What sucks about Windows Phone 8

Sometimes after using a platform for a few weeks you notice some things that aren't so good - some large issues (looking at you, Bing Maps) and others that are only minor annoyances. So that you know about all the things that aren't so good about Windows Phone 8 I compiled this video that shows off the dodgy things in action.

Don't worry, because it's not all bad, in fact you can read about all the awesome things in Windows Phone 8 in my review. It's also worth noting that Microsoft is working to fix some of the annoyances in Windows Phone 8, starting with the first over-the-air update to the Windows Phone 8X by HTC earlier today that adds persistent Wi-Fi.

Anyway, enjoy the video and check back soon for a complete review of the Nokia Lumia 920.

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What about signing up for a MicrosoftAccount using a gmail address instead of whining about having to use Hotmail.

Hotmail is not a requirement. MicrosoftAccount is the only requirement. You can sign up for MicrosoftAccount using whatever pre-existing email you have.

Instead of whining, consolidate under one address, your preference.

My MicrosoftAccount is not a Hotmail or Microsoft owned domain. Mine is from my ISP and I use Hotmail and WP mail clients.

Most of these would probably never happened if Microsoft had focused on Phone 8, instead of trying to cobble together the Windows-8 hybrid OS.

Yeah I agree, a lot of these things are important. Good thing they all are quite small, probably easy fixes for Microsoft to implement.

Isn't one of the benefits to the app platform Microsoft used for WP the ability to automatically scale apps? Why should they not scale to the size of the screen?

According to this series of videos on Windows Phone 8 Development: http://channel9.msdn.com/posts...-Phone-8-Development-Part-1 (which is fascinating and extremely helpful if you're an aspiring WP8 dev like me) the hiding of the status bar is up to the app developer in keeping with the "Content over Chrome" mantra of he Windows Design Language.

According to them though you should be able to tap or long-press on the top area of the screen to make it appear again though.

Multitasking sucks on WP8 - you can't physically close a program etc.

The search button is too easily pressed accidentally when using the phone - an option to disable it would be fantastic.

My biggest irritation however - there is NO way to actually lock the screen orientation, which when you are using the phone lying down or whilst in bed makes for a very poor user experience!

HAHAHAHA! The reviewer expected Google support to be good? Lets give Google the Windows Phone market share too by providing their apps and services on the Windows phone. NOT!

Also, I can't help noticing that despite having received a couple of emails from UserVoice about my WP suggestion votes, many of the things I voted for which have a great many votes AND HAVE BEEN ADDED/FIXED in WP8 (including USB storage) haven't yet been 'closed'!

Has MS stopped referring to that site? It seems literally THOUSANDS of votes are current being wasted on issues that have been closed, while thousands more really need to consolidated into more concise, or general suggestions in order to tidy the landscape and give a more accurate impression of what people want.

While this video shows some real issues with WP, I can't help feeling it's a collection of the LEAST important/annoying issues I could find, and I'm a dedicated WP fan! I love my 920, I love WP, but if I got down to writing my own list I'm not sure any of these issues would seem worthy to even mention, in the grand scheme.

Calendar flaws and limitations (month view zoom/text, week view)
Desktop counterpart software still in beta?
No custom ringtones for messages.
No changelog for app updates, despite 'info' button.
I'd quite like a 'forward' button, too.
The new OneNote app now uses an iPhone-like navigation link in the top left corner which I'm in two minds about.
I can't delete previous email content when replying/forwarding, to reduce the bulk of the message I'm sending on.
Gmail flags still don't translate to stars, despite Hotmail's finally being integrated in WP8.

I'm having difficulty remembering many of the issues I've found recenty that I'd like to voice. I suppose it's to be expected when someone's only used the phone for a month.

Most of the things like Deals, Maps and App Height are down to developers right now. These are things I wouldn't say suck, but rather are lagging behind. I fully expect those things to be fixed over the next few months. I wouldn't say WP8 is bad because of those things

The clock and other status bar elements not being available in every app annoyed me as well about Windows Phone. Microsoft should really make this something that is accessible at all times when tapping the top of the screen.

