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WP 8.1 users are having trouble downloading apps
By Thom Holwerda on 2018-03-05 22:09:14

While Microsoft ended mainstream support for Windows Phone 8.1 more than six months ago, there are some users that still utilize the platform as their daily driver. Although the company's overall mobile initiative isn't faring too well either, most users on older platforms are still there because they prefer it over the competition or weren't offered an upgrade path to Windows 10 Mobile.

However, it now appears that Windows Phone 8.1 users are facing some unforeseen problems with the Store - and no, it isn't regarding the dearth of apps. According to reports, people on the platform have been unable to download apps from the Store since yesterday.

While I'm sure this particular case is just some weird bug, it does highlight a real problem - what happens to a perfectly fine phone phone running a walled garden platform when its creator ceases to offer application store services? In an ideal world, such a platform would be opened up and set free, but I highly doubt that's going to happen here.

The reality will be that a lot of perfectly fine phones will end up in the trash.

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Read Comments: 1-10 -- 11-16
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This problem is already quite old.
By moondevil on 2018-03-05 23:06:46
Just try to get J2ME, Palm Pilot, Symbian, PocketPC, Newton apps.

I doubt there is any legal way of still having them.
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Perfectly fine?
By jnemesh on 2018-03-05 23:36:34
Any Windows Phone ISNT "perfectly fine", and wasn't even when new! But to expect support after it's been killed is stupid. I can no longer download apps for my Palm Pre either. I saw the writing on the wall and bought into a platform that WOULD be supported! Even then, I didn't hang onto my Galaxy S Epic for years after, I bought several new phones since then. Smartphones aren't PCs and users shouldnt expect them to have any kind of life after official support for the product ends. To expect otherwise is just stupid.
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RE: This problem is already quite old.
By judgen on 2018-03-06 00:10:51
My Palm lifedrive works just fine, i can get apps from the legacy store or as it used to be everywhere from the developer directly. There are plenty of sites that still hosts the applications and a quick email to developers like lonelycat or access lets you buy any needed software.

The only thing this still great device lacks is a newer browser, but i heard there is a netsurf port in the works.
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RE: Perfectly fine?
By judgen on 2018-03-06 00:12:18
The Garnet Palm devices still gets new software from 3rd party developers.
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RE: Perfectly fine?
By Alfman on 2018-03-06 04:19:42
jnermesh,

> Any Windows Phone ISNT "perfectly fine", and wasn't even when new! But to expect support after it's been killed is stupid. I can no longer download apps for my Palm Pre either. I saw the writing on the wall and bought into a platform that WOULD be supported! Even then, I didn't hang onto my Galaxy S Epic for years after, I bought several new phones since then. Smartphones aren't PCs and users shouldnt expect them to have any kind of life after official support for the product ends. To expect otherwise is just stupid.

You are missing Thom's point, which isn't for manufactures support products indefinitely, but that 3rd party communities ought to be able to step in where the manufactures themselves lost interest in supporting their users. Frankly there are several open source communities that would be happy to take these old devices and provide even better support than manufacturers did. However the problem is that they're crippled by closed & vendor locked platforms with obstacles to block owner mods. Reverse engineering is extremely tedious. That's what Thom means with platforms being "opened up", and I heartily agree with him, however history shows that it's generally wishful thinking since manufacturers have no issue letting customers fall off a cliff if they choose not to buy new devices despite the fact that the hardware remains perfectly fine.
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RE[2]: Perfectly fine?
By Kochise on 2018-03-06 05:43:56
Does the "repair bill" address the "lock in" problem ?
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RE[2]: Perfectly fine?
By shotsman on 2018-03-06 07:06:29
Good luck with makers allowing 3rd parties to take over when they've had enough.

Just look at the lenghts the old games makers are going to stop 3rd parties from supporting them into the future. The makers just want to shut down the game and force you to buy the next greatest shootemup rehash they are offering.

This is a part of the reason why I never got into gaming. The games makers have you over a barrel. Even more than the PC software makers with their subscriptions and forced updates...
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Lumia 535
By henderson101 on 2018-03-06 09:19:11
I upgraded my Lumia 535 to Windows Phone 10. To be honest, I don't think it's much better off than being on WP8.1 these days. App support is pretty shocking.
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Lumia 520 still on WP8.1
By wigry on 2018-03-06 13:47:54
I still use my Lumia 520 with WP8.1 as a daily driver as there is not a single reason not to. The battery still lasts a week and the calls and SMSes run well. The IE can render those few pages I occasionally visit (like my banks web to make a quick payment every once in a while) and the alarm wakes me up in the morning.

Still I am surprised when phone notifies me about some updates as I am fully aware that the platform has been abandoned. Just a month ago I got an update to OneDrive app and weather app and couple of others. So there are still developers out there who build software for WP8.1

But yes as told I see no fault in WP8.1 functionality and as a simple phone it is more than adequate and I have no plan to upgrade any time soon.

Edited 2018-03-06 13:48 UTC
Permalink - Score: 4
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RE[3]: Perfectly fine?
By Alfman on 2018-03-06 14:30:12
shotsman,

> Good luck with makers allowing 3rd parties to take over when they've had enough.

Just look at the lenghts the old games makers are going to stop 3rd parties from supporting them into the future. The makers just want to shut down the game and force you to buy the next greatest shootemup rehash they are offering.

This is a part of the reason why I never got into gaming. The games makers have you over a barrel. Even more than the PC software makers with their subscriptions and forced updates...


Of course, that is the very problem we're talking about with "closed & vendor locked".

Obviously phones that are truly deficient should be replaced, but it shouldn't be the case that manufacturers inhibit users from getting support elsewhere. This is not in the interests of consumers, which is why I'd be a proponent of some kind of law that said as soon as manufactures abandon their users, those users would become legally entitled to get their hardware unlocked and get programming specs so that those devices can be supported by 3rd parties in the community.

We have to get rid of the widespread idea that hardware needs to be throw away to replace the software. To maximize resource efficiency, hardware and software lifecycles must get separated as they are with PCs.

We need to recognize that the amount of electronic waste humans produce is awful for the planet and closed/locked devices only exacerbate this problem. If we don't address it, businesses will continue to cause ecological harm unnecessarily for their profit.
Permalink - Score: 3

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