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My ode to Windows Phone 8

So childhood, throughout its various stages, is ideally a time of enjoyment, wonder, and awe of the world with which a child interacts. This reality is supported and sometimes directed by the solid underpinnings of both experiential and formal learning.

Regardless of how wondrous the world of one's childhood is, experiences, lessons learned and the inescapable current of time brings maturity.

I'm reminded of Robin William's movie "Hook". In that progression of the classic tale, even Peter Pan had to grow up. Every childhood must end.

But the joys of yesteryear should never be forgotten.

With Windows 10's unified platform, Microsoft's mobile OS is growing up. If Windows 10 Mobile is indeed the early stages of a mature OS, then the iterations before it must have been its childhood, a time when Microsoft was learning its mobile way. Many fans were won over to the platform during its youth based on a range of features that the OS has apparently outgrown.

In this piece, I am simply reminiscing on things that are now gone that drew many fans like myself to Windows Phone. No deep analysis. No profound arguments. Just a trip down memory lane.

With Windows 10 Mobile's arrival via the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL, I deemed this a relevant time for an ode to Windows Phone 8. The platform is growing up.

My journey to Windows Phone

I loved Windows Phone 8. Yes, I know that we are finally on the path of a unified OS with Windows 10/Mobile. And yes I am a tech writer who has and will continue to extol the merits of that progress. But I have not forgotten what got us here. Nor have I forgotten what drew me into the Windows Phone ecosystem. I'm not so enamored with everything that Windows 10 and the Universal Windows Platform brings that I don't miss what was lost in the process.

I bought my first smartphone in 2006. A Cingular 2125, a device sporting Windows Mobile 5.0. By the end of 2011, after an ATT Tilt and ATT Tilt II, both sporting Windows Mobile, I was at a crossroads.

My ATT contract was up, and I wanted a new phone.

Note, the first round of Windows Phones did not impress me. My first impressions of Windows Phone 7 were negative. I didn't like the direction Microsoft was going with Live Tiles. Additionally, the new OS' incompatibility with Windows Mobile apps did not sit well with me.

Moreover, in my estimation, the powerful, hackable, make-it-what-I-want-it Windows Mobile OS that I knew and loved had been exchanged for un-customizable eye-candy designed to cater to a consumer base spoiled by the iPhones you-get-what-they-ship OS. I was a power user, I didn't need pretty or easy.

But as I began researching what phone would replace my ATT Tilt II three devices drew my attention. The Android-powered Samsung's Galaxy SII, Galaxy Note, and the HTC Titan powered by Windows Phone 7.5.

Though I was not initially impressed with Windows Phone 7, the 500 OS updates coming with 7.5 intrigued me. I was also drawn into the Windows Phone "glance and go" narrative. Furthermore, the utility of the Live Tiles as a "tangible" way to interact with information from the Start Screen began looking to me like the foreshadows of futuristic interaction with pure data as seen in the movie Minority Report.

Live Tiles were suddenly cool to me.

Combined with a deluge of other information about the platform, I was sold. So, I passed on the Android devices and bought the 4.7" HTC Titan sporting the digital work of art Windows Phone 7.5. And I loved it.

In 2013, I got the Windows Phone 8 powered Lumia's 1020 and 1520. Everything that I loved about Windows Phone 7.5 was there in Windows Phone 8 and then some.

In April of 2014, I upgraded my 1520 to Windows Phone 8.1. I, and thousands of other fans got Cortana and a host of other goodies but lost some of the things that we loved about Windows Phone. The OS was growing up.

If Windows 10 Mobile is the mature early adult stage of Microsoft's phone OS, Windows Phone 8.1 would represent the adolescent years where some of the pleasures of childhood are invariably lost.

I haven't forgotten the joys of Windows Phone 8 however. As a matter of fact, my Lumia 1020 is still running that OS. I refuse to let it grow up.

Me and my tile

One of my favorite features of Windows Phone 8 (and earlier) is the Me tile. As Windows Phone veterans know, this tile functioned as the control center for the device. Users' social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, were linked to the Me Tile and users could interact with those platforms directly from the OS. This allowed a number of functions.

One, social media alerts were displayed on the Me Tile on the Start screen. Furthermore, diving into the Me Tile allowed users to post updates to one or more of his/her social media accounts directly from that interface.

Now I understand that developers have provided apps that, through extensibility, replicate this native function of the OS. I am simply expressing what I loved and what was lost.

Additionally, though we lacked a proper Notification Center, the Me Tile did aggregate all of our connected social media notifications. I enjoyed having all notifications relevant to me located in that one place on the phone centered on me as the user.

Furthermore, the Me Tile was the apex of Microsoft's people-centric vision for this platform. It placed the user at the center of the entire OS and UI. This made proactively posting social network content, viewing it and even interacting with posts shared by others something that could be facilitated by that single interface without the need of opening an app.

I miss the social network integrated power of the Me Tile.

Social butterfly and Contacts

No platform did social network integration better than Windows Phone. As an advocate for the platform, like Ben Rudolph and his Window Phone Challenge, I often used this platform feature to show off the OS.

Before Windows Phone 8.1, there seemed to be no distinction between where the OS ended, and social networks began.

For instance, when selecting a contact from the People Hub, the theme color for the OS remained constant. The text and other presented content were all that changed. This gave the sensation that the user was still in the same environment, and the new information was simply being displayed in that constant environment. The UI was a visually consistent backdrop for new information.

Additionally, Microsoft's people-centric motif was very evident when navigating a contact's card. A swipe to the right brought up the familiar (and still present) "What's New" section that displays the contacts social media feed.

However, in Windows Phone 8, a user could interact with any of that content without being shunted off to an app. Commenting on or even liking a post was possible directly from the OS. I miss that.

I also miss being able to swipe to the right a second time revealing the Photo's section for that contact. Here, a user could view, tag, and comment on a contact's photos that have been shared to Facebook. Again the experience was so well integrated into the OS that it literally looked and felt native to the device. Yes, I miss that too.

People Hub and no room for Rooms

Some operating systems have a simple address book. Windows Phone has the People Hub. The hub was designed to bring everything about a person into one place. By drawing on social network connections, the hub provided a comprehensive view of a contact. It was designed to be a one-stop-shop for communication eliminating the need to use separate apps to communicate with a person.

The goal was a people-centric rather than app-centric model.

After entering the People Hub, a few swipes to the right brought us to Live Tiles representing Rooms and Groups. Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 10 still have groups. However, there seems to be no room for Rooms on Microsoft's mobile platform.

Rooms allowed users like my family to utilize a common space to share notes, a calendar, photos and even a chat room. We found it very useful when planning an event since we could use it to provide a common note, share a calendar and engage in real-time group chats. Rooms was a very robust tool with a highly personal touch. It brought people together and helped us to get things done. In my family, "Rooms" is sorely missed.

Get the message

I can't overemphasize Microsoft's previous people-focused over an app-focused model. Messaging likely exemplifies this theme more than any other feature. When looking at a person's contact card a user could see all of the ways that he could communicate with that person. The Messaging Hub incorporated SMS, Messenger, and Facebook Messenger.

Thus when a user was Facebook messaging a contact, for example, the communication was facilitated through the hub, not a separate app. If the contact went offline, simply switching to SMS communication, or MSN Messenger, within the messaging interface would allow you to continue your dialogue with that person within the same conversation stream.

Messaging tools in Windows Phone 8 were centered around the person. A user didn't have to chase an app to find a user. He selected the contact, and the communication tools were integrated around that person.

Microsoft has brought this feature back with Skype (Text and Video) in Windows 10/Mobile. This is great news. I still miss the ability to communicate with friends with Facebook Messenger via the hub, however.

A picture is worth a thousand words

Finally, the pre-Windows Phone 8.1 Picture's Hub in my opinion bares a beautiful aesthetic that later versions of the OS I suppose have outgrown.

Some studies claim that how a product makes you feel impacts levels of satisfaction. When I open the Photos Hub on my Windows Phone 8 device, where one of my photos is the background image, I honestly feel better about that experience than when I open Photos on a Windows Phone 8.1 or Windows 10 Mobile device that propels me into a functional yet visually uninspiring environment.

Moreover, like the rest of the OS, the Photos Hub was deeply integrated with a user's social networks in Windows Phone 8. Thus, there was a live stream of photos from social network contacts within the Photos Hub.

Additionally, a user could access, view, and interact with photo albums shared to social media by their contacts right directly from the Photos Hub. I miss the Photos Hub.

Going Forward

Windows Phone 8.1 brought many updates to the platform that put Windows Phone on par with the competition. Windows 10 Mobile, with its single core and Universal Platform, arguably propels the OS beyond iOS and Android. Microsoft's phone OS has grown up.

With that maturity, it seems that Microsoft has deemed some things unnecessary, incompatible or irrelevant to their mobile future. I don't think I'm alone in acknowledging an embrace of the future, while just as with one's childhood, lamenting the loss of irretrievable joys of the past.

That said, my 1520 and future Lumia 950 XL will march boldly into the future with Windows 10 Mobile. But I love Windows Phone 8, and my Lumia 1020 may never grow up.

What aspects of Windows Phone do you miss most?

Jason L Ward is a columnist at Windows Central. He provides unique big picture analysis of the complex world of Microsoft. Jason takes the small clues and gives you an insightful big picture perspective through storytelling that you won't find *anywhere* else. Seriously, this dude thinks outside the box. Follow him on Twitter at @JLTechWord. He's doing the "write" thing!