What sucks is the crappy multitasking on WP8, still not on par with Android or even Symbian. Next is the lack of usb mass storage, why on earth would I need to install additional iTunes-alike crapware on my PC just to transfer my multimedia content?

I did use the Lumia 920 and the multitasking is indeed better than WP7. On WP8 the Apps are put in a 'suspended mode' and that ain't multitasking. It's not like on Android where Apps in background still work instead of being 'freezed' in place. WP7 was worse, every single App had to be reloaded whenever switching back to them.

1. Apps can run in the background, but many suspend instead of run in the background. Why would you need Angry Bird to run in the background?

2. Windows Phone 8 does support mass storage. Want to sync something? Just drag and drop. No software required.

Are you REALLY sure you know enough about this OS?

illegaloperation said,
1. Apps can run in the background, but many suspend instead of run in the background. Why would you need Angry Bird to run in the background?

2. Windows Phone 8 does support mass storage. Want to sync something? Just drag and drop. No software required.

Are you REALLY sure you know enough about this OS?


1. It's not about Angry Birds or whatever game but an Android-alike multitasking would be better. I simply wouldn't appreciate that my Apps are suspended while I don't use them. I've seen this on iOS, whenever an App is downloading something and if it's suspended while switching to another App the download will stop. Even for Safari, it wouldn't continue loading pages while suspended. I'm guessing WP has similar multitasking restrictions since both iOS and WP have more or less the same multitasking experience. Suspending Apps isn't even multitasking.

2. Yes but it's limited, you cannot even access the phone's internal memory. I think you're referring to MTP mode and not Mass Storage. correct me if I'm wrong.

1. Apps can actively run in the background in Windows Phone 8, but developers will have to put in additional codes. Without those codes, apps will suspend and not run in the background. In other words, it's up to the developers to determine whether or not they want their apps to run in the background.

2. Unless you are using a Mac which doesn't support Media Transfer Protocol, I don't see what the problem is.

5 YEARS ago, on the free Bing Maps on WinPho 6.5 I could tap an address in my contacts and navigate to it using voice prompted turn by turn navigation. Now on the Lumia 920, I STILL cannot default to that app from a contact card. I don't know a lot about writing code but I find it impossible to believe that it is that hard to implement. Even more inexcusable that since you guys on the 8x don't have access to Nokia Drive yet, that you have no choice at all. No excuses MS, at this point in the development, it's inexcusable. Get on it!

The music is also another major point, not what you outlined Tim, but playlists I create on Xbox, go over to the Surface fine, but come out incomplete on WinPho. Xbox Music is obviously a work in progress. And the maps fiasco on non-Nokia phones is ridiculous.

I am fairly certain that a major integration with Nokia, and major Nokia upgrades are on the way though. I love that I can place a pushpoint on Nokia Maps and it shows up on the Nokia website. That is huge for me when I find cool fruit trees and need to pin point them for friends.

I find it hilarious how ppl say, well after these issues WP sucks lol. Guess they totally misheard the guy saying all the things he loves about it at first in a different review and these were things that just got on his nerves. Also this guy lives in Australia so the mapping and deals information and stuff wont be as good as america or UK and europe i reckon.

Bing maps in australia bad for getting a few things wrong?... at least it doesnt carry a warning from the australian police NOT to use it like a certain apple map app.

These are just little things that 1 user found annoying and that most other ppl may not care about. I didnt even know about the change of contextual search funch on my lumia 800 and tbh i dont care. its not important.

To all the ppl that wont use a WP cus of this small review on a subset of features that can be fixed/dont matter all that much in the overall experience... your so fickle, i bet if someone told yo the next iphone could hack into your computer and download lots of dodgy porn and alert the police to it if siri decided she didnt like you anymore, or found you cheating on her with another phone, youd go screaming to android... then are told android is the front of 100 year long plan by the aliens to get as much android tech around then its would link all phones together to make a supercomputing environment to override all the earths power systems and shut down defense systems then wed be invaded and putinto 1000 years of slavery.

