Cyan on AT&T

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

Apps

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

Apps

Demo of the Animated Lock Screen for 8.1

Windows Phone News

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

Rumors

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

Windows Phone News

BitLocker and Lumia Cyan causing issues for Windows Phones running Preview for Developers

Games

Some old Xbox games get a 2nd Life

Windows Phone News

Lumia Cyan update now available for Lumia 625 and Lumia 925 globally

Windows Phone News

Here is how to find out if Lumia Cyan is available for your phone

Windows Phone News

Lumia Cyan with Windows Phone 8.1 roll-out starts today!

Windows Phone News

Microsoft preventing new Lumia owners from changing the default search engine to Google [update]

How the Windows Phone 8.1 Xbox Games App changes your gaming experience Lumia 1520
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How the Windows Phone 8.1 Xbox Games App changes your gaming experience

In Windows Phone 8.1, the Xbox Games Hub is now a separate app that can be updated independently from the OS itself. It can’t be uninstalled, but the freedom to update separately should allow Microsoft to make changes to the app much more quickly than before. In fact, the app received an update earlier today.

Like many aspects of the Windows Phone 8.1 update, the Xbox Games app builds on the established pre-8.1 design and makes a few changes as well. Not all of these changes are for the better, and in some ways the app is a clear step back. Luckily there will surely be more updates to follow. Read on to learn about the major changes in the Windows Phone 8.1 Xbox Games app and the new way the OS lists the games you’ve installed.

The Games List

Windows Phone 8.1 Xbox Games App

Traditionally, the Xbox Games hub has been the one and only place from which to browse, launch, and uninstall Windows Phone games. That has changed in Windows Phone 8.1, as games now appear in the phone’s Apps list as well as the Xbox Games app. The dual listing seems to be a result of Microsoft wanting to make games available even if the app should ever be uninstalled (which it can’t be) or become unusable as a result of a bad update.

Some users find it irritating that games now clog up their apps lists, particularly avid gamers with lots of installed games. I don’t blame them; unceremoniously dumping games in with the apps seems like an accident as opposed to a deliberate decision on Microsoft’s part.  Although app browsing is less pleasant in Windows Phone 8.1, you can still access the apps you want easily enough by jumping to specific letters in the list or using Windows Phone 8.1’s expanded search functions.

Windows Phone 8.1 uninstall game

The actual games list still exists in the Xbox Games app as the ‘Collection’ page. And you won’t find all of your apps mixed in with the games list, thank goodness. The list consists of two primary sections: ‘Xbox’ and ‘Other.’ Annoyingly, games can no longer be uninstalled from the 'Collection' page. You have to exit and do it from the Apps page.

At the bottom under ‘More,’ you’ll find a link to the Games store. The link jumps directly to the ‘Top Free’ section of the Games Store.

Inexplicably missing from the ‘Collection’ page is the ‘Recent’ category. Prior to Windows Phone 8.1, you’d find your three most recently played games there. It provided a convenient way to jump back and forth between your favorite games of the moment without having to pin their tiles to the Start screen. Taking away the Recent list is one of those “one step forward, two steps back things” that we’ve seen Microsoft do with things like Xbox Music (and even Windows 8, many would say) in the past. Let’s hope the feature returns soon.

Social Page

Windows Phone 8.1 Xbox Games App

The Social page is the one part of the Xbox Games app that actually shows a clear improvement. You’ll still see your Xbox avatar goofing around, though I notice mine is badly in need of anti-aliasing.

To the left of the avatar are now four navigation tiles instead of two:

  • Achievements
  • Profile
  • Messages
  • Friends

The old equivalent of the Social page didn’t have a name. Its navigation icons led directly to Achievements and the avatar editor (which requires installation of the Xbox Live Extras app). From the Achievements page you could swipe over to the Profile page. To view your messages and friends, you had to swipe right from the “Profile” page and select the Friends tile.

Under the new app, users can swipe back and forth between the Achievements and Profile pages or the Messages and Friends pages. The sub-pages are still connected in the same way as before, but jumping directly to the page you want is much easier thanks to all four tiles being grouped together logically under Social.

The actual Profile page has one significant difference in Windows Phone 8.1: the option to set Beacons in Xbox 360 games is gone. Beacons are a seldom-used feature that allows players to announce their desire for multiplayer partners in an individual game. The concept of asking people to join you in a game is good, but the actual implementation proved mostly useless. I doubt anybody will miss Beacon support in the Xbox Games app, especially since Xbox One doesn’t support Beacons.

