This morning I loaded the Windows Phone 8.1 app on my phone. I had signed up for the Developer Preview specifically for this purpose. Let’s say that my results have been decidedly mixed. I love the new functionality… this is definitely a huge update… much more than what you would expect from a “.1” update. The update seemed to go through fine, and a lot of the additional functionality is indeed there. The really obvious ones are the Notification Center and Cortana. Both are there and work just fine.
But…there are a lot of things that are odd or simply not working as expected. For reference, my phone is an HTC 8X on Verizon.
Apps that won’t launch
- The Games app that is listed first
- The Maps app that is listed first
- Phone… seriously… the Phone app won’t launch on my phone. I can receive phone calls and the app will show. I can dial a number using voice command, but can’t launch the Phone app from either the start screen or the apps list.
- Camera… it’s just simply not there. Holding down the physical camera button that used to open the camera app to take a picture does nothing now.
Settings that won’t launch
- Start + theme will launch, but some new functionality inside won’t. I can switch the “Show more Tiles” setting, but the “choose photo” button for the “Start background” setting does nothing.
- Notifications + actions
- Storage sense
- Project my screen
- Sync my settings
- Quiet hours
- Cortana (although the Cortana app does work)
I did a hard reset on my phone and everything cleared up. The reset used a phone backup, so it re-installed all of my apps and maintained my start screen configuration. I did have to do a few manual things (Wi-Fi setup, entering passwords, downloading maps, and a few other misc settings), but overall it wasn’t as painful as I expected a hard reset to be. As a side note…the phone also does not appear to be eating battery like candy any more.