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Are the features in Windows Phone 8.1 enough to put it on par with iOS and Android?

There’s no other way to put it: Windows Phone 8.1 is jam-packed with new features. Some of these new additions, like the new notification center, are features that both critics and fans of Windows Phone have been clamoring for.

Cortana, the new personal assistant, is a fierce new competitor of Siri, Apple’s popular digital secretary and Android’s Google Now.

Improvements to existing features, like an updated store, independent volume controls, and improved YouTube experience, are sure to pacify some of the critics. Throw in some cool new stuff like a swipe keyboard and now we’re cooking with gas.

Sure, those of us who already know and love Windows Phone are excited and are poised to love it even more. However, what about the critics, or more so, the everyday consumer who is looking for a smartphone?

Are all of these improvements enough to put it on par with iOS and Android in the arena of public opinion? Or is Windows Phone still lacking something major that is going to keep it behind?

Not yet familiar with the features of Windows Phone 8.1? Check out our hands-on video. Then, weigh in with your thoughts over in this thread, started by user 'canonuevo' as there's some exciting back and forths going on..

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Reader comments

Are the features in Windows Phone 8.1 enough to put it on par with iOS and Android?

700 Comments

Microsoft is still studying from Android and Iphone.
They dont know how to make Better user friendly features.
Now android market share is 72% and WP is only 2%. Their study will complete only when android gets 90% market share
They only concentrating how to made outdated faetures in OS.
Cortana is very good faeture, But apple made Siri in 2012
WP is very slow in updating OS and making new apps.
How ever if you are a devoloper and interested to make more apps for free, MS doesnt allow to publish more than 5 Free apps in the store.
I dont know Why they very are strict.
And another one is that Third party apps doesnt allow to access SD Card
I dont recomment nobody to shift to WP OS otherwise they made good features.

I hate to nitpick, but Apple didn't create Siri - they bought it.

Before the acquisition, Siri was in development for both Blackberry and Android. Wouldn't that have been something?

Its not matter, they created or bought

Matter is only its existence.Feature available or not. WP Can also made purchases if they are not able to made.

I agree. Many features that are core to certain OSs were the result of adquisitions.  That doesn´t matter.  The point is, they have it.  That said, I think WP8.1 is on par in terms of feature set with the compeition.  Their problems go beyond that though.  They need to make more in roads with the app situation, and invest in positive marketing.  iOS and more Android (in terms of relevance to MSFT) in my opinion is pretty well established in all ends of the market.

Oh Hakkim...you tosser. Why comment here? Why? You don't belong here...and you're talking horse**** too. "They don't know how to make better user friendly features"? Oh, so they're spending their time making user unfriendly features? "They only concentrating how to make outdated faetures in OS"? So you're saying that a notification centre is "outdated"? Am I to assume that iOS and Android have dispensed with that feature? I'm so glad you're around to recommend people don't shift to WP, what with you being the all seeing, all knowing authority on an individual's right to choose. Thank you, Hakkim, thank you for saving my life and making me and millions of others, the "2%" you refer to, realise the error of our ways.

To everyone else; how do you spell Troll these days? Does it begin with an "H and end in a "M"?

Begone...foolish boy.

Ohh....
Sorry ......
Just you check this
There is volume control in WP 8.1 media+apps and Ringer
In android before 2011 There is volume control that
1-Ringtone volume
2-Media volume
3-Alarm volume
4-System volume
5-Notification volume controls in separately
I m not more supporting android or ios But WP Wants to improve much more, very fastly.
Otherwise they don't get catch up ios and android because they already developed and making more functions daily.
Don't concentrate top mgt to minor update. It will do the basic staff.
Top mgt must concentrate big os update periodically

What features are they adding daily? IOS and Android added some minor features. There hasn't been anything major and I really don't anticipate any must have features being announced in the next update. Android had ringer volume control since 2011? That's nice. Now windows phone has it too and a new voice assistant that, from the recent reviews, seems to be better than those offered on teh other platforms. The point of this article is to ask is there any feature not available on WP that will keep you away. The only one I've seen mention in other articles is the file manager. That feature really isn't used by the vast majority of smart phone users. Stating that other platforms had many features first is irrelevent. Iphone got the notification center last year. Android had it earlier and it didn't matter. Let's see a list of important features that you think are missing.

Adding a file manger means a huge gap security wise.

The ideea behind WP is that applications are to be separated.

If applications are allowed to read/modify files from one to another its security will be on par with android (which currently owns 98% of world mobile malware)

 

So you have your volume control.

I have my offline maps for the whole country, with speed limit warnings. I can post and reply to my friends on FB and Twitter without even opening or owning FB or Twitter app. I have my City Lens, my Office lens, my camera actually can be adjusted to make photos the way I want them to be taken.

And my WP runs beautifully on 2-core SoC. And it hasn't crashed since I purchased it 6 months ago. From where I stand, Android has to improve much more than Windows Phone. The only (relative) advantage Android has is bigger apps library - but since I found everything I need, I couldn't care less.

Here map created by nokia, glance screen and much excited apps are made by Nokia from their limited access.
If MS Provide full access, Nokia will made WP System great.

