Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 27th Jul 2014 19:49 UTC
Windows

Microsoft has accidentally spilled the beans on Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1, and it's going to be a relatively small update for users, but a big one for OEMs and thus the platform. The number of user-facing features is small (Windows Phone is finally getting folder support!), but it increases support for different resolutions and screen sizes - up to 7".

More features might be coming that aren't yet leaked, but the focus of the update is clear: hardware support.

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So, what does this mean?
by WorknMan on Sun 27th Jul 2014 22:54 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

Does that simply mean users will now have access to a file manager? Or does it mean you can connect to a PC and drag and drop files to the phone like a regular thumb drive? IRIC, WP used to require the Zune software for file transfers, but I'm not sure if that's still the case. (If that WERE still the case, that would be a definite deal breaker as far as I'm concerned. iTunes has always been horrible, but the Zune software brought that kind of shittiness to a whole new level.)

So what else does WP have going for it? Are there options for wireless tether and ad blocking across the phone, even if you have to jailbreak? Are there any decent Google Voice apps? Do they have anything like dynamic notifications?

Reply Score: 5

RE: So, what does this mean?
by wigry on Mon 28th Jul 2014 06:42 UTC in reply to "So, what does this mean?"
wigry Member since:
2008-10-09

Folders as mentioned in the article means only UI icon grouping functionality and nothing else. The Files app is a different thing though.

Reply Score: 3

RE: So, what does this mean?
by avgalen on Mon 28th Jul 2014 10:20 UTC in reply to "So, what does this mean?"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

"Folders" will group apps together like every other OS does. There is currently an app for that, but this would push it to the OS level and would make livetiles (somehow) work with folders.
There is also a "Files" app that gives you access to the filesystem but I don't use it myself. You don't need any file management software at all but you also don't normally connect your phone to the USB port (although you can). Most people now use online services (OneDrive, Dropbox) for documents and photos, video and audio but otherwise it is a simple filecopy to the phone or the SD-card

You can easily make your phone a wifi hotspot.
I don't know about ad blocking, but there is a reader mode that shows you only the content of a webpage in a really nice view
I don't use Google Voice, but several apps showed up on a search.
Since Windows Phone 8.1 there are finally notifications and they are actionable.

It sounds like you are an Android user that would like drop-in replacements for everything that Android does, the way that you got used to doing them. That is not how platform switches work though, so if you are happy with your workflow on Android I would stick with Android.

Windows Phone has lots of things going for it and there is some great hardware as well. But there are other topics for that

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: So, what does this mean?
by WorknMan on Mon 28th Jul 2014 15:47 UTC in reply to "RE: So, what does this mean?"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Since Windows Phone 8.1 there are finally notifications and they are actionable.

It sounds like you are an Android user that would like drop-in replacements for everything that Android does, the way that you got used to doing them. That is not how platform switches work though, so if you are happy with your workflow on Android I would stick with Android.


It depends. With Android's dynamic notifications (or Lightflow), I can glance at my phone from across the room and instantly tell what app notifications I have. I don't have to pick up the phone and turn it on to find out this information. If WP has a better way of doing it than that, I'm all for it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: So, what does this mean?
by Nelson on Mon 28th Jul 2014 16:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So, what does this mean?"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Nokia Windows Phones support this via Glance Screen which was expanded to support notifications in GDR3.

Not as a nice as on the Moto X though.

Reply Score: 3

RE: So, what does this mean?
by RobG on Mon 28th Jul 2014 11:36 UTC in reply to "So, what does this mean?"
RobG Member since:
2012-10-17

With my phone (Lumia 1020, running WP 8.0), I can do that just fine. It appears as a drive in Windows Explorer, and I can create folders, copy files to and from it).

However, on the Phone, there are limitations on browsing. If I create a folder on the phone from Windows, it doesn't mean that any apps on the phone can access it. AFAIK each app has access to a sandboxed view of the storage, so if the folder is outside the sandbox it cannot be seen. OTOH, if I create files in one of the app's folders, it seems to see them just fine (although I guess that could vary with the app).

Reply Score: 3

Folders, finally!
by spiderman on Mon 28th Jul 2014 07:15 UTC
spiderman
Member since:
2008-10-23

If they do it right, this will be a huge update. This is the single most annoying stuff I have to deal with when I downgraded my phone from Symbian to Android. Neither Android, iOS nor Windows Phone do support hierarchical folders Android has a one level folder support but it's so limited it's ridiculous. So finally Windows Phone will implement it. This is a killer feature that may well make me switch.
I would just like to understand wtf takes so long? Apple has folders implemented in 1977 on the Apple II. Microsoft had it implemented in 1981 in the DOS 1.0. Google has never figured it out but at least they have tags in gmail since 10 years or so. And none or those corps have an engineers that is able to figure out that grids of icons spanning on 4 pages is retarded? Even my grand mother can see it is retarded.

Edited 2014-07-28 07:16 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Folders, finally!
by Kochise on Mon 28th Jul 2014 08:13 UTC in reply to "Folders, finally!"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

But there is marketing people that think how consumer think, or should think.

