Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 9th Apr 2018 10:22 UTC
Windows

I first gave up on Windows Phone back in December 2014. Microsoft's mobile platform was being left behind, and I was tired of not getting access to the apps everyone else was using. It took Microsoft a few years to finally admit Windows Phone is dead, and the company is no longer planning to release any new hardware running its mobile OS or update it with any features. I recently switched on an old Windows Phone to create a silly April Fools' joke about returning to using it as my daily device, and then it hit me: I really miss Windows Phone.

He's not alone. I loved the way Windows Phone worked and felt, but sadly, it just didn't have the applications, and Microsoft's various transitions really hurt the platform too. Too bad - it was innovative and fresh.

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Feelings
by avgalen on Mon 9th Apr 2018 11:31 UTC
avgalen
Member since:
2010-09-23

(Disclaimer: I am still using a Lumia 1520 with Windows 10 Mobile as my one and only smartphone)

There was something incredible about Windows Phone. I worked and looked consistent, but most importantly it just felt great to use. I normally don't care about such things in tech products so when Windows 10 Mobile became available I switched and quickly started to notice that feeling was gone. I did get many more features so I kept using 10, but 8.1 just felt better. Even now, that all the "10-bugs" have long been removed I still don't feel the way about 10 the way I felt about 8. I guess the people that made 8 really cared about Mobile and the people that made 10 simply thought of Mobile as an addition to regular 10.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Feelings
by judgen on Mon 9th Apr 2018 12:59 UTC in reply to "Feelings"
judgen Member since:
2006-07-12

Not hard to make it look consistent when all graphics is removed. All was flat squares and looked awful.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Feelings
by Nth_Man on Mon 9th Apr 2018 13:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Feelings"
Nth_Man Member since:
2010-05-16

As it was written last year:

The mania for "flat" user interfaces is costing publishers and e-commerce sites billions in lost revenue. A "flat" design removes the distinction between navigation controls and content.

Historically, navigation controls such as buttons were shaded, or given 3D relief, to distinguish them from the application or web page's content.

The Nielsen Norman Group wired up 71 users, and gave them nine sites to use, tracking their eye movement and recording the time spent on content.

[On average participants spent 22 per cent more time (i.e. slower task performance) looking at the pages with weak signifiers](http://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/09/05/flat_uis_designs_are_22_per...)," the firm notes.

Why would that be? Users were looking for clues how to navigate. "The average number of fixations was significantly higher on the weak-signifier versions than the strong-signifier versions. On average, people had 25 per cent more fixations on the pages with weak signifiers."

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Feelings
by Kochise on Mon 9th Apr 2018 17:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Feelings"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

That removed the UI distinction only to bring it back later as a "feature". After all, that now makes WindowBlinds ($10-$30) or Winaero Tweaker (free, AeroLight tweak) relevant just for the sake of just having window borders and title bar color. "Classic theme" was perfect in fact...

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Feelings
by avgalen on Mon 9th Apr 2018 13:47 UTC in reply to "RE: Feelings"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

Not hard to make it look consistent when all graphics is removed. All was flat squares and looked awful.

Why do you think all graphics were removed? https://winblogs.azureedge.net/win/2014/08/start-screen-1.png . Live Tiles had icons, text, images, transparancy, colors, notifiers, different size....
Windows Phone also had 'accent'-colors and a very good default font and consistent text-style and sizing across the entire OS and most apps.

I dropped into the smartphone era with a 1020 and Windows Phone 8 and that developed quickly with more search, notifications, swiping keyboard, Cortana, camera enhancements...but it still didn't pick up much steam and when Microsoft made Windows 10 Mobile "more powerful with less love while breaking their promise to upgrade everyone" there was no future anymore.

(again, my 1520 still works great and except for my banking app I don't miss anything, but it is ancient tech by now.)