283 Comments
  • Thank for reading! So what are your thoughts. What features from Window Phone do you miss that are not part of Windows Mobile? Please note that for either technical reasons that Microsoft has explained, external reasons such as Facebook’s stance on its services OS level integration or other forces, the following many features are no longer part of the platform, or are present in a lesser capacity and will likely never return. There have been posts explaining many of these changes. But this is an Ode to a platform that we loved and we have stuck by for 5 years. What are your thought!?!
  • i miss the facebook integrated messaging. Great article by the way.
  • I didn't really care much about anything else they got rid of except the photos hub and I agree with pretty much everything you have to say about it
  • There arent many things that I miss from WP8.1, but social integration and the original People app were my favorite features from 8.1. But I'm with Microsoft for the approach of Windows 10 Mobile and I'm excited what new possibilities comes with the new information of getting internal excess to Windows Mobile.
  • Integrated Facebook messenger :|
  • You've captured quite a few of the aspects that I love.  And my 1020 will never "grow up", either.  Although, I absolutely believe that Windows 10 is de-evolution, NOT growth.  I'm positively convinced that Windows 10 was the direct result of listening to people who like Android and iOS.  I believe that we'd be seeing a further exploitation of the potential that originally existed in WP7 and WP8 if Satya Nadella and some of his other "useful idiots" hadn't been put in charge.  Windows Phone use to be gorgeous, smooth and integrated.  Now it's just ugly, jerky and disintegrated.  I absolutely loved Windows Phone.  I simply TOLERATE Windows 10.
  • Agreed. Windows 10 on Wp is the first time i have not been excited about a software update... I started on this journey with a Samsung focus and every update made the phone a little better. Now I feel like I have a buggy android phone with less apps and a good camera. Hanging on to 8.1 till I get a new phone.
  • Yes, I think a lot of insiders can agree that eve though they are holding out hope because of the nostalgia created by WP 7, 7.5, & 8 that it will continue, But we can see that even as early as Windows Phone 8.1 that some things were headed in a wrong direction when they took away certain aspects of the OS. Even with all the additions you could see that microsoft didn't do a good job with retention of the features and aspects of the OS that made WP beautiful and great. They never started removing features that people enjoyed until WP8.1 and with 10 Mobile, they've taken a lot of steps back with all of the changes they made at the moment as far as what made WP great up to this point. It doesn't have that feel anymore and this article states that eloquently without stepping on the toes of the new update. Read between the lines of this article, and you can see that Jason is an extremely positive, nice guy. I do miss how seemless the music player worked and also the people hub. I remember the functionality was the biggest thing that 8.1 gave us. The music player was big. Even though groove music is an amazing app, the original XBOX/Zune music was flawless! Just needed some gapless playback and i think a couple of other things. Other than that, absolutley worked as good as any app on any phone could work. And if you remember the early reviews on WP, the music player was a huge plus!
  • I can't like this reply enough. Spot on!! 
  • I completely agree. I loved the zune music player and it got worse when it sent over the Xbix music player. I really believe that Windows and BlackBerry 10 OS are the best on the market. People are to caught up on their apps to even consider either of the two. Apps should not make or break what makes a OS. It should be how it functions on it's own without having to download several apps just to get it to do one thing. BlackBerry and Windows had a lot of built in functionality for social messaging no apps needed. People just like what's hip and . They don't have a mind of there own. Not to mention, Windows along with BlackBerry have by far the best virtual keyboards.
  • The Windows OS seems to have a lot of similarities with BB10 which I like. I was a bit dissapointed with the social integration always launching an app though. I think having it in a hub is much better.  I remember when BB10 launched and it had a ton of features missing that you would think should be common place. Over time, alot of them came back as it grew. Perhaps Windows 10 OS will be the same? I've been a Blackberry user for quite a long time and needed a phone to bridge the gap until my Classic gets repaired. I just got a Lumia 550 yesterday and I am quiet impressed with the OS. It is missing some features I'm used to, but overall, it seems to be fairly fluid on an entry level device. I've found that the app selection is decent as well, all the main ones are there. As nice as it was on BB10 to load Android apps, it's nice to have some of these apps being built for the device I'm using. I've played around with Android phones and the iPhone, but Windows Phones seem to be the best alternative for me. If BB ever does build an Android phone with all the BB10 functionality, then I would obviously try it.  Would like to see the Messaging Hub on Windows Phone return some of these features of the past! MAybe in time!
  • @ScubaDog! Dude.  Preach it!  On the money!  You say "de-evolution" I say re-gression from everything beautiful with WP 7.X and 8.X.  What they did to Windows Phone is more punishment rather than growing up.  It's like a wicked step-mother came in and took away all things good about Windows Phone.  I too will have to learn to tolerate Windows 10.  But it will take some time.
  • Agreed, while I like about the universality of Windows 10, there are (so) many features unique to Windows (Phone) that are missed. Now, it's just a mere of camera features and apps that will differ Androids, iPhones, and Windows 10s. I missed the deep integration of Facebook and Twitter. I don't care about what they said before about the reason of the feature removal (just because of API difference?), but if they have an idea of separating each of their social APIs, unique features into updateable system apps, then Windows 10 will be much better than now. MUCH.
  • completely agree here with the loss of an incredibly robust and intuitive phone OS in WP7.8.  But lets not forget that the Instagram experience, amongst many others, weren't available at all. which isn't great for a people centric phone now is it.
  • I agree with your "wicked stepmother" analogy, but I would add that the stepmother might be the only chance the child survives in a cruel world. Sometimes, cruelty is not a bad thing.
  • Scubadog: Heard!!
  • Ah the good old days. I have been on WP since day one. The only thing i miss it the astetics of windows phone 7.5. Zune looked awesome, pictures hub was beautiful. They changed some of the astetics that made the product so beautiful for increased discoverability and a more industry standard approach. I miss the old design. Other than that I am excited to get a 950xl.
  • Similar phone path but I ended up on Tmobile with an HD2 running both Windows 7 phone and Android. My 822 died after 2 years and I was given a 929 which is a poor excuse for a flagship. Simple funtions I got used to on the 822 were gone. It seems Windows Mobile is the platform of giving things up.
  • I find that when windows in general gives something, it always takes something else away.  I'm still struggling to use the piece of garbage browser known as edge, when in reality i was just fine using Metro IE.    On the mobile OS, i ran the insider on my 830, seems they took Caller ID name reading from it. (rings, then reads name or number, then rings again).  So i went back to 8.1.  I know that souds petty, but i just don't know why instead of just leaving us options, they have to eliminate the old one.    If windows 10 mobile is anything like i experienced last month when i had the insider preview, we are good 6 months from 10 being stable.  
  • How to activate caller id reading in WP 8.1?
  • Goto settings, ease of access, then turn on "speech for phone acessibility".   No clue what genius put it there, it used to be called CLI or something like that.  God forbid they just put it under ringtones.    
  • Its not there in ease of access. Rather it has narrator and magnifier setting in ease of access
  • Ugh, don't get me started on Edge.  I find that I much prefer Metro IE on both the phone and the PC/tablet. 
  • *Nostalgic*
  • I really like Windows Phone, but I miss webOS more.
  • WebOS was an amazing OS. Imagine if microsoft would've taken that, and integrated it with windows phone!
  • They would have taken it and destroyed it, just like they have done with Windows Phone.
  • That would've been the effect of the low sells and trying to listen to the consumers. Just like WP7.5/8 died, any other OS would have died too. The market favors app-centric OSes. No amount of work would have helped against that.
  • Agreed!  webOS ist still my favorite.  My journey: Pre+ with webOS 1.4.5.1>Pre2 with webOS 2.2.4>HTC Trophy with WP7.8>Lumia 928 with WP8.1>Lumia 929 with WP10 Nexus 7 2013 running Android 6.0 Marshmallow and iPhone 6S Plus from work
  • Nothing beats webOS.. As an OS it was simply perfect
  • Me Tile and opaque app tiles :_(
  • the opaques tiles are still there and in fact you can even adjust the opacity. just set a backround picture and then adfust in settings.
  • Oh god! You really assumed I didn't know about that?! I was just startled when I read your reply. It's like you're telling a college student what alphabets are. By "opaque tiles" I meant that these days every new app released or old apps updated for Windows Mobile have only a transparent tile. Whereas I also need some opaque tiles to enhance my creative Start screens. Look at this and you'll understand what I meant to say --> http://forums.windowscentral.com/windows-10-mobile/340515-30.htm#post331...
