View Poll Results: Hubs or not?

Voters
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  • ...loading...gimme my hubs back!

    5 55.56%
  • ...resuming...appification baby!

    4 44.44%
05-17-2015 04:25 AM
28 12
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  1. Ebuka Allison's Avatar
    Why Windows Phone Needs More Hubs


    It's undeniable. Microsoft has dialled back the hub concept in Windows Phone 8.1. Indeed we don't know how Windows 10 would work so commenting on future plans is impossible.

    However, it is becoming clear that for Windows Phone to move forward, it must look back.

    Early reviews of Windows Phones were characterizes by hopefulness and praise for its ease of use. In time the honeymoon phase would pass and the critiques would begin to pile up. The OS was criticized for many things. Mostly lack of apps and missing functionality. Remember when reviewers complained about the Windows Phone hub concept? Me neither. So why is Microsoft killing off the hub powered model for an app-powered model? Simply put, they believe in greater flexibility in Windows Phone now. So rather than build services into the OS, they split it out into apps which can be used independently. The theory goes, if a service adds functionality Windows Phone users merely need an app update rather than an update of the whole OS to get it up to date.

    Resuming

    Let me let you in on my Workflow when writing anything an essay for school, a really long post or random piece of fiction. I use a combination of the Office Hub, OneNote and sometimes Wunderlist. The Office hub is one of the best apps in Windows Phone and while it is limited, it is and has always been extremely reliable.

    Does anyone see where I'm going with this?


    Loading


    Splash screens, loading screens and resuming screens around the OS are not a good look.

    For third party apps, it is understandable. Third party apps are extensions writ large, they merely build on your experience. For apps that make up the core experience like the music and calendar apps, they make the OS seem cobbled together. Let us consider Xbox Music, Xbox Video, Games, and Skype. The first three apps on this list were once built in as system hubs, aside from the design I cannot honestly say that the new apps are better. In the case of Skype, one has never been able to accuse that app of being reliable, and yet it is advertised as one of the cornerstones of the Microsoft experience.

    The reason for this has been given. It sounds like a good idea in theory. Dismantle core apps so we can add functionality on the fly.

    Even if we assume that they would be successful, would one dismantle a house and build it back with Lego because it can be easily put together again if it breaks? Why not just build a sturdy enough house with a strong foundation?

    Furthermore, do stories like this fill you with confidence (Xbox Games for Windows Phone 8.1 updated, removes self from App list | Windows Phone Central Microsoft frustrates its base by breaking Calendar app for Windows Phone 8.1 | Windows Phone Central Xbox Music is pretty terrible on Windows Phone 8.1, but an update is near | Windows Phone Central ? Do you read those and go...oh that's a good idea.

    Apart from that, in the case of Xbox Music, Microsoft wasted a period of 5 months to add a total of one new feature when compared to the previous experience. Everything else about the app is worse.

    But enough about why decoupled apps are a bad idea, here are why hubs are a brilliant idea that Microsoft should double down on.

    Microsoft can control the experience

    This is obvious. Microsoft can control each variable so that the components of each hub work seamlessly together. The people hub would, for instance have a Skype component that allows it to send calls and texts via Skype. Its social media components would always be synced and ready to go. Playing media would be painless. These hubs would minimize app hopping and maximize efficiency. But you would already have known that if you used 8.0 and below. So how about this?

    They are extremely reliable

    Third party apps have limits on what they can do and how, a common limitation would be RAM and access to background data. Take for instance, the old integrated people hub versus the new app powered one. I can open the old one and begin viewing my feeds as I like, the new one has to sync and pull data every time the app is loaded. In the end, Im just going to load the app but even that has its own splash screen and loading animation as well. its all very clunky when I know that there used to be a better way. The Live LockScreen and Files app would also benefit from integration into the system settings as well rather than as stand alone apps.


