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11-01-2014 12:01 PM
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  1. dennisfang1's Avatar
    I would like to begin with my history with Windows Phone. My first experience with wp7 was flicking through the the start screen of a HTC HD7, admiring the gorgeous simple squares, the unusual bounce that stopped when you scrolled too hard, the Zune hub with that transparent background and the cool animated xbox tile, but what really sold it for me was the jaw dropping zooming through clouds animation when opening up the HTC Hub. I then soon promptly imported a HTC Surround to Australia (because the speakers were similar to my old phone, a Porsche Design P'9522), and since, I've had a Lumia 710, 800 and 1020, so you could say that I am a huge fan of Windows Phone, and have always stayed away from the mess that is android, and the uninspired choice of choosing an iPhone, despite living in an apple ecosystem of multiple macs, iPads, iPhone, an apple TV and more.

    So it is with a heavy heart that I have to announce that after using WP8.1 for about a month now, I have to say that everything that I loved about the OS back in 2011 is gone, and is now replaced a hugely buggy, ugly, laggy and a generally unpleasant OS that represents a badly skinned Android, a far cry from that unbelievably slick OS from not long ago, to prove my point, I would point out everything that everything that I loved about the OS has either been undermined, or has simply been removed all together.


    Something that really sold WP7 to me back in the day way undoubtably the design and the general UI. Metro was utterly stunning, so simple pure and clean, with its sold blocks of colour, tasteful use of white space, beautifully huge titles, gorgeous transparency in the hubs, and the animation of the xbox tile and the beautifully slow transitions sold it for me. It was a UI that put style beyond anything, but with every update, I feel the essence that made me love windows phone is slowly diminishing. I tolerated the move to wp7.8 with the loss of the gorgeous white space in the home screen for I could now resize tiles, but the new three across layout with the images in the background is an atrocity. I remember wincing at the wp8 live title, but I almost puked at the new backgrounds, for example I have yet to see an acceptable looking picture. The beautiffly simple info bar at the top that would hide away in a beautiful animation is now gone, making it look incredibly fussy, the transitions are far to fast, the carousel when you flick through photos quickly, i remember very fondly is gone too. The peoples hub is a shadow of what it was, even design wise with the new ugly title, ams with the marketplace. We used to have a decent people hub, music hub, a working games hub, a photo hub and they're all gone now. For me, Windows Phone put style above all, and that was its beauty. It isn't care that the titles were ridiculous, took up half the screen and required across multiple swipes just to read the, whole, it didn't care that the scrolling was ridiculous slow to hide any lag that ay be caused either by the internet connection or processor, and it certainly didn't care that you had to wait five seconds to check the weather due to a fancy transition, it didn't matter. It was just beautiful in a way that no other operating system was, and that was what made it so appealing.

    One great thing about wp was that it didn't need apps to work, it introduced a concept of a os having all the functionality you need, and what you get in return is an experience that cannot be matched with apps. That was clearly seen in the xbox/ music hubs, where they used to open instantly, even in wp7, they now take an eternity. We tolerated the silly long list of apps, because we had hubs to sort them with, but now that's gone, and even the games show up there, making it stupidly unusable. WP was never about apps, and just because we have them now doesn't mean that we should loose our once beloved os features. The messaging app in particular was a highlight (although taken from webOS), it presented all your conversations gather, now I need multiple apps just to perform what previously just required one. The photos app (also like webOS) also didn't discriminate against photos you may have had online like Facebook, where they would be displayed beside your local images. Now, they are hidden away under another menu. This was the beauty of hubs, everything similar grouped together in a way that was far more substantial than 'folders'. Now, we just have a huge list of every app and game you have on your device, an implementation that is worse than every other OS out there.
    The new notification centre is also undermining the notion of live tiles, i mean, once you got your social updates very reliably through the me tile, but since we now have a notification centre, ms went, what's the point? and got rid of it. In this case, why have live tiles at all since we now have the "action centre." I know this is just one example, but I feel it foreshadows what's to come, for already, we have lost the functionality of the me and xbox title to the notification centre, to the point where they're just big static icons.
    Basicially, windows phone is slowly becoming android. The OS is now extremely buggy (l know it's a beta but still), slow, extremely ugly and is reliant on substandard apps to deliver a substandard experience. Sound familiar?
    The removal of the nokia name is the last nail in the coffin as far as i'm concerned, and unless they can bring a 1020 competitor with a one inch sensor, dedicated imaging chip and a more powerful xenon flash, I'm buying the iPhone 6 when it comes out, which ironically, with it's clean beautiful ui, gorgeous transitions, combined messaging experience, represents metro far better than what 8.1 does.