THe guy above just told you one of many power features of Windows 8.And you realise that where adnroid stands is after almost 5-6 years while where windows 8 stands is in just a year.Even after the Kitkat update nothing seems new and the OS is only fast on top notch phones like s5 note 3 and shit blah blah.Those phones need 8 cores! and we just have 4 cores and also 2 gb ram to compete no..no.. i am sorry to be faster than your shitty android.I used Android on my bro's Note and before Jelly Bean update the phone was like a piece of lagging shit.I could argue with you Adroid users one on one for all day but you guys don't get a thing in your mind.If windows was just some small uncared os then you wouldn't get so many request for notification bar and other major things.Windows 8 was just a start now you will see Windows 8.1 and then the ultimate 9.You think MS is just doing random things.THey have everything carefully planned.Now the time required to make those is not in our hands cause you are not a developer.And i will just give you a small example of how shitty is your Android is compared to WindowsP 8 ONLY windows 8.Our keyboard is smooth as butter to type and doesn't hickup to display the words typed while your takes a shitty lot of time to load as well as display those typed words.Although this may not be true for phones with Top Hardware but even a Low Budget Lumia 520 is better than your low end as well as mid end Phones.Now stop posting shit.

I m sorry if anybody hurt my post personally.
Only things that i wants to know where is the full functions in SDK Leaks of WP8.1
Who made that leaks.
When it will come real,full features of SDK Leaks.
I like more my WP Phone, i want to improve it,that's why i made critical post.
And guys i am also a fan of WP.

Hello Hakkim,

You are right on your stand and other are also right their stand.

WP is great phone and OS is also great but something missing in wp. I hope ms will fulfull a leags in nearly.

nothing is perfect in the world, but we want wich better for us. wp made only useful apps. it make quality not a quantity.

 

Luckily iOS 7 was pretty much only a UI overhaul, so with WP8.1 the feature gap is closing significantly as over the time they have had they have made good use of it.

We need to ask repeatedly to Microsoft please give me this,please give me that. Some times it may be accept or reject. Google will give everything without asking anything. Now Microsoft is living 17th century like "King and slavery system,Google is living Modern "Customer is the King " System. First they want to change their mentality We all people asked for giving file manager in wp8.1 but they rejected it. And they provide Cortana instead of this. Cortana only availabe in US. An Example: My neighbour has a small baby, some time he asked to his father for giving his I phone. The father gives Windows phone to his baby instead of i phone because i phone is costlier than WP. In the hands of baby there is achance of broken.Microsoft is doing like this. We asked File manager they gave Cortana.

What exactly did Apple give in the iOS 7 update other than a bunch of headaches?  My wife hated the iOS 7 update, and still does, but she has learned to live with it.  The f***ed up a lot of stuff just for the sake of trying to make an old tired interface look modern.  And now several months after the update it is still more glitz and glamour than actual function.  They still haven't fixed many of the things they made worse, nor have they added any useful features.  So you can continue on praising the likes of Apple and Android, but you really need to take a strong look at what either has done for anyone lately.  If you think there is something of value, then you are living in fantasy land.

I must be missing something Hakkim, If you were so displeased with WP Os and the company at large, did you know this is WPCentral section and not AndroidCentral.

Look, its ok to totally be disgusted with any company that does not do things the way would have liked it. What a reasonable person will do in that case is forget about that company, you simply stop doing bussiness with that company. For instance, you will never see me on androindcentral berating them or their passion or any iOS forum for that matter simply because I am a windows ecosystem guy.  I am not telling you or anybody that windows environment is the best in the world, but I can tell you the beauty of what I enjoy and my experiencess that others can enjoy with that environment, share insight into what some might not know are possible with windows, how it works for what I do and care for. Does windows have shortcomings? ike any other OS in any form factor, absolutely yes.

So, Hakkim, Don't be a troll, that is one thing that lots of tech readers nowadays are dying not to meet. On this forum, we bash MSFT for what we believe they miss as passionate user and not derting users, and praise them for what we believe they do good, but we don't troll and or tell people not to consider them.

So, if don't have anything reliable and or value added to share kindly and respectfully get off this site... oh.. androidcentral url is here: http://www.androidcentral.com"

 

That's a bit Harsh, the man has his opinion and it's no secret that WP is playing catch up, there can in fact be no denial that WP even in its 8.1 form is still a second class citizen to the two major platforms. Just about every new app that comes out is never on Windows Phone unless it's a Rudy Hyun app or whatever his last name is.

Here in Australia we don't even have a Dominos Pizza app, the Pizza Hut one is rubbish and doesn't work, Dominos just released a new deals app on guess what platforms....iOS and Android.....PokitPal an app I used to use on my iPhone to get deals at restaurants etc again require the two other platforms to work so I can no longer use it.

Microsoft has teams of people in each region that practically go out and fight for people like Instagram etc to put apps on Windows Phone, so yea you are starting to see Instagram, Temple run etc because they are the EXISTING big names that need to be brought onto the platform. And it is good that we have the staples......but yea it seems that new apps/services, particularly from small start-ups that have fantastic ideas just don't have the time/money to consider the WP platform.

My High Interest Savings account bank has a mobile site that does not work on WP8 so I have not been able to do mobile banking with them for 1.5 years (tho it does look to change in 8.1 according to the emulator as I gave it a go and I was able to at least login this time) and all these new features are as Hakkim points out, catching up.

