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Microsoft ‘completes’ user feedback requests for new file manager and more, but what does it mean? (Updated)

Going into Monday morning and the world is aflutter with talk of Microsoft’s User Voice feedback forum. Specifically, some user-requested features like a file manager, swipe to close an app (like on Windows 8) and storing apps on the SD card have been relisted as being ‘completed’.  The requests, submitted and voted by consumers, can only be closed by an administrator, in this case someone named ‘Mobile Guru’.

One of the requested features is “Add File Manager to Windows Phone”, which has had over 77,000 votes, another is “Allow a flick down to close applications like you can on Windows 8” while a third that is now closed falls under “Store apps & attachments on external storage and improve/provide micro SD support”.  All three are now listed as complete and are “available for Windows Phone 8”, though of course that is not true.

Some people who have tipped us have inferred that an “app”’ is coming in the Store for the File Manager, others have concluded that ‘Mobile Guru’ is talking about Windows Phone 8.1, which has not been acknowledged by Microsoft.

As far as we know, there are no impending releases for the Windows Phone Store, meaning a ‘file manager’ app is not something we’re actively looking to download any time soon. For features like “flick down to close applications” or installing apps on the micro SD card, an OS update will be needed. Once again, that would have to be in a Windows Phone 8.1 release, although we have had zero confirmation or reports that this is indeed the case.

It’s a bit unusual that Microsoft would “confirm” new features for a forthcoming OS that has not yet even be announced. It’s even more inaccurate to suggest that these features are “…now available in Windows Phone 8”, since for current users that is not the case. Windows Phone 8.1 isn't expected to arrive until after February 2014, putting the OS on an early spring release schedule--that's still some months out for any new features for users.

We’ve reached out to Microsoft for an official comment on these changes on User Voice but for now, we would caution readers to not read too much into this. Then again, the notion that Microsoft would add features to a major OS release should not be too surprising.

Update 2PM ET: Microsoft has now corrected the website and note that these features were "...mistakenly marked as completed"

