Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 14th Apr 2014 16:59 UTC
Windows

Microsoft released Windows Phone 8.1 to those who enrolled in the developer preview program (i.e., everyone).

Ars' Peter Bright in his review of 8.1:

The result feels a whole lot more mature and a whole lot more capable than its predecessor. The 0.1 version bump, chosen to align the phone platform with its desktop sibling, belies the true nature of this upgrade. It is substantial, and makes Windows Phone tremendously better.

We might still wish that there were a few more apps, and that developers spoke of the platform in the same breath as iOS and Android, but even in spite of this, Windows Phone 8.1 is a polished, fun, clever, and personal smartphone platform that's just about everyone can enjoy. It's a magnificent smartphone platform.

I've been using it since earlier today, and the notification centre (finally) alone is more than enough to make this a fantastic update. Sadly, my HTC 8X does not seem to be supported by Cortana - other 8X owners are reporting the same, as do 8X owners on Twitter - which makes me worry a little about Cortana, perhaps, being an exclusive feature for Nokia phones, or it having some other restrictive limitations. That, honestly, would be a shame.

Update: Here's an 8X with Cortana working just fine, so the original worries clearly aren't necessary.

Order by: Score:
Supports OpenGL ES 2.0 via Angle too!
by reduz on Mon 14th Apr 2014 18:41 UTC
reduz
Member since:
2006-02-25

Can't wait to port Godot to it:

http://www.godotengine.org

Reply Score: 3

UI
by zizban on Mon 14th Apr 2014 19:47 UTC
zizban
Member since:
2005-07-06

The Windows Phone UI is quite good. It's just not meant for desktop users.

Reply Score: 3

RE: UI
by woegjiub on Mon 14th Apr 2014 21:17 UTC in reply to "UI"
woegjiub Member since:
2008-11-25

It's not that bad, even on large screens.

It's just too different for most people.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: UI
by reduz on Mon 14th Apr 2014 21:23 UTC in reply to "RE: UI"
reduz Member since:
2006-02-25

I beg to differ, I have a 1520, hardware specs are amazing, screen is unusable as everything is too big.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: UI
by woegjiub on Mon 14th Apr 2014 21:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: UI"
woegjiub Member since:
2008-11-25

That's just a DPI issue though.
The stock Note 3 is like that, with the menus blown up huge.
You simply have to tweak the DPI.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: UI
by Nelson on Mon 14th Apr 2014 21:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: UI"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

8.1 fixes scaling per the Arstechnica review linked in this article.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: UI
by reduz on Mon 14th Apr 2014 21:58 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: UI"
reduz Member since:
2006-02-25

I'm waiting to get home to upgrade my Windows Phones to 8.1 (have plenty of them now, thanks to an agreement with Microsoft and my company ;) )

Though I finally ended up changing my Lumia for an Android device, I'm really excited about 8.1. If only the apps were better (they totally suck, and can tell for sure now that i'm back with Android), I wouldn't mind using it as my everyday phone again.

Reply Score: 3

notification centre
by ronaldst on Mon 14th Apr 2014 21:47 UTC
ronaldst
Member since:
2005-06-29

Now if the Windows team can get the hint and port it to Windows 8 (update 2?)

Reply Score: 2

today's update
by Dano on Tue 15th Apr 2014 00:58 UTC
Dano
Member since:
2006-01-22

Playing around with the update today on my Nokia 925. Damn the swipe keyboard alone is worth the update. It's even better than Swype right out of the gate... Notification center is cool but you have to shut off all of the email being reported as notifications. Cortana is neat for phone commands but I thought that it would be more chatty than it is. It's definitely still in beta... It often jumps to Bing searches more than processing commands but the voice recognition is totally amazing. Calendar updated and is updated like a new button to jump from mobile web to regular web site is really appreciated. Simplified call answer screen and Skype button on dial pad is nice. Still no select all button for email check boxes... Am I missing something? Took about a half of an hour and two restarts to upgrade the phone but everything went smoothly.

Edited 2014-04-15 00:59 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: today's update
by manjabes on Tue 15th Apr 2014 06:11 UTC in reply to "today's update"
manjabes Member since:
2005-08-27

Yeah, the swype keyboard may be cool, but it's only available on the english keyboard layout. For my native language, they haven't event managed to enable the word prediction in 1.5 years. Not holding my breath for that swype goodness neither.
And for each bug/quirk fixed or sort-of-fixed in Mobile IE, they have introduced 1.5 new ones. Not that impressive.
The picture-as-background and notification center quick shortcuts are nice, though.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: today's update
by Dryhte on Tue 15th Apr 2014 09:02 UTC in reply to "RE: today's update"
Dryhte Member since:
2008-02-05

Yep my problem exactly.
Word autocorrection in my own language (dutch) is quite bad for short words (often capitalizing them as if they were letter words, which is weird) and swiping hasn't been implemented.
examples: 'ze' (they/she) becomes ZE, 'me' (me) becomes ME... apparently the damn thing doesn't want to learn because I keep changing it back to lowercase and it keeps suggesting the uppercase.

