Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 2nd Apr 2014 18:02 UTC
Windows

During the Build keynote, Microsoft also officially unveiled Windows Phone 8.1. Most of its features have long been known, so I'm not going to go into all of them in detail, but suffice it to say this is a huge update. Microsoft focuses a lot on its Google Now and Siri alternative Cortana (The Verge has a great article on it), which works more or less in the same way, but with one interesting strength: integration with third party applications.

Windows Phone 8.1 will become available for developers this month, and will be pushed to current devices in the coming months. It will also be available on new devices during that same timeframe - and it'll arrive on all Windows Phone 8 devices (every time a Microsoft employee points this out, an Android 2.3 device explodes).

I am very psyched for this massive update. It might not make much of a difference in the marketplace, but that doesn't really matter for me personally. This simply looks like a fantastic update, and I can't wait until my developer-ready HTC 8X gets the developer update.

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Comment by judgen
by judgen on Wed 2nd Apr 2014 19:04 UTC
judgen
Member since:
2006-07-12

"every time a Microsoft employee points this out, an Android 2.3 device explodes"

Please explain that statement? There are phones that can be upgraded from 2.* to 4.* (ZTE Blade and ZTE blade 2 does that just fine afaik but there are probably plenty more)
Or is it that the statement that microsoft will forcefully upgrade all 8.0 phones?

On another note: The UI still looks like it was made in Microsoft paint by a Soviet design bureau with no regards to aesthetics or what people want, catering to some made up nikinpoop demographics. (Someone might like it though.)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by judgen
by WereCatf on Wed 2nd Apr 2014 19:11 UTC in reply to "Comment by judgen"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Please explain that statement? There are phones that can be upgraded from 2.* to 4.* (ZTE Blade and ZTE blade 2 does that just fine afaik but there are probably plenty more)


My old Galaxy Note would also like to chime in.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by judgen
by Nelson on Wed 2nd Apr 2014 19:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by judgen"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I think it depends on the delivery mechanism. Are they OTA updates or do you have to accept the risks/headaches that come with flashing a custom ROM?

When I had an Android tablet custom ROMs would routinely break WiFi or the camera or something else which had a binary driver. Unless things are different it doesn't make for a good experience.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by judgen
by glarepate on Wed 2nd Apr 2014 19:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by judgen"
glarepate Member since:
2006-01-04

I found that picking a ROM that has the features that I want working in it makes for the best experience. Were you unable to do that?

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by judgen
by Nelson on Wed 2nd Apr 2014 20:05 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by judgen"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

It felt more like picking between using my front facing camera and using Android Honeycomb having Android Jellybean with way better perf but broken features.

My experience might or might not be common as I've only ever owned a single Android device outside of work.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by judgen
by saso on Wed 2nd Apr 2014 21:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by judgen"
saso Member since:
2007-04-18

I think it depends on the delivery mechanism. Are they OTA updates or do you have to accept the risks/headaches that come with flashing a custom ROM?

Originally the Note came with 2.3.6, then OTA upgraded to 4.0 and then to 4.1.2. If you're willing to go with Cyanogenmod (which is easy enough to install, but does require hooking up to a PC), it's an officially supported platform with OTA updates up to the latest 4.4 builds.
Regardless, the discussion of upgrade policy differences between iOS, Android and WP is almost beyond sensible - they're just too different. Apple and MS are control freaks when it comes to their software. Google is much more lax, so the post-sales support will vary from vendor to vendor.
Thom can waffle about this all day long. The fact of the matter is, either you give everybody the freedom to tinker with the OS as they see fit (and this includes screwing over their customers by ignoring post-sales support, if they so choose), or you lock the OS down and tightly control the update schedule yourself. There's no room in between.
Don't like a particular vendor's handling of updates? Vote with your wallet!

