Joe Belfiore announces new updates, sheds some details on lock screen app

In a series of tweets published this morning, corporate vice president and manager for Windows Phone Joe Belfiore has outlined a series of updates that will be going live on the Windows Phone platform.

Belfiore touched on the subject of the number of social networks available for integration on Windows Phone, noting that while only a few social networks could be configured before, the platform now supports sharing to all social networks.

As for the much awaited lock screen app, Belfiore stated that it was undergoing beta testing on devices with over 1 GB RAM, and that work is underway in applying the finishing touches. He said that a dev preview will be announced shortly. On the same subject, Belfiore mentioned that it might be a while before the lock screen app is made available on devices with 512 MB RAM. As for the reason this feature will not be available soon on low-memory devices, he said that it was to "make lock fast/stay in memory."

Belfiore also mentioned that app updates for Facebook and Skype are incoming, and stated that Microsoft is actively partnering with Facebook in trying to eke out any lingering bugs in its app.

Lumia 1520

Belfiore touched upon the subject of new hubs/apps being different in functionality (Xbox Music splitting from the hub, etc), and said that it was because a third party platform was used to build them. He mentioned that this allows for better updatability, and "makes the platform better so all apps improve." He said that such apps are limited in number, and are mostly on dev previews and a small number of new devices.

On the subject of universal apps, Belfiore said that since Windows Phone 8.1 is still in its nascent stages, most developers are focusing on Windows Phone 8, but once WP 8.1 starts gaining momentum, there will be a lot of universal apps available.

Finally, Belfiore said that there are a couple new apps that will be announced for the platform soon and that the Windows Phone team continues to squat bugs before they're ready to roll out Windows Phone 8.1 to the world. Head on over to his Twitter page to read through published messages.

Source: Twitter (Joe Belfiore); thanks to everyone who tipped us!