Source: Microsoft User Voice 1, 2, 3; Thanks, everyone, for the tips

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

  • wow
  • Second :P and yes ots gonna be awesome next year :D
  • Hell yeah.
  • These features are not, to my mind, awesome. They are, rather, essential. These are "bare minimum" kinds of features that should've been there years ago. I will be very glad to get them, but only because WP is basically broken, as is. These are just the tip of the iceberg of what is needed to make WP competitive.
  • Of course you're right. WP8 is a broken OS, completely unusable. How did anyone with WP8 even navigate to this site without a swipe to close gesture on their phone. Hyperbole is your enemy.
  • ^^This
  • Haha. Perfect.   While these features are great for managing the phone, they are not essential at all.
  • Installing app on micro sd card might be useful when there is low internal storage like 8gb in lumia 720...cause im facing the problem
  • Of course it's useful.
  • yeah. htc8s which has only 4gb internal memory, That sucks.
  • The guy made good points, with or without hyperboles....which you, too, used yourself. Classic case of the lame trying to mock the crippled.
  • I've been using WP for 2 years. Not once have i needed a file manager.
  • As long as I can use my WP comfortably, which is true, I won't say it is broken.
  • I love the file manager app on IOS. Oh wait . . . I love the speed dial option . . . Oh wait . . . You know what I love, idiots telling me what is essential. I have a WP cause I like it more than the others and no one can tell me otherwise. I've used every OS extensively and they all have their merits.
  • Right on!!! No matter what phone you use, there WILL be something your unhappy with!
  • I love my WP but there are certain aspects that could be better or improved as found on other platforms or more less found in wRT. Though I prefer wRT- multitasking and being able to run two apps on screen. That would have made my 1520 a "real" phablet.
  • my dog destory mines for m lumia 1520 so i am hoping i can win an replacement nokia micro usb to charge my device    
  • No VPN. How fail is that. I move to china soon and I'll move to iPhone because I need a damn VPN. Seriously the windows phone team this year did next to nothing for the OS. Fm radio? Close apps in multitasking? Fail...we still can't even see battery % in the status bar.
  • Yea. They are slow. But keep calm bro.. Lots of stuffs are coming!
  • I have the FM radio on my Lumia 1020 running WP8, just have to plug in a pair of headphones or a patch cable of some sort, so it has an external antenna for reception. The closing of apps will come in WP 8.1 (Blue) as has already been mentioned and shown previously, just have to wait a little longer. As far as the battery percentage, all you have to do is tap the top area of the screen and it slides down into view. Most apps don't do this, as far as I know, to allow for a full screen experience with no icons distracting the user. Also, keep in mind that your wants may not be the same as someone else, so saying something is a fail may not be appropriate to anyone other than yourself and a few select others.
  • What version of WP8 do you have? I have Update 3, and it has FM radio and close apps in multitasking.   But I agree that the lack of VPN is a horrible oversight. I think it's more important than any of the things mentioned in the article.
  • The comments MS has made about VPN lead me to believe it is not standard support. I really can't f-ing believe the phone still does not support it.
  • VPN is expected around 8.1 as well.
  • I was rumored for GDR1...then GDR2...
  • Or, you could assume that Microsoft is listening and those things are coming in 8.1 (which has been touted as a big "feature" release like Mango was). See, it works both ways. Obviously they've completed more than 3 features in the past year, we just don't know what they are yet. If it's still missing VPN by the time you move, then diss away. But it's not very constructive to try and throw it under the bus before the bus has even arrived.
  • You are right Raesu, I would like to attach files from my skydrive to existing emails and have a windows phone sync tool that actually syncs playlist as well. It is very sad everytime I look at the iPhone I left behind though I see that I can't go back. If they release a device with a larger screen though I can see myself picking one back up though.
  • i know right its so broken i cant do anything /s
  • So get out of here and go to ios or android and stop crying. No o e is forcibg you to be he
  • Chill, he was being sarcastic.
  • You know, ther was this one time that I got the WPCentral app from the Store and typed a message with the on-screen keyboard while at the same time Skyping someone, helping them with Demon Defense... wait, sorry, wrong area, this is about a "broken OS," my bad.
  • Completely agree with you. It's a shame that such a beautiful OS has been so far behind. And so slow to catch up, let alone try to exceed or innovate.
  • It is a shame....
  • Guys!!! Check your phone for update now. The 8.1 is released!!!!! Installing....
    ... jk.
  • Wow 2
  • Sorry your wow 3 now :D
  • Wowzers!
  • Yuppp.pls pls bring these will be complete after this update
  • Maybe its that they see the flicking down to close apps as a request to be able to close apps.. If so he should change the way they close these "tickets"
  • I'm sure that's what this is.  They just closed it because apps can now be closed.  I'm guessing they won't be adding swipe down support.
  • You both are right. They do this all the time at the uservoice. Go see a 'weird' closed request and all the complains that comes after that.
  • Hopefully all of these and more comes along.
  • :P
  • Wowies!
  • Wow late :(
  • How so :( ?
  • Cuz I wrote wow 3 but it pushed me down all the way here. :'(
  • Wow 3
  • Coming with Windows Phone 8.1
  • But why make these requests as "available" if 8.1 is still months away from that?? Maybe a official announcement today about this features becoming available in the next version?
  • There is no official announcement coming today or anytime soon.
  • Why not ??
  • Is ms on vaca ??