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Feelings
by bnolsen on Wed 11th Apr 2018 17:37 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Feelings"
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

That looks like a flargin' mess. But there always will be fanbois.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Feelings
by Morgan on Tue 10th Apr 2018 22:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Feelings"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Call me crazy, but I love a text-based interface. WP was the closest a smartphone has come to that since the PalmOS days, and I still feel it's superior to Android and iOS. The fonts, the flow, the smoothness, the glance features all worked together to give the user maximum information with minimum effort.

Honestly, the only constantly horrible part of WP was the app store; it was full of junk and the ratings couldn't be trusted. It also lacked any sense of localization; search for an app in one language and end up with top suggestions in various other native languages.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Feelings
by zima on Sun 15th Apr 2018 17:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Feelings"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

the only constantly horrible part of WP was the app store; it was full of junk and the ratings couldn't be trusted

Which app store ratings can be trusted?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Feelings
by Drumhellar on Mon 9th Apr 2018 20:28 UTC in reply to "Feelings"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

did get many more features so I kept using 10, but 8.1 just felt better. Even now, that all the "10-bugs" have long been removed I still don't feel the way about 10 the way I felt about 8. I guess the people that made 8 really cared about Mobile and the people that made 10 simply thought of Mobile as an addition to regular 10.


I think part of that is because Microsoft partially abandoned some elements of their more unique design language in favor of something more commonly used on Android and iOS, in part to make it more familiar to new users.

Unfortunately, much of what was dropped were things that were better design decisions chosen after the decade plus of experience we'e gained making stuff for smartphones. The primary example is Windows 10 apps were driven from the lower-half of the screen, with option screens and other screens a swipe to the left or the right. Now, many Microsoft apps just put everything behind a hamburger menu at the top of the screen, because that's the way its usually done on iOS and Android. Sure, it makes it more familiar to new users, but it hurts usability overall.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Feelings
by avgalen on Tue 10th Apr 2018 08:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Feelings"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

I completely agree!
I still prefer the "3 dots on the right bottom" (alarm app) to the "hamburger menu at the left top" (authenticator app)

The other thing I really would miss in a non-Lumia is the hardware camera button. I take pictures all the time by tapping it once for photos and holding it for video. I never start the photos app first and this works even when locked.
(not having face-unlock or even a fingerprint reader is a negative though!)

But it isn't just the consistency of Windows Phone 8.1 that I liked. It just had the right amount of information on the screen. Windows 10 Mobile is more powerful, has a lot more functionality, but the amount of things on the screen is also more overwhelming.
As a poweruser I prefer 10, but for my mother I should have left it at 8.1

Reply Score: 4

Not me
by masennus on Mon 9th Apr 2018 12:11 UTC
masennus
Member since:
2011-02-11

I could never let go of the ill feeling after Microsoft deliberately killed Nokia phones to try to save their own business (no I don't regard Lumias as Nokia phones), so I can't help being happy that Microsoft finally found itself crushed under a giant the same way they always crushed their competitors. Not that I'm happy about the situation, but having a third platform that's completely proprietary would not help one bit.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Not me
by avgalen on Mon 9th Apr 2018 13:13 UTC in reply to "Not me"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

I could never let go of the ill feeling after Microsoft deliberately killed Nokia phones to try to save their own business

Microsoft bought Nokia for 8 billion and had to announce 1 year later that this was now worth 0 billion and they have no (hardware) presence in phones at all anymore which is (was?) a major problem for their future as an OS-maker....Nokia was basically the only thing that made Windows Phone work at all

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Not me
by masennus on Mon 9th Apr 2018 13:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Not me"
masennus Member since:
2011-02-11

Exactly, Nokia got killed by having Microsoft's OS imposed on their hardware.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Not me
by darknexus on Mon 9th Apr 2018 14:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not me"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Exactly, Nokia got killed by having Microsoft's OS imposed on their hardware.

Well then, put the blame for that where it belongs: Nokia's board. They're the ones who imposed Microsoft on their devices from the top down, with the ultimate goal of destroying the company and jumping out with massive parachutes. It worked, too, and damn well. They'll be living high for the rest of their pathetic lives.