    They will differentiate Windows phone from the rest


    In an ideal world, there would be about 9 or so hubs. The People Hub, The Messaging Hub, the Store Hub, the Games Hub, the Music Hub, the Video Hub, the Office hub(Gemini edition), a navigation hub and the Photos hub. All beautifully designed panorama hubs making use of the 8.1 UI and delivering a wonderfully integrated experience. The People hub would have integration with the most popular social networks like Instagram, Vine, Tumblr aside from the normal Facebook and Twitter. The Messaging hub with Skype messenger. The Photos hub should link and pull in data as well as being panoramic. The Music Hub and Video Hub should be able to handle everything that can be thrown at them and more. There should be a new navigation hub. With Here no longer developing exclusively for WP, it is no longer a unique selling point. Bundle all the features of the Here apps into a Bing maps or simply "Navigation" hub and integrate them into the OS.

    Why?

    So Windows Phone doesnt just have a good out of box experience, but a full featured one as well. Windows Phone 7 was all about the hubs and not so much about the apps, 8.1 has swung too far in the other direction and Microsoft should find a solid middle ground to carve out their own unique identity.
    Last edited by Ebuka Allison; 10-06-2014 at 10:30 AM.
    TruPlaya187 and negative1ne like this.
    10-05-2014 07:00 PM
  2. negative1ne's Avatar
    i agree with you.

    but it doesn't impact me, since i have stuck with a windows 7.8 phone (pretty much forever)
    for now.

    the problem is that it will never happen.

    because companies and developers have already made the decision.

    they would rather have a lot of tiny little constant updates, which are not dependent on the OS,
    like it is now.

    they don't think people would like the idea of 1 or 2 major updates in the lifetime of the phone,
    like how it was windows 7, which went to 7.5, and 7.8. remember how they said there were 500
    updates in windows 7.8? (i think).

    anyways, the developers win, and it does make it easier to create updates for broken apps.

    however, the days of having 1 or 2 major upgrades (like win 8.1, 8.1 update 1, etc) are long
    gone, and have no sign of ever coming back.

    honestly the development issues would be the same, but the politics of updates and carriers is
    dooming this philosophy, and hence the departure from hubs.

    later
    -1
    HeyCori and snowmutt like this.
    10-05-2014 09:46 PM
  3. Ebuka Allison's Avatar
    True enough. But that's not right though. Its like swapping out a castle for a Lego. Sure its easy to upgrade, but is it better? Its the can-should/is-ought thing again?
    10-06-2014 10:32 AM
  4. Wasim Wes Adetunji's Avatar
    Without hubs and pivots, Windows phone is useless. Let's all just admit it, we've been had, and we wasted our time with Microsoft all along. We should've gotten Blackberries if we wanted to cling to a dying platform.
    04-22-2015 01:17 PM
  5. ajayden's Avatar
    Without hubs and pivots, Windows phone is useless. Let's all just admit it, we've been had, and we wasted our time with Microsoft all along. We should've gotten Blackberries if we wanted to cling to a dying platform.

    And you are still here? Better jump ship as soon as possible.
    04-22-2015 01:36 PM
  6. Spectrum90's Avatar
    I think OP is confused.

    Both hubs and separated apps can be programed with the standard public APIs or have access to special APIs and resources being integrated into the OS.

    The Loading/Resuming problem is a bug of the operating system probably related to the new XAML framework. Hubs would have the same problem. Microsoft has to fix it.

    Reliability is not a magical characteristic of hubs. Reliability depends on the quality of the work of the developer.

    Differentiation for the sake of differentiation is stupid. If people don't like the feature nobody will use it.

    Hubs are a mess because they aggregate content from disparate sources without providing the full experience of the official app. People want great official apps, not third party aggregators that always lack features.
    Hubs are ok for feature phones, and that was the original idea from Microsoft, a phone as a simpler companion device. Smartphones became much more powerful and capable than that. The online services became more useful adding many features. If you want a feature phone try an Asha.
    Last edited by Spectrum90; 04-22-2015 at 03:37 PM.
    04-22-2015 01:54 PM
  7. Ebuka Allison's Avatar
    I think OP is confused.

    Both hubs and separated apps can be programed with the standard public APIs or have access to special APIs and resources being integrated into the OS.

    The Loading/Resuming problem is a bug of the operating system probably related to the new XAML framework. Hubs would have the same problem. Microsoft has to fix it.

    Reliability is not a magical characteristic of hubs. Reliability depends on the quality of the work of the developer.

    Differentiation for the sake of differentiation is stupid. If people don't like the feature nobody will use it.