266 Comments
  • Windows phone 8.2 confirmed!
  • Yeah sure
  • I hate the word soon
  • Yup. It takes on a whole new meaning here.
  • WP 8.2 should beat down other competitors.
  • Highly doubt they'll call the next update 8.2!! Windows Mobile 6 / 6.1 / 6.5
    Windows Phone 7 / 7.5 / 7.8
    Windows Phone 8 / 8.1 / ??
  • It will still be 8.1 beause microsoft want to keep it inline with the PC OS....but yes I share yor excitement!
  • There will be no 8.2 on PC, it's going straight to 9.
  • This.
  • No 8.2 but there will be an 8.1 (Update 2) before Windows 9.
  • For me it's working!  I'm from México haha
  • Straight to Windows 9?!!  Balderdash!  I have it from a very good source that the new version is going to be called "Windows VistaME95"!  
  • It is more likely WP8.1 GDR2 which will be on McLaren.
  • My heart skips a beat when I hear these news....the fact that I've to keep on waiting and expecting....cuz I can't always wait...tired of waiting :)
  • If you wait on technology, you'll never have anything but next month.
  • This
  • so true +1
  • Microsoft should stop making 512mb ram devices. Low memory devices always have to wait.
  • Well at least they work on it... And why? They are cheap and popular
  • Yeah.. And they are priced like Moto G... And it's 1000 better with specs.. This is the reason MS is so behind.. Too expensive phones for what you get.. Even with flagships.. Without better app store, it's pointless for 95% of people... But still exited to see what they will offer in 1030 (maybe).. If it's better and high spec. I can use it like camera and back up phone.. If they ever release it.. :-)
  • Moto g?? U mean the 512mb Nokia 520 or 521 that are priced at$50 &$80
  • No, the more expensive Lumia 720, that has a worst resolution screen and the half of ram.
  • Moto G? That slow 3G-phone?
  • http://www.theverge.com/products/moto-g-lte/7689
  • To be fair, my dad has a Moto G on T-Mobile which runs on HSPA+, which is pretty fast. Averages around 8 Mbps down.
  • I've a 920 and a Moto g and I've got to say the Moto more often than not lift performs the lumia :( 4g is only available in lumber two locations in my country so it doesn't factor.
  • Well actually microsoft didn't make these devices at all as DJCSB always says, "It's Nokia, not microsoft", get it in you head! And Nokia can start producing cell phones again in 2016!!
  • "Pointless for 95% of people"? You just took dramatic hyperbole to a new level. 95% of people really only use Facebook. They hear this app gap noise from techie nerds and iLovin media and get spooked about Windows Phone, but for most, "the point" of their phone is for calls, texted, photos, Facebook, navigation, music.
  • Cheap and popular and missing out on all the cool stuff. Shouldn't the users be able to decide on features? I don't care if my phone will be a tad slower with the lock screen app. I know I want it. If people don't want it, they can just as well uninstall it.
  • Are you kidding? These forums would be filled with people complaining about how the app sucks and how Microsoft putting out crAPPs and "destroying" the platform.
  • It seems that I missed what is the lock screen app. Can you please tell me what's that?
  • Microsoft is not actually seeing what ppl blindly want. Ppl today blindly eabt 1 gb ram phones even if they don't play games on smartphone. Microsoft should conr to know waht the major masses blindly follow.
  • they saw that and thats why released lumia 525. 
  • I don't see my phone slowing down even with multiple apps in the background. While I agree that they should set the base to 1GB, 512mb devices running WP8 flawlessly unlike Android that needs at least 3GBs to have a buttery experience. My Tab Pro 8.4, while great can be a bit sluggish while switching home screens. But the apps work perfectly. Android is on their way but Microsoft just blew Android out of the water performance wise. I think they will stop producing 512mb devices and stick with 1, 2 or 3GBs. They did what Android can't, make devices running 512MB smooth running.
  • Exactly! Lags on my Lumia 520? Pssshh.
  • Right, so windows phones with 1GB+ RAM shouldn't exist?
    If you're in a country where 1GB+ devices are available and you chose a 512MB device, then you have no room to complain when apps aren't available to you!!!
  • You can blindly purchase many WP's with 1GB or RAM if that what you want, if not, there are offerings with 512MB.....it's called options.
  • It's actually a great business decision to keep making them. My experience with the Lumia 521 was pretty crappy. Apps loaded slowly, performed worse. Text was blurry when not zoomed in, no high end games were available and the ones they were crashed often. Battery life and RAM issues were just terrible. I could go on and on. But using that phone have me a glimpse into what WP8 might potentially be on competent hardware. If it weren't for me trying the 521 for cheap, I might have skipped WP8 altogether and just gone with a Nexus. So yeah, those devices get the short end of the stick, but they sell AND get some customers to double dip. (Didn't mention, this is an 8X btw)
  • I'm actually meeting people quite frequently that bought a 520, 620 or 720 and are completely happy with it. They were just looking for a cheap smartphone that works nice for the few things they do. Take simple pictures, text, call, look something up quickly on the net or use Here Maps/Drive for navigation. You're right that heavier stuff is not that fun quite often but there are a lot of people out there who don't need it and the experience is still better than what most Android devices at that price range have to offer (or perhaps: had to offer - I have not had the opportunity to compare with the new cheaper Moto devices and those get pretty fine reviews).
  • What are talking about?? Apps load at nearly the same speed on my 520 and 920 (the 920 is bit faster though). About high end games not being available this is an issue with every WP with only 512mb ram and you know what if you wanted to play high end games YOU SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT A F**KING HIGH END DEVICE instead of whining in the comments section. Btw Asphalt 8 never crashed on my 520 the only games that did were poorly written ones which were eventually fixed.
  • Awesome! We have another Priest fan on here.
  • 920 a bit faster??? If your 920 is just a bit faster than your 520, you've got a pretty slow 920. I got a 520 as a temp phone until my contract was up (cat spilled water on contract phone and it fried), and I can attest that it is way slower than the 920, unless somehow this brand new 520 was just the slowest of the slow 520s. Opening Nokia Camera up on the 520 took anywhere from 5-15 seconds, on my girlfriend's 920, less than 3. Just unlocking the phone was laggy. I could type in my 4 digit pin before any would even show u on the 520. On the 920, it was instant. Texting and writing emails had pauses while typing, switching apps was painfully slow. Browsing the internet, searching, all incredibly slow on the 520. My grilfriend could start playing a game of Wordament while my 520 was still loading. 8.1 did no justice either to the 520 either, some things got a little snappier, while others did not. I finally had enough of waiting for apps to open, stalls, lags, unresponsive UI, that I got a 1020. And boy what a difference. I could never go back to a slow device like the 520 unless I had to. People saying that it is almost as fast as higher end WP8 devices...seriously?
  • Friend, okay is much difference in speed, but look at the price's abaut those 2 phones: lumia 520 80$ without contract, and lumia 1020 500$, the price is the answere...Over all, I had a HTC 8s, and i was very satisfied with the speed, I put breast my 8s to a versus with galaxy S3(8s 512mb ram S3 1 gb 8s dualcore S3 quadcore) to a browser speed test , and 8s winning all time!!!! Thats amazing:) (3g network both 2 device) Okey its true, when you open a bigger app is loading more than the 1 gb ram device, but is not terrible, and look at the PRICES....
  • I have two Lumia 920 and a couples Lumia 521 and Lumia 520. Lumia 520 is not that bad in performance. Here is comparison video   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pq5JeFc9MVs
  • I'm not sure what was wrong with your 521 but I have a 521 as well as my 925 which is my main and a 810 and windows 8.1 runs from sight basically at same speed. Battery is better on the 521 than the 925 due to lower CPU freq id assume. But all have 8.1 and all run amazing. For intense apps like Nokia camera beta maybe an extra second opening but interface wise all are at same speed for most part.
  • Same experience for me. We have 2 521s and they both work great. I get 2 days battery life (no games) and my wife gets around 14 hours before charging and she's always playing a game or two all day. I will say though, since jumping on 8.1, the camera experience has gone out the window. I would be perfectly happy with the 8.0 camera app back.
  • Totally agree w u. I thought windows phone was rubbish but tried a 520 n I was hooked. So upgraded to 925 n now on 1520
  • You know that the L520/521 is just a Microsoft's iPod touch that can also make phone calls right?
  • I had no real problems with my 521 other than apps needing 1gb ram. I didn't experience any blurry screen and battery would last most of my 12 hour work shift and still be around 30-40% with moderate use. I only upgraded to a 925 for the ram.
  • while tech guys and girls do mind that they should stop 512mb devices. but the general consumer couldn't care any less.   
  • Agreed. I've been harping around a lumia 625 - the thing is a champ! Fast, smooth, few visual glitches. This thing is not slow. Sure, it may take an extra second or two to load, over my 1520, but that's low versus high, and it's to microsoft's credit that they are so similar. Though out is irksome some games won't run, the vast majority of phones sold ARE low end. MS are on to something here. Keep improving the experience. There's a great value for money to be heard with these phones!
  • Actually belfiore demonstrated the lock screen app with the Lumia 630 which has 512mb ram isn't it??? Then what's the problem with the app?
  • Maybe they added some features that are RAM intensive since the demo, found that 512MB devices didn't perform as well as they'd have liked, and need more time to optimize it better.
  • Why should they stop making them. My L521 works just fine as does my wife's. Not only does it work fine but it blows my sisters new iPhone out the water. Enough so that she's jumping to WP later this year when her upgrade comes. BTW: The 512mb phones exist because not all of us can afford the high end phones. Some of us have children that are more important. What you fail to realize, these 512mb devices out populate the high ends 5 to 1. So why should the number 1 selling devices not be sold?
  • totally agree..
  • That's very selfish, sir.
  • It's worth noting that the article refers to phones with "over 1GB RAM". It doesn't say "1GB of RAM and over". That leaves some ambiguity as to whether 1GB devices will get it or not. They probably will, I think it's an error on the author's part, but worth saying just in case it really is only for 2GB+ devices like the Lumia 1020 and 1520.
  • MS seems to find a way to fail always, phones like 720 & 625 are not cheap, MS will never catchup like this. no wonder market share is still way behind
  • Nice
  • > Microsoft is actively partnering with Facebook in trying to eke out any lingering bugs in its app. How about eking out the laggy-bloated-as-hell-Skype app first? The worse Skype experience you get is on Windows Phone. Sometime in 2011 Skype blog stated that they are working on golden experience for Windows Phone. Unfortunately, till date the only golden experience we get on mobile from Skype is on iPhone.. Empty promises eh!
  • it is part of their "war on our best fans" ® strategy.
  • Totally not true
  • yeah sure it's all GOLDEN.
     