The avatar editor was located in two different places prior to Windows Phone 8.1: the “Social” page and the Profile page. With the new Xbox games app, you’ll only find the editor under ‘Profile.” A reasonable change, especially since most users probably don’t change their avatars all that frequently. The avatar editor is still a separate download, and it still doesn’t take advantage of the full Windows Phone screen for some reason.

Notifications and Spotlight

The ‘Notifications’ page and ‘Spotlight’ page remain unchanged in Windows Phone 8.1. Under ‘Notifications’ you’ll find a mixture of Xbox live messages and Windows Phone game invites, all represented as Live tiles. ‘Spotlight’ displays the latest Xbox Red Stripe Deal and other Xbox Windows Phone game advertisements.

Performance and other issues

Windows Phone 8 (old) Games hub

We’ve already listed the loss of the ‘Recent’ games list and the inability to delete games from the 'Collections' page, but those are not the only problems with the Xbox Games app in Windows Phone 8.1.

The most obvious issue for Xbox One owners is the lack of support for Xbox One Achievements. You still can’t view Achievements earned in Xbox One games through the native Achievement viewer, which is just as ridiculous in Windows Phone 8.1 as it was before the update. The only way to view them on your phone is by using the Xbox One SmartGlass or TrueAchiever apps.

A problem with the Xbox Games app that affects everybody is its performance. Since Windows Phone 8.1 launched and even after the recent Xbox Games app update, the app has been extremely slow to load. Users face a several seconds-long delay every time they launch or resume the app during which time images will slowly load and the Search button can’t be used. I’m sure the loading will be fixed eventually, but it’s a nuisance right now.

Also gone from the Xbox Games app are the link to Xbox SmartGlass and the Games Settings. The former is no real loss. But I can’t find any way to access Games Settings now. Unless that page still exists somewhere, Windows Phone 8.1 users have no way to universally disable toast notifications from games.

Finally, the Xbox Games app does not have a Live tile at present. Prior to 8.1, the user's avatar would show up and perform cute animations on the hub's tile.

Other gaming improvements

Windows Phone 8.1 independent volume controls and Move to SD Card feature

Windows Phone 8.1 introduces some major improvements to the gaming experience, namely separate volume controls and the ability to install games and apps on SD cards. The independent volume controls allow gamers to turn down a game’s sound without affecting ringer volume. Every other mobile OS (including Windows Mobile) has long had that ability, so it’s fantastic that Windows Phone users now get the same benefit.

As for SD card support, the benefit is clear. Prior to Windows Phone 8.1, if your phone’s internal storage filled up you would have to delete games or apps in order to create room for new games. Doing so would permanently delete your save files in those games that didn’t support cloud saves. Now many of us can just invest in SD cards and store games there with no loss of save data. Not every Windows Phone device supports SD cards. But going forward, avid gamers can take SD support into account when choosing a phone to buy.

The Xbox Games app is not quite as good as the pre-8.1 Xbox Games hub. Nor does it make much sense to list games in with apps without a way to filter out those games. But the Xbox Games app is just that – a separate app. And that means Microsoft will surely continue to refine and improve it in the future. Although many of us are running the Windows Phone 8.1 developer preview, the general release of Windows Phone 8.1 is still a ways off. Hopefully the app will be up to previous standards by then, if not even better.

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Comments

There are 195 comments. Sign in to comment

KrisJoeEll says:

Get those games off the app list & restore uninstall/pin to start controls to games hub.

This is what the world wants.

jirimrazek says:

Yes, I must uinstal lot of games that I play, but I do not wont games in app list.

Mayur says:

I already did, uninstalled about 60 games. I believe this way developers are going to lose out, games atleast you still want to play once in a blue moon, you wouldn't bother to keep them and it will be like, out of sight out of mind thing :(

I haven't visited the Games Hub since games were moved to the app list. It's so much more easier to search for a game the same way you find an app, than it is to have a list of uncategorized games.

KrisJoeEll says:

This was one of the features that made WP stand out from the rest. Having all the games tucked away in the Hub gave the app list a very clean look.

Atleast give an option to disable this feature, so everyone is content.

Mayur says:

Or atleast have an option to sort by category, apps and games, this way apps will be at the top and games all together at the bottom of the screen..

or rather yet another swipe to the right for the Games page - right? Right!
Alright! Vote for that feature!

powerd says:

Absolutely! Swipe right from the app list to get to the games list.