    Hope you understand, Yours sincerely, Dennis
    05-25-2014 07:07 AM
  2. thefeelofcotton's Avatar
    Can I have your stuff? ๐Ÿ˜ seriously though, tldr
    sd173 and HaibaneReki like this.
    05-25-2014 07:12 AM
  3. Jaskys's Avatar
    No, Windows phone is becoming Symbian /s
    I_m_Snah, praveen9663 and daxdax89 like this.
    05-25-2014 07:23 AM
  4. Michael Kozak's Avatar
    I for one TOTALLY agree with you. Though I know from stating similar concerns on other threads - you're going to get lots of people that don't see it too, and are gonna think your crazy. Or that the OS is just evolving lol.

    But to me also .... the MS OS definitely has lost its uniqueness and fluidity and is becoming pretty darn similar to its competitors. Even in the very short time I switched over from Android to Windows Phone (roughly 10 months).

    Sad but true.

    And also has me doing a bit of looking at the iPhone6 as well ... or maybe even a Samsung with removable/swapable battery and SD card.

    But I know you're gonna take some heat for stating the obvious. ๐Ÿ˜Ž
    Last edited by Michael Kozak; 05-25-2014 at 07:56 AM.
    05-25-2014 07:28 AM
  5. se312's Avatar
    That was my thought as well. Yes, I read Daniel Rubino's piece "Sharing is Caring" at Sharing is caring โ€“ How the Social Extensibility framework for Windows Phone 8.1 will make things better | Windows Phone Central but I hardly think that things will be better. Having friends and family across two conrtinents, I found the Message Hub in Windows Phone 8 perfect for my needs. Yes, the 8.1 works very well for "public" Facebook posts and such, I agree with that. But the ability to quickly make contact with people in the old Message Hub was far better. In 8.0 and one could turn off or on Facebook messages in the Message Hub. Surely, they could change things so that one could chose which message services are incorporated into the Message Hub. At the very least, they could link the "Facebook Messenger" app to the Message Hub. The 8.0 Message Hub was the main reason for me to buy into Windows Phone
    Andrew Gordon likes this.
    05-25-2014 07:38 AM
  6. Vishnu Hs's Avatar
    No Microsoft is immersing the features of android into its OS,that's why we are getting this feeling...
    05-25-2014 07:40 AM
  7. vassilis1924's Avatar
    Dennis you are so right! I miss Facebook integration! Now I h ave to rely on the stupidly slow messenger app! And to see my news feed, I have to use the buggy Facebook app.
    Guess what: I didn't have Facebook installed before, although I use it everyday!
    05-25-2014 07:44 AM
  8. ScottGeek's Avatar
    One most always find give and take with phones as they evolve, IMHO. Not sure I agree fully with your implied statements that Android is "buggy" and that WP is devolving into Android. Yes, an OS must provide a stable platform in which to do the things you like/need/want. But in of itself, an OS is nothing without Applications. With 30 years in the tech industry I'm never seen an OS that does everything... and where people try to make one that does... those "OS Applications" evolve into the least functional because someone always looks at what comes with the OS and creates a better app. This is fundamental as to why app stores are so successful.

    I think to point of the notification center is a single place to go where all of the "noise" is grouped, handled and controlled.. Personally one of the off putting things about all of those "live" tiles is too many things jumping at you, and when a live tile drops below the field of vision, you miss what they are saying...

    If an iPhone works for you... go for it... why stay with something that doesn't work for you... I gather you won't be buying apps from the iTunes store much?

    ~ScottGeek
    James8561, b23h and giulianoreali like this.
    05-25-2014 07:45 AM
  9. travis_valkyrie's Avatar
    I agree with some points there, like the loss of hubs and integrated messaging. But what's sacrificed are for the better, like the people hub for example. For it to work in WP7-8, it has to link your accounts to a Microsoft server where it can pull feeds. Problem is, if the server goes down, then your phone won't partially work. With this sacrificed (eg. the link between Microsoft and accounts), it welcomes more functionality and flexibility to apps, like integrating to the people hub (eg. Skype, facebook, VK). Although I wouldn't say the same for the xbox suite, that's the only department they're falling short. Photos in 8.1 is okay, I like how apps get their own album section instead of album folders everywhere, but they could've at least kept the panoramic layout. Messaging app could be better, the messenger in 7.5 wasn't good, but in concept they could make the current Messaging app more like the People hub too where apps could integrate.