Edited 2014-04-15 09:04 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: today's update
by avgalen on Tue 15th Apr 2014 09:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: today's update"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

I am using a 1020 with 8.1 in Dutch AND English and swiping works perfectly fine. And with perfectly fine I mean that I can type REALLY fast on my phone now. I never typed a single mail on a portable before and now it has suddenly become my main device.

Autocomplete also worked very nicely on 8 in Dutch and English but only offers 4 or 5 possible words which is often not enough

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: today's update
by Dano on Tue 15th Apr 2014 17:04 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: today's update"
Dano Member since:
2006-01-22

I think that you would require more screen real estate for more word suggestions unless you scroll over which is often more time consuming than just typing the weird words...

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: today's update
by Dryhte on Tue 15th Apr 2014 18:02 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: today's update"
Dryhte Member since:
2008-02-05

LOL you know what, I changed my keyboard from Dutch(Belgium) to Dutch(Netherlands) and the silly word prediction bug is gone and swiping works. Thanks for pointing out that it could, actually, work ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: today's update
by dsmogor on Wed 16th Apr 2014 10:55 UTC in reply to "RE: today's update"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

For word endings rich languages like slavic languages most word prediction schemes optimized for latin / germanic languages turn out quite counter productive.
Not only they treat inflection variants as separate words leading to dictionary sizes explosion and outright gaps, their context probability engines do poor job suggesting right variant due to sheer number of combinations. Nothing is more frustrating than a dictionary stubbornly offering wrong variant (bc, it only has limited selection) despite having all the letters.

All that makes this (Samsung keyboards are definitely worst here) not worth the hassle in leading user to turning it off.
That in turn forces user to drop usage accented / acute letters (which are hindrance to use in touch keyboards) resulting in crippled, text pretending to be in the actual language.
Touch input have a long way to go to be any useful outside of informal communication realm for non-latin languages.

I'm still quite shocked nobody have yet developed prediction scheme optimized for other families of languages than latin.

(I don't what's the situation for languages of Asia / Africa though).

Reply Score: 5

Cortana not working
by gedmurphy on Tue 15th Apr 2014 08:45 UTC
gedmurphy
Member since:
2005-12-23

It's only enabled for users inside the US at the moment. Apparently they're gathering data and fine tuning it on this RTM with a small audience. I believe they're going to turn it on once it hits GA.

You can turn it on by changing your region settings. Worked a treat for me
http://www.wpcentral.com/want-cortana-outside-us-heres-how

Reply Score: 3

Notifications
by wocowboy on Tue 15th Apr 2014 10:27 UTC
wocowboy
Member since:
2006-06-01

I don't understand all the angst over WP not having a "notification center". When WP was introduced, I thought the Home screen was supposed to BE a kind of Notification Center and thus obviate the need for one. In fact, reviews at the time touted the constantly updating, twisting, flipping, flickering tiles all over the Home screen showing your text messages, Facebook updates, latest pictures posted by your friends, email subjects and senders, what song was playing on your streaming music service, and on & on, were THE differentiating feature that made WP better and more unique from iOS and Android, showing that you did not need a separate, old-fashioned notification screen that you had to call on to see what was new. Then before you know it, people started complaining about not having a notification center like iOS and Android. I hope WP users are happy now, with both a notification center AND the flippy/flickery updating tiles.

Edited 2014-04-15 10:29 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE: Notifications
by Dano on Tue 15th Apr 2014 12:34 UTC in reply to "Notifications"
Dano Member since:
2006-01-22

I agree... The notification center is kind of pointless if you have the tiles setup correctly with the most important tiles showing on the screen without scrolling. I am not sure yet what besides emails is going to show up in the notification center at this point... Just looks like a me-to feature at the moment. Just discovered that you can both swipe our hit X in the multitask area to close an app... Talk about me-to.