I would be totally fine with that concept

ErR0rPr0n3 says:

No two swipes to get to games... Too much effort :)  I personally like the games being in apps but agree it feels less special than going to the XBOX LIVE GAMES hub.

Bertram hein says:

Why swipe to the right 2 times ? we have still the left side right ? so why dont do a nouther system update and actually add the games hub to the right side ?
like this :
Games(alphabetic ordered)

social( all the 4 menus)

shop/store whatever

It wouldnt be that hard ! and its the best improvement ms could ever do.

vote for that ! and it would be just easy to swipe from your homescreen to the left ^^

ealexand#CB says:

I disagree. Sometimes I want to play a game but I'm not sure which one. I liked the hub because when I think "game" or "audio" I just go to the hub, then all my choices are there. I'd just like an option to include hub apps in the main list or not

Choice is always great, but my main concern is that I either have to fill my already stuffed Start screen with another icon just to play one of my few games. Or I have to find Games on the app list, and then find the game I want to play, which is a few steps more than needed.

KrisJoeEll says:

WP is supossed to be a clean and organised OS. These new changes (alterations to photo hub, games in app list) are reminiscent of Android OS. If we wanted those we would have switched to Android.  

tribexx says:

I agree, it's why I chose WP. What's next, putting music on the app list as well. (So that it's "easier to have everything in one place"?

I still wouldn't choose Android but I get your point.

Bertram hein says:

Thats excatly what i said . it really feels like ms gave up hope into winphone , and adresses the new way into the android/ios styled direction.

i mean yeah that seperation to the apps themselfs gives microsoft new abilities , but we never fucking needed those apps ! because they were useless . and now we get credit for not using them by getting the worst apps ever ???

Totally agree with you!!!

tcube says:

This. I don't game much but when I feel like the hub was the best place to choose.

tbonenga says:

How many games do you have installed? I'd guess not many. I have every Xbox game installed. It actually makes it harder for me to find a app with all my games.

JW7 says:

how about having the games hub being organised in the same way as app list
 

vkelkar says:

I guess it wud require an OS update

Joe920 says:

Exactly. I ununstalled all those games I downloaded for my nieces because I didn't want them cluttering up my app list. Such a weird decision by MS.

Yes absolutely!!!! And make that stupid avatar to disappear out of my sight. At least let people have an option to hide it or something. Avatar thing is the worst wp experience i have..

Dean McCrae says:

I like the games on the app list. But it's simple to please everyone, just have a filter in the app list to include or exclude games.

Daves_Desk says:

This is what the world wants.

Yes this is what the world wants, and world peace, and then shawarma.

Ok maybe games off the app list, then shawarma, and then world peace.

HAHA I see what you did there LOL

They should at LEAST give us the option to!

Saad Rabia says:

It is overall slower and different. I like the old Game hub. Also please oh please Microsoft remove games from my app list. It the reason why I love the app list on WP as opposed to other OSs.

Niavlys77 says:

Agreed! I never thought of it before, but its definitely something that made WP feel so much cleaner. Now it feels like a cluster****.

Talk4Lig says:

Slower than turtle.

garak0410 says:

I miss all of the original hubs...

Rick_Air says:

Me too. In going forward to appeal to new users and making it more like Android and IOS for familiarity (which is understandable) It's lost a bit of it's spark IMO, it's definitely better but now not so different.

ealexand#CB says:

I really like the efficiency of having the hub tile represent several apps. Now I have to pin my 7-8 music and podcast apps separately which looks cluttered to me.

mreaglejr says:

The avatar was so much fun previously too. It wasn't seen as cut off when you scrolled to the side, and you could do things like holding down and sliding the hub screen left and right very quick to make your avatar fall, etc. :)

Marco Gomes1 says:

Exactly! One of the things that made WP different from boring androids and iPhones was the hubs. All my friends envied it and I have never ever heard anyone asking for Microsoft to remove them. If the point is to make WP the exact same thing as android and iPhone then they are doing a good job.

Niavlys77 says:

Yeah, no kidding. It seems like that's exactly what they're trying for...it's actually kind of pathetic. They're scrapping everything people loved about WP. They must be high on something...hopefully it wears off soon so we get a proper 8.1 update!

navidee says:

Me too. Pretty annoyed. These new apps blow!

jiggaman135 says:

I agree i really miss all the hubs and how beautiful they were with the large photo scrollable wallpaper particularly in the photos hub...as for the games hub it feels like its unfinished to say the least as for the games peppered throughout the apps list, that actually doesn't bother me. Probably because I don't have tons of games but they should have left the ability quarantine the games if the user desired.