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by judgen
by dsmogor on Thu 3rd Apr 2014 18:55 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by judgen"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

The original Note upgrade track record have been a huge dissappointment.
While the duration of support was indeed nominally palatable, the quiality of both Samsung and independent releases leaves a lot to be desired.
- performane have dropped significantly (despite butter project) due to much larger memory requirements making the device much slower than less powerfull entry level devices than came later and received 4.1 by default
- included stylus software suite ported from Note 2 is so slow that signature functionality of the device is barely usable
- 4.0 version had bugs that made it dangerous for the device
- CM didn't get access to updated video drivers that forced developers to turn it into mish mash of hacks and unable to eploit visual optimisations of jelly bean. Still it's much faster that Samsung software in general use (invalidating Samung excuses
fir their updates) but poor stability and battery life make it even less practical than stock.
Generally my satisfaction with the device dropped with each update and if it didnt mean access to restricted software library I'd seriously consider dowgrading to last Samsung 2.3 release.
Definitely this is my last Samsung smart device.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by judgen
by tkeith on Thu 3rd Apr 2014 13:08 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by judgen"
tkeith Member since:
2010-09-01

Maybe in the early days of Honeycomb, but most Android devies have custom ROMs without issues.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Sodki
by Sodki on Wed 2nd Apr 2014 19:31 UTC
Sodki
Member since:
2005-11-10

So... can you update a Windows Phone 7 to 8.1?

Reply Score: 6

RE: Comment by Sodki
by Nelson on Wed 2nd Apr 2014 19:32 UTC in reply to "Comment by Sodki"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

No. Only WP8 devices.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Sodki
by ricegf on Thu 3rd Apr 2014 02:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Sodki"
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

Are WP 7 phones exploding like the Android 2.3 phones?

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: Comment by Sodki
by Nelson on Thu 3rd Apr 2014 02:45 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Sodki"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Probably not considering they received updates during their lifespan.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by Sodki
by tkeith on Thu 3rd Apr 2014 13:13 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Sodki"
tkeith Member since:
2010-09-01

As did almost all 2.3 devices.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by Sodki
by Nelson on Thu 3rd Apr 2014 15:39 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Sodki"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Some received a 4.0 update after a long, long time of waiting. More than that however never received an update.

This isn't really an arguable point, but a side effect of the lax attitude Google takes (or took) with Android.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Sodki
by dsmogor on Thu 3rd Apr 2014 19:15 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Sodki"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

Both ICS and WP8 have been big revolutions that brought the systems from infancy stage to maturity.
MS decided arbitrarily to drop in the towel because it's bound to hw platform and MS wanted to update it as well.
Google left the (not easy) decision whether fo go on with absolutely challenging upgrade to hw makers. On the platform level MS upgrade was more important enabling native developement. This makes situation in which MS policy left owners of WP7 devises worse than comparable Android 2.3 counterparts.

Reply Score: 2

End call button
by wigry on Wed 2nd Apr 2014 19:40 UTC
wigry
Member since:
2008-10-09

Have been using Windows phone for less than a month now and in WP8 the End call button is nicely in the middle of the screen. From the keynote I noticed that the end call button has been moved to the bottom of the screen which I really dislike. It is very convenient to tap a button in the middle of the screen with your thumb. If it is at the bottom of the screen, the finger twisting might become uncomfortable. However the Skype button was stealing the show and probably nobody noticed that little important change.

Reply Score: 3

Cool
by WorknMan on Wed 2nd Apr 2014 22:48 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

Integration with 3rd party apps is something I've always wanted with Google Now, esp being able to give Slacker Radio commands with my voice while driving, like 'ban song'.

Maybe Google will finally get off its ass and make that happen, assuming they're not too busy adding more photo auto awesomeness with G+ ;) They're still way behind Siri in the various ways you can actually control the phone, like turning on/off various toggles (very nice with hands free).

Reply Score: 2

RE: Cool
by dsmogor on Thu 3rd Apr 2014 19:17 UTC in reply to "Cool"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

I wonder it ms equivqlent will be less useless than competition everwhere than handfull of countries.

Reply Score: 2

Stoned, sleep-deprived, or both?
by gan17 on Thu 3rd Apr 2014 00:28 UTC
gan17
Member since:
2008-06-03

The guy doing the presentation looks like he had a few too many joints before coming up on stage. Either that or he's been sleep-deprived preparing for for the release.