Don't get me wrong, WP is a sufficiently capable OS, I can do 95% of what I need to do with a phone on it, but yea it does suck being locked out of new things, even if it is only for a while, so people who live on the bleeding edge and like to consume new services etc really shouldn't have a Windows Phone and that's all about it in reality.

Also, things like getting an SMS from your gf saying "lets f**k" is mighty awkward on a windows phone when you are showing your boss a photo of your trip to wherever....believe me I have had this happen...a nice toast poping up with the infringing comment...good thing my boss has a sense of humour. I think you can turn off Toast Notifications to the message app in 8.1...I hope you can because like I say that is just not good at all, but again this kind of stuff has been present in even my old iPhone 4 when I had it.

Now design tweaks aside, such as the image behind live tiles, I don't really see any new functionality that isn't already in the other two platforms (Note that I am delibrately ignoring Blackberry). There may be some flavour variation such as adding a word to an SMS to bypass the Block Time however in android you just add a number to a whitelist and no special word even necessary? So its just a different flavour of the same meal essentially.

I do however intend to stick with Windows phone, as it is clear that Microsoft ARE working really hard at listening to user feedback and they are bringing in the requested functionality. I think once they get all the catchup features out of the way, then we will start seeing some great innovation with the One Windows strategy.

Very good comment. The question is if they can ever catch up. I'm not so sure. Mainly because it always takes them ages to understand what their users need/want and deliver it. Nokia is/was quite good at it but that may come to an end, I'm afraid. But let's hope for best.

I think given how much WP 8.1 has taken user feedback on board, I think someone has been given a very big kick in the bum. I mean for goodness sake one single volume for everything? Countless time I've turned the volume down to 0 so I can watch an adult video undetected....and then I have forgot to turn the volume back up and missed calls etec....I mean what kind of user testing did they do? probably with a bunch of nuns or something.....however....as I mentioned it seems they are now saying ok it is what it is, now lets see what they want and move forward from there. I think they will catch up definitely, I think porting to the NT kernel was probably half the battle, once they get the One WIndows strategy in full effect and Windows with matching SDKs completely and truely unified, then the true innovation will begin and I think it's not that far off, perhaps even Threshold :)

It's not a matter of user testing.  They omitted it knowingly to get the product out the door with the plan to continue adding features.  I guess it depends on who you talk to as to whether or not that was the right choice.  I am happy that choice was made, because I am still happier with my WP8 device than I was with my iOS devices even without some of these features.  Yeah the volume control is annoying, but for me it was less annoying than the stuff I had to put up with iOS.  You may feel differently, but the only alternative was to not release WP8 until now.  If you think these features were omitted out of neglect, then you are pretty naive.

What so yiu think Windows Mobile just happened to self engineer itself with, a single volume profile? No course not....it was designed and developed that way....its not that it was omitted out of neglect...it's that it was designed silly in the first place. Even the oldest nokia feature phone from day nothing had an isolated ringtone volume. Windows phone is the first phone ive ever had where the phone media volume is linked ti the ringtone....dumbest design ever......one they rightly changed.

Now you are showing your ignorance.  Do you think it takes the same amount of time to code a multiple volume setting as it does a single volume setting?  If so, then you are making my case that much easier.  There is a finite amount of time, and they have to make hard decisions about what they have time for and what they don't in order to meet their deadlines/goals.  That unfortunately means stuff gets cut from the initial release, and unfortunately for all of us the multiple volume setting was one of them.  I can guarantee you this was on their to do list before WP8 was even released.  I can also guarantee you that they have a priority list, and they evaluate that list every time they are starting work on a new OS update.  They can't do it all, or we will never see a product or an update.  The other brands are no different and utilize a very similar process.

You're missing the point, you're saying it was simply a feature they ran out of time to implement.....I'm saying it shouldn't have been an add on feature, I'm saying the initial design should have had multi volume from day one. No I dont believe coding multi volumes would take much more time at all (I am a developer) and I'm sure that the volume is literally just a system variable or registry value and the sliders update that value and you simply tell the ringtone to use value x and an app to use value y I don't see it being terribly hard at all if its implemented by design. No reason for it not to be there day one other than poor design.

You're a developer and you think that's all it would take to do multi-volume?  Wow, you are not making yourself look very credible.  Anyhow, I am not missing any point at all.  You think they should have included it, they didn't.  They obviously made the hard decision to cut it.  If you think otherwise, well we will have to agree to disagree.  The fact that it took Apple and Google years to implement it suggests otherwise.

Yes I am a developer and yes I do believe that is all it would take.....what do you believe it would take? Given that the volume level is simply an integer, and when the OS outputs audio for something it just looks at that integer to determine the level of the output, all that is needed is multiple integers and you point each Output to the correct integer. What is your convoluted solution? I dont think it did take apple and google years to implement it did it? As far as I know Windows Phone is the only one to ship with a unified volume for everything (haven't looked at Asha or BB mind you)

I don't think it takes them very long at all.  They realize the mistake or lack of functionality very quickly.  It's the development time that takes a while, and understandably so when you consider all the factors.  If you don't realize this, then you obviously have very little knowledge of the development cycle for such a product.  It takes time, and it's not always possible to throw more people at it to make it go faster.

Not having street view does let HERE maps down significantly for me......need the street view, I do know they are out there getting the data....just more catchup I guess.

"MS doesnt allow to publish more than 5 Free apps in the store."
Actually Microsoft removed that limitation a very long time ago. I think it was about when Mango was released.