JanZee says:

They should bring back all the original hubs plus improve it! Additional maybe a Social Hub! Or a messaging hub for all your sms, chat apps, etc. Or improve the current messaging app that integrates with Twitter DM, instagram Direct, Facebook chat, and etc etc etc. :))

cyborg4 says:

I cant update it - it just says Item not available :(

EDDS says:

Slow piece of crap, the hub was a million times better

Aashish13 says:

The update coming on 22nd is for Xbox music or the OS general fixes of bugs again?

Milk21 says:

XBOX live features are working for a lot of people outside the US. Basically means there's a games list and nothing else. No gamer score, no access to xbox friends.... Nothing....

agmanuel says:

That's happening in Argentina to me no social features! No avatar no anything beyond a list!

deebee_433 says:

You mean Xbox LIVE social features aren't working, right? Because I can attest to this! :)

agmanuel says:

Yes not working!! I can't even see my avatar, that's happening also in my sister and brother phones!! ( before you ask Xbox live is available in Argentina)

Tassie Stu says:

The Xbox Live social features don't work for me in Australia either.  Interestingly though, when I change my region to the USA, the Xbox Live social features in the App work.  They just dont work when my region is set to Australia.

Clearly the bug is region related.  Thankfully, those of us living outside the USA are clearly Microsoft's highest priority, so this bug will undoubtedly be fixed really soon.  NOT!

deebee_433 says:

You're correct of course. It is region related I suspect as the original version of the app was listed as a test version in the Australian app store. Not sure why they would take out the integrated features for non US phones as this doesn't make any sense. I'm presuming that an updated app is inbound so I'm not overly concerned about this, however it does beg the question: Why remove the social features in the first place?

Tassie Stu says:

I doubt the removal is deliberate.  It is almost certainly an unintentional oversight.  So far, from comments here and at the MSDN forum, the problem exists in Australia, Austria and Argentina.  I am sure it exists in other countries too, but not all people complaining mention which country they are in.
Given this list of countries, maybe there is a coding problem where countries beginning in A were left out of the Xbox Live integration features?

deebee_433 says:

Oh, I know. I wasn't inferring that it was; it was (probably) an unintentional consequence of the developer preview. Still, a company the size of Microsoft? Seems like a really big oversight on their behalf. Again, I'm not overly perturbed by it like some are. I figure I'll just wait it out :)

Tassie Stu says:

Well at least Xbox Live works on some parts of my phone - I just unlocked an achievement in Asphalt 7 on my phone :-)

That suggests that the bug is limited to the new Games Hub App, so hopefully it is easily fixed by Microsoft :-)

What I miss the most about no xbox live integration in the Games App is watching my avatar bounce around the screen with his lightsaber - childish I know, but makes me smile every time I watch it!

deebee_433 says:

I didn't think that it wouldn't to be honest. The Xbox integration in the old games hub was probably separate from the rest of the parts that tie into achievements and other social features. It's a consolation I suppose but I need to keep reminding myself that this is still a dev preview; although one can't help but wonder what the fuck goes on at Microsoft sometimes. Nah, not childish; that's what makes WP (imo) the better platform. I hope they bring back live tiles for Xbox Music, Games and Video. It'd even be nice if the new podcast app had a live too (I won't hold me breath!) :)

Here in Brazil, is fine.

Sin Ogaris says:

I thought it might have had something to do with being outside the US. It's made the games app completely useless to me now and yet I can't even uninstall it.

WP Ian says:

Only games appear in Australia - No avatar, no friends, no achievements. Not happy Microsoft!

Warbler says:

Changed for worse

Remove games from apps...... That's only update I want.....

borasar says:

Is the option to disconnect from xbox games no longer there? It used to disable all the social aspects

spyridon says:

Seems like it, I wanted to disable it as well but I cant find the option anywhere

Paul Acevedo says:

I don't know why anybody would do that, but yes. The Games Settings are gone.

Does anybody know why I don't revive windows phone games notifications?! Like six-guns or other games that support Xbox live?

Isn't the achievements thing a widespread Microsoft problem? I haven't checked in a few weeks, but my games weren't showing up on their actual site either

Paul Acevedo says:

If you mean Xbox One Achievements, then yeah. We can't view them through the Xbox 360 either. Super annoying.

