screen, on the keyboard and hit return. I then loaded up Office and started a blank Word document and started typing. Despite one report that I’ve heard by Steve Litchfield at All About Windows Phone where the keyboard / screen response was delayed for about five seconds once you started typing. However mine was absolutely fine and I found the typing was accurate for the whole time I typed.
Still running Lumia Denim, but now on Windows 8.1 Update 2…
Pleased with that test, I then had a look at the next major difference which can be found in the settings menu. The seemingly random order list has been categorised into nine groups:
Network + Wireless
Time + Language
Input + Accessibility
Update + Backup
… which makes finding what you are looking for a little more logical – though I do have one slight criticism is that the items listed in each group aren’t in an alphabetical order – they are still in a random order.
I did also notice that you can change the name of the phone (as shown in the graphic above) which makes more sense so you can identify your phone on a network or Bluetooth search.
Another minor change is at the bottom of the start screen, instead of just a right-pointing arrow, you also have the words ‘All Apps’.
There are probably more ‘under the hood’ changes, but these are the main ones I’ve found so far. Though I haven’t found any reliability issues, you should note a few things if you want to try the update yourself:
If you sign up for the Windows Insider update process, there is no guarantee that you will get GDR2 – you may get the Windows 10 preview straight away, so its at entirely your own risk (and I accept no liability whatsoever if you brick your phone due to this article!)
I’m going to stay with GDR2 for a while before I try Windows 10 and see how the reliability pans out. Hopefully GDR2 will be released officially soon so I can update my Lumia 830!