Reply Score: 3

v 64-bit and Android updates
by jphamlore on Thu 3rd Apr 2014 02:06 UTC
WP7
by Neil on Thu 3rd Apr 2014 05:54 UTC
Neil
Member since:
2011-11-28

"and it'll arrive on all Windows Phone 8 devices (every time a Microsoft employee points this out, an Android 2.3 device explodes)"

(every time a Microsoft employee points this out, someone who bought a WP7 phone doesn't believe them, when people who bought Android 2.3 phones can probably just upgrade to CyanogenMod)

There, fixed it for you.

Reply Score: 2

RE: WP7
by tkeith on Thu 3rd Apr 2014 13:11 UTC in reply to "WP7"
tkeith Member since:
2010-09-01

Yeah Android 2.3 was around about the same time as Windows 7. Last time I checked many 2.3 devices got 4.0 OTA even. No Windows Phone 7 devices got upgraded.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: WP7
by Nelson on Thu 3rd Apr 2014 15:41 UTC in reply to "RE: WP7"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

They receives 7.1, 7.5, and 7.8 along with various firmware/feature pack updates in between.

So while not stellar, it is "fine" by most reasonable standards.

Reply Score: 2

Android Upgrades
by michi on Thu 3rd Apr 2014 07:38 UTC
michi
Member since:
2006-02-04

Windows Phone 8.1 will become available for developers this month, and will be pushed to current devices in the coming months. It will also be available on new devices during that same timeframe - and it'll arrive on all Windows Phone 8 devices (every time a Microsoft employee points this out, an Android 2.3 device explodes).

I have a Sony Xperia Acro S. A very good waterproof phone which i bought for 270 Euros. It comes with Android 4.1 which, to me, seems good enough.

To me a phone is a commodity device and I will just buy a new one after two years or so. The Sony Xperia Z seems like a nice upgrade to me and you can already get that for about 310 Euros. It does not only come with Android 4.4, I also get a higher resolution screen and a new battery which is nice because I think after two years the battery had lost some capacity anyway.

I think the whole upgrade thing is overrated. Most people will not keep a phone longer than about two or three years anyway and recent versions of Android are good enough.

I am a Linux user and I used to upgrade my Debian Testing on a regular basis, but I even stopped doing that because it is just good enough.

Show me a waterproof Windows phone that matches a 310 Euro Sony Xperia Z. There is just nothing like that.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Android Upgrades
by Troels on Thu 3rd Apr 2014 08:56 UTC in reply to "Android Upgrades"
Troels Member since:
2005-07-11

I agree that OS upgrades on phones are starting to be very overrated, though i use my phone way too much for it to just be a commodity.

It used to matter back when the smart phones were not very mature. I have a galaxy S4 and have gotten upgrades to first 4.3 and later 4.4. It might be slightly faster, but other than that i don't really care, all the important apps are updated separately anyway. I would probably be happy with 4.0, but not 2.x.

I also have an iPhone, and the last update i cared about was iOS 5, and really only because of notification center. Unlike Android i would not be happy with old versions, but only because Safari and Mail are not updated separately, if they were i would so not run iOS 7 :-)

Once the OS is "good enough" it is really the apps that matter.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Android Upgrades
by Wondercool on Thu 3rd Apr 2014 12:40 UTC in reply to "Android Upgrades"
Wondercool Member since:
2005-07-08

On Android upgrades might be less important because Android is relatively mature and feature rich.

But for me this upcoming Update is 'make or break'. I switched from Android to WP8 in October last year and it has been a rough ride. WP8 lacks a lot of features I took for granted with Android and is very much less customizable because Microsoft either think it screws the 'simple' and elegant interface or want to push you to their web services (Bing, IE10). Other sore points for me are that DRM+security cripples the phone for me, I can't really transfer local media to my phone without using Windows, which is not my major platform.
And I was hoping that apps in the Windows app store would be less privacy intrusive compared to Android but it is hard to find for instance a simple flashlight app that does NOT want your phone and owner identity. If ads are supposed to be anonymous, why would 3rd parties need this information??

I hope this Update change a lot of these shortcomings, else no doubt I will switch back to Android.
Let's hope for the best

Reply Score: 2