User friendly and Android don't belong in the same sentence. Android has a ton of features but the OS is not user friendly. The reason I like WP even though it didn't have all teh features is because it is very user friendly and integrated many apps into the interface to make accessing them easier. The new feature definitely puts them on par with the other OS's and the user interface is better and easier to use than android.

You guys born in WP System thats why dont know about other platform.

I bought Lumia device after i heard SDK Leaks about WP8.1. But the leak is only some guys plan for getting WP More active in the news and sites.

You can check it here "http://www.wpcentral.com/developers-leak-new-features-windows-phone-81-sdk"

That time i am excited about WP8.1. I think MS Will fully made that SDK Leaks.

More functions in the leaks is still leaks. and Fake

For getting full functions in the SDK Leaks we need to wait 2020, microsoft is slowing like totoise.

 

Sir I use ios, android, windows phone, and have used bb, webOS, AND Symbian. I like all of them. webOS was one of my favs, but honestly wp8 is seriously a killer daily driver. I really don't think anyone cares what everyone else has then its just what everyone on this sites favorite mobile OS is getting now

Dude, if you think that WP doesn't have enough functions, please and please don't use WP [You've alternatives] and don't comment here in WPC ridiculous things. Don't make WP Central another nest of internet trolls!

Dude, Why shouldn't he comment on here? The Headline on the post ASKS do you think WP 8.1 features put it on par with iOS and Android.

He is answering honestly the question asked of him......don't hate him for that....

How do you know he is answering honestly?  He has also spent more time talking about the way things have been pre-8.1 than how things will be post 8.1.  While I am not convinced he is trolling, he certainly has a skewed view of reality.  Whether that is due to ignorance, bias, or something else is anyone's guess.  I don't have an issue with his posts, but he should expect to continue to get criticized until he aligns his view a little closer to reality.  That doesn't mean he has to drink the WP kool-aid, but some of the stuff he says is flat out wrong.

I do agree he has the right to offer his 2 cents, but I whole heartedly believe he is TROLL. There have been folks on here who have shared their opinion that WP 8.1 is not yet on par and that more work still needed to be done to brighe that gap, did you notice bunch of people agree with them and offered examples, but not the crap thread and inuendos that this guy is typing here. He actually hates MSFT from his thread, he has that right but then is he answering the question at hand, he absolutely is not answering the question.

once again, HAKKIM is a TROLL

"You guys born in WP System thats why dont know about other platform."

 

I am sure most people here would have used smartphones before 2010. Now to your real point, the question here is that is there any one important feature missing in WP after 8.1 and not whether is it WP late for the party. 

Considering Android officially released on 2006 and got the independent volume controls by 2011, I would say WP first released on 2010 and getting independent volume controls by 2014 is early by one year. Or at least even par with it.

 

 

I don't know before 2011 android has separate volume controls. Till 2011 I have android smart phone,it has independent volume control.
Not a matter but Microsoft is celebrating it too much.

Are they?  Did you see them making a big deal about that specific feature?  It seems to me they haven't done anything like that.  It seems to me you have them confused with Apple who likes to celebrate everything they do regardless of how small.  Apple made a point of calling out all the minor changes to game center when iOS 7 was released, and now there is talk of them eliminating game center all-together.  If you want to be critical about celebrating features, then you need to take a much closer look at Apple.  If you have, then please link to me the posts so I don't have to think of you as being biased anymore.

Dude, please, you're entirely welcome to have an opinion and post it but if you're going to be a dumbass and talk shit expect people to throw shit back at you. I've had MANY phones, going all the way back to a Motorola e354 including an iPhone and 4 different Android phones (each of which I rooted and installed various OS flavours on) I can assure you that my HTC 8X with Windows Phone 8 is without hesitation the best phone and mobile OS I've used. Smooth, fast, some lovely features that AREN'T on your iOS and Android platforms as well as seamless integration with Windows 8 through SkyDrive (OneDrive). OK, there may a couple of things, like the volume control, where one can rightly wonder what the hell they were thinking, but beyond the apps, Windows Phone OS is, in my opinion far superior,

I have been so frustrated with iOS and it's crashing, lagging, not doing what you want it to, having to fuck about to get files to open and play, using anything non-Apple is a chore. With Android it was generally slow, crashed all the fucking time and was about as secure as leaving your wallet on a pub table before going for a piss. A 12 year old could hack your Android phone from across the room and you'd never know. Or download an app that does it without telling you.

You like the other OS', fine, great, good for you. But just because Windows Phone is different doesn't make it worse (or better). I wouldn't thank you for an iPhone, I'd sell it and get the Lumia 930 and if you offered me an Android phone I'd hit you.

I can agree to some degree, but cortana seems far better than siri or google now. The cross windows app creation is outstanding, but the action center could have been more original and look better.

We are yet to see cortana in action :-) but still, I think google now is better not because it is powerful/accurate. I don't think it's either. Google now can work offline. This according to me a better deal. Let's see whether cortana can do it :-)

I sincerely think you don't have enough info about WP8.1 I have used Apple's iPhone, Samsung Android and now Nokia Lumia so I can tell you that WP 8.1 is a giant leap. I think the action center could be improved upon, the task panel could be made to float and drag from left to right after dropped down. I meant don't limit the quick access buttons to just five or four. And the biggest news is Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia' devices and services division cos there's bound to be a seamless OS/Hardware integration. I just fear for other OEMs coming on board. For feature parity, WP 8.1 has all I need, android is a mess....only iOS rocks....cos there're tons of similarities between it and WP8.1.. Last time I checked, the MS guy said there're a pool of cross licensing agreements between the two.