Mind blown!

Just a couple of things to note/correct...

Some of the issues noted are only HTC 8X issues, as the Nokia phones have different mapping, and have the traditional scaling resolution. 1280x768 for example eliminates the black bar on older Apps. It is also worth noting the display scaling only happens on older Apps where the developer 'locked' the screen scaling size ratio, so it isn't every older App that needs to be updated, only the ones the developers were pixel 'picky' about.


1) Current music playing, tap a volume key and use the Play button from there to ensure the media player continues with the current song, book, playlist, etc. Ignore the play button demonstrated in the video. Using the 'history' section of the Music Hub will also give you access to what is currently playing to resume it or pick from anything you have recently played from any App - which is a rather nice features and outweighs the weird button.


2) For changing to silent vibrate, again hit the volume key and click the button beside Ring. If Vibrate is enabled it will turn off the sound and only Vibrate, if Vibrate is not enabled, it will switch to Silent. (It is strange that you cannot cycle through all three options from this location. However, you don't have to go to settings just to flip off the ringer.)


3) The search was changed to be a universal search and integrate local and App data to be accessible from Bing. Something happened along the way, and the button was repurposed, but application contextual information was not included. (Since this is the 'standard' of how Windows 8 works, look for this to change in WP8 as they start to update the feature sets moving closer to Windows 8.)

4) IE10 Text - Now that devices have DESKTOP COMPUTER resolutions, reflowing/scaling text on a Web page for a 'Mobile Screen' should NOT be condoned. If IE10 allowed or 'reformatted' the text or page display, it would be breaking W3C standards, as the client is NOT to change content to keep consistency. (I know Android and other mobile browsers still will resize/reformat text to make it flow or read easier, but this is breaking from standards.)

Seriously, if your Phone has a desktop resolution and can fully display a Web page just like your desktop computer, why on earth should the phone still be changing content? If the Web Site developer wants to reflow or present 'mobile' site version, it is something they provide, not something the browser should be doing arbitrarily.


5) GMail - This is not something I have much sympathy for, especially a 'tech writer' using a GMail account is flat out silly. However, since you do realize that you are using a Microsoft Account 'already' just to use the phone, why not use some of the features to eliminate the Gmail issue.

Use your Microsoft Account to aggregate all your email accounts into one location. Then you can have push notifications for 50 GMail accounts, as they would just be folders inside your Microsoft Account.

Use Hotmail/Live/Outlook.com to setup 'pulling' the Email from your Gmail Accounts and put them in a Folder, or setup the GMail accounts to forward a copy to your Microsoft Account and create a rule to put those emails into a separate Folder.

Then PIN the folders to your Screen. They are now simulated Inboxes for every email account you possibly could have.

This is a massive win win, and also works for people with several Email providers and don't want to deal with various POP3/IMAP servers that are flaky.

You can still setup the accounts separately if you need to Send new email from those addresses - so you get the best of both worlds.


Regarding Email...

In contrast to the GMail issue, there are some 'nice' things about Email on WP that most users don't notice.

if you are using a Hotmail or Outlook or Exchange, your email is delivered instantly and has realtime parity with your account.

WP7/8 also has the ability to keep a massive amount of email on the device. Which is rather impressive that you can hit Search in the Email App and look at every email from 2003 or every email from people you have corresponded with for the last 20 years.

This doesn't slow the phone or Email App down, and can literally be 100s of thousands of emails that consumer multi Gb of space. My email folders and inbox are close to 10 Gb in size, and I keep them all on my phone, available to me instantly.

With Android or iOS this simply is not possible. Even increasing the number of emails Android allows you to store (which is limited) the Email client on Android starts to crawl when you get 100 messages in a single folder. On WP7/8 I have literally 10 of thousands of emails in a folder and the Email App never loses any performance.

Also with the History feature of Contacts in the People Hub, it is nice to see all your conversations/calls/messaging and emails going back years with that person at a glance.


----------------
Android
---------------
The people commenting that they are going to pick an Android phone now because of these tiny issues, you have a world of hurt coming to you.