    Hubs are a mess because they aggregate content from disparate sources without providing the full experience of the official app. People want great official apps, not third party aggregators that always lack features.
    Hubs are ok for feature phones, and that was the original idea from Microsoft, a phone as a simpler companion device. Smartphones become much more powerful and capable than that. The online services become more useful adding many features. If you want a feature phone try an Asha.
    Holy old thread Batman. As the OP, I'm not confused.
    The hubs are reliable because of how they were built into the OS. As of 8.1, its an insurmountable wall devs simply cannot program past
    You can't say hubs would have the same issue when we have hubs and they Clearly do not.
    Hubs provide you with a small subset of features and you have the option to check out the full app as well. Its a convenience thing.
    04-22-2015 03:03 PM
  8. Spectrum90's Avatar
    Holy old thread Batman. As the OP, I'm not confused.
    The hubs are reliable because of how they were built into the OS. As of 8.1, its an insurmountable wall devs simply cannot program past
    You can't say hubs would have the same issue when we have hubs and they Clearly do not.
    Hubs provide you with a small subset of features and you have the option to check out the full app as well. Its a convenience thing.
    If hubs are reliable because they're integrated into the OS, you could get the same reliability for individual apps also integrating them into the OS. Those two decision are independent. Reliability is not a reason to fill the OS of unwanted hubs.

    Third party developers can implement hubs in any platform, but there aren't popular hubs apps because people don't like hubs.
    04-22-2015 04:01 PM
  9. Ebuka Allison's Avatar
    If hubs are reliable because they're integrated into the OS, you could get the same reliability for individual apps also integrating them into the OS. Those two decision are independent. Reliability is not a reason to fill the OS of unwanted hubs.

    Third party developers can implement hubs in any platform, but there aren't popular hubs apps because people don't like hubs.
    I'm talking about hubs like photos, music, games etc. They certainly weren't unwanted.
    04-23-2015 12:26 AM
  10. Nogitsune Micah's Avatar
    Honestly there was nothing wrong with the hubs. I can sort of understand the whole reasoning behind the hamburger menu concept. But you went from the visual appealing photos hub of windows phone 7 and 8 to the mess that is a photo hub in 8.1

    The people hub was always one of my favorite concepts alongside the me hub. Instead the people hub got handicap while the me hub became useless.

    There really is no unique selling point for windows phone or windows 10 anymore aside from tiles.
    04-23-2015 01:05 AM
  11. colinkiama's Avatar
    Honestly there was nothing wrong with the hubs. I can sort of understand the whole reasoning behind the hamburger menu concept. But you went from the visual appealing photos hub of windows phone 7 and 8 to the mess that is a photo hub in 8.1

    The people hub was always one of my favorite concepts alongside the me hub. Instead the people hub got handicap while the me hub became useless.

    There really is no unique selling point for windows phone or windows 10 anymore aside from tiles.
    Functionality? A Windows Phone is finally being a 'Windows phone'. Where the pc and the phone share the (almost the same features). Gotta sacrifice beauty for features because that is what 95% of the world expect
    Nicholas Maguire and snowmutt like this.
    04-23-2015 01:24 AM
  12. xandros9's Avatar
    Just want to chime in here and say that the Blackberry Hub is IMO the best one-stop-shop solution out there planetside.

    I'd love to see some of that in Messaging.
    Last edited by xandros9; 05-18-2015 at 02:33 PM.
    04-23-2015 02:22 PM
  13. fatclue_98's Avatar
    Just want to chime in here and say that the Blackberry Hub is IMO the best one-stop-stop solution out there planetside.

    I'd love to see some of that in Messaging.
    You are correct sir! But if you want to experience it you're going to have to climb on this sinking ship SS BlackBerry.
    prasath1234 and snowmutt like this.
    04-23-2015 02:56 PM
  14. snowmutt's Avatar
    I loved Hubs. I loved the way they worked. I loved the way they looked. I loved their stability, their usability, and their unique functions.

    I hated they wat they only sold to the tune of about 2% a year.

