A new home screen and a new colour scheme, that’s all you can see from the update.
For those early adopters, we know that our dream of long term OS update for Windows Phone 7 to 8 is all buy crushed to pieces. Well, commodification of hardware is probably the best thing ever happened to consumers and the greatest idiotic move for the business so they wont ever let that happen again.
For us, the consolation from Microsoft is Windows Phone 7.8, an update that mainly help you to fool the person next to you that you’re having the newest OS version (it’s not).
With that bitching though, I don’t really miss a lot of things from Windows Phone 8 compared to 7.8.
From the new user-facing features:
- Fast resume. This I can appreciate, to switch between several applications.
- IE 10. This too is a good addition. Some pages still doesn’t work well on WP7’s IE so hopefully this will bring more sites to be accessible.
- Background VoIP and chat, or in other words, background Skype. Just for that one apps because it will replace Live Messenger. But so far seems like Microsoft and Skype hasn’t iron out the problems.
- Rooms. This is interesting, but depend on ecosystem. I’m still sceptic of how well it would work the peoples I know are using Androids and have no interest in managing online calendar (Indonesian have a very “flexible” schedule that can easily “adjusted”).
- NFC & Wallet. NFC is still not widely adopted in Indonesia, and the wallet feature will still need a de facto support in the local market. Currently, the banks still seem to see this as a winner takes all situation so they want to conquer everything.
- Screen capture. Well, not common use case for me.
- Xbox Music & Video. This is also region locked, so wont be of any use to me.
Half of the problem is not even technical.
Now the good thing about the available feature is the smaller live tile. This allows setting more tiles on the start screen and luckily the smallest tile size still support showing notifications.
This way I can fit more to the screen, and put all the tiles that have notification up above the fold.
I know there are worries about the screen became even more cluttered, like Android or iOS. But not exactly… I like the Windows Phone’s tiles design. The grid design looks more organized than Android. The tile shape itself fill the screen better than the large space between icons of other OS.
The more colour for the accent also bring more characters. My current one is the Olive colour theme.
Another improvement that might just be a feeling of mine because of the interface is, the screen felt more accurate and more fluid when moving.