Make it faster,now it takes around 7-10s to load completely

topleya says:

Get games off app list and implement Xbox One smart glass to the Games Hub

Sin Ogaris says:

Why don't I have the social page, all I have is the collection list and the games are no longer separated either. Anyone else seen this?

GCrane1982 says:

Same for me, all I get is the games app list. No profile or social pages

Tassie Stu says:

Same here.  Let me guess - all of you live outside the USA?

Sin Ogaris says:

That's the gist I got from another comment. Kind of annoying.

Just give us folders or more control of organizing the apps on the startscreen and within the applist

igorbear says:

For me, all of my game progress was lost. Just saw that on my Temple Run 2. Really pissed me off

elsana says:

God;what was wrong when the app was a part of os ????now I have too see lags, loading.... . The same about Xbox music and Its very frustrated

Pranjal Rai says:

It may sound weird but I never had the' recent 'category in the prior Xbox games hub.

fbendotti says:

I understand this is a beta. Please fix this. Does anyone know if there is an easy way to submit suggestions or complaints? Is there an app for that? By the way, swipe keyboard is awesome.

Sin Ogaris says:

The "beta" thing doesn't fly with me. This isn't some grand new app that they're taking a risk with, it's supposed to be what we already had only now as an app instead of native. It's not like Microsoft haven't been coding apps for years now, they should be able to get this right.

Thank you Paul for pointing out the xbox one achievements issue its crazy that the support isn't there

Reach4zasky says:

Really needs another update. Still slow and laggy.

Marco Gomes1 says:

The is no other way to describe it, the Xbox app is an unbelievable pile of SHIT. It lags on almost every single task, many games freeze and then go again, the sound and the screen suffer from random cuts, games mixed with apps, no recent played games, can't uninstall from within the app. It's not a step back, it's miles back from where it was before. Pain in the freaking ass.

They obviously copied some code directly from Lagdroid

rockstarzzz says:

Fan of Papa John's pizza I see... I love their The Greek One! What's your fav Paul?

Paul Acevedo says:

Ha ha. I just get pepperoni and pineapple. :)

Aashish13 says:

When will Nokia release cyan update? Which month?

mr toes says:

Who cares about updating it separately when the tradeoff is horrific performance and a splash screen everytime you go into it. Unfortunately, apps will never be as smooth as native experiences and this move was nothing but boneheaded. We want our native experience back!!!

Sekyal says:

I don't game much, so I like the games listed in the apps list, I never liked using the hub. Though I do miss the live tile of the Games app with my avatar peeking in, etc. That is gone and makes the Games app rather dull looking.

ej1024 says:

MSFT always find a way to mess things up... Why can't they just leave it alone.. I don't want all my games on my app list.. Im not upgrading my phone to 8.1.. PLEASE!!!

pattayo_ib says:

I hope there will be an article on music hub in Windows Phone 8.1... So much different now. Work no more like before... No album artwork displayed on now playing. MPA Tool apps i don't think is applicable anymore... Hoping for some tips and how-to...

kingkoopa09 says:

To fix lock screen now playing open the app force close then go to settings and turn off then on

My previously installed games dont show up in the games hub at all.. Is anyone else facing this?

Got fixed with the latest update :D

Soble says:

Game app load too slow

wpguy says:

Mine just updated, and it does seem to startup a little faster and work a little smoother. In fact, launch and resume are now both quite fast for me after the first launch. I still miss my avatar on the now dead tile. No reason to have the hub pinned now. :(

sugardad says:

+1 I also removed the "live" tile and I hope that in a future update It will start to liven up a bit thus reinstate It in Its glorious former "front seat" position....

kingkoopa09 says:

I dont use app list or game hub my used apps and games are on start screen or I quick jump

kingkoopa09 says:

Scrolling thru apps period is slow

monzki says:

I updated the Games app and now I can't view my games. I use the Nokia app folder instead.

monzki says:

The 2nd update fixed the bug. Whew!

rain620 says:

The option to disable XBox integration is missing also.

BlackGoku says:

Anyone here with silver memnbership able to sen msgs to xbox friends??I am able to send msgs without gold membership?

zacharyaller says:

You have always been able to do everything but play games and use Netflix with silver on Xbox

Curtieson says:

Not true. He is correct that Silver members could not send messages. Maybe they got rid of that limitation when they changed the name to Free? Not sure...as I've been Gold since '08 so I didn't have to deal with it first hand.