    As WebOS found out and BlackBerry is learning, mobile phone users want something that makes sense from what they have used and gotten comfortable with. As Microsoft found out, trying to update and improve things in Hubs was a pain in the rump. I mourn with all that want Hubs back, but I also want a choice to the mess Android can be and the expense of iOS. MS is doing what it has to do to be competitive and stay in this marketplace. I support that.
    HeyCori and Nicholas Maguire like this.
    04-24-2015 01:54 AM
  15. Nogitsune Micah's Avatar
    Functionality? A Windows Phone is finally being a 'Windows phone'. Where the pc and the phone share the (almost the same features). Gotta sacrifice beauty for features because that is what 95% of the world expect
    Still has nothing to differentiate really from ios or android and with far less apps.
    04-24-2015 10:18 PM
  16. colinkiama's Avatar
    Still has nothing to differentiate really from ios or android and with far less apps.
    Cortana, universal apps (some), wordflow keyboard, start screen (live tiles alone are underpowered widgets anyway updates from low end phones all the way to high end phones (developer preview counts), many xbox live games), segoe ui font (easy to read), people hub, accent colour that affects almost all apps, same experience etc
    04-25-2015 12:07 PM
  17. Ebuka Allison's Avatar
    Cortana, universal apps (some), wordflow keyboard, start screen (live tiles alone are underpowered widgets anyway updates from low end phones all the way to high end phones (developer preview counts), many xbox live games), segoe ui font (easy to read), people hub, accent colour that affects almost all apps, same experience etc
    Cortana - Going to iOS and Android,Wordflow - just a swipe KB,
    Everything else, has an equivalent on another platform or is going away
    theefman likes this.
    04-25-2015 12:38 PM
  18. colinkiama's Avatar
    Cortana - Going to iOS and Android,Wordflow - just a swipe KB,
    Everything else, has an equivalent on another platform or is going away
    Ok fine guaranteed updates. That isn't on android. Only a minority of manufacturers will update their phones that aren't flagships (like Motorola) the user would have to flash a ROM. Which isn't what the average user does
    snowmutt and Laura Knotek like this.
    04-27-2015 02:04 PM
  19. HeyCori's Avatar
    Functionality? A Windows Phone is finally being a 'Windows phone'.
    That's a great way of looking at it!
    Nicholas Maguire likes this.
    04-27-2015 05:25 PM
  20. Ebuka Allison's Avatar
    Ok fine guaranteed updates. That isn't on android. Only a minority of manufacturers will update their phones that aren't flagships (like Motorola) the user would have to flash a ROM. Which isn't what the average user does
    Yo lumia 810, 620 (some variants) Huawei W1, HTC 8S
    04-28-2015 01:45 AM
  21. xandros9's Avatar
    Yo lumia 810, 620 (some variants) Huawei W1, HTC 8S
    The 810 being left behind was T-Mobile's decision. Same with the 620. (AIO in the US ditched it)
    The manufacturer couldn't do anything. Now there's the Developer Preview program that can be done. (Android's have more options with custom ROMs and stuff - more advanced too)

    HTC has ditched the 8S, yes.
    Considering it has ditched the 2012 flagships the One X (compare to 920) and stuff a while back and the less-old M7 just recently (compare to 1020, 925)...
    (also considering the 8S was a low-end device I guess...)

    Same with Huawei. I can't comment on its Android track record though.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    04-28-2015 02:18 PM
  22. colinkiama's Avatar
    Yo lumia 810, 620 (some variants) Huawei W1, HTC 8S
    Preview for developers.
    04-28-2015 03:26 PM
  23. xandros9's Avatar
    Preview for developers.
    One can argue that the ability to load up custom Android ROMs on ditched phones is superior though. (needs the community/someone in the community to cook them though)
    04-28-2015 04:18 PM
  24. fatclue_98's Avatar
    One can argue that the ability to load up custom Android ROMs on ditched phones is superior though. (needs the community/someone in the community to cook them though)
    "Cook ROMs?" Your WinMo roots are showing. ;-)

    Sent from my Passport using Tapatalk
    04-28-2015 05:18 PM
  25. Ebuka Allison's Avatar
    Preview for developers.
    HTC had to get involved for the HTC 8S even get the PfD update.
    xandros9 likes this.
    04-29-2015 05:43 AM
28 12

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