Edited 2014-04-15 12:35 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Notifications
by reduz on Tue 15th Apr 2014 17:52 UTC in reply to "Notifications"
reduz Member since:
2006-02-25

My problem with WP wasn't as much the lack of notification center. I think I was ok with what there was. It was mainly the really slow multitasking, like when you touch the livetile to see the messages. for SMS it was instant, but many apps like Whatsapp, Skype, GChar, etc took an eternity to open and show you the messages. Some (like skype) would lose context and restart and then you had to go and search for those yourself.

If this had worked properly and everything was like checking SMSs or Mails, I don't think anyone would really have complained, but what there was in there was pretty annoying.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Notifications
by Morgan on Tue 15th Apr 2014 19:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Notifications"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Some (like skype) would lose context and restart and then you had to go and search for those yourself.



This is what really blows my mind when it comes to Microsoft and integration. Skype is a Microsoft service, why isn't it fully integrated into the WP OS? Even my five year old N900 has better, faster, more native Skype integration than Microsoft's own phones. If Microsoft can integrate Facebook messaging -- a third party service -- as seamlessly as they do into the messaging system, why not Skype too?

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Notifications
by Dano on Wed 16th Apr 2014 13:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Notifications"
Dano Member since:
2006-01-22

Skype is integrated now ín the dialer and via Cortana.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Notifications
by Morgan on Wed 16th Apr 2014 13:55 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Notifications"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

That's great to know! I'll have to get my Lumia back from the friend I loaned it to and try it out.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Notifications
by zima on Fri 18th Apr 2014 17:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Notifications"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Mobile carriers probably don't like Skype integration...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Notifications
by Dano on Wed 16th Apr 2014 13:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Notifications"
Dano Member since:
2006-01-22

Multitasking is not an issue anymore. 8.1 has new memory schemes to prevent the Resuming message. These schemes are based on the amount of available memory on the device. On faster devices like 925 its not a problem even under 8.0.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Notifications
by alphaseinor on Thu 17th Apr 2014 16:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Notifications"
alphaseinor Member since:
2012-01-11

Waze has already done the resuming message multiple times... I imagine the application has to be recompiled to the 8.1 SDK for it to work properly. then again maybe it needs a rewrite for it to work.

Reply Score: 2

Xbox music
by Dano on Tue 15th Apr 2014 13:19 UTC
Dano
Member since:
2006-01-22

Yay Xbox music actually works properly now! Finally!

Reply Score: 3

Better
by alphaseinor on Tue 15th Apr 2014 19:58 UTC
alphaseinor
Member since:
2012-01-11

Some of my gripes that were fixed on my Lumia 521

IE - Predictive website guesser thingie, oh my god faster
IE - Loading (render) websites generally faster (on par with my Apple IPod Touch 1.0)
IE - HTML5 Video, Wow, they finally moved to where Haiku-OS is.
IE - funky scroll crash problem on certain websites (theverge.com) fixed

I'll note it's painfully slower at first, but after you've used it for a day it's only a small amount slower than lumia black, but IE is noticeably faster

Gripes still on the table:
Calendar - Still won't show multiple calendars in Google (the reason why I'm still switching)
performance - when WebOS seems lightning fast on my touchpad from 4 years ago, there's a problem.


Bravo M$ for making a product better... should've done this 18 months ago.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Better
by oma2la on Wed 16th Apr 2014 00:09 UTC in reply to "Better"
oma2la Member since:
2005-07-05

Is Cortana working for you?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Better
by avgalen on Wed 16th Apr 2014 08:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Better"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

It is working for me after a change in language and region settings. It is pretty good but still hit and miss. The voice recognition seems to work really well, but often it just goes to a websearch instead of doing something useful
"set an alarm for 7"...perfect
"turn of the alarm", 'which one', "8".....perfect
"turn of all alarms"....no action
"send a new email to my contact"...no action

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Better
by oma2la on Wed 16th Apr 2014 14:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Better"
oma2la Member since:
2005-07-05

Thanks for the reply - much appreciated. I changed my language settings to US English and Cortana appeared. I'm surprised at how well it understands my non-US accent, but now that it works I don't know what to do with it... ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Better
by avgalen on Wed 16th Apr 2014 14:52 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Better"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

You don't know what to do with it...
or you don't know what to do without it?

The first one is the same opinion that I had about Siri for a while...great for a demo and 1 or 2 simple things, but overall pretty useless

The second is of course what Microsoft is hoping for ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Better
by alphaseinor on Wed 16th Apr 2014 15:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Better"
alphaseinor Member since:
2012-01-11

Yes, technically she is working for me, not against me ;)

I like the mode you can set her in to automatically text people to stop calling/texting me while I'm driving.

Reply Score: 2