  • It still doesn't make any sense :p
  • What?
  • You ummed it up petty well these were the features that made wp different. And we loved it
  • What we really hate is the new design language. Pivots was what drew me to wp, but hamburgers.....
  • Yes!!!!! Pivots are awesome.  Hamburger menus are garbage.
  • WP8.0 was so beautiful.  I was a late bloomer to WP, I was a symbian nut until the 920 and wp8 came out.  Fundamentally different than Symbian, iOS and Android, which is why I loved it.  8.1 broke my heart.  So much of what was great about 8.0 was lost, though I did love the action centre and cortana.  But just about everything else I wasn't too keen on.  W10 is even worse.  Though what choice really do I have?  Gonna have to move to w10m eventually.  Just moved my desktop over.  Still holding onto 8.1 on my surface though.   
  • I am so much like you. When I moved from Symbian to Windows phone, Lumia Amber update was already available for phones. I just used to use my sister's Lumia 800 for some droolings :P
  • never got around to getting into windows 8 phone. windows 7.8 was great as is. in fact, still using it to this day.
  • i miss nokia's messaging feature " FLASH SMS" i really miss that feature , sms use to pop out directly on screen and then never goes to inbox, hope that feature may return in lumia again
  • I miss having the historical information for a contact, seeing when they'd emailed or phoned. I really don't see why Microsoft need to remove these features completely rather than offering a choice to consumers.
  • OMG - I read this and had to check on my 950. You are right. The contact history is gone! Why? Why? I am seriously running out of reasons to stick with this platform. Things I love are taken away and nothing I love is added. Seriously, how many people want to be responsible for leading someone off of Android or IOS onto this platform? I'm still here only because I don't know what I'm missing. You cannot keep reinventing the experience. You are bringing no one new to the platform and causing loyalists to leave in frustration. You keep tearing down and have no loyalist base to build upon.
  • Seriously? One more reason I'm climbing back on the fence about 'upgrading' from my 920. It's killing me, but I am seriously considering the iPhone (gaak!).
  • I had a Cingular 2125!! Thanks for the trip down memory lane. So I wasn't by myself? lol Seriously, well sort of, since I am not THAT serious about much, I really enjoy your articles Jason. Love the lack of vitriol as you document. Sure wish I would have left W8 on one of my 1520's. Me and the wife used the ME feature and the room feature and loved it. I currently run 8.1 on a 1520, 10586.11 on another 1520, and 10586.0 on my new 950XL. I'm having a ball riding the Windows Mobile Horse. I think I always have too. No other explanation for doing so, is there? :) Cheers
  • Its so well written, I just felt like someone has read my mind and is saying them loudly. I even miss Zunes's interface
  • Hey jason ward....can you please write another post to tell ppl about their user voice to vote and bring back wp8 features...as we need mass ppl to vote tp bring back gorgeous wp design rather then android styled wp 10...
  • It won't happen
  • I was totally reminded that the W10M messaging App doesn't hold a candle to its predecessor.
  • There are some technical things about Windows 10 Mobile that are vastly superior to 7x and 8x, but the UX design is inferior in pretty much every way.
  • +1
  • The technical things don't matter squat if we hate using the system.
  • PREACH!
  • Everything that was great about Windows Phone in 7x and 8x is gone now, save Live Tiles, which now have a reduced role. Consequence? I've abandoned Windows Phone and moved on to Android.
  • Totally agree. I immediately fell in love with WP 7.5 when I traded my iPhone 3G for an HTC Titan. It was the most beautiful, well integrated experience at the time. The 3 main things that made Windows Phone unque and "better" for me were the Zune experience, Pictures Hub and People Hub. I was amazed how well integrated the Zune player was. When playing a song, your lock screen would actually fill with the album art in a very pleasing way. You could even like/dislike individual songs and it would sync back to your Zune app on the desktop. Then there was the integrated podcast player, also syncing your podcasts between phone and desktop. The PIctures Hub was also great. I could browse my camera roll, Facebook albums, Flickr, all in one place. The background was beautiful and vibrant. The People Hub and Me Tile were another big differentiator. Being able to see all your interactions with a contact in one place as well as their social media updates was fantastic. I used the Me Tile all the time to post updates to Facebook and Twitter without having to open a separate app. When WP 8.0 came out, I got a Lumia 920. A few things were gone, but it was still recognizable as Windows Phone. I was so happy with the hardware and the camera, that I didn't miss 7.5 too much. It was 8.1 where my love affair with Windows Phone ended. The things that made it unique, different, and better were gone. Zune was gone, Podcasts was now a separate, buggy and useless app. Pictures and People hubs were neutered. Yes, we now had Cortana and Action Center, but that didn't make up for the functionality we lost. How can you give users so much in one release and then take it away without expecting a negative reaction?  Sadly, when I replaced my 920 earlier this year, I decided to try out Android. I got an ASUS Zenfone 2 and that is now my daily driver. I still don't love Android, but it is the practical choice. I access to the apps I need (bank, credit card) which are missing on Windows Phone, and the apps are updated regularly. On Windows Phone 8.1 there were a lot of apps which were rarely or never update. There were apps which were two or three versions behind their iOS and Android counterparts. It became a forgotten and abandoned platfform for many developers. Microsoft has a history of releasing great products and then letting them die on the Vine: Zune, Windows Media Center, Windows Live Writer, Windows Live Photo Gallery, ... I really hope Windows 10 succeeds. I use it daily on the desktop and I am happy with it. I miss the integration I had with the phone, but I am not ready to commit to another  2 year contract with a platform which may or may not be supported in the near future. I will keep an eye on it, and if things change I will gladly switch back.  
  • Integrated Facebook messaging is the thing I miss most. I too was at the same crossed roads when it was time to upgrade my Tilt II w/ winmo 6.5. I ultimately went with the Samsung focus, learned to live with the things I wasn't fond of and moved on. The only thing I really need now is the ability to make skype voice calls to non skype users from within native dialer, as opposed to the skype app. Unless od course this is already possible and I haven't figured it out yet??
  • Nice article. You nailed it! Facebook integration (messenger & hubs) is what I miss the most. Also local scout. I know most of everything that local scout offered is still here but I miss the hub feel of it in WP7. It also makes me sad that all of the awesome "smoked by windows phone " videos that Ben made don't seem possible with windows 10 mobile.
  • Great article.. I really loved the interface.. It was different.. I miss it. Even the clear black background is something i miss.. Simple and efficient. For the Me tile installing Multishare has made me miss the integrated functions lesser, but it's still there.. Moreover since FB and others changed their API or whatever to not support integration other than their own app for whatever security concerns. Nice article.. Nostalgic.
  • Really sad for loss of the Rooms feature with no clear replacement.  That is really the biggest feature that instantly won my wife over to the platform as it was a seemless simple tool for organising our lives (calendar and notes especially - less specific use for the messages).  She has also set up a room for her and her mum to manage kids photos and videos. Loss of Rooms is really the biggest blocker for upgrading my family to new devices and Windows 10! At the moment we have a system that works.  When we 'upgrade' we go backwards and need to find a new way of doing it. Fortunately the calendar and onedrive sharing still works but doesn't provide the update notifications on Start that Rooms provides.  Would love it if OneDrive and Calendar gave ability to request notifications for updates to elements that are shared with others.
  • FB integration was something I really used a lot and sometimes showcased to friends - I was like: If you only want to post a status, you can do it like this - tap, tap, type, done - see? When they announced the change of model to app connection for hubs I was hoping the connection will only happen on data level and the presentation will still be handled by the OS. Sadly that didn't happen and I don't use people hub the way I did before :/
  • Thank you for your ode, Jason Ward, after this article, I think I need to have both my Lumia 1020 that I have now the next years for the integration, and a 950 xl in my pocket, till these back steps parts are on place with better integration. Hope that the developers do it even better than WP 8.1 and not going backwards
  • I miss everything that is mentioned in the article, facebook integration in messaging, people hub and photos. Especially the messaging and the photos. they apparently had data that the photo hub social integration section was not being utilized enough but I loved it. I hate to say that after waiting faithfully for a replacement for my Lumia 920, I gave up and just bought a Samsung S6. I kow what the fans here gonna say but the fact is that I got tired of waiting for mainy decent apps; I compare every app on WP to its Android or iOS version and all I see is how behind is the WP version. Also I just checked out the Lumia 950 in store and it felt so cheap compare to other flagships. So for now I have moved to Android after loving my 920 to the max; hopefully next year WP products will make me feel the sameway that Lumia 920 did. 