A detailed list like this for any Android device would be several hours long, and that wouldn't even include dealing with errant background Apps consuming your battery and FC App crashes that happen even with the BEST software on the platform.

You have nothing to say about the need for a Microsoft account since in the two weeks I used the Samsung Galaxy S II, I was forced to get a Google account and store my contacts there instead.

1. Isn't nokia maps available for download in store?
2. Regional wallet support will surly come in the near (hopefully) future.
3. Do google support hotmail/outlook as good as gmail on android?
4. That seems to be a website issue, as Timble mentioned.
5. That's not a WP issue. Come on!
6. To silent, use the volume button and select the bell icon.

Interesting. As a Web designer I struggled with that font scaling issue ... It's the case on iOS or whatever too and results from the settings in the HTML, not the user's phone. I only recently learnt how to make it not do that.

Yeah what Tom said... what about iOS, Blackberry, Android? I don't think neowin as a whole has made a video that specifically says "this is what sucks about this phone OS" before and it seems like you're deliberately trying to deter people from getting a Windows Phone. Nice move.

I've never thought of many of those little nit picky flaws he had mentioned. I enjoy my WP for what it can and has done for me, easy and simple to use without all the bloat and unnecessary options found on Android. For email, why would you need google mail on your WP? Personally MS Outlook looks way better, it is better! Overall your little nit pickiness is not a true indication of helpful decision making for a persons next device. To consumers I would suggests go out there and experience a device for yourself then make an informed decision. The media nowadays are full of biases. You can't trust any to tell the truth, besides History Channels Ancient Aliens.

Where's "What sucks about iOS" and "What sucks about Android"? This article seems intentionally written to be click-bait.

Tom said,
Where's "What sucks about iOS" and "What sucks about Android"? This article seems intentionally written to be click-bait.

iOS: Use an app for everything. Dated UI back to 2007.
Android: Use an app for everything. Messy UI as they took the iOS design and "enhanced" it. Keeps up with the geeks via powerful hardware that none of the apps use at the moment.

Tom, always eager to dish it out when it involves Apple and Google. But he just can't handle it when someone says one thing negative about Microsoft.

This article was one of a series of Windows Phone 8 related reviews written by Tim - he had the unboxing video of the HTC 8X plus the actual review of the phone itself, the review of the Windows Phone 8 OS and now there's this 'gripes' review.

The focus of Tim's recent reviews was Windows Phone 8; there wasn't a need to write about iOS and Android in this review.

I checked out flixster on my NL920 and there is no bar at the top, me thinks this may have something to do with the resolution of the 8X.

Having a Lumia, I can't relate to the problems with the maps as Nokia has replaced the maps app with their own.

Also, with the Lumia 920 and switching from portrait to landscape, I see no weird font zoom like you do on the 8X. On the Lumia it seems to scale appropriately to the view rotation.

How does wp8 handle Google contacts? In wp7.5 it would not load all of my contacts phone numbers and email addresses. That left me in a bad place for the week while my Android phone was being repaired.

Whatsapp on wp7.5 was horrible and no real notification system.

Maps also was not up to par with Google.

All valid except google integration
1. Being WP, Microsoft doesn't need to anything special for Google beyond supporting EAS
2. especially when Gmail's EAS is kind of broken (see archive delete mess )

Personally, the only two of these I agree with is the Bing Maps and directions taking you to search for apps that don't exist, and the status bar disappearing. I only have one Google account and mail, calendar, and contacts worked fine. Apps are just a matter of time for devs to update. The other things don't bother me.

I would also add battery percentage in the status bar, an option for images in email to download automatically, Picture Password from Win8, swiping for back/forward (also in Win8) and I would like an audio slider for faster volume changing. Links from external apps (Twitter) should also always open a new tab, as I like to leave stuff open in IE for future reading.

Stryker297 said,
Personally, the only two of these I agree with is the Bing Maps and directions taking you to search for apps that don't exist, and the status bar disappearing. I only have one Google account and mail, calendar, and contacts worked fine. Apps are just a matter of time for devs to update. The other things don't bother me.

