There’s two things that Windows Phone users are hanging out for, more mainstream apps, that will bring parity with Android and iOS, (cough *instagram* cough). The lack of apps is still the biggest hurdle when it comes to people jumping ship and moving to Microsoft’s mobile OS. While there are plenty of alternatives that will let them access the same services, the fact that the companies behind the services are not getting behind Windows Phone, is a hurdle that has been getting higher ever since WP7 was introduced.
The other is OS updates, and of course unless you have been living under a rock, you would have an idea that there are two really important updates for Windows Phone, available or at least forthcoming. Those would be “Portico” for WP8, and the WP7.8 update for first and second generation WP7 handsets.
Most carriers have been teasing updates, but they are starting to roll out, and it’s worth rounding up who’s teasing and who is doing the happy dance. Of course if you have an unbranded device, whether it be WP7 or WP8, you may have already gotten the updates as they are not governed by the carrier regimen, testing approval, waiting to be pushed out to phones. There’s simply a certain sort of autonomy, that is satisfying about owning a device that depends on no one else for an update.
So depending on your carrier, how long will you be waiting, Telstra and Vodafone AU are, have learnt, to be pretty up front about the process, over time and keep users fairly well updated as to the schedules they are working to.
Firstly Windows Phone 8
Vodafone has started, rolling out “Portico” for the Lumia 820, but it looks like wp7.8 is hiding away. Voda also has the HTC 8X, but they are not showing HTC updates yet. Although I have heard that the trophy is getting 7.8 pushed out.
Telstra seem to be pretty much on track with what they initially released, although their WP7 Lumias are still waiting at this point. As is the HTC 8X. The Lumia 920 at least hit the projected schedule.
Although the Lumia 800 has been pushed back quite a bit, the Lumia 610, HTC HD7, and HTC7 Mozart are getting WP7.8 right now. The Titan 4G, probably more importantly, is still to be confirmed, as is the Omnia W. Thing is they are slated for the update, and that is what counts.
Optus news eludes me, I have gone all over their site, and searched, gone through the community pages, and for the life of me cannot find any Windows Phone news that is positive. Assuming the dates other carriers are predicting, I would expect the Lumia 820 to get an update from them any day now, and the HTC 8S should not be far away also.
It’s just that their site, and search on their site seems to be really, non functional.
On using their live chat option, I typed a question to an online support person, who then rang me, and transferred me to a call centre. I was then told that all information about these sorts of updates could only be procured from the OEM themselves, and that this sort of information would not appear on the Optus AU website. ??? In a country where 4/5ths of the population are smartphone owners, it is hard to believe that a Telco can be so clueless. Going through the Optus Community Forum, I was three pages in before there was even a mention of Windows Phone, and it was only three posts long.
Apps we can get, there are plenty of blogs covering app updates, OS updates, we find out about, but they are not always available in our region at the same time they are reported.
We depend on our carriers to support the devices that they sell us, and an update that is readily available for a carrier unlocked/branded phone could take weeks, or months to get though the approval process and be pushed out. Again though we are dependent on a middle man, the carrier, at some point in the past, we thought that WP8 would be able to bypass that extra step. Not So. At least two out of three local carriers have some sort of urgency and understanding of the customer community that they are supporting, that buy and use the products they are selling.