  • I want a new WP device!!!! Also, its good to see Joe being more forthcoming with information. I like it! What does this mean: To make lock fast/stay in memory
  • The lock screen App is exactlly that - an App. On 512 MB devices it's pretty hard for the OS to keep multiple Apps in memory at the same time. So e.g. you would unlock your device and start a game that takes up a lot of memory. The OS would have to terminate the lock screen App in order to run the game. So you might then lock your phone and shortly after decide you still want to play. So you turn on the phone and would then have to wait for the lock screen app to restart (as it was closed to make room for the game). To do that however you would also have to close the game. So after unlocking you would then have to wait for the game to resume from it's tombstoned state. So to make a long story short: a lot has to happen if a device runs out of memory and that would lead to a pretty bad experience on low RAM devices.
  • Wow.. That's complicated. Thanks for the explanation. Maybe they should make it part of the OS rather than an app.
  • Point of lock app is to enable 3rd party developers to invent as many as possible, brain storm!!!
  • wasn't there a report on WPcentral that a new Lumia is being announced this month? 
  • It means that they want that the lock screen appears directly when you click the lock/ wake up-button.
  • Great news! I would love to have that lock screen app NoW !
  • well, here's the change log for the XBM app
    In version 2.5.3965.0 you will find:
    ◾Songs list scrolls faster.
    ◾You can now add more than 100 songs to your playback queue! This means that "shuffle all" will add more variety to your listening experience.
    ◾App and pinned tiles support custom backgrounds and theme colors.
    ◾Artist art backgrounds now load more smoothly.
    ◾Songs already in your collection can now be purchased.
  • Well someone didn't read the article, but thanks anyway I'm gonna see that last feature you told
  • Wow, I can pay to download songs I already have??!!  Where do I sign up??!!
     