Kochise

Reply Score: 2

RE: Folders, finally!
by moondevil on Mon 28th Jul 2014 09:16 UTC in reply to "Folders, finally!"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

And Xerox PARC had them in the Alto on 1973.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Folders, finally!
by shotsman on Mon 28th Jul 2014 10:29 UTC in reply to "RE: Folders, finally!"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

AFAIK, so did a whole host of other Operating Systems of that era.
DEC Dos V8 has user directories which equate to what many people call folders nowadays.
etc.

I even wrote a paper on a proposed filesystem and directory structure using linked lists around that time when I was a Student.
{If I had patented it then I might have been rich but back then that was not uppermost on our minds which was getting pissed on '6x' on a Friday Night down the Uni Bar.}

Reply Score: 5

RE: Folders, finally!
by avgalen on Mon 28th Jul 2014 11:44 UTC in reply to "Folders, finally!"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

The OS is already using folders and you can already organise pictures inside folders if you want. But the filesystem is normally not presented to the user. The filepicker does allow accessing folder structures though (although you hardly ever use this functionality because of the sandboxing model of apps)

Organising your apps in folders and those folders inside more folders...sounds like you have too many apps.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Folders, finally!
by spiderman on Mon 28th Jul 2014 14:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Folders, finally!"
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

And how is that not retarded?
So I have too many apps? I only have a subset of those in the home screen. If I go to the app list, on a virgin brand new phone with Android, I can scroll 4 pages of totally unordered icons, with 20 icons per page. Google apps alone is already 11 apps. It's not any better on iOS or WP. And yes, I have installed a lof of apps. I think the grid of icons concept is totally retarded. We've had icons since the 70's and they've been organised in grid since then and we've had folder for them since they were introduced. WTF they decided it was not needed? I kind of understand why the first iPhone didn't need it because it had no app and that was just a menu to call and launch the browser but we are in 2014 and they want you to use their app stores but they don't want folders? Totally retarded in my opinion.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Folders, finally!
by avgalen on Mon 28th Jul 2014 16:08 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Folders, finally!"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

I don't know if you have seen Windows 7? It does have apps in folders, but most people start an app by typing 1 or 2 letters and then choosing from the few remaining apps. The same for Windows Phone where you would start an app (I am using "Where's my water?" as an example because it is my last app) in any of these ways:
1) Absolute beginner: Show the all apps screen, scroll down until you are there
2) Intermediate user: Show the all apps screen, switch to letter view by clicking on "A", jump to W
3) Intermediate user: Show the all apps screen, click search, type "Wa" (only leaves Wallet and Where's my Water)
4) Advanced user: Press the hardware search button, type or say "start where's my water"
5) Everyone: Pin it to the startscreen (maybe into a "Games" or "Kids" folder with this update
6) Any better idea?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Folders, finally!
by Nth_Man on Mon 28th Jul 2014 14:27 UTC in reply to "Folders, finally!"
Nth_Man Member since:
2010-05-16

Wigry seems to disagree:

Folders as mentioned in the article means only UI icon grouping functionality and nothing else. The Files app is a different thing though.
http://www.osnews.com/thread?593360

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Folders, finally!
by avgalen on Mon 28th Jul 2014 16:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Folders, finally!"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

Okay, this is getting out of hand, so here is the summary:
* The OS has always used files and folders in the background but you normally don't see any of that as a user
* Some apps and OS-components have shown files and folders, for example OneDrive and the filepicker.
* Links to apps where not groupable and you couldn't browse through the entire filesystem on the phone
* Recently a Nokia app called "App Folder" has appeared that makes it possible to group apps the exact same way this works on iOS and Android. This article is about moving that functionality from an app into the OS.
* Even more recently a Microsoft app called "Files" has been made available so you can happily browse around the filesystem on your phone and sd-card.

Why did people feel the need to mention ancient OS's that already had files and folders? I guess to show of their knowledge or to bash something that didn't deserve the bashing to begin with

Reply Score: 3

What OEMs would that be?
by saso on Mon 28th Jul 2014 14:05 UTC
saso
Member since:
2007-04-18

Seriously, who in their right mind would start to make WP handsets at this point besides MS? I had a look around my favorite on-line electronics store and there are exactly two choices: Nokia (MS) and HTC. IOW we could reword this:
"it's going to be [...] a big [update] for OEMs"
into this:
"it's going to be [...] a big [update] for HTC"

Edited 2014-07-28 14:05 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: What OEMs would that be?
by Nelson on Mon 28th Jul 2014 14:12 UTC in reply to "What OEMs would that be?"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

There are over 20 Windows Phone OEMs.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: What OEMs would that be?
by saso on Mon 28th Jul 2014 14:28 UTC in reply to "RE: What OEMs would that be?"
saso Member since:
2007-04-18

There are over 20 Windows Phone OEMs.

Damn they're good at avoiding the European market then!
http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=sr_nr_n_2?rh=n%3A356496011%2C...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: What OEMs would that be?
by Nelson on Mon 28th Jul 2014 14:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What OEMs would that be?"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

They're not European OEMs. At least not a majority of them.

Reply Score: 3