Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 9th Oct 2013 21:47 UTC

Paul Thurrot has a number of rumours up about Windows Phone 8.1. Two stand out to me.

Where GDR3 is widely expected to support 5- to 6-inch screens, 8.1 will supposedly support 7- to 10-inch screens as well. This obviously infringes on Windows RT/8.x tablets, so it's not clear what the thinking is there.

So, Windows RT will become even more pointless than it already is.

Aping the iPhone navigation model, Microsoft will apparently remove the Back button from the Windows Phone hardware specification with 8.1. The Back button just doesn't make sense, I was told: Users navigate away from an app by pressing the Start button and then open a new app, just like they do on iPhone. And the "back stack" is ill-understood by users: Most don't realize what they're doing when they repeatedly hit the Back button.

This I am not happy with. The back button is my main navigational input in both Android and Windows Phone, and I miss it dearly in iOS.

I'm just hoping on performance improvements, still my biggest issue with Windows Phone. I used my HTC 8X for a few hours today, and I was stunned by just how slow everything is compared to Android 4.3. Of course, application quality is another huge issue, but there's little Microsoft can do to convince developers that their Windows Phone applications are more than just side projects done between serious work on Android and iOS.

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But then the 8s is really a pathetic phone. I had one, it has only 512MB RAM and its internal storage is almost filled on a fresh phone (mine had ~1 GB free). The display waves if you press the 'glass' to hard.

I now have a Lumia 920, and the experience is much better and smoother than the 8s.

That said, I have mixed feelings towards Microsoft's treatment of Windows Phone. When WP7 was introduced, it was a fresh new interface. I had a Nokia 710. The hardware was great for the price and WP7 had a lot of potential, but was hampered by limitations and bugs. For instance, the built-in messaging hub is great, if it could maintain your online presence. Usually, it would lose connection after a certain amount of time and you wouldn't receive messages. Also, background tasks did not work at all. It made applications like Skype totally useless.

Rather than fixing Windows Phone 7, they left existing users out in the cold. And rebased everything on top of the Windows NT kernel. The party line was that this was necessary for multi-core CPUs, etc. However, many of the problems that plagued Windows Phone 7 aren't fixed yet. Background applications such as Skype are still hit and miss. The messages hub works fine on my Lumia, but my wife uses my old HTC 8s for her Germany SIM card, it has the same old message hub problems. There is still no proper notification support.

Windows Phone 8 has been out for a year now, there have been some minor updates, but they are just that *minor*. The only noticeable change for me in GDR2 was data sense (which you have to hand-configure).

Microsoft is mistreating not only their customers, but also Windows Phone as a platform. It could be great. Some days one wishes that Nokia's excellent hardware could be used with Android.

Reply Parent Score: 3

pandronic Member since:

I'm ok with the 8S's performance, I can even live with the limited storage (afrer GDR2 it doesn't fill up by itself), but the OS and the ecosystem are severely lacking. Multitasking is also a big problem - I understand it has only 512mb of RAM and it has to resume from state quite often, but few apps restore properly. Also a lot of apps don't run properly in the background - Whatsapp, IM+ and similar - and let's not forget the fact that apps can update their tiles only every 30 minutes.

BTW, media support is awful - I constantly get duplicates for my songs and all players are crap, including Microsoft's.

Wp8 is incredibly incomplete and buggy. I hope that GDR3 and Windows 8.1 really bring something radically different to the table.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Nelson Member since:

See, this is what I'm talking about: Apps can update their tiles with a push notification as often as they'd like, or with a periodic background trigger every 15 minutes.

Same goes for toast, lock screen wallpapers, or lock screen badges.

Reply Parent Score: 3