I would also add battery percentage in the status bar, an option for images in email to download automatically, Picture Password from Win8, swiping for back/forward (also in Win8) and I would like an audio slider for faster volume changing. Links from external apps (Twitter) should also always open a new tab, as I like to leave stuff open in IE for future reading.


That last one is an option in the settings, or at least it was in winphone7.5

Google calendar issues are not unique to WP8. They are in iOS too. As for the contacts, go to the account settings and disable the contact sync for that account.

I like this (I used a Windows Phone for two years), and I wish it happened on my iPhone! It's certainly one feature I miss.

I was leaning towards getting Lumia 920, but after this review, I am going to get the much better and cheaper Nexus 4.

spy beef said,
I was leaning towards getting Lumia 920, but after this review, I am going to get the much better and cheaper Nexus 4.

I have the phone and I love it, so I don't need to hear someones nitpicks. So I can say, give it a shot, try it out. It really is a great OS for a phone. Reviews don't do it justice, or nitpick at it for rather small trivial stuff on a young OS.

spy beef said,
I was leaning towards getting Lumia 920, but after this review, I am going to get the much better and cheaper Nexus 4.

And how do you know that that are not things that suck on Android?

I am sure that there are.

spy beef said,
I was leaning towards getting Lumia 920, but after this review, I am going to get the much better and cheaper Nexus 4.

Half the complaints in this video are problems that don't exist on the Lumia 920. For instance, the 920 doesn't use Bing Maps and doesn't have the resolution scaling issues that the 8X has.

It's also worth noting that every one of the points raised in the video is fairly trivial and many are unlikely to apply to everyone (e.g. the deals and Gmail points). You'd be pretty silly to ignore WP8 because of this video.

Let me fill you up because I have both windows Phone and android.
Windows Phone is a new platform and there are things that sucks about it and the top of them is lack of third party apps but it is a very stable and fast OS, honestly never had any crashes or problems while using phone or removing any thirdparty apps, on the contrary android crashes usually, third party apps are buggy sometimes and some I cannot even uninstall Em, I just ignore them, but it support as many apps as iPhone does and is more customizable been optimized more because is an older platform.
So Decision is yours

To be honest it seems a lot of the stuff that "sucks" is simply immature apps / small OS oddities for a new platform or early slowness of getting some features working right in different countries (eg the wallet example in australia). Certainly doesn't appear to be anything super difficult to sort out in the coming months.

I'd be more worried if, for example, there were some big privacy holes. Or "holding it wrong" comedies. Or if the OS was eating your battery in 3 hours. Or, say, a built in trollmode where it says wifi and then sends all the data over the mobile network anyway.

Damn. That's a lot of issues. Seems like a pretty crappy OS. I hope blackberry does well because I can't stand Android and Windows Phone seems pretty subpar. iOS is great obviously.

boydp182 said,
Damn. That's a lot of issues. Seems like a pretty crappy OS. I hope blackberry does well because I can't stand Android and Windows Phone seems pretty subpar. iOS is great obviously.

It was that "greatness" that is iOS that made me run screaming from my iPhone and iPad 3 to WP7 and Surface, and never looked back.

When you hit the volume key and the menu drops down to show the level hit the bell icon at the top right to go into silent mode.

Cyborg_X said,
When you hit the volume key and the menu drops down to show the level hit the bell icon at the top right to go into silent mode.

It only goes to vibrate if you have vibrate switched on. Pre-Mango it would go to vibrate then silent. The removed a bunch of little things with that update that didn't make any sense.

wixostrix said,

It only goes to vibrate if you have vibrate switched on. Pre-Mango it would go to vibrate then silent. The removed a bunch of little things with that update that didn't make any sense.

Agreed. You should have both options...

primexx said,
Bing maps is ****ty even on WP7. But pretty much every third party app sucks even more

always worked well for me, never had a problem. Even when I typed up places to go it lead me there.

primexx said,
Bing maps is ****ty even on WP7. But pretty much every third party app sucks even more

The bing maps issue is a simple, "depending on where you live."