  • You summed up exactly everything I miss about WP8. I have been a windows phone advocate since the samsung focus right up until the 1520. The social integration was light years ahead and now Microsoft ia moving backward in efficiency and productivity, especially in regards to social interaction. After see the 950 and windows 10 mobile in action I have decided to jump ship to android, as windows 10 is trying to mimic it more than be original and with the app gap being a real issue it only made sense.
    If windows 10 mobile brought back that fully integrated social platform again I would hop back to windows phone in a second.
  • My thoughts? Wake up man! Wake upppp!!!! That being said a love windows phone the same way a wife loves her abusive husband (-_-) not a healthy relationship. Someone always gets hurt
  • Love that hurts.... Lol... Well said...
  • Only your phone doesn't hit you. Lol pointless comment douche
  • This^ guy, bogus analogy
  • Geez eh
  • Lmao,Can't say this analogy is exactly wrong
  • It's more like the love you have for a sibling that had no job and you let sleep on your couch well beyond the welcome.
  • How about an abusive wife? 
  • Nice article again! :) loving it what i missed most is the people hub and the pivot view in photos :( hoping MS will return this design/app in the future :)    
  • That about sums it up. The Photos hub was the coolest of the hubs, visually.  And I miss the Favorites folder and how the OS would use those favs throught the experience. And the People Hub and it's "peope first" philosophy was excellent, and ground breaking for it's time.  I remember showing it off as a key differentiator. I feel like we are in a valley of transition.  Windows 10 mobile represents the future, but it's not fully baked.  I've had my shiney new Lumia 950 for almsot a week now.  It has so much potential, and the tradeoffs in features are mostly positive.  But It definitely feels like the OS is maybe 3 to 6 months shy of where it needs to be.  There are rough edges, bugs, and so on.  General polish of how things look is actually not bad, better then the visual inconsisntencies we saw in Windows 10 release back in July.  But I run into quirks fairly often. One of the quirks that drives me nuts is when I take a picture while the phone is locked.  If I try to click the little circle showing the pic I just took so I can see if it's in focus or not, the phone seems to freeze up on the "adding final touches" step.  It's really frustrating because the camera exprience is otherwise great.  I would even forgive the slow loading time of the Picture app, if I didn't run into quirks that are in a PRIMARY use case. "Did the picture come out ok, or do I need to take another?" OH CRAP!  phone freeze... I'M MISSING THE SHOT!
  • MS is ass...MS IS ASSHOLE ... You read that MS....destroyed the whole wp8.. ..android and IOS lovers have won...wp is no more...it is same as android ...sadly..
  • I miss rooms and the user centric HUBs
  • Rooms kinda became GroupMe
  • Not even close. GroupMe is nothing like Rooms. Rooms provided text-messaging-esque group chat, social networking updates for each member, a shared Outlook calendar, a shared OneNote, a shared OneDrive with video and picture uploads, a Live Tile for updates, all of that in one place. GroupMe on Windows Phone doesn't even support video uploads, and GroupMe is owned by Microsoft. It's an embarassment. Killing Rooms--one of Windows Phone 8's best features--was myopic and just another in a long line of examples of Microsoft selling things to customers and then taking them away afterward. What they should've done is made Rooms a universal app on Windows 10.
  • My first smartphone was an HTC TROPHY. I've gotten Windows phones ever since. But alas, I'm losing confidence in WP and I'm considering going to the dark side although I'll miss my tiles dearly.
  • I don't understand people like you. Some people think Windows phome became more Android or ios-like, so people switch to other platforms instead of getting a superior experience. What's wrong with Windows 10?
  • The lack of interest in their mobile division by Microsoft is what scares lot of people. Google have an entire fleet of dedicated and very talented engineers at work for mobile OS.
  • Because windows is just trying to catch up to the others, not innovating/overcoming them.
  • I've been a staunch proponent of WP since it's inception. The downsides to WP are obvious. Limited apps, overpriced flagships, limited accessories and meager carrier support. I'm hopeful that the work MS has done for universal apps and porting of Apps from iOS pays off and in a year or two I can comfortably get a Surface phone. I'm on my Nokia 830 right now until later this Spring.
  • You don't know what's wrong with Windows 10 Mobile? or You don't think anything is wrong with it?
  • Apps... Stability... Functionality...
  • You haven't read any of my posts on other threads, have you?  Yes, it absolutely has become more Android-like.  If you actually comprehended the speed, beauty and uniqueness of the original Metro UI in Windows Phone compared to this jacked up frankenstein's monster that W10 is you wouldn't ask that question. 
  • Android and IOS are superior to W10 mobile. Even MS' own apps function better on other OS. MS essential threw the baby out with the bathwater. People like you need to remove your blinders and stop defending MS blindly.
  • Um app updates. The reason I switched he'd from an iPhone to a lumia 920 before was how integrated social media was on Windows phone. Now there's nothing new with windows phone and I might as well just move to a platform given better app support by developers Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I agree. I see no sense of urgency from Microsoft to advance this platform. There is still a lack of flagships, manufacturers, apps, carrier support, the list goes on. Windows 10 still hasn't made it to my Lumia icon. What's taking so long? I'll have a new android come January.
  • I wouldn't install 10 just yet. It is still in that garbage phase
  • I know how you feel. I just bought a Galaxy Note 5 after being on Windows Phone for 5 years for two reasons: There are hardly any banking apps and the Microsoft Store sold the Lumia 950 XL, that I pre-ordered on the first week of October, to someone else. Told me they had it on Thanksgiving Eve, then when I went to go pick it up on Thanksgiving, it had been sold to someone else and told me "We didn't have enough to fill the preorders. Check back soon". Why take pre-orders if they can't/won't fullfill them? So I said screw it for now. I can wait until something better comes. The app gap isn't as bad as people make it out to be but I can hardly do any of my banking on Windows Phone. All of my credit cards' mobile websites suck horribly. I don't really care as much about other apps as long as I have Amazon, Facebook, Twitter and my banking apps. I sorely miss the Windows UI though. It has been my favorite overall after using all four OS's. I hope to return if they ever release the elusive "Surface phone" and keep polishing things up.
  • After I leave WP it will probably take off and be a hit. Maybe I've been dragging it down :-)
  • LOL! I know right? That would be my luck too!
  • My first smartphone was also an HTC Trophy. Then I upgraded to the Lumia 822 and will switch back and forth between the Nexus 5X and the Lumia 822 w/ Windows 10. I have confidence this time around for Windows 10 Mobile.
  • Fist bump fellow HTC trophy owner. I wish I had your optimism, mine has run out.
  • >dark side
    Nice star wars reference there.
  • That was a nice childhood but I like that it grown up,cause if it stayed the child forever, we would see market share drop more and more.
    Now with new Universal Win10 it has more then ever chance to become important OS. Specially if we see more devices from other companies using it (hope for some high end)
    If it fails, people won't have any other choice than using Android (or iOS if they have 900€ to spare)
  • How do I get that lockscreen image with Windows 10 logo? It's beautiful.
  • It was yesterday's (30 Nov 2015) Bing image. Today's has a similar color scheme.
  • I miss the Photos app design... Setting a picture as wallpaper of app is just beautiful... Photos app in WP8.1 & Windows 10 Mobile may have good features but UI is best there And functional Me Tile v/s non functional Me Tile now Commenting on facebook posts through people hub is now not there
  • I too miss the photos hub from windows phone 8, Microsoft should consider putting it back in the OS.
  • The 8.0 Photos app had a 'carousel' feature that was fantastic for zipping through pictures without needing to go back into the gallery view. You're looking at a full-screen photo; you pinch out and it shrinks enough to see the pictures ahead of and behind it; then with a quick swipe the roll of photos smoothly zips by; tap on the one you want and it deftly zooms back in. It felt so effortless and smooth. Sadly they dropped it with 8.1.
  • I'm asking myself why they took this away... This was really a cool feature...
  • I miss this too.
  • What was another great feature in the Photo Hub that was removed is when a friend in Facebook uploaded a photo it would show up in your Photo Hub.  You could see it without having to go into Facebook.  And I'm not talking about news.  Just photos.  The more I think about it, the more I get a little bit upset.  :/
  • That's on Facebook not MS
  • I too miss that feature.
  • I will hate Microsoft for eternity on giving up on panoramas, hubs and people-centric OS. They were happy to shell out cash for 10 years for Xbox 360, they should have done the same with Windows Phone. They should have made Windows Phone 7 better. But they made Windows Phone 7, an Android. I guess the power of people was too much (pun intended, or is it irony?).
     
