Windows Phone 8: The Bad Side of Things

I have finally gotten the time to get started with the Windows Phone 8 and Lumia series which I hope you’ll enjoy.

I have decided to start off the series with the things that I do not like with Windows Phone 8, this also includes what I believe to be bugs. Do note that I have come from an Android phone before jumping ship and getting myself a Windows Phone phone :-P.

Audio Settings



I’m not sure why Microsoft made the sound settings the way it is. Right now, there is only 1 volume control for everything: ringing, notifications and any other audio you may think of. So if you are listening to your music but have the volume toned down, your ringtone will also be toned down.

I hope Microsoft adds some flexibility in audio controls in the upcoming updates.

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Wi-Fi

Whether or not you are on a data plan, sometimes Wi-Fi is the best (and cheapest) connection you have just about anywhere you go. Not to mention that Wi-Fi will also consume less power than having your 3G on in an area with less than optimal coverage.

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I sometimes tend to keep Wi-Fi on when I am in someplace with great Wi-Fi such as home. For some reason, Windows Phone 8 does not like to keep the Wi-Fi connection running and will switch to your data connection. Researching online, it seems like the disconnect from Wi-Fi occurs when the phone goes to the lock screen. Thankfully Microsoft has acknowledged this issue and a fix is coming soon according to that article (dated November, before the Portico update).

You also have the tethering issue, but that is not exactly an issue with Windows Phone 8 but most likely Windows 8. I managed to fix this.

 

Windows Phone 8 Store

Compared to Android and even iOS, the Windows Phone store is still limited, at least in my opinion. ¬†Announcements say otherwise. I don’t need many apps, but I have noticed that popular apps found free on the other platforms are in their paid form in the Windows Phone store (sometimes quite pricey!). You may also not find useful apps such as a SIP client which has been around in the other platforms for some time.

There is also a lack in apps that allows you to manipulate with the hardware of your phone. For example, you have no apps that can disable the audio and vibrate feature of your phone during a certain time range, with the current SDK it is impossible (and this will most likely not change for “security” reasons).

Depending on the region you select in your phone’s settings, the market will reflect based on that. For example, I selected Bahrain, but the official Twitter app is not available. Switch to the US and I was able to download it. Also likely region related, you cannot install apps directly from the Windows Phone store, you need to visit your “region’s” store and see if it can be pushed to your phone. This does have a big disadvantage, the language of the website changes to the region’s language. For example, the Bahrain store will be in Arabic, making it useless for non-Arabic readers.

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To add even more frustration, push installation do not always work. Sometime after hitting the install link on your browser, it will say that the app has been installed but you can’t find it anywhere in your phone! And if the push install fails due to it being unable to reach your phone, the store will send a link to the app to the email you registered (which is good if you have that email account setup on your phone).

 

These are current gripes I have with Windows Phone 8, luckily I haven’t been hit with the more serious bugs some people are experiencing like random reboots. However, I’ve only had my phone (a Nokia Lumia 920) for a few weeks, time will tell what else I may find.

The next post will be more positive, the good side of Windows Phone 8.

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