In California, Nevada of the USA, they are brilliant, in other countries the mapping information is good, but the business directory information varies.

thenetavenger said,

The bing maps issue is a simple, "depending on where you live."

In California, Nevada of the USA, they are brilliant, in other countries the mapping information is good, but the business directory information varies.

Which probably has more to do with the business directory companies they have alligned with in these areas... If the information is bad, what can they really do? Are there better companies they can align with? I mean, the KFC thing as an example, isn't there a way to mark the information as incorrect? There is for WP7... Why don't we as users work to improve it?

Also throw in the fact that you can not save or draft text messages. Also thrown in the fact that your email draft folders does not sync from your phone to the desktop version of your email service. A MAJOR FAIL!

JSYOUNG571 said,
Also throw in the fact that you can not save or draft text messages.

Good News for you then. Text Drafts are included in the latest update which is rolling out right now.

I must be one of the few who hates text drafts. Usually I close out of a text when I realize I don't want to text that anymore. When I noticed WP8 didn't do this, I liked it, because I've sometimes, rarely, made the mistake of sending the draft message days later.

I hope it is able to be disabled in the update. As it is a rather useless feature anyway and cumbersome.

Im on the other boat.

I know I don't do it usually, but sometimes I just accidentally click out of the messaging... or even just go out to check something quickly after writing a bit. Anyways, to me its a great addition... Warmly welcomed.

You're not alone, Perfect72. I always find myself cleaning out draft emails on my PC, and it annoyed me on Android how it bumped someone with a draft text to the top of the list.

As long as you don't hit back while typing the message it will stay partially typed. IE: typing a message and need to grab something from an email, press the windows button, go to your email copy the text you want hold back and switch back to the messaging app, your message will still be there.

gawicks said,

Good News for you then. Text Drafts are included in the latest update which is rolling out right now.

Is there a change log for this anywhere?

I think you will find in regards to the Bing Maps, which I have found a lot, they tend to put the markets on the street name not the number, like a lot of shopping centres they will say for example Woolworths is located at OneWay Rd and no actual number, this then put the market in either the middle or a spot on the map.

Im more interested if the reporting places as closed etc actually works or how you can submit a place to Bing Maps etc and see if it turns up...

That whole maps and direction thing is rather silly IMO lol

Gmail fix, use Hotmail/Outlook

App issue is just a working fix, like the iPhone and Droid, takes some time to push them out I guess

The search button is the WORST change Windows Phone made in the Mango.

Volume settings, there is no way to change the Volume/Silent/Vibrate but there is a silent feature using the volume button and select the bell icon

Edited by brent3000, Dec 11 2012, 3:26am :

brent3000 said,

The search button is the WORST change Windows Phone made in the Mango.

Volume settings, there is no way to change the Volume/Silent/Vibrate but there is a silent feature using the volume button and select the bell icon

I agree with you on Search Button...

As for the volume, I expected they would add the ability to set it on vibrate or silent in WP8, I'm rather disapointed that they did not. *sigh*

The bing maps on 8 is a lot worse than 7. For HTC they didnt have time to release nokia drive, which would be used when you click on directions.

*Edit*
The search used to be context based (pre mango), but removed. Forgot the reason why.

Edited by ekw, Dec 11 2012, 3:55am :

ekw said,
The bing maps on 8 is a lot worse than 7. For HTC they didnt have time to release nokia drive, which would be used when you click on directions.

*Edit*
The search used to be context based (pre mango), but removed. Forgot the reason why.


Apple patent.

ekw said,
Edit*
The search used to be context based (pre mango), but removed. Forgot the reason why.

Cuz to many idiots complained you could not search the store, contacts etc cuz no one acknowledged the search button, now since they removed the feature everyone wants it back...

IMHO they needed a switch able option from bing/contextual

Feel free to show your support for the feature to come back tho
http://windowsphone.uservoice....tual-hardware-search-button

I hope Microsoft have that "SMS reply" thing patented. I can just see Apple trying to claim they invented it somewhere down the track!