Start Screen Background Apps

Spice up your Windows Phone 8.1 Start Screen with OneStart

No Cyan until September

Some phones in India not getting Lumia Cyan until September

Cortana for your interests

New video shows how to add interests for Cortana

Lumia Cyan Update

Cyan going to Italy soon for the 1020?

New phone alert

All green Lumia 1520 now available from AT&T

Call me maybe

How to speed dial on Windows Phone 8.1

Cyan on AT&T

Lumia 520 and 925 on AT&T finally get Cyan and 8.1


Microsoft ends Device Hub beta, included in Lumia Cyan

How To

Want the Lumia Cyan update? You need to downgrade your phone first.

How To

Here's how to move apps to your micro SD card


Demo of the Animated Lock Screen for 8.1

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Here's a sneak peek at Lock screen apps on Windows Phone 8.1

General News

Microsoft launches new training portal to get you started on Windows Phone

Windows Phone News

Lumia Cyan comes to the Lumia 925 on O2 in the U.K. and to the Lumia 625 on Ireland's Meteor

Windows Phone News

Long awaited Lock screen app for Windows Phone 8.1 almost ready for public beta

Windows Phone News

Microsoft releases helpful video to get you started with Cortana


Microsoft's aiming for flagship Windows Phones, killing Nokia X but selling MixRadio

Windows Phone News

O2 UK shares details on the Windows Phone 8.1 update, teases visual voicemail

Windows Phone News

Preview for Developers users need to rollback for Cyan

Windows Phone News

Cortana showing a stock chart is a nice touch on Windows Phone 8.1


Rumor: Windows Phone 8.1 to ditch back button, increase screen size support past 7-inches

Microsoft guru Paul Thurrott is reporting on some new information regarding the upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 update aka ‘Blue’. He notes that the info comes from a single source, though he has confidence in the information revealed.

What’s discussed isn’t so much the superficial UI changes or new features but rather core user experience deviations that should cause a stir amongst the Windows Phone faithful.

We won’t recapitulate all of Thurrott’s revelations, but we will highlight a few of the more interesting ones.

  • Universal Binaries – Windows Phone 8.1 looks to have 77% overlap with Windows RT, up from the current 33%.  That will allow developers to more easily (and still optionally) write apps for both platforms going forward. That could have profound implications in the long run for Windows 8 and Windows Phone.
  • Multitasking – Though vague it notes that currently Windows Phone “notifications and background processes are a mess” and this will be fixed in 8.1.
  • Back button is going – Probably the biggest surprise is that the Back button will be eliminated from the hardware requirements. Metrics have revealed that users don’t “get” the logic behind it and that they just use the Windows key most of the time.

Other changes mentioned in the article include Microsoft pushing high-end hardware to get those higher profit margins and bigger displays heading into the 7-10 inch range. Right now, the focus is on low end devices including the Lumia 520, but Microsoft is now evidently going to try for that luxury, boundary pushing gear.

Obviously that’s a lot to chew on and it certainly raises some interesting questions. For instance, if Windows Phone runs into the 7-10 inch display range, what does that mean for RT devices? There has been a lot of talk that RT and Windows Phone would merge and those display resolution changes may be the first move into that category.

Old concept for Windows Phone 8.1 Notification tile

We’re not sure how we feel about the back button being phased out—we’re actually big users of it, but we’re very likely in the minority. If accurate, we’ll have to defer to Microsoft’s metrics on this one, much like how they changed the Search key from context-aware to universal for Bing in Windows Phone 7.5.

Windows Phone 8.1 is expected to be announced early in 2014 with a co-launch of new devices from their OEM partners. Details remain mum on all the changes, but a new Notification Center, ‘Cortana’ voice assistant, app-list sorting, actionable-notifications and other new features are reportedly on the list of major new additions.

Head to Paul Thurrott’s Supersite for Windows for the full scoop then come back here to discuss. 



There are 574 comments. Sign in to comment

dkp23 says:


Ditching the back button. Now THATS moving forward!