  • Ah, back when things were simple, like being able to rely on the built in music player.
  • Groove is not reliable? I find it quit reliable.
  • There are a few things not working well on groove. Syncing and showing artist images were better back in the days. WP8 music player also had a recently added list. And at least for my Lumia 920, groove sometimes stops playing music and isn't as fast as the music player on WP8.  edit: I do't know why, but I have an Artist beginning with N listed in V. Has never happened before, even on W10 before hard reset the Artist was listet in N.
  • Even the start screen is not reliable anymore
  • It more often than not doesn't output any audio and the only fix I've found is a soft reset.
  • No it's not as reliable, it used to load with ease, everythinig was instant and never had much of a problem with artwork. Groove isn't terrible but the built in player never ever screwed up.
  • Always had a problem with album artwork on Zune. Never have a problem on Groove. Every single album has a album pic and tile art.
  • really, Zune music player made that so easy. Groove music always has music i get from Music pass of course, but the music i import from itunes on my OneDrive, hit or miss...
  • Windows Phone. Put People First :'( Will miss it! Nice article.
  • I miss Rooms the most. In fact, Rooms were the "killer app" that brought me (and thus my entire family too) to the OS. We struggled through limited apps and a lack of flagship phones, but getting rid of Rooms was the final straw and I switched my family over to iOS (mainly) because of that loss.
  • Ironically I'm using my Lumia 1020 running Windows 10
  • Id really like to miss making excuses for the poor app market. Granted I get that MS is really trying to get devs to port IOS, its still a big deal to many folks.
  • Love the piece Jason! The focus on people was key and as you drive home has been diluted. Although I am sure you were saying it tongue-in-cheek, but outgrowing aesthetics is counterintuitive, counterproductive and plain old sad. Back to the old PC stereotype of John Hodgman instead of something people-centric and inspired.
  • Yes, tongue in cheek! I see that too.
  • The thing I miss about WP8 is Nokia and their ability to release flagship devices that don't disappoint. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Here here on this article.
  • Summary: Life used to be more fun and more enjoyable, but now, although it can be a drudgery, I seem to be able to accomplish more, or am I. Many of us want to keep the enjoyable aspects of long ago as we seek to accomplish more.
  • Before I share my experiences with Windows phone, I'd like to thank the thief for stealing my Xperia Play. Without the phone being stolen, I don't know whether I would ever be with Windows. My first phone was the Lumia 800. I switched to Windows because of Xbox integration, People hub , Zune, Internet Explorer and Lumia apps. Once I switched, I never looled back. After Lumia 800, I owned an 820, 925 and 1020. Now my 950 is on its way. The only thing I miss is People's hub. Other than that I love how Windows phone evolved
  • Great article! You said almost everything I miss in windows phone.
  • The people hub was a great idea but you have to understand why it can't exist anymore.  First there are a lot of social and chat apps out there, which ones to include and not include?  Secondly, those apps are constantly changing and with the People hub being built right into the OS, that leads to lots of OS updates.  Not as simple as just updating an app.  Third, those companies like Facebook and Twitter want you using their apps, not just using the core of their service in another place.   All in all an excellent idea but one that could not live on, whether it was on Windows Phone or any other platform. 
  • This comment. Read this up people! Some harsh reality right here.
  • Yes this is the reason why people hub is removed + big social companies won't like that there apps are not being used and those companies forced microsoft to discontinue people's hub...
  • The Facebook app hasn't updated more frequently than the OS. And W10M apparently is supposed to update more frequently than WP8 did. So the argument is not valid. In W10M we have lost LinkedIn integration altogether due to the decision to stop integrating it into the OS.
  • I miss the word Nokia :-), would have been GREATER if it was there
  • Good article. I didn't get into WP until after 8.1 had been released, so I don't really have much of a history with this stuff like you. That said, I wonder if the addition (and promotion) of hamburger menus so developers wouldn't be so easily scared off was worth it, sacrificing some of the personality of the OS.
  • Windows 8 (childhood) was free, fun, and not tied down by external "norms". Windows 10 (adulthood) is boring, business, and conforming. Windows 10 is stuck in a cubical. Windows 8 was a rebel who smoked weed and stayed out past curfu
  • I love this analogy HAHAHA
  • This is what you can an analogy. Much better than the AC's car analogies
  • Its so nice to read an article like this. I started Lumia journey with 520 and now I am with Lumia 1020 and I am happy with it because though it won't listen to me correctly, it never irritates me. I'm gonna continue with Lumia forever whether its good or not. The best thing I like in Lumias' is the Camera. The only backdrop is the Apps but its a completely different OS to deal with. More user friendly interface doesn't seem to be unique, so only unique people love to use a classic OS. :)
  • Some people here would argue they would rather have more integration back than have more apps.
  • I think I'll just miss the general WP-look. With Windows 10, the UI is changing, not necessarily radically, but everything's being retouched or redesigned. And while it might be the way to go, it's not quite the same face that my Lumia 800 bore when I got my first Windows Phone. It probably won't stop me from upgrading my Lumia 1020 if an OTA upgrade becomes available, but if MS won't update my phone officially then I'll be quite happy just to sit with 8.1 until I upgrade (which will admittedly be painful, because even still today, nothing beats that camera.) I think I'll need to try out W10 on other Lumia's before updating.  
  • Great Article, but i guess what we're really saying is... bring back hubs... i certainly found them more intuitive, and quicker...and well, more aesthetically pleasing.   We're got used to an app focussed world, but i can't be alone in finding it a chore. when i want to communicate with someone, i don't really care what medium i send a short message on, as long as it gets there.   when i want to edit, or browse my photos, i don't really care which cloud they're stored on. (and in future, when i'm browsing video content, i'd like not to care whether the content was on netflix, xbox video bbc iplayer etc.) but i guess we've had to throw these things away, because fundamentally, what's in it for the app writers?  Facebook, Netflix etc. seem to want full control of their experiences, even if, imo as a user, it is sub-par from a ux perspective.
  • I miss people hub... Alot
  • what is wrong with this site?  The video ads or something keep it from functioning very well on Windows 10.  It also causes the fan on Surface Pro 4 to go wild.
  • It's the ads. It's self-abusive to try and use their website without an ad blocker running. But that also goes for a lot of other sites on the Internet. Websites are shooting themselves in the foot by not keeping the ads to a reasonable amount, and driving people toward ad blockers. Once you've experienced ad-free Internet, you'll never go back.
  • The big problem with the early integrated messaging in Windows Phone was that it was never reliable, especially with Facebook.
  • Since I'm using Windows Devices when it was Windows 6/6.5(Samsung Omnia Pro). Talking about the facebook integration, it's not Microsoft who changed. It's Facebook's brand new Graph API which doesn't let you use messaging app anymore.
  • 50 years from now, we'll be using our contact lens smart phones laughing about the days of having to touch a glass screen to interact. "That's a baby's toy!"
  • Windows mobile will still be one iteration from being revolutionary 
  • I completely agree with this article. I miss the "people centric" paradigm of the OS too. But I also knew that the OS would be broken down and be more "app centric" when I was using Windows 7. Because MS wasn't (and probably wouldn't ever be) fast enough to incorporate all the new features/new apps into the OS's hubs. 
  • I'm still on WP8.1 so don't miss anything. All that stuff mentioned about WP8 I don't miss at all. I don't use social media and care more about the content of my photos than the app that displays them. The one thing I miss dearly is Bing Maps from WM6.5 for nav. Here Drive doesn't do traffic in my area for some reason.
  • Best article to ever come up from this site. Will save this and show it to my kids in future. I will them "This is how it was kid, this is how it was".
  • photos hub was the most attractive part for me.. i miss this alot.. msft should change the background of photos hub by displaying favorite images just like WP8 rather than just a black background..
  • Windows Phone 8 was amazing for me too. I feel though maybe this is not the best timing for this kind of nostalgia, I feel it adds just another chip to the already-burning bonfire of rejection of Windows 10 Mobile and to some extent the new flagships. But that's my 2 cents. The article itself, taken out of context was nice.
  • Yes MS removed some of the best features with me and people hub. I really love that people centric style
  • Anyone with update/news on HERE Maps on W10M????????????????????????????
  • I will hate Microsoft forever for destroying a beautiful OS and making it Carbon Copy of Android and IOS
  • a bad copy at that
  • Agreed lol
  • An ode is a poem, these are typically rhyming and are intended to be sang musically....this is playing pretty loose with the term ode...I expected to here the WC staff singing. But I agree with the content.
  • Oh brother...
  • Like many, I miss the seamless integration between the phone and social networks.  It's too bad they could create a "social bus" that would allow them to easily add newer networks into that model.  I could easily post to multiple networks without even opening an app.  We had it good and most people can't grasp this even after explaining it to them. I also miss the advanced bing features like reading a book cover, bar code scanning, music searches, translate, etc...  Yes, this is all available as an app but it was so much easier as part of the OS.  I know that Cortana has music searching, but she's not nearly as fast as the old method.  Remember "smoked by windows phone?" - they couldn't pull that off today. I also miss the 8.0 feature where you could pinch a photo and go back to filmstrip view.  Again, this was another small feature that added up to a great user experience. Likewise, remember when you were in camera mode and would see a hint of your last photo taken and scroll back through your camera roll?  Not sure why these features were ever removed. Finally, the search results in Windows10 mobile and not nearly as aesthetic as those in Windows phone 8.x. 
  • I don't miss anything about 8.1--I'm still using it! I plan to stick with it as long as possible as I am not a glutton for the punishment you get with a new software release. From all I gather W10 mobile is just not ready for prime time. I know someone who is extremely close to the situation and even he is experiencing all sorts of bugs and problems with his personal device, and this is a person far more technically saavy than most--he works in the industry. 
  • I really miss it ...
    #loveforWP8
  • Zune,Social Integration,Panoramas,Hubs,Better Developer support now it barely seems like we have any developers who support it I wanna cry lol 8.1 was when it started going downhill
  • I miss Windows mobile 2003 SE on my i mate. No micro SD just a SD slot, infrared sensor and a stylus. The OS resembled XP with the same desktop and start menu plus full access no restrictions so I could change registry's I could also download .exe for "apps & games" having infrared I used it as a remote for my tv ect. Was such a great OS I haven't left Windows since. Nowadays I like were Windows 10 is heading a modern XP is what I see. With the mobile side I don't think I could live with out the live tiles. I like how its not finished allowing it to grow. There's still a complexity to Windows which will always keep me away from Apple and Android.
  • Windows 10 mobile design = Android + IOS + abc + xyz
    Windows Phone 8 design= Just only Windows Phone
  • Omg, everything was so beautiful.
  • I'm still one WP8.1 - and from what I've heard, may not be able to ever upgrade to WP10 because it may not be available for my device (ATIV S).  I was forced to do a factory reset after MS pushed out that WP10 preview update that wasn't compatible with my phone - and it's never been the same since.  It's sluggish at times, apps are sometimes slow to open, the games app crashes, some settings don't save when I reboot the phone  etc etc etc.  So, I will be looking to upgrade my phone soon - but my carrier in Canada (Rogers) doesn't offer a single Windows Phone - not one.  And, no - I'm not willing ro shell out over $700 to get an unlocked phone from Microsoft.  Although I love Windows Phone, I may be forced to jump ship.
