This is just a quick post to gauge the feelings of the Windows Phone Community regarding certain changes that may be coming to Windows Phone in the 8.1 overhaul. I must first state that I am very excited about the vast majority of the updates, modifications and additions that have thus far been leaked. The scope and breadth of what Microsoft is bringing to the platform is both welcome and impressive. By this time we have all peeped the leaks so I need not enumerate them here. But a few mentions such as the Notification/ Action Center, SD Card app install, camera improvements like burst mode, file manager via OneDrive, more efficient app arrangement in the app list are just a small fraction of the deluge of improvements Microsoft is bringing to the table. The list literally goes on and on. The additions we’ve seen to the platform thus far are tremendous; and there’s more yet to be seen. I am eagerly awaiting those updates that have yet to be announced. And we have yet to meet Cortana! You can rest assured that I will be updating at least one of my devices as soon as the update is released via the developers preview.
With all this said I must also share my area’s of disappointment with what has been shared regarding the WP 8.1 update. Granted we have yet to see the final release but some upcoming potential changes, from my perspective, look disappointing.
Social Network Integration
I am very disappointed with the disintegration of what I see as features that define the Windows Phone identity. Deep Facebook integration in the Peoples Hub, multi-share abilities, Social network photos integration in the Photos Hub, and FB Chat integration are some examples of what may be lost in this comprehensive and impressive update. Many of these features were used by Microsoft themselves to market the Windows Phone platform. Ben the PC Guys’ Window Phone Challenges come to mind. I myself personally used these distinctive features to promote the platform. I wonder how many in the Windows Phone community have also embraced these features as distinctively Windows Phone and found them identifying and useful features of the platform.
A Letter To Microsoft
“I am a big Windows Phone and Microsoft fan/enthusiast. I currently utilize both the Lumia 1020 and 1520. I utilize social networks such as Facebook and Twitter as well as my personal blog to promote Windows Phone and MS products almost daily. The social network integration of WP has been one of my favorite features; one I use daily(People Hub FB integration and sharing posts to multiple social networks via the ME tile for example). The social network aspects are features I demo most to others as a means to promote the OS. I have been successful in influencing 9 people within my immediate circle of friends and family to buy a Windows Phone. I am looking forward to WP8.1 and am excited about the many additions coming to the platform. I must admit however that I am very disappointed that some of my most used, most touted, and differentiating features in regards to social network integration are apparently being removed. I feel that though the update is bringing a massive improvement to the OS a unique part of the identity of the Windows Phone OS is being lost, and that in losing the deep social network integration and sharing capabilities it is becoming more like iOS and Android in it’s app dependence where once the OS comprehensively handled social networking. That’s not to say a separate app has no place, but in line with Microsoft’s glance and go, and ease of use Windows Phone message, the ability to do many functions via OS level integration(i.e. post to a FB wall in People Hub, comment on/view status updates, /comment on pictures uploaded, FB chat, update multiple statuses simultaneously) is what made Windows Phone different, and in my humble opinion better than iOS and Android. There is no need to jump in and out of apps to do certain things. If Microsoft can hear the voice of a user. Please hear my voice. Windows Phone is awesome. I tell people this almost daily. People often know what I’m going to talk about at some point during a gathering. Or post about on FB and Twitter. Windows Phone! Please know that we the users know that you have created an awesome product that stands out from the competition. I ask that you not, if at all possible, allow Windows Phone to lose it’s distinction regarding social network integration as you make awesome even better. Thank You JLWard jltechword.wordpress.com”
What Do You Think?
I applaud Microsoft and the Windows Phone Team for making the best mobile platform even better.
I know we have yet to see what the final version will be and our(my) response may be premature. But it does seem clear that the writing is on the wall regarding some core functionality of the Windows Phone experience. What do you guys think? Should we, (those that have supported and promoted Microsoft’s mobile vision), share with Microsoft and the Windows Phone Team (who have done a great job with this update) how important we feel core features that have made Windows Phone distinct are to the users of the platform? Sound off in comments.