4Tiles says:

This sounds completely awful. First why put Windows Phone OS on large screen devices when you have a much more powerful and capable OS in Windows RT that shares an app store with Windows 8. Windows RT has amassed almost as many apps as Windows Phone in a third of the time. It has far more compatibility with Windows 8 than Windows Phone does.
Second why make the back button optional forcing developers to put back buttons in all of their apps and waste on-screen display space on devices with tiny screens. The people who use the start button to go back are noobs who have been trained over the years by iOS. The fact that they haven't learned how to use Windows properly is not a good reason to change something that works well for experienced users.

mjaiteh says:

Stole the words right out of my mouth...

dumaal says:

To be honest, I believe the search button is rather unused not the back button. MS get their facts wrong when some big-shot narrow minded boss forces his own view on things regardless common sense.
I didn't like their call the 1st time I saw WP7 specifications. Back, Home, Search. Apple's approach with 1 button was smarter and more consistent. Zero hardware buttons had been nice also.
If the 3 buttons were having customizable functions, having for instance a usefulness with the phone dialing application, used as gaming controller, etc had been something, this way they were just crippling an otherwise nice OS.
Also for the start screen, tiles are nice, but scrolling through countless tiles with no concept of page or group or anything is becoming an handicap. Tiles are nice as I said, but MS must forget the vertical scrolling and invent pages so the user doesnt swipe once and get completly lost. If they dont, people will get bored quite soon regardless other nice features the OS has.

Jandieg says:

I agree, most apps are designed to work using the back button. Indeed they enforced strict guidelines for apps certification regarding the back usage. And apps design was affected by this.
Search button is the one being useless.

2tomtom says:

Totally agree..

PaulKinslow1 says:

I love the back button. I cannot stand iOS because of it's lack of a back button. When anything on-screen is accidently pressed, a quick tap on the back button and you're right back where you were.  This is VERY helpful for my 70 year old mother. WP is the only OS she can figure out, and this is one of the reasons for it.

Salman Shah says:

I also like the back button.

ryanv12 says:

We don't know all the details yet, but there's a few things we can suspect:
1. They've mentioned merging RT and Windows Phone, so allowing 7+ inch devices is probably related to that.
2. If the back button is going, we can be sure they will have a fallback in place. There are many apps that don't function well without it (e.g. Foursquare). I imagine something like an extension of the global taskbar might be used. Also don't forget that sources say they're removing the requirement, so it's not clear yet if that means hardware providers can still include it.

loofmodnar says:

They had to have considered that a lot of apps rely on the back button and will have some sort of work around that hopefullt doesn't involve everyone recompling their apps. 
I'm guessing they're going to use the back button to open some sort of charms menu. Swiping from the sides wouldn't work very well on a lot phones with a cases.

Don't ignore the possibility that their intent would be to replace the softkey with a software solution that would appear the same to apps, to make sure none of them break.

I'd guess this has to do with Windows Phone 9 anyway, and is merely transitional in nature.

anon5351951 says:

Yes yes yes yes. I'm actually frightened. I have no idea how reliable this information could be but lets hope very unreliable... What a ridiculous notion "users don't get it" I bet they use it all the time to hide the keyboard and to go backwards a step within an app or with an "oops" moment. Grr this is ridiculous I really hope this doesn't happen. I use the back button as a selling point for my friends!!

Groover1971 says:

My wife and I both have Lumia 822s and when I have to use her phone, I find myself backing up through all of the functions and apps that she has used through the last few days. Closing background apps with the "X" will simply this.

ymcpa says:

The article says they might be merging wp8 and RT. So, the new os should be just as powerful as RT and will be able to run the wp apps. This will raise the number of apps available significantly. I don't know about the back button. Maybe they will use a double tap like ios for the multitasking and introduce a swipe motion to go back like on ie11.

pickypg says:

> The fact that they haven't learned how to use Windows properly is not a good reason to change something that works well for experienced users.

As a software developer, I would completely disagree. The fact that most users cannot figure it out is exactly why it should change. We have all learned it from experience, but it's clearly not intuitive enough to figure out.

If the reasoning is true, then Microsoft will simplify the phones by removing the button. After all, how many people know that to close an application, you must hold down back? And, short of it closing, particularly with GPS, it's killing your battery.