Of course they are. That's why in 2010 they had built in Facebook and Twitter integration, app linking, local scout, music i.d and so on...

Microsoft can recycle those outdated features and make it better. Notification Center and Cortana are two of many features introduced. So, it's not about having a feature or not. It's about how you design and implement them.

Yep, I second this. The customizable toggle button at the Action Center makes my phone like my personal assistant, and the sliding volume control for both apps/reminder and games/media will make me easier to control the volume, since my Volume Up button had the problem about 5 months ago.

I agree. Having Cortana and the notification center is enough for me. Added all other features and improvements makes it far better than ios and android.

I think theres a bigger concern than just feature to feature match.
Both Apple and Samsung(Android) seem to be trying to define the "Next Big Thing"
as mobile Health and Wellness. Samsung is well invested with software on its phones plus the wearables. Apple it seems is likely going to be delivering on a VERY comprehensive and capable smartwatch along side some pretty comprehensive phone software as well.
Microsoft may have caught up feature for feature, but is the market taking the next BIG step with them a step or two behind?
Cortana vs Apples and Samsung's Move on Health
http://forums.wpcentral.com/windows-phone-8-1/266878-next-big-thing-micr...

I like watches and i wear them becouse they look stylish and can complete an outfit.But techno watches are not adding any style so i really dont care about them.

Same here. I have several watches that I switch between and wear every day. The thought of a smart watch is exhausting though. One more thing I need to charge??

Just because the smartphone is a hit 10 years later doesn't mean the smartwstch will also become a success. The truth is nobody knows, including you.

That was his point. People stating that no one wants a smartwatch are generalizing their opinion and applying it to everyone else in the world.

I don't wear a watch right now. Only when I'm getting dressed up do I slap a fancy watch on. But, I leave my phone out of my pocket at my desk or on the couch so I can see notifications, time, etc. With a smartwatch, I don't need to do that.

If MS/Nokia create a nice looking smartwatch with Metro UI. I will buy it, period. And I'm one of those people that doesn't wear a watch.

Unlike you, I wouldn't use a smartwatch, much like I don't want to use a phablet, and I think that is a good reference. Just a few years ago a 6" phone sounded ridiculous, and only a very few might have seen them having as big a following as they have now. Smartwatches are likely similar, not something that everyone will have, but still something like 40 million devices / year niche.

If smartphones are the next thing, these would have to be of various designs and styles. Not everyone likes bold and bulky. I've seen some concepts that look quite wearable... it all depends on individuals tastes. For these wearables to succeed, there really need to have a good selection, or a possible 'middle of the road' styling.

You probably didn't want the smartphone because it was expensive 10 years ago. The plans were expensive too. Functionally, smart phones made things easiers for people by being very mobile computers. When the cost went down, they became a must have item. I don't see this happening with watches unless they can do more than the smartphone you are already carrying with you. Right now they are just an extra screen for providing the same info that your phone has on a much smaller screen. Plus you still have to have your phone with you. Maybe if they become stand alone devices and you can leave your phone behind, then they could become useful. You could just use voice commands to get info, make phone calls, reply to texts, etc. This isn't going to happen for several years and I don't think Microsoft is behind if this becomes the future.

I disagree. After having seen the admittedly beautiful android watch concepts I cannot help but feel that Microsoft is again missing the 'next big thing'. Personally I would have gotten myself a 1520 if I had a smartwatch to go with it: this way I could use the extra screen space for browsing etc. but wouldn't have to pull the fatty out to simply check a tweet, text etc.

But you are still carrying the phone with you and those tweets and text are on a really small screen. Are you really going to spend several hundred dollars on a smart watch to get tweets when you still have the phone with you at all times.

Wearables are useless to me. I don't see them gaining traction unless its with women or the gay community. A file manager and more robust internet sharing options would be useful to me, however. I would particularly like a GD shortcut tile to internet sharing.

If any of the manufacturers came out with a watch that looked like a regular classic watch that most men wear, I think they have a future. Otherwise, most of this colorful wearable tech is just not for grown men, which is a bad thing because they have the most disposable income for things like this.

Wow, only women or gay people (over half the population)? So a straight guy should have no purpose in a smartwatch/wearables? Get your head out of your ass.

There are a few straight guys who might wear one. Joe Namath wears fur coats. Is that enough for a market to take off on? I think not.

Even if you discount all straight guys on the planet. That still leaves more than half the worlds population (women and gay men) interested in a smartwatch according to your sexist statements. That's PLENTY for a successful market.

Remember the Casio Calculator watch? All the people I've ever seen wearing that were straight guys. And that was probably the earliest version of a "smartwatch."

Whether you think it will be successful or not, your statements are ignorant and sexist. Saying only gay guys or women would be interested is stupid.

Sexist comments? What exactly is sexist about them? Women as a whole wear more jewelry. Is that fact or sexist? How do gay men play into your sexist accusation? What was it about what I said that has you so riled up?

