Posts Tagged ‘Windows Phone 8.1’

Update, 2015-06-15: A few days after the uninstall-reinstall, with the cache data racking up to ~86 MB, the workaround no longer works. I hate Twitter now.


At the start of 2015, a rare thing happened – the Twitter client for Windows Phone was updated.

Twitter

Twitter is a free app that lets you connect with people, express yourself, and discover more about all the things you love.

See what your favorite celebs and athletes are chatting about. Be the first to hear breaking news. Catch a glimpse behind the scenes at the Oscars, concerts, sporting events, and more.

Then join the conversation: Tweet your own text, photos, and video to your followers — and maybe make a few fans along the way.

Get inspired. Be social. Even send private messages to friends. All in real time, as big (and little) things happen, from anywhere you happen to be.

Various bug fixes
This update includes enhancements to sharing and uploading photos.
Tag your friends in a photo to start a conversation.
Capture the moment by uploading multiple photos to a single Tweet.
Tweets with Twitter photos, Vine videos and other select content now show a preview in your home timeline
You can reply, retweet, favorite or follow someone straight from a Tweet in your home timeline.
Share photos through Direct Messages.

As soon as I heard of the update, I downloaded the latest version, eager to try out the “new” features listed in the change log. Personally, I wanted more than anything else to see inline photos with tweets. The experience certainly feels lacking when you have to tap on a tweet just to see the accompanying image. For tweets with pictures, the context is almost always lost if you don’t see the photo.

So the eager-beaver that I am, I installed it on my Lumia 1520, which was on the Developer Preview + Cyan at the time. But no such luck on the one feature I was looking forward to the most. Even when I finally managed to install the Denim update months later, the problem remained.

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The same was true with the Lumia 520, Windows 8.1 + Denim. I was stumped, and of course @Twitter doesn’t respond to mentions, so I let it pass, resigning myself to using the Twitter client for the iPhone instead.

In May, Microsoft launched its Lumia 640 XL, the dual-SIM 3G variant here in the Philippines. I had the perfect excuse to replace my aging Lumia 520 so I went in and bought one. (Bonus, I got a Lumia 105 with the purchase, though it sits in its box at a drawer back home. Still, freebie!)

The 640XL has some niceties – large screen, long battery life, and sporting an updated Windows Phone 8.1 OS (Update 2, Microsoft calls it). So I downloaded my apps and despite the issue with Twitter, I still installed it just for the integration with the People hub.

Much to my pleasant surprise, when I launched the client, it was displaying inline images. I was a happy camper. For the next several days, the 640XL replaced my iPhone 4s as my go to phone. Then, it happened. The inline images were no more. They suddenly just decided to not appear, reverting to that annoying link, where you have to tap on a tweet just to load the image.

Searching online for clues, I found none. I found a few anecdotes here and there, mostly also asking why they were experiencing difficulties, but no solution or at the very least an explanation was offered. Trying to contact Twitter or even an attempt to report the issue is futile. There’s no avenue to reach them regarding issues on the “official” Windows Phone Twitter client. The @MobileSupport handle listed in the app itself I found to be non-existent, and going to support.twitter.com is a frustrating endeavor, with nothing but the most basic help available for Windows Phone users. The platform isn’t even listed on any of their forms for reporting issues. Twitter really drives the message that Windows Phone users are unimportant to them.

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As Twitter is where I get my news on the go, I came back to my iPhone 4s, using the 640XL less and less. Then last night, I fiddled with the 640XL for a while, transferring apps from phone memory to the expansion SD card via the Storage Sense app. It lists the install size as well as the current cache size of the apps. When I turned to Twitter, I found that while the app itself is ~11MB, its cache has accumulated around ~165MB.

Light bulb moment! Could that be the problem?

Firing up the search once more, I began looking for ways to clear app-specific cache in WP. But here Microsoft is to blame, as there seems to be no way to do so but to uninstall the offending app entirely and then to reinstall it. This is a cumbersome workaround and, helped by the fact that I have 2FA enabled, is not an experience I was looking forward to.

The re-download was quick and easy enough as it’s only 4MB. I had to generate an app-specific password on my laptop because Twitter’s SMS notifications are notoriously late to arrive – in the order of several hours!

After all is set, I fired up the Twitter client once more. There they are, the inline images in all their colorful glory, showing once more. All is right in the WP world, that is, until the next time the cache needs clearing again!

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It’s been a long time coming, but the update to the Windows Phone OS is a solid update that adds much needed features.