Robert Grant says:

As another software developer, unless it's doing something (like GPS or music) in the background, it isn't touching your battery. (

dwane18 says:

Agreed 10000000%

Yangstax says:

This Back button thing will generate another uproar like what MS did to W8 by removing the Start button.  Millions WP users who are just getting used to the WP navigation now will have to be retrained.  The 170K apps would have to be updated with a Back button inside the apps, like, starting from WPC.  It would be easier to add a Back button on the RT tablets to enhance the navigation for RT.

lucassouza1 says:

Swipe from left border to the right sounds great as a replacement to back button. It works nicely in Blackeberry 10 and I missed it when I came to WP

x I'm tc says:

Actually, my guess is they are trying to bring RT and WP together.  Windows devices have only a start button.  That's all we should have, too.  Bring on the charms!

cannon#WP says:

Also the fact that they're adding "X to close" to the multitasking screen in GDR3 pretty much ends the need for a back button.

You do realize that you have to use the back button to get to the multitasking screen. Currently anyway.

Also going back a page in IE guess WP IE11 will get a redo also

4Tiles says:

Taking bad design cues from Windows 8. How are hidden menus that require two steps to activate a command better than a visible dedicated button that works in one step?

Hidden menus like the charms are a terrible idea because many users forget they are there or never discover them. Instead of tapping a button to search or change apps I now have to slide and tap. That is not a user experience improvement of any kind.

E Lizzle says:

I agree... the charms are horrible, because you never know if there is anything app-specific in there without sliding it open to look.  The WP ... menu is so clever.

cannon#WP says:

If they move to charms (which I could see them doing), that would be a way to get to that screen.

LDSBCfan says:

The problem I have with charms is that they seem to create competing gestures. For example, sometimes I just want to swipe to the right in an app but I accidentally bring up the charms bar. This seems to against their own design guidelines. Watch the YouTube video "from lazy to metro" by lazyworm.

E Lizzle says:

Happens all of the time to me, too. I'd like to see more of WP's UI moving to Win, but it seems like we're heading in the other direction instead.

Wat are serious wp on tablet ?? Go away android fanboy

E Lizzle says:

Do you even own a Win tablet?

NIST says:

A charm bar would be awesome.

ltjordan24 says:

 Very true. I hope that this report about the back button is wrong. I use it all the time and would really miss it... unless they do something like a double-tap of the home button for multi-tasking and a long press to bring up Cortana.

remmo says:

Well, tap-and-hold the windows logo button should be configured to do that trick. That would be more intuitive.

cannon#WP says:

If they're going to use tap & hold on the logo to call up Cortana (since it calls up TellMe right now), i don't think that would work. Double tapping the logo isn't intuitive either, as demonstrated by using my wife's iphone.
I don't think charms would be the best idea, I just think that's what they'll do.

Menzlo says:

tap & hold on search can bring up Cortana.

duk3togo says:

Unless they are planning on more swipe gestures in order WP 8.1 to be a more unified experience. I wouldn't mind they getting rid of all the buttons except the windows button as long as its done correctly.

Sambyo says:

And rename it iWindows.

tbonenga says:

Go play with a HTC One. You tape a button it does one thing, double tap it does something elsewhere, hold it and something else. So you get 3 options out of one button. Very smoothly I'll add.

ymcpa says:

double click like on ios would work.

rchillin says:

I was about to say the same thing. For a tablet, a back button doesn't make a whole lot of sense but on a phone it clearly has a place.  However, I do see Microsoft's point.  When I pick up my wife's phone, I'm hitting the back button forever it seems like.  She's definitely one that hits the 'Start' button.

weaksauce27 says:

I love the back button! I use it all the time. :(

DWTrump says:

Your wife and my wife would be good friends. I'm still trying to figure out how she has 3 or 4 different instances of Mail or SMS open at the same time.

rchillin says:

LMAO.... I know righ!! The multiple instances of messaging just floors me.

eruptflail says:

If you open messaging via a banner it opens up a new instance, so it isn't your wives' fault, rather its the fault of the OS.