Reply Score: 4

Long live Windows Phone
by wigry on Mon 9th Apr 2018 19:28 UTC
wigry
Member since:
2008-10-09

I don't miss it, I use it!

As long as the battery lasts a reasonable amount of time I plan to keep Lumia 520 with WP8.1 as my daily driver. Suits me perfectly as I have no desire to install any apps on my phone anyway. Have home screen with six big square tiles: Call, SMS, Calendar, IE, Here transit and alarm clock. These are the functions I use in my phone and they work charmingly well. The color theme is purple which reminds me of Sun workstations back in a day. Really lovely experience and happy to grab a phone any time I need it.

So Windows Phone continues to live on some peoples pockets.

Edited 2018-04-09 19:29 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Long live Windows Phone
by darknexus on Mon 9th Apr 2018 19:41 UTC in reply to "Long live Windows Phone"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

You'll probably be pretty secure too, since no one will bother targeting it now.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Long live Windows Phone
by Morgan on Tue 10th Apr 2018 22:48 UTC in reply to "Long live Windows Phone"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Indeed, my mom is happily using my old Lumia 521 (T-Mobile USA branded 520) and says it's the best phone she's ever had. She is very smartphone-averse but this one is the exception.

Reply Score: 4

I miss it as well
by Pa1m0ne on Mon 9th Apr 2018 20:33 UTC
Pa1m0ne
Member since:
2017-05-29

But I still use my Lumia 530 as my radio, so there is that I guess

Reply Score: 2

Yeah me to
by alphaseinor on Tue 10th Apr 2018 02:32 UTC
alphaseinor
Member since:
2012-01-11

I had a 1320, loved it... then again I don't give a crap about facebook, or whatever app I was using.

My aunt is using it now, she's 80 and can't understand my current android.

Reply Score: 2

Just....no...
by manjabes on Tue 10th Apr 2018 06:12 UTC
manjabes
Member since:
2005-08-27

Max 5 concurrent open "tabs" in a browser?
First-tier apps with various parts in varying grades of abandon (Onenote, Facebook to name a few)?
"Live" tiles that suddenly stopped updating without a cue?
Refusal to connect to random Wifi networks (that other phones handled without a glitch) with no reasons stated or anything to help debugging?
And, more than everything else TBH, wanting to believe Microsoft that *this time* they really mean it by "the *next* version/update will be great and fix everything" and *ALWAYS* getting screwed over with it consisting of yet another SDK/kernel/whatever change and "the next version will be *really* great"?

No. Just...no. Ain't nobody gonna miss that!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Just....no...
by agentj on Tue 10th Apr 2018 07:18 UTC in reply to "Just....no..."
agentj Member since:
2005-08-19

It's typical phone by Nokia's standards.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Just....no...
by avgalen on Tue 10th Apr 2018 08:18 UTC in reply to "Just....no..."
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

Some of your criticism is correct, but not all of it:
* I don't remember any "5 concurrent open tabs in IE" on Windows Phone 8.1, but I am quite sure that at that time most devices only had 1 GB of memory and couldn't handle much more than a few open tabs without reloading anyway. The 1520 that I have had 2 GB of memory and I can have > 5 concurrent open tabs in Edge on Windows Mobile 10 right now (meaning no reloading when switching later) when in reality I only need that for 1 or 2 tabs.
* Live tiles have only stopped working for me once or twice at the beginning of the 8->10 transition. Never on 8.1 and never after the first few fixes on 10.
* I have never had a problem connecting my phone to any WiFi anywhere in the world, but we have 2 coworkers with the same gen iPhone and one of them can connect to our company wifi reliably while the other keeps having drop outs. Anecdotal evidence is anecdotal!

* Apps are indeed a problem and even apps like WhatsApp and FaceBook that are still updated are missing features. OneNote was "last modified" 3 days ago and seems on par with Android to me.
* Microsoft did screw up a lot with the transition from 8.1 to 10 that they promised would be available for everyone as long as it would fit on the storage and then only went to a very limited amount of devices (not my 1020) because "user feedback report was negative" which should have been a reason to fix, not to abandon!

