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Windows 10 for phones preview now includes new apps and Project Spartan

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It has been almost two months since Microsoft released its first preview of Windows 10 for phones, and the software maker is ready to distribute an update today with some new features. While the initial preview was limited to mainly low-end devices, today's preview will support a lot more phones. The full list includes devices like the Lumia 1020, Lumia 920, and Lumia 1520, but Microsoft isn't yet ready to support the Lumia Icon or Lumia 930 just yet.

New Mail and Calendar apps to test

Microsoft is introducing new apps with this preview, including updated, mail, calendar, phone, messaging, people, and maps applications. The mail and calendar apps are the same universal ones that Microsoft is testing on the desktop side of Windows 10 with customizable gestures like the company's iOS and Android Outlook apps.

An early version of Project Spartan, the successor to Internet Explorer, is also available. "It uses our new rendering engine to give greater interoperability with the modern mobile web, and includes early versions of Reading View and Reading List," explains Microsoft’s Gabe Aul. Strangely, Project Spartan is not yet the default browser, and it exists side by side with IE11 in this new preview, but this will likely be changing in the future. Spartan includes a new UI with the address bar up top, something that Windows Phone fans have mixed feelings about. "We’ve heard your early feedback about the position of the address bar, and we are looking closely at the design," says Kyle Pflug, a Project Spartan program manager.

We’ll be taking a closer look at this new preview of Windows 10 on phones, and we’ll have a full hands-on shortly. If you're interested in loading the preview version on your own phone then be warned there are a number of known issues, but you can download the new update over at Microsoft's Windows insider website.

Verge Video: Hands-on with Project Spartan