But I like the back button for going back.

Odog4ever says:

How are we going to get to the multi-tasking screen if long pressing the Windows button brings up voice commands?
Looks like MS might finally be forced to add a "swipe left" screen...

as147 says:

No it doesn't, how do you get to the list of open apps without the back button?
Also if the requirement is not there the user experience will be different for what was a common function. Now some phones will have it some won't? What a poor decision! What problem are they trying to solve here and couldn't they be better spending their efforts on higher value items?

If this is to help bring WP and Windows RT together how does RT provide the open apps list? Would that even be workable on WP?

koenshaku says:

It was ridiculous that RT did not share the same eco-system in the first place! As for the back button didn't make much sense without a forward button I am sure it was on everyones minds to put a forward button in IE, but that would conflict the very existence of a hardware back button and the exclusion of a forward one. Browsing a webpage without a forward button is just crazy, because there has always been one even crazier on WP how the back button works with IE you have to get used to opening always opening new tabs.. It is those errogant decisions that users have to suffer for. That said I heavily use the back button going back and forth through apps and ending unwanted task, it's ashame that many can't wrap their heads around that. ^^

You don't need a forward button in apps. The browser is the only legitimate scenario, and it's not all THAT common in everyday use, at least when compared to the Back button.

NIST says:

Page or flip ahead, back like in Windows8 IE metro.

I'd really rather avoid that altogether. Of all of the things I like about Windows 8, I care nothing for the Charms, though that likely has something to do with the fact that I use it on a mouse-and-keyboard desktop. Windows Phone already uses the swipe-left to get to the apps list anyway, and I'd abhor having to do that to open Bing (they didn't mention removal of the Search button, so we'll see on that).

anon5351951 says:

Yes but on larger devices there is enough screen real estate for digital back buttons within apps. Phones are small.

Not only that....PLEASE MS, BRING MIRACAST (or WiDi if ever on intel) AND WIFI DIRECT PLEASE.....Y u no bring wifi direct?!

Lol let's all just press the back button continuously for the next 30 min to show our support for the back button

wpguy says:

My thumb is sore, but I got'r done.

Jack Larson1 says:

Hold back" + double tap back" to close open pages

Or press the back button

nohra says:

Wow, never knew about double-back to close... My new favorite feature! Too bad it will be short lived... Errrr!

DenniSundaY says:

How is that a move forward. It is a pretty usefull button since the start button won't close an app and you have to use the back button for multitasking too. Can't imagine a windows phone with only a start and search button. And if they really want to eliminate a button, why don't they ditch the search button? I hardly ever used it since you can dieectly search in the IE adress bar...

pepsijosh says:

I agree; the seach button is the most pointless button which I only ever press by mistake & it is so annoying!
I hope Microsoft can release a software update to disable it lol.

HarkAtYou says:

Fingers crossed for a way to disable the search button... I hate it! I'm always pressing it with my palm and never use it for searching. If it searched inside the app i was using Id use it all the time. But it doesn't... Ditch it.

Vlad C says:

+1, I always press the search button by accident, and I hate it.

marcomura says:

I think he's trolling.
The back button is one of the strongest point of WP that makes it able to compete with iOS.

Cleveland2k says:

Stop it, silly! lol

Making a system for an elephant or to put a man on the moon with a commodore driven rocket? I like and would like to choose Microsoft for the last option. After I updated the ipad 2 with the latest ios it became laggy and pretty much less instead of more useful.

ScRePt says:

Then, they'll ask us to use the phone horizontically because that's how the w8 works.

In Limbo says:

I don't know what's more epic. Your comment itself or the fact that the "O's" are running off the page into the ads! lolol!