Reply Score: 4

RE: Just....no...
by Morgan on Tue 10th Apr 2018 22:52 UTC in reply to "Just....no..."
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Other than abandoned apps, all of your complaints were from the 7.0 and 8.0 days. Most were fixed in 8.1 and the rest in 10. I wish my iPhone was as stable and bug-free as the last three WP devices I used. If my carrier allowed WP devices I'd be back on one in a heartbeat, lack of future support from Microsoft be damned.

Edited 2018-04-10 22:54 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Just....no...
by manjabes on Wed 11th Apr 2018 05:58 UTC in reply to "Just....no..."
manjabes Member since:
2005-08-27

Some of your criticism is correct, but not all of it:
* I don't remember any "5 concurrent open tabs in IE" on Windows Phone 8.1, but I am quite sure that at that time most devices only had 1 GB of memory and couldn't handle much more than a few open tabs without reloading anyway. The 1520 that I have had 2 GB of memory and I can have > 5 concurrent open tabs in Edge on Windows Mobile 10 right now (meaning no reloading when switching later) when in reality I only need that for 1 or 2 tabs.

If my memory serves me right, 5 was the number one could more or less rely on. The actual number was 6, but with 6 tabs open, all sorts of strange things started to happen - sometimes the 6th tab would replace one of your previous 5 tabs, sometimes when you "resumed" IE, one of your previously open 6 tabs would helpfully get replaced by a blank tab etc. The devs were even proud that "every tab runs in its own process" because it gave geek cred at that time (not that running every tab in its own process would magically be better if the process itself was shit). Some other devs then probably decided that 6 processes was enough for everyone and there you have it.
Furthermore, during my dark Windows Phone usage days I did not, and today I do not accept the excuse that "it's totally unreasonable to expect more than 6 tabs with "only" 1GB of RAM". My previous phone before that was a Nokia E52 and on that phone with 60MB (!!!) of RAM, Opera Mini achieved a shitload of open tabs before funny side effects. Granted, most of them weren't probably in RAM all the time but from a usability perspective it did a very good job of faking that.

* Live tiles have only stopped working for me once or twice at the beginning of the 8->10 transition. Never on 8.1 and never after the first few fixes on 10.
* I have never had a problem connecting my phone to any WiFi anywhere in the world, but we have 2 coworkers with the same gen iPhone and one of them can connect to our company wifi reliably while the other keeps having drop outs. Anecdotal evidence is anecdotal!

Yes, but apparently Your anecdotal evidence is better than mine....

* Apps are indeed a problem and even apps like WhatsApp and FaceBook that are still updated are missing features. OneNote was "last modified" 3 days ago and seems on par with Android to me.

During my time on Windows Phone, the Winphone version of Onenote could only manage one notebook whereas the Android version could display all...

Other than abandoned apps, all of your complaints were from the 7.0 and 8.0 days. Most were fixed in 8.1 and the rest in 10. I wish my iPhone was as stable and bug-free as the last three WP devices I used. If my carrier allowed WP devices I'd be back on one in a heartbeat, lack of future support from Microsoft be damned.


They most definitely were NOT fixed in 8.1. I gave up on waiting for 10 as MS didn't release it eventually for the 820 (and even the previous updates that my phone got, I got several months AFTER release. Because fuck you, you don't live in the US and we want to "test" releases before we distribute those to the rest of the world. Or something. A practice that Microsoft (and Google, for that matter) is still very much guilty of).
But I very much doubt the possibility that they were fixed with 10, Microsoft concentrated on unifying the SDK for desktop, xbox and mobile with 10, not fixing bugs or adding missing features.


Also, my small list only began to scratch the surface of what sucked with WinPhone. A lot of that list bogs down to IE, but as one couldn't use any other browser then it's totally valid to whine about IE going for geek cred instead of mundane things like usability.