  • Daniel Rubino,  Like said two time before, I guess Xbox Music app, that will replace the current video and music app, will allow people to acess their video library (one of the missed features for whatsapp and etc) like nokia video upload has it. It is probably that has a kind of manager (music, video) and the picture hub (picture)...
  • Wrong
  • I guess that's a marketing strategy. 
  • The reason is that Microsoft sees UserVoice primarily as a convenient and fun outlet for trolling their most loyal and devoted fans.  How else can one explain this behavior?
  • +2520
  • Why do they say 'Now available in Windows Phone 8' then?
  • Most of the requested features that are closed and marked as "This feature is now available in Windows Phone 8." are not actually available on Windows Phone right now. Most of them will come with the Update 3 (GDR3) as we already know, and the rest of them including FIle Manager will come with Windows Phone 8.1 As Daniel said above, Microsoft will not announce this officially yet until they announce Windows Phone 8.1 in 2014. File Manager is surely coming with Windows Phone 8.1
  • I don't think any extra features will come with GDR3 than are already in the preview; usually they will shut off features way before releasing the update, so they can ensure stability and extensive testing.
  • I didn't say any extra feature will come with GDR3.
    But extra features come with Lumia Black.
  • You said GDR3, not Black. And Black only brings Nokia-specific features anyway, no OS-level features like those on User Voice.
  • I was actually talking about the features of GDR3 that are already announced. And those features are marked as "This feature is now available in Windows Phone 8." but they are not available yet as GDR3 is not released yet.
    Click on the hyperlink on my post above and see.
  • Thanks Nawzil, I understand what you mean now.
  • If Microsoft doesn't make a unicorn fly out of a rabbit's ass with Windows Phone 8.1, I think a lot of people will switch to other os's including me.
  • Don't let the door hit you on the way out :)
  • We won't
  • Yea dont stay here if you dont. If you know so much make your own os and take over the world
  • Parteek just just wrote the most obvious sarcasm post ever seen on the internet and you missed it!!?? Oh lord!
  • Pretty much. Although, I do prefer the vertical app list to the grids on other systems.
  • Appsolutely...,patiently waiting for the update or jolla sailfish.
  • On pills again?
  • What an idiotic comment. Why did you buy a windows phone in the first place? Some peoples children...
  • Seriously! If he's already on the fence about WP and is waiting "patiently" for 8.1 with extreme hopes, get out already!
  • Yeah ..,been using Windows phones for last couple of years...,sad, its taking Microsoft a hell lot of time to bring in essential features that even a basic feature phone has
  • I bought a Windows Phone because I've ALWAYS owned WinMo and WP products. I bought a Windows Phone because of the possibilities of a seamless computing experience between Windows PCs and mobile devices. I bought a Windows Phone because of the possibililities of a shared cross-platform experience between Xbox, Xbox Live and mobile devices. How is MS doing so far on those 2 areas?  Pretty abysmal if you can be honest about it.   At this point, I only really stick with WP for 3 reasons:  Hardware (Nokia), Metro UI (which is really superficial) and Skydrive.   Skydrive is the true star of MS if you ask me.  Its the one piece of gristle that even barely connects all your MS devices.  If it wasn't for Skydrive, there's would be almost zero overlap between MS products.   Thats not to say Android or iOS is better, or even doing those things at all, but those were things that were supposed to make Windows Phone more appealing and stand out.  Without those things, I could be doing everything I do now via Android/iOS. 
  • Loling out loud...
  • Yes Windows Phone should be more appealing and stand out to beat the competition. MS have every pieces W8.1, RT8.1, WP8, Xbox OS, Office,, SkyDrive, Skype… but MOST of them don’t work well with WP. I like my nokia 920, but I can’t sell it to my friends. The first feature of WP in the metro tile, but it doesn’t work well for 3rd party app. Skype is not well integrated. Why can I share my IE bookmarks between WP, my tablet and PC? Where is the notification center … I don’t want to change for ios or Android but I want MS to fix the basic stuff so I can help promoting WP and RT. I don’t want MS to copy ios or Android. I want MS to be better in all categories, starting by fixing the basic. 1-    Fix tile update for 3rd party.
    2-    Add a “notification center”
    3-    Integrate Skype! Look how Google integrate voice to ios and Android.
    4-    Update OS without carrier approval…was not a MS promises? 
    5-    Make it the best mobile OS! I don’t think I’m asking a lot. When was windows phone 7 release? October 21, 2010! 3 years!  
  • I like that last request.  Make it the best mobile OS!
  • We bought Windows phone to increase the user base and as Nokia is involved ...,Microsoft needed people to increase its user base,so that devs would jump into the ship....,but alas Microsoft is not at all concerned about the plight of Windows phones users.
  • Yes we will, android is releasing kit Kat soon.
  • You can switch right now. Why wait?
  • I require a Unicorn to fly out of a Gryphon's ass. On Tuesdays. After 3pm.
  • Keep in mind that Microsoft hasn't responded yet so until they do this isn't official.
  • +1
  • I wouldn't be surprised if their uservoice account was breached.
  • I would be.
  • +1
  • That would be awkward for Microsoft if that happened, they wouldn't be able to say "Sorry we were not going to release that feature" so unless this is legit, Microsoft is in the corner.
  • So cool
    Such features
    Many awesome
  • So awsome
    So cool
    So Troll
    Many cool
    :P LOLZ
  • Such try
    Many fail
    So want
  • Lol :P
  • Many features So cool They think We fool WOW
  • Yaa hope its true
  • Weird, one thing's for sure we should definitely get the saving apps to SD card option, that's extremely important, especially for low end devices which don't have much space on the phone itself.