PhilR8 says:

I had the exact same reaction.  Long live the back button!

mpt15 says:

I like the back button. Use it all the time rather than the windows button. Im guessing that its people switching from ios who are used to pressing the central button who maybe dont understand the back button. Another thing im wondering is what happens to existing devices which have the back button- what happens to them in WP 8.1.... assuming they get that update

tian.s says:

To me the lack of a back button is one of the things that's annoying about iOS. Sure since iOS 7 they have a back gesture now that works in some places, but otherwise apps mostly seem to have an on screen back button in the top left hand corner. Which in my opinion is a waste of space and frustrating because it's actually the furtherest point from your thumb if you're using your phone in your right hand. 
I guess in the end it depends on what they intend to replace it with... Honestly can't see a gesture like the iOS 7 one working because so many apps rely on side swiping for navigation already.

x I'm tc says:

I actually like the idea of on-screen buttons only, maybe with a hard (not capacitive) Start button somewhere, but not on the front wasting space.

psiu_glen says:

Opposite here - I prefer having tue hardware buttons on the front. This is a step towards it though I bet.

coip says:

Totally agree. I had to use an iOS device yesterday and was blown away by how poorly designed it is. I use the back button in Windows Phone all the time, especially within apps. For instance, in he WPcentral app I tap on an article, read it, the tap back to get back to the front page of the app. In iOS you'd have to hit the home button and reopen the app. Stupid. Sometimes some apps have digital back buttons, but it is inconsistent and not near your thumb. I seriously don't understand why anyone would buy an Apple product. They're overpriced, incredibly restrictive, and not user friendly.

I use the back, Windows, and search buttons on Windows Phone all the time. I would like to see WP adopt Windows 8 gesture controls (especially app switching and app closing swipes), but still want the capacitive buttons. They should make the search button even more useful by adding a long press option like the Windows button, one where a short press allows you to search within an app and a long one takes you to Bing. I've actually never opened IE on my phone by tapping on it. I always just tap search quickly get somewhere online.

thzman says:

I agee with you there. I use both the search and back buttons all the time. It's how the OS is designed. I don't really understand why people are so upset about the search button anyway. I do a lot of searching on the net and I find it very convenient to just have to press one button go get to Bing. If it was possible I would like to have a search tile on the start screen.

kurotsuki says:

IMO, they won't ditch it right away. They ditch the requirement, but not the implementation, yet. After devices with back buttons became obsolete, then they will removed the implementation altogether.

gokkenath says:

Hope they will use gestures to close an app when we are inside an app. Scroll top to bottom like the windows 8, and that will remove the use of back button and that will even very close to RT 77%

Like Windows 8, they removed the start button

On WP 8.1, they removed the back button.....


rockstarzzz says:

Start button was so Vista.

AR2186 says:

Isn't this just a way to make HTC happy so that they can use the One's hardware? Android dropped the 3 button requirement last year for a contextual / on screen button, and this is pretty much the same thing.
Really this is Microsoft's way of making it very hard for Android phone makers to not make Windows Phones. They get to leverage their existing manufacturing to achieve much better scale.

Then how do we go to a previous page in IE, or shuffle between apps as we can with a long press? There must be some change to how these functions are handled on the touch screen.

immyperez says:

I love the back button!!! Everytime I need to do something else (sometimes several different things) with the intention of returning to my main task, I hit the windows button and do my other task/s and simply hit back a few times to close the current task and return to my previous task with ease! How can people 'not get' that!


Rehan Saleem says:

I like the back button so much that i just hit the back button frm the article just to feel its vibration. Ha!
So this is what happens. History repeatin itself. Windows 8 removed on-screen start button, people went retarded. Micrsft comes out of lala land, returned the start button in 8.1. WP 8.1 without back button, and again the (may) scream wich makes micrsft bring it back uhm...maybe WP 8 point next?

xkimo says:

I use the back button all of the time. I use the search button and the windows button. I use the back button the most.

FishirOne says:

The search button is what's useless!

Jim_MAY says:

NO LUKE! I'm using the back arrow RIGHT NOW!

pdch says:

I think they just need to add more gestures a la THAT was intuitive!

vkelkar says:

I use 95% of the time back button 4.5% start and only 0.1 search... Back is useful

Jas00555 says:

So what will the back button on my 920 do when AT&T releases this in March 2015?

It'll work, it just won't be required to be there and the OS won't be dependent on it.

RyoTGZ says:

To me it sounds like they are moving towards gestures. At least that's what I'm hoping for.