A few straight guys? One dumb comment after another! What does one's sex or sexual orientation have to do with the appreciation for watches? And what do watches have to do with fur coats? Get your head out of your ass.

Happy to answer questions not couched in insults. You can be civil or you can be an ass. Your choice.

Sure, I guess when Swatch Group sales rose in 2013 by almost 10% to $9.7 Billion it was all due to the demand by women, gay people and one or two straight dudes

You guess? You don't know for sure? Just speculating? I assume you know exactly the breakdown to come out raging at my market perceptions with insults.

Your ignorannce is just as big of an insult, at least my guess has some information behind it, you're talking based on what? based on your ignorant opinion that only women and gay people wear watches.

Approximately 72% of the sales are represented by premium and high-end brands like Blancpain, Breguet, GO, Longines, UG, Omega. Go on their sites and let me know how many different watch models are being made for women relative to mens models? I guess that only leaves out gay dudes, buying up all those watches

Did I say that "only" or is that what your irrational fear of being grouped with women and gay men said? I believe I was quite clear there would be outliers like Joe Namath. Just not enough of you for the market to take off. Yes, I believe that's what I actually said contrary to your reading skills.

"there are a few straight guys...." sure let's get technical, your assumption is still wrong. Also not sure why you assume gay dudes are into watches, does gay automatically mean feminine to you?

You made a very ignorant comment and now you're pointing out "only" and "you don't know for sure" in attempt to stick to your point.

I dont' have any irrational fears, just don't like when people are as ignorant as you are

Watches are feminine? Who knew? Does gay mean feminine to you? I'm not sure you should be so quick in calling others "ignorant."

no you just put together women and gay people as the ones attracted to watches, by saying "I don't see them gaining tracitn unless its women or the gay community" and "there are a few straight guys that might wear one" 

Yeah you're right, you're comments weren't ignorant at all HAHAHA.

But please go ahead and come up with a proper retort. So far in your defense you've stated the follwoing:

"You guess? You don't know for sure" - completely ignoring the fact that your original blanket statement is based on zero information aside from some stereotype that you developed in your head

"Did I say only..." - very good retort, definitely supports your original statement that "women and gay community and few straight dudes" will buy one, cause you know some guy somewhere is wearing a fur coat right now

"watches are feminine?" - pretty much what you were saying when you said that some straight guys will wear one since hey some straight guys wear fur coats, which typically women wear

Yeah, just like you can be ignorant and not ignorant, especially when you come off like an ass by being ignorant

I don't see them gaining traction unless its with women or the gay community.

Oh look, this shit again.

Women tend to wear more jewelry. Gay men are typically more concerned with appearance over practicality. Both will look at them as opportunities to mix and match. Simply a perception.
Amazing how many folks take offense to be identified with either demographic and start throwing insults out of denial.
Sheesh
They call me sexist but god forbid that person might share a single trait with women or gays and get their panties in a knot.

nobody is offended by sharing a single trait with women or the gay community

but your assumption was completley ignorant as a number of people have pointed out to you 

Gay men are typically more concerned with appearance over practicality.

Gay men typically suck dick and marry dudes, that's basically it.

Everything else is just a cute little "gay community" image you've created based on ad hoc stuff like HBO's Looking and colorful pride parades, but (thankfully) reality is pretty different.

"Gay men typically suck dick and marry dudes, that's basically it."

Hahaha and that's all about it! Yea I know plenty of straight guys that are so involved in their appearance....just stand outside a gym....can't just peg that on gays....not even a little bit!

Samsung and Apple may have those things but Windows is looking to seemlessly link the Windows 8.1 PCs/tablets/phones/Xbox together.

It is possible I don't understand your comment, if so, I apologize. Microsoft has had health products for many years. Health Vault is a really need service.

Microsoft cannot afford to make the mistake they made with smartphones...this next market will probably be 10 times the size and I think the new CEO knows this...  

Garner has predicted there will be 26 Billion "internet of things" devices connected by the year 2020... 

Anyone who thinks Smart Watches are not important is not paying attention!!

 

Internet of Things is more than watches. I think connected appliances and home automation will become a big thing once the price comes down. I still think watches are jewelry and even the nice looking Moto watch won't become big unless they become stand alone devices instead of a second screen for your smartphone.

Agreed.  Using your smartwatch as an accessory to your phone is sort of like the voice assistant.  Few want to be seen in public using it.

Smartwatches will only move out of being a niche product if they are designed to work with ALL smartphones regardless of the platform.

+1. quick question, Does notification center allow only 4 quick settings buttons or more? I was wondering if OEMs could add more quick settings menus there? 

In my opinion is still lacks a lot unless they opened many APIs not mentioned during //build. I personally didn't see true multitasking, file manager, if office was updated, etc.

I have to agree.  I can't say that I have ever felt the need for my phone OS to have true multitasking.  Maybe those needs would be different for people with 6" screens and a way to display more than one app like the Surface.  As it stands now though, I just don't see how this is relevant for typical phone based apps on devices the size of a phone.

A big thing for me is being able to save files to my phone, either via browser or email. I create content and share content a lot (e.g. music / videos). I feel handicapped when exchanging files on the go. 

Lets say I want to save a new song that a buddy sent to me via email and add that to my playlist. I can't without going through extreme work-arounds. Setting up a playlist is ridiculous by the way. You can't rearrange the order of a playlist without spending atleast 15-20 minutes getting it right.