  • I totally agree with this article. If they didnt embrace the app centric "now" they probably would have became irrelevant and companies wouldnt support them because they want traffic. WP8 deviated the user away from apps to be more productive (which they did extrordinarily), but right now in these times its all app-centric. The ones that knew will reminis about the amazing capability. The ones thatsimply dont know will continue to ask about apps.
  • Kind if a bummer that smart phone users are so app-centric now.
  • My first smart phone was a HTC HD7 with Windows Phone 7. What drew me initially to Windows Phone was purely the live tiles, Xbox Games and the ability to view my facebook feed along with my contacts together in the people hub. Everything else for me was icing on the cake. I came to enjoy being able to post to all my social networks at once within the phone OS. Upgraded to 8 and 8.1 using Windows Phone Hackers 7eighter tool. It also was great. Took a bit of adjusting. Once T-Mobile got the 925...two weeks later my wife and I were in the store picking two up for ourselves. Everything to me is coming along nicely. Have been running preview build on my 925 for a while, while my wife has chosen to stay on 8.1 Update 2 till the "Official Release" she has dabbled on my phone...letting her explore the new 10.0 Facebook app (which is far better...still room to grow...but far better) and the new OS setup. She also likes the looks of it. I think the only thing she'll. Miss is a direct link in a contacts card to their Facebook pictures. We are patiently waiting for the price of the 950 to come down before we buy them. Hoping also for a long shot that Microsoft might let other carriers, like T-Mobile, carry their new phone. I am enjoying where the OS is headed...although being a simplistic person and not really "needing" all the new features and apps that pop up, it's good for the platform to be on par with other Mobile OS' out there. Was tempted to go to Android recently just for the rest of the waiting period before we are able to get the new Lumia's but I think now I will just stick with my trusty old 925 with a broken earpiece.
  • I think most of these features will be added in the future.
  • Win 8.1 is the best improvement in MS PHONES till Stable version of win10m... That's all!!!
  • Destroying elegant functional fast people hub was Microsoft decision. If they really wanted to keep it they could have done it. Everything can be negotiated and agreed if there is the will for that. Resources and bargain chips is something MS does not lack, for now. Soon it may be too late to take the stand and that soon won't be Nadella 'soon'.
  • Awesome i wish Microsoft hears out thoughts please Microsoft do us a favor please bring these features back somehow to some extent
  • The Photo Hub and Rooms where the two killer features which could have propelled WP into the stratosphere. Instead with the 8.1 update they turned the most spectacular photo hub on any platform in to the drabbest.
    Furthermore the lack of advertising and under development of the rooms feature was nothing short of tragic.
    Back in the day there was a buzz about WP beginning with the 920 onwards the platform was perceived to be young and different it was so close to catching the zeitgeist MS ruined this!
    Now it's 2015 and the platform cannot even produce a semi decent FB app Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Have you used the new Facebook Beta 10.0 app?
  • Awesome article.
    Feeling nostalgic.
  • *kicks rocks* Yeah, I miss much of that stuff too....  Nice read.
  • I miss many things in wp8 but I love w10m It's getting better everyday with new possibilities
  • Hey anyone is receive an update on 10586 mobile lumia 535
  • Rooms, people hub, Me tile, simple music+ videos, photo hub, the Old Nokia Music, messaging. Those days were awesome
  • Couldn't of said it better ! Truly miss the old beauty of the OS. Maybe as 10 grows we can see some of that beauty return. Hopefull wishing
  • I do miss features from the pre-windows phone 7 environments. Windows Mobile was quite possibly the most customizable mobile OS out there. Need your phone to work with unsupported hardware? make it happen. want your phone to do something it wasn't meant to? do it. the list was endless, and DIDN'T require you to unlock a boot loader, or rooting/jailbreaking your device or waiting for the OS developer to add APIs or hooks to make it work. I used to tweak the Bluetooth settings on my Samsung Blackjack, HTC Tylt, HTC Fuze and LG Expo all the time so the volume wasn't sooooo low in my car. Mess with video driver settings to improve video playback. replace the splash screen and more without loosing features due to having to unlock the botloader. Hell, my LG Expo even had a GREAT fingerprint scaanner that worked 100% of the time AND doubled as an additional interface (you could swipe left/right/up/down) not to mention a decent pico projector that worked AWESOME with my Slingbox!and. composite video out (video out from phones wasn't a big thing until later on) was also useful. I used it, A LOT with my car's HU for GPS, using Tom Tom's app. Ahh, the good ole days of tweaking smartphones.
  • When I bought the Lumia 920 in early 2013, what I really loved about the phone was how the software worked. It was a seamless experience - one that was user centric. It didn't require that many apps in the first place because most of the information was already native to the OS. The hubs were truly immersive, something that iOS or Android will never have (who knows!) and were a key differentiator. The integrated Facebook messaging broke only a couple of times for me when FB changed their backend stuff but 90% of the time it was flawless and smooth. The Me tile was truly great and had at a point of time, sparked a debate on whether or not to have a notification centre in the first place. The Photos hub was the pick of the lot. It was a visual feast. Fast forward to 2015 (2016 almost) and we have an OS, although vastly superior and capable, does not inherit the user centric approach of Windows Phone and is more of a iOS/Android wannabe. The old People Hub was a pleasure to work with. The new People App is a laggy phonebook with hideous round contact pictures (I mean, who makes these decisions??). Irrespective of the fact, whether it was Microsoft's decision to go with an app model or whether it was developers hoping for more direct traffic via their official apps, the blame ultimately lies on Microsoft for not having capitalized on the positives of platform and the abyssmal marketing of the product. Not many knew of the capabilities of the 920 and not many were aware of the seamless nature of the WP OS because MS didn't care about it and it was a step-motherly treatment. That said, I really wish that Windows 10 creates niche product categories and MS finally puts an end to re-iterating the wheel with every update. Relying on telemetry is a very good thing and must be appreciated but relying on common sense is much more rewarding.  
  • Screen shot link
    http://1drv.ms/1SuE61y
    Now i am not upgrade my phone
  • Great piece of writing there.  Reading it brings a tear to my eye I miss all the things mentioned, except rooms but that's because I'm the only one in the family who used a Windows Phone so I never used it.  Additionally what I miss is the thoughfulness that when into Metro that made UI attractive and easy to use.  Gone are the subtle hints along the screen's edge that there is more content to see with a simple swipe (this gave me the sense that our phones' screen is but a small window to the large sea of content that's out there).  Also gone are the context menus that span the width of the screen that allow you to press anywhere along the same row to select an option (whereas now you to be very precise with where you pressed).  Gone (mostly) are the pivots that made one-handed use a breeze (instead of that now we have copied Apple's hack of pulling the screen halfway down). Sadly with w10m the OS has lost much of its character and charm that set it apart from Anroid and iOS.
  • I miss Zune support and Rooms.
  • Jason Ward, you might be my favorite writer on this site!
    I miss the social media integration the most, hands down, and I agree with basically everything you said.
    One thing I miss that you didn't mention though was the structure of the xbox hub. I liked that you HAD to go to the hub to play games, it made me feel like I was entering into the world of xbox each time. Plus the greater support for xbox branded games obviously. XD
  • Couldn't have put it any better, I miss the beauty of our old OS that made me fall in love. Maybe 10 as it grows will bring some of that beauty back !
  • I remember Daniel use to be way more excited and passionate to tell us great new things that were coming now it barely seems like he gives a crap and he's just doing his job lol
  • Please don't let your 1020 grow up. Windows 8 was beautiful.
  • Damn Jason, you've been reading my mind.  Or you've been reading my comments.  :)  Thanks for this article.  It expresses the love I feel for Microsoft's early vision. My feelings for a Windows Phone has waned after trying out Windows 10.  If you wan't to equate it to a movie I'd equate it to "Invasion of the Body Snatchers".  It may look like the one you loved, but it's just not the same.  They've changed.  Outsiders may not see it.  But you do.  Again, like with all your other articles.  This one is just as good!  Thanks!
  • All they did with 10 is make it more uglier added more features and made it support the latest hardware and took away the great features what made it
  • Great article! How do you like your 950 XL compared to your 1520?
    Full disclosure: I have an Icon and a 1520, and I'm trying to decide between the 950 & 950 XL, or are they worth the upgrade?
  • I thought the elimination of integrated messaging/social networking with FB and Twitter was due mostly to the vendors and not Microsoft. One reason was everytime those vendors upgraded their services, the integration was broken which required Microsoft to release an update to the entire OS. Now those functions are seperate apps from the OS which allows for more frequent updates. I hope that one day that full app integration can be brought back in but I cannot see those vendors allowing it as they want to force use of their own messaging and app programs. I will say that before, I had so much ammo to promote Windows Phone to friends with the deep social integration and they were impressed. I even got several to jump on the platform. Now I feel like all I have is that Office and Outlook is built in so it integrates nicely with my company. And to that the response generally is... Meh... I will stick with my Droid/iPhone that 99% of the world is using. Being that Windows Phone 10 is essentially the 3rd ground up reboot of the entire OS, I hope they can catch up quickly and begin innovating to push ahead of the other platforms for a change. Out of all my friends and coworkers, I am the only one using Windows Phone. Maybe Surface Phone will be the platform that stirs interest because I dont think the 950/950x will get it done.
  • If 3rd party apps can tie into messaging app, I think they will be onto something. It would be great to select a contact to message in the messages app, and be able to select whatever app is active for that particular contact. I only had Windows Phone 8 for like 2 months, and didn't really use that feature. Thanks to this article for reminding us all what people are missing. Hopefully this integration makes it's way back into the Universal Messaging appreciate.
  • Let's be honest. The things that we liked about WP are the things that kept apps from being created and being updated often. The deep integration in WP 7, 7.5, 8 required unique apps that could no be ported to/from other environments. So we're getting more apps now, but they are not unique in their experience. MS had to follow the market. People like apps for some crazy reason, versus experiences.
  • Where are your so called developers now?lol
  • Poetry!!
  • For me it was the Xbox compatitie that did it, earning achiements on my phone was a blast. But now 4 years later I think I need a new phone
  • Excellent article! I dearly miss posting to Facebook from the me tile. What I miss most is the photos hub. The panoramic background image was so beautiful. Also, if Windows 10 doesn't show music artist photos on the lock screen when playing music, then I'll miss that feature too. Was always cool to play tunes on xbox music and have the lock screen show a nice photo of the artist. Metro design and the hardware design of the Lumia 920 are what drew me to Windows Phone. It was the most beautiful combination of hardware and software that I've ever seen.
  • Mistake on headline, should be OLD not ODE
  • Not to be snarky, but do you understand the meaning of "ode"?  Or are you trying to be clever and somehow it just went over my head?  :)