    Long story short, I partially agree WP is becoming android, only to a certain level like 3rd party app integration and other under-the-hood stuff. But you could've at least held on to the yabbajabba about ugly laggy buggy experience a bit later on after the OEM updates for 8.1 to make a fair judgment.
    05-25-2014 07:51 AM
  10. Mohit Jain4's Avatar
    I dont like opening up apps just to post status, sending msgs, these said apps takes lifetime to open and i just don't have the patience to wait for them. The social extensive platform would have been good if the apps were totally smooth and not in beta ( every official app is sadly) i did liked nokia mix radio but just because the downloading was smooth, deleted that as soon as my subscription ended.
    There r so many apps for taking pics, but i just find myself using the inbuilt app, because no doubt it opens much faster.
    dennisfang1 and CamiKitti like this.
    05-25-2014 07:53 AM
  11. MDMcAtee's Avatar
    I for one TOTALLY agree with you. Though I know from stating similar concerns on other threads - you're going to get lots of people that don't see it too, and are gonna think your crazy.

    But to me also .... the MS OS definitely has lost its uniqueness and fluidity. Even in the very short time I switched over from Android to Windows Phone (roughly 10 months).

    Sad but true. But I know you're gonna take some heat for stating the obvious. ๐Ÿ˜Ž
    I know I shouldn't but I have to...I agree with you 100%.

    The problem is Microsoft has completely withdrawn from being totally os dependent to app dependent and is relying on the developers to make their apps make up for the difference in looks and performance which they can't seem to do. This however frees them up to continually patching their screw ups with the os without having to change everything to get it to work properly.

    As much as I love โค my 1520, I already think it will be my last WP. With the real possibility of a. 5.5" whd ruby screen I-6 next year I'll most likely switch over to it.I won't go back to Google anymore not since I have a new 27" IMac for my desktop.

    As much as I liked the new windows,I was drawn to fluidity of how it used to be. Change isn't always good for everyone I know, but when they kill off everything that set WP apart I feel the same as you,there's just no compelling reasons to stay.........and I don't think the good folks at Microsoft understand this. In their drive to pull folks away from Android they are alienating way too many people.

    They are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    Mac
    05-25-2014 08:01 AM
  12. vassilis1924's Avatar
    In my opinion, opening the Music Hub (or any hub) in WP8 was like opening "settings" or phone. It was seamless and fast.
    Now that these hubs became apps, they open on a completely different way.
    I'm not a developer, or an OS engineer or something, but that's too obvious to me.
    Think of Xbox hub.
    It opened in a blink of an eye, and everything was instantly up and running.
    The Games app on the other hand, takes years to open, and when it's open it has to load things, and if you swipe to see your avatar, it's loading again. And even when everything it's loaded you can see that scrolling and swiping are somehow slow.
    05-25-2014 08:39 AM
  13. Wall iPhone's Avatar
    that after using WP8.1 for about a month now, I have to say that everything that I loved about the OS back in 2011 is gone, and is now replaced a hugely buggy, ugly, laggy and a generally unpleasant OS
    Might be buggy and laggy because its not released yet?
    05-25-2014 03:10 PM
  14. vassilis1924's Avatar
    Might be buggy and laggy because its not released yet?
    It's not that. We are talking about OS elements that became apps.
    And apps are slower to open, than OS elements.
    I gave some examples.
    Another one... People hub, has to initialize Facebook app, when you tap to open that photo your friend just uploaded.

    Before, taping that photo would open it immediately. Not to mention that you could see those photos right in the photo hub, too.
    Kram Sacul likes this.
    05-25-2014 03:50 PM
  15. spaulagain's Avatar
    Twitter allows you to post a tweet without opening the app on 8.1.

    I'm guessing the change in Facebook integration will not be permanent. They just need to add the integration back in through the new Share API. I believe MS said they were working on a massive update to the Facebook app. Maybe that will include it.

    http://1drv.ms/1nJgqqW
    b23h and metalchick719 like this.
    05-25-2014 04:02 PM
  16. Psyk00's Avatar
    Hubs became apps to provide a quick way to update them with new features. Now Xbox Music and Video can get updates on to go without holding them for nearest system actualization. I agree that launching them isn't as snappy as it should be (the same on Xbox One), but Microsoft surely will resolve that in the future. My Lumia 920 on WP8.1 still works better than my fathers year old HTC One with far superior tech specification including 2 gigs of RAM, wchich can be easily choked while messing around Android (messing withe mess? ;p).
    05-25-2014 04:21 PM
  17. TonyDedrick's Avatar
    I have many gripes with many things on this platform. But I would hardly consider WP anything close to Android.
    05-25-2014 04:26 PM
  18. GrandGerminator's Avatar
    I have to say that I totally agree with you. I won't have the right words in English, I also started with a Htc Mozart on WP7, before mango, when WP was "simply different"...