Pls remove games from app list nd put it in games hub as it was earlier in wp 8

KustomAU says:

I miss my little avatar goofing around on my games live tile.

euichii says:

Remove games from app list or add folder function of some sort. In which we can personalize and basically unclutter the app list and have an improved experience using the app list.

I don't know why MS is modifying things which were already good like the Games Hub and not concentrating on others which needs it. I hate seeing games in my app list and at least they should have a disable button which doesn't sound hard to implement. I am games lover and I often install and uninstall games. I used to uninstall in 2 sec just by going to Games Hub and now I have to first find games in apps list and uninstall it. :|

majohnny says:

#StandUpForHubs

wapoz says:

I hate it.  Some of the changes- especially dumping all the games in the app list, are starting to make WP look sloppy and disorganized like earlier versions of Android.

lemonsteveo says:

Seems like they placed all the brains behind the actual OS updates and left the hubs and apps to interns, working part time...

The only positive with having the games listed in the main apps section is you can finally hold down and share an app. That was one thing that drove me crazy about the game hub was there was no way to share the app unless you just went and found it in the store and shared it from there.

Paul Acevedo says:

Oh yeah, that was annoying.

AccentAE86 says:

Holy crap what a gamer score! It took me two years to get to 1965 where I am now.

Paul Acevedo says:

Well, I do play lots of Xbox 360 and Xbox One games too. :)

tbonenga says:

This is actually the Second update for me.

As often when it comes to gaming, especially on Windows Phone: Microsoft is doing a horrible job and they managed to make it even worse.
So sad with this whole gaming situation.

neo158 says:

I don't get why you guys are so annoyed with games being listed in with all your other apps, Windows 8.1 does this and you don't complain about that!!!!

lemonsteveo says:

Windows 8.1 makes up for this by having categories and filters in the app list. Even apps on the start screen can be categorised and named. Windows Phone really needs a way to sort its apps other than just alphabetically.

neo158 says:

That's irrelevant as they are still listed in All Apps, Windows 8.1 also has an Xbox Games app so why aren't games listed in there instead?

lemonsteveo says:

That's highly relevant, the majority of the people here either want the games out of the list or a better categorised app list.

Paul Acevedo says:

It's not irrelevant at all.

denis7 says:

That's because people don't have Windows 8.1 on their phones.

Paul Acevedo says:

Plus Windows 8.1 actually has good sorting options. No such options exist on Windows Phone.

Neo Nuke says:

Great article. Paul is a true mobile gamer. He gets us. Which is why he wrote such a darn fine article. The ending keeps us optimistic for the best from our beloved and favorite company of mobile software.

Paul Acevedo says:

Thank you for the kind words, Neo Nuke! I'm glad you liked the article. :-D

xankazo says:

The biggest change for me is the ability to install games on the SD card. With only 8GB on board and a 32GB card it was pathetic that the only game I could truly afford to have was Wordament. Now I can have as many games as I want. If Microsoft gives us the option to keep the games in the games app only and free the app list from clutter, the gaming experience could be one of the best on all platforms.

NIST says:

No Recent in both the Game hub and Peoples hub are terrible decisions. It's weird, games are still in the games hub but photography apps are no longer in the photos hub. In fact you can't even choose an app to edit from the photos hub. That completely sucks.

neo158 says:

Editing a photo is still there but it's not obvious, you have to share it with the app you want to edit it with.

"This must be why we haven't released Windows Phone 8.1 yet" (If you are as old or older than me you'll get the reference.)

NIST says:

Thanks. Though only a fraction of my photo apps are in there.

Bob101910 says:

These are some of those things that I hope will get fixed before official release.

Paul May says:

What a great article.

_Emi_ says:

Complainers, Complainers... thats all you are.
you didn't like the changes? why you installed a PREVIEW version?
apps will be updated and some things will be changed from 8.1 preview to 8.1 final.
stop being dramatic crying babies, don't update to 8.1 or any new update if you don't like changes... and bugs, and unpolished OS stuff, and unpolished 8.1 apps.

thaman04 says:

Um... they aren't dramatic complaints but rather changes that ruin the experience.  The speed of the app has really gone downhill, the animated live tile is gone, there is no options to show games in the app list or hide them, etc.  They made a PREVIEW so devs can build their new apps and to get feedback on any bugs which is what people are doing.