  • Another great read Jason thanks! I miss just about everything about WP 8 & 8.1. Integrated social messaging, the photos hub, people hub, great battery life, stable OS, etc. So far there are only a few mostly cosmetic changes I like in W10 like the new action center with flashlight, transparent background, and new color themes. MS should have just added those features and given us a very STABLE WP 8.2 for now until they catch up on all their other projects. The Outlook Mail app still sucks in both W10 desktop and mobile and never syncs on it's own no matter how I change the sync settings! Seriously MS? Fix this simple stuff!!!   And bring back the Me Tile MS!!!!!!!!!!!
  •   So far highly disagreed with the last point (Going forward).... I still find it hard to fathom the loss of those HUBs and messaging powers. the beautiful and creative functionalities and most of all ME TILES. I really MISS those.  
  • People hub, People hub, People hub...My most used feature. I felt connected with everybody. Now it feels like a chore to go to the facebook app, tweeter app, etc.. I don't keep up with anyone.    People Hub/people centric features of WP7/WP8 was the wow factor I always show off. That is gone now. Hopefully MS candevelop a new app that bring those features back.
  • To be honest, I only miss the people hub and most of all, ME TILE!
    People tile is so hideous designed and the functionality. I mean, checking your friends and the gay looking accent color comes with black borders up and down and then there is no sign of ME TILE. This is my only gripe about W10
    I'll be keeping my 1520 with W8.1
    And the hubs part, each company wants users to use your app and lets say any part is broken, BAAM wait for an OS update and everyone knows how the OS situation is. There is a reason why MS has made everything an app.
  • RIP The Mighty Windows Phone 8
  • WP8 surprised me by being different *and* very practical at the same time, in W10M there's very little surprise.
    In WP8 I liked the integration in general, W10M feels like many apps tied together with band aid, some of them of poor quality (outlook).
    WP8 was optimized for Smartphones with touch screens, W10M is made to look and work just like desktop which often isn't the most practical on a smartphone.
  • I actually like the direction that Microsoft has taken and it's largely that I agree with your assessment that the OS is "Growing up." In some ways, I feel the OS is really coming full circle though. Windows Mobile 5 and 6 were really for the business professional in their design. Windows 10 Mobile is going in that direction. The OS grew up and got a job. Just take a look what tech specs Microsoft lists for the Lumia 950 and 950 XL on the Microsoft Store website (at least the US site). There's reference to MDM solutions that it's compatible with as well as enterprise capabilities. A good portion of it is information that a high school kid, for example, couldn't care less about. Continuum demos largely, if not exclusively, focus on using Office. It's a focus of a phone that does work. The only thing I miss is the design language. And I understand the reason for the change. There's a desire to make the phone more approachable. I hope that if Microsoft becomes a bigger player in the market, they start bringing back some of the old design language.
  • Thank you so much! I want to cry. I really do. Photos, the me tile, and everything else is perfect. I miss windows phone 8 more than anything now. My 930 upgraded to 10 makes me depressed :S
  • Lmao
  • What I'll miss: group tiles with social media integration, pinning office documents to start, editing office documents, tasks in my calendar, weather on lock screen, reaching IE favorites with a single tap, searching my phone and calendar, LinkedIn integration in the people hub, contact history, back and forward in internet browser etc etc.
  • Good article. I miss what they've taken out of WP tbh, things used to work better.  While they've made some improvements along the way, the things mentioned in this article have all regressed.  Now instead of WP being the other OS that did things differently and worked well, just most people didn't really know about it, now it's the OS that revolves around apps, but without the app support the other OS' have, most people still don't know about it and it's lost some decent USPs.  Continuum,IMO, is not enough to get people on board.  So why would anyone try it.  
  • Beautiful words...i can truly relate. If i hadn't bought the Lumia 520 back when i had to pick my first ever smartphone, I may have never bought a windows phone. But that phone changed everything. I couldn't imagine buying an android or iphone, because of the unique things about Windows Phone. It HAS matured, and I, like you and many others, feel like we've lost so much in the process. Many things that weren't big, but important. 
  • For one, I'm still pissed, that in W10 in phone menu there are two searches, one for history and another for phonebook. So, If I search over history by mistake and person is not found, I need to escape to the top level phone menu, choose oroper search and - reenter all the data!? Wtf? In Wp8 i just pressed the proposition to extend search to phonebook.
    As an insider I did give few feedbacks about that, but nobody cares. That just sucks, why two searches? Clumsy and silly.
  • Photos hub :\ how amazing it used to be. Agreed things have to change but why make it bland and boring when it was beautiful already. I hate that the photos up opens all my collections instead of giving me albums. Fb integration is another obvious thing I miss.
  • Reading ur article made me feel like i was living my own childhood with windows phone. So real and true. I also started my journey with L800 wp7. Then 7.5 then 7.8. Next i moved on to L1520 and used 8 & 8.1. And now using W10M TP. Its like i experiencing Microsoft's OS growing young in my own palms. Its just amazing and m waiting for many more features that Microsoft is going to offer.
    Love WP ❤
  • I was with Windows Phone since 2011. I started with 7.5. I will say that every update added good features, but eliminated a unique aspect of the OS. Slowly, Microsoft made the OS more kin to its rivals. It got to the point where I felt like I was the only distinguishing feature was the app gap. There definitely is one, it just makes a different impact on each user. At the end of the day I switched carriers and needed a new phone to work on the network. We were still a month+ away from the 950's and being honest, they didn't look that great to me. I ended up going to my first ever Android. I bought a Moto X Pure. The end result is that as much as I thought WP was alining itself with Android, it was still far superior to Android in daily function. Android has more features, but they were features that I didn't need or want on a Windows phone. I love the app selection, but it is an even wash when comparing the core functionality of the phone.
  • I miss People Hub, Photos Hub, Me Tile and Pivot. I don't have that excitment like I used to have. I was always bragging about how much better WP was than iOS and Android. I would show them how fast you could do things. Hell, I have even converted 6 iOS users to WP and they are still on WP system. Now with WP10 Mobile I'm not so inclined to show it off. Don't get me wrong WP10 isn't that bad, it's just doesn't provide that excitment. It was nice being different.
  • What is wrong with Microsoft? How can they continue to screw up and piss off people so consistently?
  • Fantastic article
  • Yeah, it's a bit sad that features that made WP stand out in the competition has gone lost. I used to have a Samsung ativ s with 8.0 out of the box, and I got dissapointed with the 8.1 update. No beautiful photos app anymore. Still, we got the notification center. But at that moment with 8.0, WP was ahead of the time:)
  • What I miss most were the old photos hub and people hub.
  • You took the words right out of my mouth
  • I get the article and I miss the people hub and the rooms but I can see why they were removed, nostalgia is great but it's not a reason to stop progression, there are more great things in windows 10 and the latest 8.1 version, groove is excellent and the film tv app is better than the original, continuum is going to be amazing and for myself at least give me the device I've envisioned since my first smartphone.
  • I really miss the Photos Hub. I first fell in love with it on my yellow Nokia Lumia 620 then to my yellow Nokia Lumia 1520. I remember opening my Photos Hub every now and then to check the new background on it. Then I swipe to the right to see how beautiful the effect is. And that huge Photos heading. I really really miss that!
  • Same here. Used to open it every time, curious as to what background i might get. Miss those old good days, and look at the Photos app now. Lol.
  • I miss Rooms, and Group me app is thousands of miles behind that feature.
  • Nice **tears rolling down my eyes** nice one
  • Great article! Almost made me cry!
  • None of the app that is present now on any platform now was as good as the PHOTOS app of WP8. It was the best and the most beautiful app I've ever used.
  • Miss Me Tile. Yes. Excellent article.
  • But almost forgot what I am missing now. Had many changes in 8.1
  • My history on WP doesnt go back all that far. I was on Android from Froyo through KitKat. My first WP was a 520 on win 8. I really never liked that phone. Then a 635 that i genuinely loved followed by my 640 which i like a lot. Wp 8.1 brought pull down notifications. To me a phone is just not worth having without this feature.
  • I love your article. You made me realize that yes, I loved Windows Phone 8 - and that I simply try to live with Windows 10 mobile. What I loved, is gone. Now Windows Phone is almost like any other mobile OS, minus the apps. I still love my new 950 XL despite all this, but I'm sad about what could have been.
  • I truely like 8.1 much that than 10. I wish I could have it on a 950.
  • From the Me tile, I could check in to Facebook. On trips it included a map, again, directly in the OS, not opening Facebook.
  • Be the way, Jason, the Titan was my first windows phone following an iPhone when I left Windows Mobile. The shine certainly wore it weight on the Apple. I put off moving to wp8 in hopes HTC would release their Zenith phone as 4.7" seemed prefect to me. Finally got the 920 when the 1020 pushed is price down. Now have a 930 and cruising for a 950 soon.
  • Nice post and yeah the functions and integration with facebook the tile me with the whole social network stream and the messaging with facebook messenger built in were a very nice and useful thing because could get all my messages without open separated apps usually I check the facebook and twitter and it's annoying open up two applications when in the past everything was just at one click of distance, but also wet can't deny that from Windows phone 8 to 8.1 and 10 we gained other stuffs although we lost in the road few that made unique the OS
  • Your ode sounds more like my swan song to WP8/8.1. You're spot on with this article - and it opened my eyes to why I dropped out after 8.1 and why I won't invest in W10. The loss of said functions was what made me jump ship. And, that "app gap" we (former) WP users suffered from wasn't just a simple bagatelle no more. Now I've got plenty, and the plethora - some times overwhelming - is a better issue than insufficiency.
  • Hub, photos background, Me Tile!!!!!!!
  • Microsoft should open up most of the integration stuff as an API for app developers, like the messaging integration. For example, WhatsApp should be able to plug into that API so we can write via WhatsApp with the messaging app. They did that with the contacts API in WP8.1 - you can go to a Facebook or Twitter profile directly from a contact. But did WhatsApp use this? No. Did 6Tag/Instagram use this? No. It's sad. Maybe it limits their ad revenue, but maybe they are just lazy. I wish this would be used more by developers.
  • Great article. Facebook chat integration with messages
    Music+Videos app
    Me tile I kinda ditched Windows Phone now but I will be coming back if they play the cards right. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I agree. Windows Phone 7.8 / 8.0 were beautiful. The design of the OS with pages flowing as you wiped right was lovely. I miss the people hub and being able to pin my favourite people to the home screen. I much prefer live tiles and the simple counters on the lock screen to Notification Centres which I really don't use. The old hardware used to be great as well - Lumia 800 Cyan.  In spite of moving to iOS for certain features I loved Windows Phone in way that I don't love iOS. I've not used Windows Phone 10 but it sounds from the comments that it has lost some of the most loved features :(  
  • You hit it all on the nail except the addition of first party apps. Oh, how I miss all the functions you mentioned from WP8 & you forgot the days of battery life that Win10 has destroyed to barely an eight hr day on my 1520. I currently use a M8 for windows on W8.1 and usually can almost get a full forty-eight hours. Win10Mobile will probably be the last OS on Windows I use. With it's copy cat like attitude and no developers climbing on board, I believe my desktop will stay Microsoft and phone Apple so that I can at least enjoy family and friends socially. I feel so archaic when talking phones because that's what I have just a phone! Windows phone had so much promise in the US but now it's just a device that satisfies other countries but the US. Web wrapping for production has gotten tiresome and all of my Microsoft apps are on other platforms! Thanks Windows it "was" fun being different but now it's down right annoying...... Mystah_T
