What’s wrong with WindowsPhone 8.1?
Don’t get me wrong, the Windows Phone update to 8.1 is a fantastic, long-overdue update. It’s such a significant update that Microsoft could have called WP9. Even though there are tons of great new features like Cortana and the new notification center, there are also some changes that I do not like. I realize this is developer’s preview, but these aren’t necessarily bugs, these are changes to the operating system itself. Here’s the list of gripes I have with the first developer preview of Windows Phone 8.1:
Windows Phone Social Integration is gone.
This was one of the great features that WP users could claim exclusivity over the great unwashed. With one simple step, I could easily post to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Instead of expanding this great feature with Instagram and FourSquare, they removed it completely. I can still post or check-in to the original three networks, but now it’s only one service at a time. I hope they reconsider this because this was a great feature.
Games are part of the apps list.
Previously, your games were stored neatly in the Xbox hub. Now, all your game apps are intermingled with every other app in the master app list. I didn’t realize how any games I had installed until my apps list doubled in length. Scrolling through the list is cumbersome now. I find myself uninstalling many apps and games – I don’t think this is what developers would like. Intermingling games with apps should be an option under settings.
Film strip photo view.
Another great feature that was unavailable to unwashed Droid and iMasses was the ability to pinch a photo down to the filmstrip view. In the film strip you could easily scroll through your camera roll with a flick left or right. This is gone in the developer preview. What’s the point in removing this?
Precision Cursor Placement.
I’m not sure if this is a bug or a new implementation, but previously you could easily place the typing cursor anywhere within in word by long pressing in the text box, waiting for the cursor to appear, and move it to exactly where you want it. This doesn’t work in the dev preview.
I don’t like the new app store layout.
This is personal preference, but the old one was easier to navigate and less cluttered.
Bing Vision as a Camera Lens?
All the great features in Bing Vision like bar code reader, book cover scanner, and text translator are now hidden as a camera lens. What a pain. These should be moved to the Cortana screen. They kept the music ID service as part of Cortana, so why not this other stuff?
I’m still waiting for one touch operation with the basic camera app that will focus, spot meter, and shoot the photo all with a single tap on the screen.