 

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Above, you’ll notice my mug peeking out of one of the tiles – it’s actually a new feature which allows you to customize the start screen with a picture of your choice. Not all app tiles currently become transparent when this is set.

Toggle a setting and you can squeeze in a third column of medium-size tiles.

Below is the new notification center, a welcome addition. Meet the Action Center. Now you won’t have to wonder what app gave out that toast notification that you just missed. It can also hold up to four customizable shortcuts, with those pictured as default. Swipe from top downwards to activate.

These shots are from a Lumia 520, so yes, the update is available to all phones running WP8. Sign up as a developer or join Windows Phone App Studio (appstudio.windowsphone.com) for free if you can’t wait for the public rollout.

The Windows world was set abuzz with the recent reveals at Microsoft’s Build conference just this week. Updates to Microsoft’s Windows and Windows Phone were shown off. And honestly, they both impress.

Windows 8.1 Update

The update to Windows 8.1 is now available via MSDN to developers, and on April 8th, it will be released to the general public. I know I’m excited, with two – nay, three – machines already running Windows 8.1 ready for the new bits. This latest update focuses on Desktop users, with consideration for making life easier on those who use the mouse and keyboard as opposed to touch-first interfaces of tablets.

Windows 8 saw polarized acceptance when it was released. It’s dual-personality confused and angered a lot of users, bloggers and the Technorati. Personally, despite not finding much use or purpose for the interface formerly known as Metro, I enjoyed the OS from the start. I was part of the public beta after all.

I wasn’t bothered at all with the lack of a start button. I never felt the jarring feeling a lot of folks complained about, having to drop in and out of the modern interface to run desktop applications. Frankly, though, I find the metro apps lacking. Not a lot of developers were on board at the start and those who were seemed to not give too much effort with their app offerings. The result is a rather less-than-satisfying experience compared to already established platforms, such as the ones found in iOS. Modern apps are slow, particularly those needing internet connectivity, and a lot are not as feature-rich as their counterparts on other platforms. For a long while, there weren’t even official apps for the major services common today.

But the desktop experience – what an improvement! I do miss the aero interface at times. The 8.1 update was a welcome improvement. It added a start button to appease the critics, but it’s no Start Menu. By now, people should realize that it’s not coming back. Or is it?

Windows8.1Update

Above screenshot is what we can expect of the update to Windows 8.1 – and more. Universal apps – cross-platform apps that work on phone, computers and yes, even the XBox One –, windowed modern apps, taskbar on both desktop and modern interface for mouse/keyboard users, and, your eyes don’t deceive you, the return of the Start Menu.

Update: Wndows 8.1 Update is now live. No windowed modern apps. No Start Menu. Looks like they’re gonna be part of another update to the Windows 8.1 Update or even Windows 9. 

There is another update announced that will come to Windows 8.1, but no new information on when and what it will contain as of now.

Windows Phone 8.1

The only reason I haven’t bought a Lumia Phone is because I cant justify Nokia’s decision to not include a card slot on their high-end phones. I wanted the 920 or 925 but crippling the storage front turned me away. I do have the Lumia 520, the cheapest Windows Phone available, from my company. And surprise, it has microSD support!

After seeing the features lined-up for Windows Phone 8.1 though, I’m contemplating getting the 32GB version of either 920/925 again. Or perhaps go with their phablets, since both the 1320 and 1520 have microSD support. The just-announced 930 looks absolutely incredible, but a) it’s not available ‘til June, and then only in Europe and b) even if it is, it will really be expensive. I can get the 920 legitimately today for about Php14,000 (~$310).

The live tiles on WP are a nice touch, but the toast notification is seriously not enough. If you missed a toast, then there’s no way to check what it was about unless you scan your apps’ tiles for updates. A central notification area where all notifications can be glimpsed upon would really simplify matters. Thankfully, this is coming, along with access to quick settings like Bluetooth, Wi-fi and Airplane Modes. All customizable of course.

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Another great feature to look forward to is the Word Flow keyboard. I suck at these touchscreen phones because of my stubby hands.

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Then we have the new ability to set a background image for tiles. Just wonderful, it can’t get any more personal than that! The update will also allow for up to three columns of medium-sized tiles.

Tiles

The new OS debuts Cortana, a digital assistant similar to Apple’s Siri, but does a lot more. Although, it will be available for US-based users upon launch only. Microsoft is also making it clear that they’re releasing Cortana as a beta.

Of course, there’s a lot more features coming our way. Look here and here for a definitive list.

The world’s most personal smartphone sounds right!