AhmedEltawil says:

My thoughts exactly. Definitely sounds like navigating apps will be similar to Windows 8/RT, swiping from the left bezel to access running apps and such.

mpt15 says:

Gestures are too confusing IMO

rchillin says:

And I think it'll complicate one-handed user experience (i.e. having to hit that edge just right)

Vacmfuzzy says:

Good point.One of the many reasons I was never interested in the blackberry z10.

rockstarzzz says:

That is the start of fragmentation as far as user experience is concerned, no?

DaSchnee says:

Which begs the question how multitasking is going to work with all new 8.1 devices. Also, most apps use the back button to navigate.  Pretty much all apps need to be updated. 
If this is true it has to be one of the dummest things MS has ever done.

rockstarzzz says:

Wont be the first dumbest thing though..

DaSchnee says:

certainly not ;)

cdbstl76 says:

My first thoughts exactly

Jimmy Jangle says:

iOS gets on OK without an actual hardware back button - why not WP?

DaSchnee says:

Because iOS never had one. (Nearly) all WP apps are designed with the back button in mind. 

blackdaemon says:

iOS "gets on OK" without a back button just because iOS users just don't know better. The user experience on iOS is actually quite frustrating in general, missing back button being part of the problem. If the app needs the back button, it provides it on screen, you have to search for it, memorize its position app to app because it's just all over the place and usually in the hardest reachable spot, top left corner...

Robert Grant says:

Well said. Totally agree.

sonosp says:

So saying its going isnt quite right then.
Just because it's not a requirement anymore doesnt mean that it will be dropped. 

yeah, and devs would LOVE to see that they have to support different interaction methods for different devices.

Niavlys77 says:

Daniel - any idea if this is just because RT and WP will be merging? It would make sense for RT devices to not have a back button, but only because of how they multitask - with WP the way it is, the back button is obviously still incredibly important for daily use...
Do you think WP will be that much closer to RT with 8.1, hence this potential change?

rav4kar says:

Back button is always helpful. It will be a great 'miss' if MS drops, I use back button on android to kill the "apps" with mods. Back button is always handy.

Hey, Daniel, how about having a wpcentral poll on the back button so that Microsoft can see actual consumer response before they do something stupid?

Robert Grant says:

Good idea. Setting the search button to always Bing is exactly the sort of rubbish no-one wants. See also: most of the Xbox One debacle. MS shouldn't try and decide stuff; they're very bad at it.

It will dual-boot to Android.

rysliv says:

Won't they just resort to using Android primarily anyway since users seem to complain about lack of apps. It would be a pretty bad strategy. 

FinsUpDNC says:

GDR2 will be the last update we 920 people get anyway, so it won't matter.

lol, nice FUD. Let me guess: you're part of the oppressed AT&T minority in the world...

Four Whey says:

All AT&T customers in the world are oppressed. 
There are two types of customers in that population, those that are they aware of the oppression and those that are not.  Like many things, there are few who know the truth, so I assume that you're presuming that the AT&T minority are those in the know. 
I'm happy to be in that minority.  AT&T is failing horribly so far with Windows Phone updates.  Evidenced by AT&T's lack of GDR2 on any device other than the 1020.  It's not FUD when to date it's fact.

drozdpat says:

If you don't know who the fish is in the room, its you.

Oppressed minority checking in. Give me the update ATT.
I actually like the voice and data is very fast, WP voicemail works like it is supposed to. I don't want to talk about texting though. The same a$$ that approves updates must be in charge of coming up with a texting plan. You can either of unlimited txt or none. I barely txt I'm not paying $30 for unlimited. So I pay.20 per mssg or .30 for pictures. Every month I pay for texts overages because push email is apparently not fast enough and people like be limited in characters I guess.

x I'm tc says:

Quit your trolling.
You know you will never get GDR2.

jasongw says:

What? That's not true, why would you say that?

I caved and upgraded to a 1020.

