Blasphemy! Finns trample over Windows Phone home screen

Who let this meddling mob in here? Oh, we did...


Nokia's phone division has released an app that might upset the high priests at the Temple of Windows Phone Design – who will shortly become its new masters.

The app allows users to add folders to the Windows Phone Home Screen – thereby desecrating the hallowed ground which by almighty decree, Must Never Change.

It's part of a release for Lumia owners called "Black", consisting of an over-the-air system update from Microsoft, called GDR3, bundled with system add-ons from Nokia, and also the synchronised release of new or updated apps that Lumia owners can download from the Windows Phone Store. The heretical arrival, called "App Folder", is one of the latter.

Overall, the release includes the ability to close apps; imaging enhancements, including raw DNG support (for 1020 owners - which 1520 owners already have); Nokia Refocus (covered here); a screen-sharing app called Beamer; and Storyteller. It's only available for WP8 devices.

Giving users the ability to create folders might be seen as a sign of impatience - or perhaps even a provocation. As the rest of Microsoft moved to a more rapid annual release schedule, the Windows Phone team moved to a longer release cycle. The user interface has remained unchanged since its launch in 2010, with one potential licensee grumbling to us that Terry Myerson (then WinPho chief) was "very much about preserving the purity of his platform."

Nokia sells over 90 per cent of Windows Phones, so its opinion of what WP should look like is influential. Perhaps Nokia is emboldened that both Myerson and Joe Belfiori, who ran the Windows Phone design team, have moved on to other things: Belfiore to run Internet Explorer development and Myerson to run the Operating Systems group.

App Folders isn't truly integrated into the system, and adds a fraction of a delay (a folder opens in a couple of seconds) to your workflow. In this first release, folders can contain apps and some shortcuts, but not individual contacts, Playlists, map locations or web pages - all of which can be pinned to the conventional home screen. Strangely, apps such as Settings and Store can't be included in folders.

Here's what it can look like.

The OTA portion of the "Black" release rolled out to Lumia 1020 and 925 owners overnight although all WP8 devices will receive it in the next few weeks. Any Lumia can download the App Folder app right away, however. More details here. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Prisons transcribe private phone calls with inmates using speech-to-text AI

    Plus: A drug designed by machine learning algorithms to treat liver disease reaches human clinical trials and more

    In brief Prisons around the US are installing AI speech-to-text models to automatically transcribe conversations with inmates during their phone calls.

    A series of contracts and emails from eight different states revealed how Verus, an AI application developed by LEO Technologies and based on a speech-to-text system offered by Amazon, was used to eavesdrop on prisoners’ phone calls.

    In a sales pitch, LEO’s CEO James Sexton told officials working for a jail in Cook County, Illinois, that one of its customers in Calhoun County, Alabama, uses the software to protect prisons from getting sued, according to an investigation by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

    Continue reading
  • Battlefield 2042: Please don't be the death knell of the franchise, please don't be the death knell of the franchise

    Another terrible launch, but DICE is already working on improvements

    The RPG Greetings, traveller, and welcome back to The Register Plays Games, our monthly gaming column. Since the last edition on New World, we hit level cap and the "endgame". Around this time, item duping exploits became rife and every attempt Amazon Games made to fix it just broke something else. The post-level 60 "watermark" system for gear drops is also infuriating and tedious, but not something we were able to address in the column. So bear these things in mind if you were ever tempted. On that note, it's time to look at another newly released shit show – Battlefield 2042.

    I wanted to love Battlefield 2042, I really did. After the bum note of the first-person shooter (FPS) franchise's return to Second World War theatres with Battlefield V (2018), I stupidly assumed the next entry from EA-owned Swedish developer DICE would be a return to form. I was wrong.

    The multiplayer military FPS market is dominated by two forces: Activision's Call of Duty (COD) series and EA's Battlefield. Fans of each franchise are loyal to the point of zealotry with little crossover between player bases. Here's where I stand: COD jumped the shark with Modern Warfare 2 in 2009. It's flip-flopped from WW2 to present-day combat and back again, tried sci-fi, and even the Battle Royale trend with the free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone (2020), which has been thoroughly ruined by hackers and developer inaction.

    Continue reading
  • American diplomats' iPhones reportedly compromised by NSO Group intrusion software

    Reuters claims nine State Department employees outside the US had their devices hacked

    The Apple iPhones of at least nine US State Department officials were compromised by an unidentified entity using NSO Group's Pegasus spyware, according to a report published Friday by Reuters.

    NSO Group in an email to The Register said it has blocked an unnamed customers' access to its system upon receiving an inquiry about the incident but has yet to confirm whether its software was involved.

    "Once the inquiry was received, and before any investigation under our compliance policy, we have decided to immediately terminate relevant customers’ access to the system, due to the severity of the allegations," an NSO spokesperson told The Register in an email. "To this point, we haven’t received any information nor the phone numbers, nor any indication that NSO’s tools were used in this case."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021