There were also things like the tombstoning being slow and unreliable ("Resuming..." + silent crash to live tiles), MTP instead of USB MSC (a practice that, sadly, all phone manufacturers now are guilty of. Don't start with stupid apologetics about mounting partitions and kernels and shit. That excuse is bullshit), IE background tabs randomly crashing, IE failing to do DNS (and then helpfully forgetting the address you were trying to load, so that you couldn't just retry but had to type in the address again), input suggestions and swype (and all other goodies) only working on an EN-US locale, IE displaying the same amount of text on a page whether in portrait or landscape mode, Skype sucking major ass, No multiple reminders on calendar events, the fact that updating maps required that the maps app was in the foreground AND THE SCREEN NOT TO LOCK for the whole duration of the update (that probably had something to do with the 6 processes is enough for anybody, and no backround activities for you, my dear user), creating hotspots totally murdered subsequent wifi connectivity (the only thing that helped was DISCONNECTING THE BATTERY), the music player couldn't play some random files, couldn't display tags for another random set of files, didn't understand the concept of "random" (though the last complaint is more universal, but there was no other music player allowed or available), the notification center (when it FINALLY arrived) couldn't clear app notifications when that same app was opened (messenger), randomly taking a second and a half to recognize a headset being plugged in, oh boy, I could go on and on forever....

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Just....no...
by M.Onty on Wed 11th Apr 2018 10:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Just....no..."
M.Onty Member since:
2009-10-23

Yes, but apparently Your anecdotal evidence is better than mine....

I like that quote. Welcome, all, to the Internet.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Just....no...
by zima on Fri 13th Apr 2018 21:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Just....no..."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

My previous phone before that was a Nokia E52 and on that phone with 60MB (!!!) of RAM, Opera Mini achieved a shitload of open tabs before funny side effects. Granted, most of them weren't probably in RAM all the time but from a usability perspective it did a very good job of faking that.

Though Opera Mini is not a full browser, but a viewer of pages reformatted by Opera servers, optimised in the times of E52 also for feature phones with maybe a dozen MiB of RAM...

Reply Score: 2

Comment by kurkosdr
by kurkosdr on Tue 10th Apr 2018 15:45 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

Every time I considered getting a Windows Phone, I reminded to myself that Microsoft had already made two "reboots" of the platform (one time with Windows Mobile 6.5 -> Windows Phone 7 and another time with Windows Phone 7 -> Windows Phone 8), and both times existing months-old flagships were cut off from any new apps that used the new platform.

Even my fake-flagship LG Optimus 2X phone was capable of running most new Fragments and even Material Design apps for years thanks to the Android Support Library.

Sorry, phones were too expensive to trust Windows Phone and Microsoft to not do a third reboot.

Edited 2018-04-10 15:45 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by kurkosdr
by darknexus on Tue 10th Apr 2018 20:21 UTC in reply to "Comment by kurkosdr"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

You forgot the WP8 to Windows 10 shift. It wasn't technically a reboot of the platform, but they still cut most of their users out of that update anyway.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Comment by kurkosdr
by kurkosdr on Wed 11th Apr 2018 12:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by kurkosdr"
kurkosdr Member since:
2011-04-11

You forgot the WP8 to Windows 10 shift. It wasn't technically a reboot of the platform, but they still cut most of their users out of that update anyway.

It wasn't a reboot of the platform, technically or practically. Android phones don't always get updates either. The problem with the previous reboots was that months-old flagships didn't get updates AND also didn't get any of the new apps.

This is the world of NuMicrosoft, the world of "move fast and break things" and where anything released the last month is legacy and deprecated. Never mind Microsoft isn't Facebook or Reddit and OSes have significant network effects.

Even in the Desktop world Microsoft has released 4 new APIs that went nowhere (WPF, Silverlight, Metro, Universal) and nobody really wants to use any new Microsoft APIs and everybody uses good old win32/win64 wherever they can get away with doing it.