_Emi_ says:

Like I said. you installed a PREVIEW, if it was Final, you can complain all you want, but apps are unpolished, and they will get updates. it's still 2 months away from release. and they might add features in next update you dont know (because not everything can be done in this release)

and no, this wasn't for people to complain about "oh xbox music apps sucks" like if it wasn't going to be updated anymore and you were using final version. one thing is to complain and other is to give feedback, or trying to get used to features.
so many people complain about others who complain about wanting start menu in win8, and you are all doing exactly the same "oh I hate going to app list for my games gwah gwah" only because you aren't used to do that.

anandv427 says:

Its necessary to cry out dude....thats what we call user voice...it plays a gr8 role in improving standards...

Mohit Jain4 says:

Many of the bugs(music app ruined, games ruined and some other things) r making me think not to update my phone but the ability to move apps to sd card is the only thread m putting my life on, otherwise not much is in there for me in 8.1, at least for now when i read about the dev preview.

anandv427 says:

What abt notification centre..cortana...speed dial...camera improvements...its all for good...its a software pre release..b4 official release music and games definitely going to be corrected....after that its going to be gr8....

dkxs says:

Actually the benefits of 8.1 outweighs the bugs by far. You have notification center with quick access settings, much more convenient than ever before and the finally usable battery saving mode which does not restrict social messaging apps any more.

dkxs says:

just one issue, it still does not work one my Lumia 1520 after the update

thaman04 says:

I hope they remove that ugly light grey gradient background.  It doesn't match the other Xbox services on Windows and Xbox One.  It should be black or very dark grey or white.

Also, I agree games should be able to be hidden from the App List - there needs to be an option for that.

Lastly, the animated Game tile with the avatar needs to come back and the speed of the app needs to improve.  I thought with 8.1 they would fix the speed issue between baked in apps/hubs and updatable ones... but it looks like it wasn't.  I really hope they super charge them so they are faster while still updatable.

percistratus says:

Just a correction, the Xbox games app has had 2 updates, Someone at wpcentral should have been paying attention

perspicuity says:

I realize I'm in a minority here but I'm so glad that the games are listed in the app list. I would forget I had certain games installed because I never use them. Also, I consider games apps because they are... Miss my music hub though.

zacharyaller says:

I think they should leave games in the applist for regular folk, but give the option to keep them in the games hub for those who have a bunch of games. All they need is a toggle in the games hub.

sumothong01 says:

Probably also need to get rid of the MSFT points on the avatar store page. They did away with the points system over a year ago. You would think they would have already fixed this.

DesRed says:

"The avatar editor is still a separate download, and it still doesn’t take advantage of the full Windows Phone screen for some reason."

 

I still don't understand why Microsoft can't integrate this into the XBox Games app instead of having to download a separate app to do so pre-WP 7.x/8. It's not so much about how often or rarely you customise your avatar, but more for convenience. Looks a lot like an oversight on their part if you ask me and hopefully it will be integrated in a future update.

Curtieson says:

I think that is about space on phones that are coming with 8 or 4 GB of space. Every bit counts and not everyone will edit avatars.

My main question though, currently on WP 8.0 you can't make purchases for your avatar (know issue) because all avatar items on WPs are still priced in POINTS and all points have been converted to $$$s, so it says you have to buy more point and you obviously can't. Wonder if that's fixed?

MadSci2 says:

Sure glad I have not updated yet. What a mess.

We want Xbox one support!

Studio384 says:

Todays update was the second one, not the first one.

shaharukhs says:

Can any one help me... I want to change my gamer pic which was just showing some circular green colour...and I want to change it to my avatar as I set it in my Xbox games

paulxxwall says:

Who's idea was this? This person I probably some old guy who care nothing about how games are organized...how some of us are rocking Xbox ones ..it was better before

Nice to see they brought back the native message client that was in wp7.x sure its not really needed since its also available in the 1 smart glass app but is needed for the oses sharing hooks

as sad as it is to see the recent feature go i found it useless. If they were to readd it id like it to mirror the sorting feature the 360 has instead of just last 3 games played

vansiv says:

I want my games on a hub, no mesing with my apps, just that.

ryaoni says:

When will the Xbox One show up on the games app?

ayush23 says:

i didn't installed WP 8.1 developer update after knowing that games are listed on app list..

i don't want to uninstall any of 25-20 games that my 12 year old cousin likes to play + the 4 games that i like, and i don't want my app list to ne ruined.. 

heck i have to wait for official over the air update, hoping microsoft or nokia fix it for us.

coz, as of now WP app list is sucks.

PS - i always brag around my friends that unlike android or ios.. i have games listed seperately and my os looks very clean. BUT NOW......