  • I miss the fact that I didn't constantly get nothing but "resuming" or "loading" while trying to use the phone. Even to do something as basic as making a call. Lots of new features and innovation mean diddly squat if they don't actually work. WP8 was smoooooth. Denim most definitely is not.
  • Can someone send this thread to the person at Microsoft who is responsible for the UI.
  • I really do miss the Me Tile and general deeper integration with People. I loved being able to click on a friend and see their latest feed, allowing me to bypass opening up Twitter/Facebook or whatever and simply see all of their tweets/posts/photos and whatevers in one central place. 
  • Nice article. I only know that Windows Phone has matured into an OS that runs everything iOS and android apps but has live tiles.
  • THE PHOTOS APP PLEASE :'(
  • I can't believe it's been five years with Windows Phone \ Mobile. My wife and I both got smartphones at the same time, but she got an android. She went through two of them while I was still on my first WP7. She decided to go with Windows in 2014 and haven't looked back. Now my two sons and my mom are pushing Lumia 640s! Dec 10 - HTC HD7
    Oct 13 - Nokia Lumia 920
    Nov 15 - Microsoft Lumia 950XL
    ........... - Microsoft Surface Phone
  • Let be real Microsoft drop the ball so many time with 8 and 8.1 that they should be ready to push w10 mobile like crazy now
  • Great article. Made me realise again how unique and cool WP was and how much of that is sorely missing from W10M. The new features are great but the downgraded design language, compromised UI and lack of any WOW factor are really disappointing. It just feels like a poorly done Android and iOS mashup in comparison.
  • I love how Jason's write ups are not "oooh....Microsoft is awesome. if windows phone is still not selling it's Nokia's mistake" type. LOL. Jokes apart, awesome article and it's always fun to read his articles.
  • All the the things you have said...
  • Wooo ! What a masterpiece of an article ! You reflected my EXACT feelings through it. I couldn't have expressed it better (and will never be able as english is not my native language !) Just feel like we are mind twins now ;-) Thanks
  • "the hub provided a comprehensive view of a contact. It was designed to be a one-stop-shop for communication eliminating the need to use separate apps to communicate with a person." ...and here we have the reason why we have an app gap. With Microsoft's insistence in aggregating everything in one place, app devs were turned off at the notion they wouldn't be able to make money from ad views. Unfortunately, instead of seeing the people centric philosophy of WP as progress, they saw it as MS once again forcing what they want on everyone. 
  • Change is the only thing thats constant!! 
  • One of the big downsides of WP focusing so heavily on the UX design is the kind of over-invested people it has attracted. Doesn't anyone remember that guy who thought introducing a third column on the start screen was sacrilege because it ruined the beauty of negative space? Such a huge douche you could have used him as a parade balloon
  • Great article!  You wrote to the things that many of us here have been feeling and thinking for some time now.   After reading this, and being on iOS for almost two months,  I felt the need to pick up my 1520 runing WM10 and remember what it used to be when it was loaded with 8.  I used the various lumia and ms cameras to see the difference between 20mp pureview and iOS 12mp iSight. Then, after frustrating and disgusted moments navigating the new OS,  I put it back down and used Hey Cortana for tomorrows calender,  for the weather and to sing me a song.  She is asleep again,  waiting for me to 'WANT' her, to give her the same attention she used to receive...and while I miss her so much,  I can't live with the rest. Funny, that during this 'moment' I was asked for feedback as to whether I would recommend to a friend (3).   My response wasn't pleasant and focused on these things we are now missing from a once great mobile OS.   RIP WM8  
  • Wow, very well written Jason, sometimes I really think I am the only person who likes Windows phones or uses the OS, then I remember the Windows Central Community and read Articles like this!!! I really do Miss the Social Integration, it used to be really easy to see updates from my friends and post something myself, I mean the app is fine, but I have had so much trouble with my 1020, I think I bought it in November, but when I came back from Holiday in America in March the next year (it had been in flight mode for two weeks) I switch the phone on and it crashes on me, ever since then I've had constant crashes or freezing, even after two trips to Nokia to be fixed, software updates (including the one which is meant to prevent random rebooting and crashing) and Factory resetting, I've still had to live with this for two years, that's why I will be updating to Windows 10, because I replaced my 5MP handheld camera ever since I got the Nokia N8, Preview 808 and of course the 1020, so I'm going to experiment with the 950 XL but if the pictures aren't up scratch or my personal satisfaction then I will still be carrying around my 1020 as my point and shoot camera!!!!
    I really preferred the Windows 8 gallery as well, and people who don't have Windows used to be impressed by this also, it's a little mundane now, hopefully they will change it up again to make it more pleasing to the Eye!!!!
    I'm going to update my laptop to Windows 10 shortly as well so I have One OS on my Phone, Xbox One and Laptop/PC, and that's what I call a Unified OS!!!! :P
  • I'm... just being honest... I miss Zune from Windows Phone 7. It was the only time I was ever excited and wowed by a media app, and I loved that all my media was in the same place. I miss the black backgrounds and panoramic artist photo. I miss the cool logo. I miss the even cooler tile. I miss the way everything seemed to work like a charm, and I was happy with the features I had instead of longing for Microsoft to hurry and catch up. In an effort to catch up with the competition, which is necessary... something huge was lost. I miss Zune. There. I said it.
  • Zune was amazing. A clear example of a better technology that lost in the marketplace. I still pick up my HTC Titan from time to time and marvel at the beauty and elegance of the media hub. Now I'm feeling nostalgic.
  • I feel exactly the same way. Walk in from work, drop my Lumia 900 on it's dock, update all my music and podcasts in the background  automatically. Then be able to use everything without an internet connection being mandatory ... The good old days.
  • I wish I could go back to WP8!
  • Jason, this was one of the best articles I've ever read on this site!  Such a great piece of writing. I don't quite share your oprimism.  I fear this direction will drive me away from WP.  What was good is no longer there.  I have the cash to buy a 950XL but it's running WP10 :(.  WP10 is a chore to use. Everytime MS pulls a feature in any product it goes back into a permant "working on it" pile until everyone that cares has forgotten. If it's going to work like andoid why not just use android?  At least there are apps and a bigger ecosystem on android.   
  • Really miss the photo hub. That was a great design.
  • Good read! Thanks for this article!
  • Thanks Kmin amd you're welcome🙂
  • Basically Microsoft strip one by one every thing that makes a Windows Phone . Microsoft Suck. and now windows 10 mobile looks and acts just like any android phone out there, and I wonder why they so shy with on/off supporting android app, just do it already .    
  • I 100% agree. I think they are moving away from what makes windows phone unique. Keep all the new stuff but no reason to get rid of the old. The games, people, and photo hub were totally unique to windows phone. Now I have to install some crappy group me app that I don' tlike and its clunky and not seamless like people hub. I digress. Point is they need to keep those features that attrracted me and people like me in the first place. Maybe I will add that to the MS suggestions site.  
  • Those are same sweet aspects of WP8 that captured me on particular time-frame. I still have Lumia 730 that will never grow beyond WP8. why the **** it evolution (Or Devolution) of OS happened.....?
  •     I miss the Pictures Hub the most.
  • You missed the music app from windows 8. Anyway, this is my favourite article till date. I almost cried while reading it. :')
  • Thanks so much Tejas🙂
  • I guess this has been one of my best reads ever on Windows Central. & **** true it's that People centric social networking in People hub, Messaging & Photos Hub were best & better than today's Windows 10's counterparts.
  • One item many folks have not commented on is the (apparent) depricated functionality of Group live tiles. In WP 8 and 8.1, a Group live tile would udpate when any member of the group contacted the user via phone, text, email, etc.  I have seperate group tiles for staff, executive managment, each project/client, and two boards.  With one glance at the start screen, I could be up-to-date with 70+ contacts.  In W10M, I have articulated pictures and I can send an email to an entire group.  Does anyone know a third party app that can replicate this lost functionality?
  • Yeah. I loved windows phone since the start after picking up a carrier unlocked Samsung focus for a trip to the UK. Got the Lumia 900, 1020 and the 1520.3 - I'm ok with the 1520.3 and windows 8.1 but it's a dead end - I don't think people will be writing for 8.1 much longer. I'm not upgrading to 10. it's just too much of a mess. Every build I've tried lasts a couple of days before some bug or another forces me to just roll back (the inability to train Hey Cortana in the last one I tried was the last rollback - it was supposed to be fixed - clearly it's not)  As timing would have it, my company gave us all Apple Watches and iPad Air2's, so I just went to AT&T and picked up an old 5s for $50 - I immediately see all the apps I've been missing on windows, but the whole experience is nowhere as good as WP 8  
  • Hubs especially the People hub was one of the few things I could show people - and they'd go wow, that's cool. I was always saying the analogy is iphone/android operating systems are like being in an empty corridor - you open a door that's an app and go into that room. To go to another app you go back to the corridor.  Windows Phone always felt like you were in one big room, with all the apps running at once. I guess when you're phone is novel and new but only has a small following - you have to come at the operating system again with your strengths - which for Microsoft is the huge number of Visual studio developers writing apps for Windows. Microsoft have suffered from fear of bad press, but they get bad press anyway no matter what they do.  Windows 10 though is new - and its the start of a long held dream to combine the OS across multiple form factors. That's something that no other operating system is even close to claiming.  So with Windows 10 the priority has GOT to be making sure the API is robust across all platforms PC, XBOX, Mobile so that developers can port their apps easily. I HOPE that after that happens - Microsoft can again port the hubs concepts across the entire Windows 10 ecosystem
  • I miss the fluidity, consistency and uniformity of Windows Phone 8 Ui throughout. There was something really clean, original and sophisticated about Windows Phone 8. Evolution and improvisation is not bad, no I am definitely not against it, but Microsoft should have and could have really improved on WP aesthetics instead of making Windows 10 Mobile another "me too". I mean look at the Dialer for an example, it totally looks like a custom Chinese launcher of Android. Also, the Home Screen has also gone far worse in Windows 10 Mobile. They should have kept the cleanliness and uniformity of WP, and then added a background wallpaper option.
    But let's not judge it for now, hoping things may improve in future. For now, all I can say is I really don't like Windows 10 Mobile and so much miss WP style. Microsoft could have easily added all the latest features without spoiling the clean pure Ui that WP was. Posted via my Samsung Galaxy S3 Neo which isn't as much abandoned as any Windows Phone on the Windows Central App for Android
  • <p>This is the main reasons why I replace my LUMIA 1020 WP 8.1 with a LUMIA 950 XL, the Windows 10 mobile I have seen much forward to.<br />
    <br />
    Hope that the apps developers use time to look at the oppunitties&nbsp;that future user costumers are looking for expl. here in Windows Phone Central,</p> <p>Thanks for the many relevant articles in this forum&nbsp;</p>
  • I miss the W8.1 contacts live tile with all the small live squares inside that showing different contacts...