Nooooo, that is what they want. Now you will have to get the 1520 to get gdr3 :)

And in order to get the AT&T WP 8.1 you need to buy the Lumia 1820
And the "Spring" GRD you need....<sensored secret>

bpmurr says:

@Jas00555 I see what you just did, well played...2015...LOL

It will probably still work but going forward it won't be a hardware requirement... Eventually all new phones won't have a back button and most likely be replaced by a virtual one.

Fade_z says:

You will receive a free DIY kit from nokia, so you can take it out

It will be a black piece of electrical tape :-p
All better

clappenings says:

2015? Wow that's optimism

In Limbo says:

Hahaha . . . I just got that last part. I'm already irritated just thinking about how long AT&T will take to release this.

Tyetus says:

2015? At&t? Maybe gdr2 by then lol

over optimism doesn't suit you...drop it and go BACK to chynical doesn't work anymore...try charms...swiping left....what? ShutDown...but...zzzzzzapp!

Tiago Lopes says:

Don't worry fella, i spotted the snarky gag. Good lols and all that

gokkenath says:

Hope they will use gestures to close an app when we are inside an app. Scroll top to bottom like the windows 8, and that will remove the use of back button and that will even very close to RT 77%

rockstarzzz says:

Add to that the option to re-assign the back button on current devices to whatever the heck we want... Calling an app, speed dial, launching a lens etc! Ace :)

blackdaemon says:

One don't use back bottom for closing an app (why would I want to close an app? I don't want to involve in that kind of micromanagement, OS takes care of that for me nicely), back button is used to...surprise...going back. Having gestures for that is a problem. Up down gesture conflicts with scrolling, left right gesture conflicts with panorama and pivot switching.

Weird I feel like I use the back button all the time

Agent-P says:

So do I. I also don't understand how people "don't get the logic of the back button". What's not to get? You press it and it takes you back a page (whether in IE or some other app).

I've seen my gf do it all the time. I get tired of repeating myself so I just let her be...

mikefeero says:

Its so intuitive though. I HATE using my wife's iPhone because I feel that there are so many unnecessary steps to return to what you were doing. I would hate to see the back button go. Its ridiculously convenient. (case and point: just tried to post this but mt 4g kicked. I fixed it, and only had to push the back button to get back here to post it.)

txDrum says:

It doesn't always work like that. It works for that in IE but for example if you close IE and open it later, the back button no longer takes you to the previous app or home page. At least on my 8X. That's why its not always consistent, so I get why they're removing it.

That's only one small example and a software fix but not a reason to completely remove a back button.
I find the back button more useful than annoying and after time the user gets familiar on how the oS reacts to the back button.

PG2G says:

It is also annoying when you use a deep link to get into an application and get screwed as far as returning to other parts of that application because so many of them rely on the back stack for navigation.
For example, if I go into the Music app by selecting the currently playing song from the volume drop down, you are unable to navigate the rest of the app or go to another artist. You'd need to go back to the home screen and re-launch the app. Not a problem with the back stack per say, more of a problem with apps relying on it.
That said, I can't see this happening as it will prevent every app on the market from working properly unless they add a gesture that does the same thing.

Agent-P says:

I agree witth you that it is annoying when it's inconsistent like that, but as EvolutionHeavy said, it can be fixed via a software algorithm in a future update. MS would jsut have to make the OS change the way it sees the fuction of the back button. Removing it completely would technically solve the problem, but it seems like a bit of an overreaction.

pallentx says:

I'm hoping the button is eliminated by replacing it with some kind of gesture, like back in Windows 8 IE is a swipe from left to right. Close apps by dragging top to bottom, etc...

MikeSo says:

Agreed. I've learned to accept the inconsistencies, but the "Back" part of the back button doesn't always work as it would indicate.

Bartdog says:

Im in this camp.  Love the back button.  Sometimes I wish I could just go through and close things, but it would be nice to have both.

MrSimmix says:

Same here, I can't imagine living with out it.

Me too. They just need to explain how multitasking works. Back to close Windows to leave open. It's not confusing.