 

NickG92 says:

I can't even open the games hub, it just takes me back to the start screen? Wtf

RafRol says:

I guess we'll have to wait for WP9 in order for the hubs to gain feature parity with WP8 (even WP7).  I can't believe I'm even saying that...

I Spiritus I says:

They still need to fix xbox one achievements. They are still not being displayed in the achievement section :(.

bbbneo333 says:

How is he able to put a blue colored background in Games hub?

Paul Acevedo says:

It's a gray and white background, the same one that everyone else has.

Thenutman says:

MS annoys the hell out of me so much sometimes.  It seems like everything they do lately (WP 8.1, Windows 8, Xbox One) is a step backwards from the previous versions and they need to come back through in later updates just to fix what they screwed up and not a single one is yet up to the previous versions yet we are still told to just wait they may fix it eventually.

swizzlerz says:

Its a constant Chang.. Look at windows 3.1 vrs 8.1 today.

khaarshad says:

Games are not displayed and listed in my Game hub anymore. I am getting an error

rth314 says:

Did avid gamers like scrolling through a long list of games without jumplists? I like having games in the app list now because I can find a game without launching the Games hub and scrolling through a long list wondering if the game is in the Xbox list or the non-Xbox list. Certainly there are other people who had this problem. Solved.

AskaLangly says:

Before ANYONE goes about editing game files, you simply cannot. They're all encrypted. Believe me, I tried.

The Games hub is a complete jittery jerky mess now. It takes 15 seconds plus to open, updates.. what exactly I have no idea, presumably all the Xbox shit they are spamming you with (Try this game! - er no) then scrolls like your grandad with Parkinsons. The Spotlight pivot is laughably slow. Horrible. Ideal solution would be to reinstate the Games hub, remove games from apps list and let the Games hub have options to filter by Xbox title and 'Suggest new titles for me'.

nakialj says:

I love how the game hub looks.

JoaoSantana says:

Hi Paul, can you tell me which case is that in your 1520? Ty 

 

Paul Acevedo says:

It's the MiniSuit Rugged case for 1520. I reviewed it a while back.

When scrolling you can see the lag, please fix.

icthusman1 says:

I'm confused here Paul. After updating the Games app the other day I noticed that my games were no longer showing in my app list and were exclusively in the hub. Am I just special since no one else seems to have this?

Paul Acevedo says:

That does seem different from what we're all experiencing!

jpkjpk says:

You didn't 'have' to go to the games hub before. You could pin desired games to the start screen. You still can.

xFalk says:

I wouldn't mind all the games being listed with all other apps if there were a check box to "Hide/Unhide all games from Apps List".

Is it just me but on lumia 521 it kick me out every time I want to see my avatar >=/

I dont need 8.1 update because some of apps like xbox music, video and game are not available in my region, these hubs were one of things that made WP distinctive with others I dont know why microsoft is mess up trying to look like android who does not care about user experience,I am a lover of WP but for this go away with your platform that will never survive in next 5 year.

ErR0rPr0n3 says:

I have to disagree with the "I doubt anybody will miss Beacon support in the Xbox Games app, especially since Xbox One doesn’t support Beacons" statement.  I LOVED beacons and have been really sad that they weren't supported in XB1.  Beacons of my friends logging in to play bf3 or whatever our game of choice was on xb360 were so handy since I could just jump on when I knew people I wanted to play with were on.  Now I have to actually keep the smartglass app open if i want to find out and there's no audible alert.  Maybe I'll be able to tell Cortana to notify me if my friends are playing BF4 or Titanfall but until then, I'm waiting for thatt to come to xb1.

polychromenz says:

I like the games in the app list it means I can pin them.

Paul Acevedo says:

You could pin them before too.

IAmBay says:

My Xbox Game Tile does not load anymore ever since the windows 8.1 update.

IAmBay says:

Tile/App won't load. Can't see my Avatar. This sucks! That's needs to be fixed

IAmBay says:

However I do like 8.1 preview update

redtidal says:

I wouldn't mind the "dumping" of games to app list, if WP8.1 could allow me to create customized "lists."

This is a big step back from the idea of "hub." Looks like they just updating for the update sake. 

Abdo Ahmed says:

Guys I have a problem.. I have Xbox account and I am playing through it in modern combat 4 ,now it is not linked any more ,refreshed the games hub .said something went wrong in your Xbox service or connection.. I can't access the game any more. Using 1520 with 8.1 preview of dev