  • He also teased "maybe more tweets tomorrow"
  • Sounds good
  • Nice!
    Just saw his tweets, I wish he would've said something about the Twitter app ... Anyway, looking forward to the LockScreen App Developer Preview. Regarding the new apps, any guess? :p
  • BBM
  • Totally forgot about BBM ...
  • then again, who cares about bbm..
  • How about those who use it on other platforms?
  • Yeah there was this twitter beta wich had 8.1 integration but till now nothing. I think they will publish it on the official release of WP8.1
  • Yep Yep, I have the Beta. Hope they update the app for the official release .... And add a Clear Cache button! Its Growing out of control lol
  • Flipboard ;-)
  • Ohh that's right.
  • I'm hoping the new apps include ISIS mobile payments, Twitter, and Flipboard.
  • Before this gets buried in a mountain of replies, anyone care to explain what he meant by "apps/hubs are being developed with 3rd party platforms"? Does he mean that Microsoft is outsourcing the development for native apps?
  • Good question.. Though I would understand it as they're developing with 3rd party tools, not the WP SDK.. Maybe some cross-platform tools? That would certainly explain the bad performance.. Edit: see StevieBallz's comment below :)
  • The SDK will give you all the "base pieces" to build your apps, but if you want complex UI controls with custom layout and behavior you would have to code them yourself. Now, there are a lot of 3rd party toolkits that offer this kind of controls ready to build your apps on WP (Syncfrusion, Telerik, etc.) so probably they're using some of these to build these apps, instead of developing their own custom code. This means that in future they can get benefits from bugfixing/upgrades of the 3rd party framework, and at the same time the experience with official Microsoft apps will enable that 3rd party framework to improve, giving benefit to all other developers that will use future releases of the same toolkit.
  • See StevieBallz's comment below, that's a better explanation :) Microsoft uses Telerik's controls in some of their apps, for example the Dev Center app but they don't seem to use them in the Music app for example so that's not it.
  • No, it's a technical description. Until WP8.0 those integrated Apps were written with completely different tools and frameworks than what was available to third party developers. Now many of the Apps have been transitioned to run using the same technologies that third party developers get to use allbeit with some additional permissions. This has numerous advantages like the ability to update those Apps separately from the OS using the Store infrastructure (like on Windows 8). The drawback is that everything in the third party stack that is not so good will now also affect the system Apps. In the long run it's still preferable as it means that Microsoft has now an added incentive to fix the issues so their own Apps run better which in turn will also improve the situation for third party devs which leads to smoother operation of the whole OS. This "eating your own dog food" process has been dormant far too long.
  • Okay that's a better interpretation than mine and makes more