Edited 2018-04-11 12:59 UTC

Reply Score: 0

Comment by calden
by calden on Tue 10th Apr 2018 18:12 UTC
calden
Member since:
2012-02-02

My first Windows Phone was the LG Optimus 7, I even think it was the first one ever made. I absolutely loved the thing, the way it felt in my hands, the look, the speed, the ease of use, the UI, everything was just so new and refreshing. Especially after using iPhones and Android phones during that time period, iOS even than felt old and tired, now more than ever. I even went through 3 of them because it was so good and I really didn't want to use anything else, well, except for my awesome Nokia N950, in which I still have, 2 actually, 1 still in the box (I got it for some work I did on MeegOS for Nokia) and still worth around $2000 today, yeah, can you believe that. Nokia freaks, they're a strange bunch. It is a cool phone though, perfect as a Unix terminal which is what I still use mine for.

My second and third WP's, in which I bought at the same time, where the Nokia 1020 and 1520. The Nokia 1020 was just an okay phone, it's biggest issue was speed, it just wasn't fast enough, especially for the camera. The 1520 on the other hand was an amazing phone, one of my favorites still to this date. I even perfered the camera more than did the 1020, it was just more consistent. Besides, I always used Nokia 808 Pureview for photos as nothing, still to this day, beats it, except the Panasonic CM-1 with it's Leica 1" sensor and lens. Which is a must have phone for those who use Instagram,I have 2 new ones if anyone is interested.

They're so rare that when the opportunity arouse to get three, I bought them all. It's been all over the world with me and takes better pictures than even my Leica X2, my other travel camera in which I recently upgraded to a Leica M that I got for free along with 4 Leica lens's. While eating in a Cafe I noticed a Chinese family had forgot their camera bag, I tried to chase them down but without success. I turned it into the Cafe and the girl who served me, said I could have it if it wasn't claimed. About a month later while eating at the Cafe, I'm a regular,the manager came over and gave me the bag. I didn't know what kind of camera was in it until I got home, boy was I surprised to find a Leica M 240 with 4 Leica lens's in it, I S#$&t you not, I doubt the Cafe new what they had our they would have never given it up, actually, I think they still would have, Swiss are good that way. All I can say is, I am a very, very happy customer. I gave the girl who kept the bag safe a 100CHF tip, as a thank you the next time I was there, which is every morning, they make a great couple of coffee and their croissants are to die for.

Anyway, sorry, I like to babble, my last 2 Windows phone were the Lumia 950 and HP X3 in which I also got the HP lapdock. I actually still use the Lapdock today with a Nvidia Jetson TX2 development board (that took for ever to get working). These two phones were still both really good phones but their major issue was apps. I managed to get most of the ones I wanted or needed by creating HTML5 wrappers for my favorite web apps, MS's Dev kit for these phones was really good and very easy to do things like this. These apps looked decent enough and pretty much performed as if they were actually installed on the phone. In a way, most apps are just frameworks that require a net connection to function.

I'm hoping Microsoft will have another go at phones, with the introduction of the new ARM based laptops and tablets, maybe we will. I would love to have a Surface Phone.

Thank goodness Samsung came along and filled my need of having a desktop computer in a phone. I use this feature at work every day, just plugin in my Note 8 or my new S9 into a monitor, keyboard, mouse, startup the Citrix client and I'm using a full fledged computer.

Which was what I was doing with both the 950 and X3, one was just for work and the other for home. Thankfully my firm paid for the X3 as with both docks, the phone and the special HP 1TB HD made for the X3, came out to be about 2 grand. Plus $60 a month for HP's application streaming service, which is awesome by the way, was a very expensive toy. Though they figured it saved on having both a laptop and a phone, which it did.



tine

Edited 2018-04-10 18:17 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Facebook Data
by steverez1 on Wed 11th Apr 2018 14:06 UTC
steverez1
Member since:
2006-12-06

I was quite surprised by just using Windows Mobile 10 & Windows 10 nd then downloading my Facebook Data there was no SMS or call records mainly because the client doesn't support it.

Reply Score: 1

v nicheless
by dark2 on Wed 11th Apr 2018 17:33 UTC