What if I want to save videos to my phone for re-sharing. Currently can only do this with SkyDrive, but if my use-case is for instagram or any other media app it won't happen. People make arguments for and against having a 'File Manager'. I'm pro File Manager because I'm used to it on Windows and Android. However, I'm open to anything else Microsoft has to offer if it allows us to easily access media, files, and share it across different apps.

I have had WP for 3years now. started with WP7. now i have lumia 920 and im wiating for 930 to come out so i can get that one. also due to my work nature i have an iphone, and i really dont like the iphone, but the difference is that on iphone i get notifications immidiately, sometimes earlier than on PC. on WP notifications, msgs and other stuff arrives late, really late. also in using WP its kinda using a beta version of something, sure its sleek and i love the way it feels, but u get this feeling that its a work in progress. anyhow, i love this OS and i just hope that it can be made really comfy for users like me, if you call it a smartphone, notifications should not lag, i dont care about the explanation or reason, just fix it. it feels its not reliable, and that just sux. also sometimes it posts twice on facebook (if u post a comment it will be written twice), that sux as well. all in all it needs time, but they shoudl really hurry up there in Microsoft, we need a good platform, and dont make us buy other OS!

Official apps like youtube, a complete Facebook.. For me with 8.1 it's already 10/10 because if before Instagram wasn't jn the store, i used 6tag and i was happy, like myTube ecc ecc.. But people in general, want official apps .. Sorry for my English lol

I think since google opened up a lot apis it should make up for their lack of Windows Love!

I'd like to see windows phone integrate better with other gadgets like car audio systems, smart watches, fitness gadgets, etc.

Better facebook app on par with iOS and Android, more developer support which is taking place since you can now develop in C# for iOS and Android, all in a very intuitive and well known product (Visual Studio). 

Better all around apps not just html5 wrappers, which are a poor excuse for a lame port, so more native code apps in general.

Somethings are already pretty great... I'm using the Moto X and seriously missing my dear WP companion :(

200k apps are more than enough for me. Do you want to search from a thousand of the same apps just for turning on the flashlight? #AppReality

The reality is that there is still a gap. There is no Blackboard, no VSCOcam, the third party Grindr app is terrible, and the games are subpar. Trendy apps come out on iOS, then Android, and then maybe Windows Phone.

It's not just the number. The real problem is that many small companies (and some big companies too tbh) can't or won't spend the resources to develop WP versions of their iOS and Android counterparts. That's what people mean when they say poor app support.

EXACTLY. Our company is basically spending thousands on iOS development, ditto on android, Windows 8 is on the fence, and WP is an internal joke.

Yea but perception is the issue. WP is an "internal joke." Are you going to go around and try to convince every IT executive with user numbers, adoption rates, and telling them how engaged WP users are? You cannot assume rational actors. A huge amount of decision making--especially in IT--is made based on perception and pre-existing conceptions. (Kindof ironically.)

Something positive is the constant reduction in the barrier to releasing a WP app. Xamarin, sure. Also Universal Apps, since if a co like his decides in favor of Windows 8, the barrier is very low for them to just +1 onto Windows Phone.

so? typical executive meetings look at ROI, and with iOS and Android the story is simple, you almost don't have to push it as it is the de-facto two platforms you must target. The case for WP is more complex. If it costs $250K to say bring such app and the expected return is less than that, it is a simple business decision.

Off course is MSFT can bring the numbers up, say past 20% at least in the US market, then the equation changes. But for now, with basically android and iOS ruling the market roughly half and half, there is no business reason to support WP unless you can eat up the cost or get some payment from redmond :)

However it is pointless to debate a fact: WP is a second though in many development houses (just look at the unreal engine anouncement a couple of posts up this one). Why is this so? business guys. Don't take it personal (fanboys). Use your head.

Instead of being mad at developers, be mad at MSFT. After all, the failure to gain marketshare has been entirely MSFT's fault.

So, I agree with everything you said; but more than anything, I admire your courage for pointing that Microsoft may not be infallible. I did that once and was berated by some of the most asinine attempts at reasoned argument I had ever seen.

It is to be expected. The decline of MSFT has left only the most hardcore fans in places like this, most of which cannot look at the topic objectively and will lash out with insults in a last ditch effort to vent their frustration. However the anger is clearly misdirected. Their behavior is reminiscent of climate change deniers which would rather not hear about it instead of facing it and making changes. But whatever.

I'm actually a huge MSFT fan who has developed for their platforms for nearly a decade, own mostly everything they've ever made (yeah zune HD too), but I'm not shy at pointing the flaws because I see them every day and I run teams of developers across the world working on mobile and LOB apps so I know first hand all the "objections" executives will raise against MSFT mobile platforms.

So I'll never shy away from calling out the company which I've built my future on because the biggest fan is the one that tells them what they need to hear, not what they would like to hear.

Right. It's not about missing the most popular, well-established apps, many of which have finally come to the platform in one way or another. It's missing the new or NEXT new awesome app: like, apps for new startups (Simple, Tile) or more niche markets (Square). For consumer products, forget about it (Philips lighting, home automation, home security, car apps, etc.) Brand, media and retail apps are missing, spotty or very late (Starbucks, McD, HBO, showtime, your cable company, your insurance company*, etc).