ZuNuKoo says:

I use my back button all the time. Especially when using IE. I think that's a stupid idea.

sri_tech says:

Users are not confused about back button behavior. May be Microsoft employees are confuesed but not Windows phone users.
They should not mess with back button. People don't use it for going to start screen. They use it to go to previous pages in apps.

blackhawk556 says:

This is the confusing part of the back button. Go into a website and click on 4 different pages in the website. You hit the back button once and you're back on page 3. You press the Windows button and click on text messages and have a convo with someone. You press the windows key again and go to the web to finish looking at your page 3. If you press the back button to go to page 2 and what happens? It takes you out of the browser!!! THAT'S THE CONFUSING PART PEOPLE. I don't get why a lot of people here ignore that. Most people don't hold the back button to jump back into the browser which causes the back button to take you out of it.

MikeSo says:

Agreed. It doesn't work like a back button a lot of the time.

blackdaemon says:

So you just basically run the browser again from the home screen instead of going back to existing instance by using task list and you are "confused" that it does not remember your back stack? That is actually not confusing at all. On wp7 new instance is created, on wp8 app can handle it differently, decision on "forgetting" the back stack is up to the developer. If you want to go back to the app with preserved back stack, you should use task list screen and not run it again from the home screen.

Nakazul says:

With 4-5% World market, how do they really know what people want. I use the back button all the time.

I use my back button every time I use my phone. But I guess a windows 8 tablet swipe back on a browser wouldn't be horrible.

Zokudu says:

I always use my back button. O.o

mr toes says:

Same, what a boneheaded decision

teaMJPx says:

+1 I love my back button. But I can see why it would not be required since some devices would be mini tablets at the 7"+ sizes. Still gonna use my back button till the day it dies... Errr... Is removed... jejeje

No back button! I'll switch to android! I'll do it man, I'll f*ucking do it!!!

rockstarzzz says:

Take me with you :'(

Lets make our own mobile OS! Call it "RockButtlafunk" YESS!

rockstarzzz says:

Rockbutt and funk can be all our updates i.em Rockbutt Dafunk, Rockbutt Youfunk, Rockbutt BigFunk etc!

PeadarWagon says:

It's not censorship to merely add an asterisk. You have to replace the letters like this you f*@% tard. ;)

iBandar says:

WHAT? Don't get logic behind back button? you kidding me right? I mean seriously *facepalm*
Am I the only one who uses back button ALL THE TIME?

bpmurr says:

Nope I do as well. They're dumbing it down for everyone else.

PeadarWagon says:

They are "Appleing" it down.

cdbstl76 says:

I use it constantly

ImSoWade says:

I actually rarely even use the home button, but I use the back button all the time

dhruv07 says:

Well me 2!!! but the fact is wht are they gonna make d button useful for that is gonna be surprise!!!

Lumia 8x says:

Relax and to all people. Read the title, its a rumor....

bpgui says:

I use the back button almost exclusively. I only use the windows button when I want to keep an app open.

ImSoWade says:

Same here that is literally the ONLY time I use it

IzaacJ says:

+920 on that. I'd rather lose the windows button than the back one, but I can understand the removal if WP8.1 will get WinRT and WP closer together.

Dazzi says:

Same here mate -- lets hope this rumour doesn't come true!

No!!!! I use the back button constantly!!

Back button is key to the current OS because it can't properly multitask like normal Windows.

rockstarzzz says:

Current OS will look and behave like Win RT so do whatever you please with the back button and I wont tell mommy.

rubenwidjaja says:

just come stable and fix poor image quality from Lumia 720!! Arggggggg

Vistaus says:

No image problems on my 720.

dkp23 says:

I use the backbutton all the time, if people dont understand the logic behidn it, probably because MS made it that way, fix it dont remove it. 
Dont remove it dammit

txkimmers says:

I love you, back button.  I love you.  Can't they just offer an option to disable it for people who don't understand what a left facing arrow means?

PeadarWagon says:

Would this be a bad time to ask for a forward button?

kwambe5 says:

I guess we're in the minority, because I use the back button everyday!

psykojello says:

Nooooooo! Not the back button! I feel like a 2 legged giraffe when I use an ios device these days. MUST HAVE BACK BUTTON!

unnatixlr8 says:

very true.. back button is so natural for windows phone users.