  • +820 or even mid-range
  • Agreed. I love my Lumia 521, but coming from the HD7 with twice the storage has been rough. Biggest app is Spartan assault and I don't want to delete it because its Halo on a mobile phone. Installing to SD would be helpful since I bought a 16gb right after I bought the phone.
  • If I understand you correctly, once the functionality to install to sd card is available, you could reinstall it without losing your progress as it saves to the cloud.
  • +925 hope so!
  • The cloud save I know. Just waiting for the ability to have apps on the SD card. Android does it and I don't see any performance lag as it has been explained to me that it does.
  • +1
  • Please let this all be true. Please.
  • Pretty please? :P
  • With sugar on top. lol
  • Lool :P
  • Wow Microsoft is going in the right way? I wait to see these updates!
  • Can't
  • I hope the flick to close comes, but I recently used ios7 and noticed that it copies the WP task switcher down to the last pixel, and includes flick. If WP includes it now apple will probably sue for infringing.
  • Flick to close in a task switcher has been around since the Palm Pre. Everyone's just been copying the card interface that they created.
  • Please stop saying dumb things like this. WebOS had a card interface for multitasking before WP, iOS's multitasking interface is not identical to Windows Phone's, Android had a swipe to close before iOS, and Apple and Microsoft share patent license agreements so they can't sue. Stop saying stupid crap like this. It's not clever or funny, it's not factually accurate, and it males you look like an idiot.
  • It's not dumb or inaccurate given apple's track record.
  • This. Didn't apple sue Samsung for something completely stupid like a similar design or was it because they used a touch screen? I don't support apple in anything they do and hope they start dwindling so other platforms can be successful. I mean, how many times can you make they same phone and put a different number/letter on it and call it revolutionary/must have/innovation? Samsung should stop making their processors and see how well they do then.
  • Yes, it is both. Apple couldn't sue Microsoft for it even if they tried. Notice how only Windows Phone and iOS have a bounce when they reach the end of the list? Stock android has a glow and other skins have different reactions. That bounce is patented by Apple, and yet WP uses it. Apple can't sue Microsoft until they start making iPhones.
  • Then MS should take apple to court for "color" infringement.
  • I lold at this. Saw a green/seafoam/whatever 5c at WalMart last week. Good luck with that Nokia ripoff Apple.
  • Windows Phone 8.1 is going to be AWESOME, especially if these features are attached to it. 
  • These updates would be fantastic but those of us on AT&T are still waiting for GDR3.
  • No one with Nokia devices has yet received GDR3 (except those of us who got the preview through the developer program). This time AT&T is not to blame. It will be when the update comes out and they take 4 months to deliver it ;P
  • Except those with Lumia 1520's (not me, unfortunately)
  • The blame is always NOKIA. Because of she the AT&T firmware update for GDR2 was delayed so much... And because the new modifications (the black ones) this will happen again...
  • Every time Microsoft adds a feature after reading a countless of "you don't need this" in forums like here, I get a confirmation how dumb fanboys people said that were.
  • Exactly, my friend. There're many stupid fanboys here following a "I don't need it, don't want it, so it shouldn't happen" line of thinking - a pretty ignorant one, I might add -, showing their complete lack of knowledge regarding consumer/product relation.
  • and the funniest comment: "At least I can make a call". Most of them don't really need to use a smartphone, they belong to Nokia 3310 users with stubborn and indestructible head.
  • I'm sure they are just combatting the moronic string of "completely useless" hyperbole from the negative posters.
  • ^this!!!
  • Wow 10
  • Hoping for some kind of official confirmation.
  • Yeah, I got all the emails by uservoice telling the ones I voted for got completed. Also, why no Rum'ometer?
  • Because! I dont know why :P
  • I agree. I'd like a Rum O' Meter rating as well. Maybe one will go up when WPCentral receives a comment from Microsoft?
  • ..because this isn't a rumour? This is something that happened and nobody knows what. When Thurrott or Foley writes something about it as a click bait, the rum-o-meter will kick in I guess..
  • As long as they (MS) can keep the UI implementation consistent and part of a unified vision (meaning not looking like an afterthought) I welcome all such feature updates.
  • Guys,Great news....Check for updates.......................................,,,
    .....................................It says your phone is up-to-date.
  • Lmao. My heart skipped a bit there.
  • Better SD support would be great as I'm sure I don't need to explain to my fellow 820 owners, but something they need to add is "scan and fix". I know it's there in the core already, there's just no interface for it yet. About once a month, some WP background processes crashes while working on the SD card, and subsequently the card is forcibly unmounted. (Or a few times it randomly said "SD card unmounted" while in my pocket doing nothing). Then WP refuses to use the card until I stick it in a PC to scan for errors. There are never any errors, and the PC cleanly unmounts it, allowing WP to use it again. This is one of a hundred things where WP has dependence on PC. Free us from our shackles MS!
  • What brand of SD card is it, and what format (e.g. exFAT, FAT32, NTFS) is it on?
  • This has happened to me once too
  • Hopefully we can search all those files now that there is a file explorer.
  • I'm placing my bets on this either being done by mistake, or Guru's UserVoice being hacked and someone tagged these as "Completed". Seems really weird for Micrsoft to tag these as "completed" late on Thanksgiving Sunday.  They normally do things during normal business hours. I'm calling "bogus" until there's a decent clarification.
  • +520
  • +HTC Windows Phone 8x....hmmmm...doesn't quite work...