There is also a big gap in functionality: lots of apps by the big guys are just half-hearted, and they all get new features last, if ever (Amazon app, for example, missing Flow).

I love Windows Phone and really, you couldn't pay me to switch. But friends and family who I bring to the platform are the ones who would never, ever bother with filing an auto insurance claim in a Progressive app. That group is a good target for WP to expand into (non-smartphone owners or begruding smartphone owners). But there is no question that investment in the platform by the players I mentioned is an absolute necessity for WP in the long term.

*For the responders who want to say, "But my insurance co, favorite startup, etc has an app!" That's awesome, I know. There are *some* here and there, which obviously isn't good enough.

Well put. Couldn't agree more. Got my older family onto WP, and they're fine with it. However, a friend of mine, in his mid-twenties, bought a 920 because I had one and is constantly asking me why there isn't Tinder, Canadian banks, etc. I get the impression he gets ribbed about it by other people. Until WP can compete with the other platforms in big name global and local apps, I can't see mass adoption occurring for that reason... Unless, of course, they can takeover business and grow in the same manner BB did.

correct. My brother got a new truck and is lamenting his 920 because guess what it supports for all the in-car app integration? iOS/Android. Do I blame the car maker? no. Why should they bother with WP? 3-4% market in the US doesn't merit it. Some say "don't do business with them" but realistically that is a fanboistic POV most normal people don't care for. My brother isn't a tech person. He isn't going to take a hit for a company that means nothing to him (MSFT) nor should he, nor should MSFT demand its users do.

If this is a problem, it is a problem for MSFT to fix, not consumers.

Know how to fix that? Dump the company and move to one with a WP app and let them know that was why. I just dumped my bank for a Wells Fargo account for that reason.

The day I let my use of WP infect decisions on things as big as what new car I am going to buy is the day I have abandoned all reason. You buy the gloves to match the jacket, not the jacket to match the gloves.

Unless you

  1. Are opposed to Apple in principle
  2. Are opposed to Google in principle
  3. Are not already inside the Apple ecosystem
  4. Are not already inside the Google ecosystem
  5. Are inside the Microsoft ecosystem
  6. Want a phone larger than 4"
  7. Pay off-contract price for a phone

the truth is that there is, at least in the US with its subsidized on-contract pricing, little reason to choose WP. If you don't belong to #1, there is no real reason not to choose iPhone.

I love WP - but I also belong in all these categories. MS has an uphill battle, for sure. Hoping the app situation improves, because it's the linchpin that holds the iPhone and Android systems together.

The main reason I won't chose iphone is number 6. Even if I was ok with the 4" screen, the aspect ratio makes the phone very narrow and long. I had the 3gs before and it was fine. I had a ton of apps but only actually used a few.  Most of teh people at my work have iphones but non of them are actually in the iphone ecosystem. They dowload a few apps and a few games and might buy a movie or song, but otherwise they aren't heavily invested. Microsoft just has to put out ads showing that their OS is just as easy to use as the iphone and that you have a greater selection of hardware and they might be able to attract iphone users and some android user who are tired of the complexity of android.

So, I totally agree in principle; but I also think that MS has a huge brand perception issue. People do not associate MS with innovation, reliability, security, etc; regardless of whether or not they are any of those things. Despite empirical evidence, people do think that about Apple. Apple is perceived as being cutting edge, well-built, and most importantly 'cool' - even though they haven't really innovated in phones since 2007. Unless that changes, and perhaps advertising can do that, people aren't going to buy WP handsets. The Microsoft and Windows brands just don't exude good feelings in any of the people I've talked to; whereas I have heard people saying 'why would I get rid of my iPhone? All of my friends use them.' It obviously sounds ridiculous, but it seems to be the way of it.

I think the question was more about windows phone 8.1 - apps are not the OS - though very important, MS has not control over what apps third parties make.

That's not entirely true. While you are right that if a third party just doesn't want to write an app, they won't and MS is screwed; I can't help but think that if MS threw money at them, they would do it. I know MS is paying some developers, but I guess the question is how many, how much, and is it enough? Presumably these companies just don't want to lose money on development and maintenance, but if MS had a system in place where that was all covered, expensive as that may be, I can't see them having a reason not to come over.

I guess what happened with the BBM App Blackberry was talking about releasing. Although i dont use it extensively hate it when my friends ask me to come on BBM LOL

I'm still not sure how I can create a new pictures folder from my camera roll without uploading it onto one drive. Also, the landscape keyboard is stupid. Do something about the wasted space.

They need to improve the Desktop sync app to get closer to levelling the playing field. Still a massive pain in the arse to create playlists!
 

Yes. I agree. Creating playlists is still okay. But try editing that playlist. You cant. That sucks to the core. I really hope they have a much more intuitive music player. I hear that the music app is actually just like xbox music in WP8.1. Its good news if xbox music is good.

They do support next gen hardware. It's just that android oems tend to release their new phones around March after CES and Microsoft tends to add support for new hardware around September so that new handsets will be available for teh holiday shopping season. It's only a 6 month difference, but it's funny how android fanboys seems to think the hardware that was top of the line just a few months ago is suddenly old outdated hardware a few months later. Especially since that new hardware generally doesn't really improve their usage experience.

Until we receive more developer support and get more official apps in the store. With 8.1... I see a lot of developers jumping on bored to play with Cortana

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