    I even feel that 8.1 is a switcher OS, for people that are switching from Android or iOS to Windows Phone : look at some new transition effects, notably the one where the new window is coming from the bottom to the top of the screen.
    05-25-2014 04:35 PM
  19. Thomas Ozawa's Avatar
    The real question is :
    Google love Microsoft ?
    Hu Hum
    LeL
    05-25-2014 04:40 PM
  20. vassilis1924's Avatar
    Hubs became apps to provide a quick way to update them with new features. Now Xbox Music and Video can get updates on to go without holding them for nearest system actualization. I agree that launching them isn't as snappy as it should be (the same on Xbox One), but Microsoft surely will resolve that in the future. My Lumia 920 on WP8.1 still works better than my fathers year old HTC One with far superior tech specification including 2 gigs of RAM, wchich can be easily choked while messing around Android (messing withe mess? ;p).
    I know that stuff about updates etc. I hope you are right about apps get "snappier". I certainly don't think about Windows Phone as Android. It's just that they are changing things that were the core of Windows Phone. Things that made it different. And I have no problem with change. But it has to be for the better. Let's wait and see..
    05-25-2014 04:43 PM
  21. Ebuka Allison's Avatar
    I want to point out one thing. About the OS design, I like the WP8.1 blue UI, much prefer the New,Xbox music UI to the old one and so do lots of others. In fact, the UI changed because people requested and bitched and yelled,for the humongous headers to die. The extra column of tiles which was mandatory because of the 1520 was made a choice because people asked for it. The backgrounds look nice Imo so in my sure I see your point. It's much nicer to look at overall. I agree with you on the relative slowness of the decoupled apps. Do you guys think it wud be easy to add them back in a GDR(developer's voice, needed)
    Guytronic and CamiKitti like this.
    05-25-2014 05:39 PM
  22. wrm1's Avatar
    The give and take is kind of though. I'm all for new features, but some of the things they fixed weren't broken. I miss being able to use the Me hub to change my facebook and hotmail profile pic. Using the Music "Hub" is excruciating now. And the photo hub is just ugly and ordinary now. And for petes sake... Why would you introduce a feature (transparent tiles) and not make all of your programs compatible (OneNote, OneDrive, office hub, music, games, etc).
    A number of the new features are pretty handy (Cortana, notification center, action center, etc) but, there are so many fixes that didn't need to happen.
    05-25-2014 06:15 PM
  23. Scienceguy Labs's Avatar
    @wrm1 Pretty much sums it up for me too.
    05-25-2014 06:18 PM
  24. DennisvdG's Avatar
    Nope.
    Editguy1900, b23h, forked and 1 others like this.
    05-25-2014 06:20 PM
  25. jongthechemist's Avatar
    There are two different kind of WP users, those who fell in love in WP7 and those who came after. I am of the former. There was so much thought put into its design and the result was very eye-opening in terms of what a UI can be/look like. I keep the different iterations of metro designs that still inspire me to make the UI of my apps the best they can be because of this attention to details they promoted and still promote in the design section of the windows phone dev center. I'm not a designer but they helped me a lot for being consistently preaching the same design aspects (grid, animation, content over chrome, don't be afraid of whitespaces, etc)

    metro-evo1.jpg
    metro-evo3.jpg


    Unfortunately everything radically changed in WP8.1. You can actually see irregularities in almost every first party app designs as if they came from different groups. They probably are but in previous versions of WP, the choices of font sizes/weights, margins, animations are all consistent let it be the music app, the store, the people hub, the photo hub, the game hub. Now I look at my Lumia 920 and wished Satya fire everyone working on the XBOX Music and Facebook app. The capitalization of Store annoys me a lot (xbox games, music, podcast are all small letters. WTH Microsoft?). Some apps still uses the old "turnstile" animation while others already changed to the new animation. I can't follow a trend where anything and everything goes. It doesn't reflect the One Microsoft vision at all.

    Sadly the new vision for WP is not about the design differentiation anymore (RIP metro) but more like "We have that app too". I can see that they are trying to get some market share from Android but I can't be happy with the state that WP8.1 is in right now as I can't lie to myself that I still like Windows Phone like I used to. But we don't have much choice do we? iOS or Android? I guess iOS is better in terms of aesthetics but developing for iOS is a pain in the back.
    05-25-2014 06:21 PM
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