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Windows Phone Blue to support virtual navigation buttons according to leak

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Windows Phone Blue to support virtual navigation buttons according to leak
A tweet from serial leaker evleaks reveals that Windows Phone Blue will support virtual buttons for navigation at the bottom of the phone. The leak shows a virtual back, home and search key. It isn't clear if all Windows Phone Blue models are going to have virtual buttons, or if this is being done so that Android handset manufacturers will have an easier time using their Android handsets and re-positioning them for Windows Phone.

Now that the GDR3 update allows Windows Phone manufacturers to build phones with the same exact specs as any high-end Android model, it is possible to conceive of an OEM using the exact same handset (with some minor tweaks) to offer both an Android and Windows Phone top-shelf model with the same specs.

Virtual buttons have been leaked for a Windows Phone model before. Before the launch of the Nokia Lumia 800, the very first Windows Phone device was code named the Nokia Sea Ray, and had virtual buttons before a design change replaced them with physical buttons.


source: @evleaks via WMPoweruser

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posted on 14 Dec 2013, 07:00 4

1. jedpatrickdatu (Posts: 157; Member since: 24 Jan 2013)


I heard this was being done to cut costs from the capacitive buttons.

Although I haven't tried on-screen main buttons like this and Android, they feel out-of-place to me. It looks like using an emulator. I hope the next update after Blue will get rid of these three buttons and make the UI more swipe-based like MeeGo.

posted on 14 Dec 2013, 14:19 1

28. elitewolverine (Posts: 2068; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


meh they already have 'soft' buttons. In reality, these take up space for the screen and offer only navigation features.

Nearly all windows phones navigation keys are touch screen. So it wont be any different, surprised this hasn't happened already.

posted on 14 Dec 2013, 07:04 5

2. xtroid2k (Posts: 462; Member since: 11 Jan 2010)


With all this new news lately it seems as if Nokia soon to be ms are putting them selves into position to be number one or two in the mobile arena within 3 years

posted on 14 Dec 2013, 08:03 2

12. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5954; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


IDK about number 1 or 2.... Lotsa die-hard Apple fans would have to switch. The Android user base is just too large. But improving their market share through picking off a combination of Android, iOS and BlackBerry users? Quite possible.

A large (10+%) third place is not bad.

posted on 14 Dec 2013, 08:23

13. nokia12 (Posts: 351; Member since: 19 Nov 2013)


but then how many people will buy Microsoft Lumia rather than Nokia Lumia ? that remains to be tested.. if iOS users can't leave ios for android , then it will be really difficult to get them to wp

and don't forget we have tizen OS coming too which is backed by samsung,intel,nokia,ebay,adobe and other more than 36 companies .. till now it was easy to grab wp share because of nokia's brand recognition and the fact that android was a disaster at low end with lag and crippled hardware(wp majority share is in low end because of lumia 520,620) .. and wp was buttery smooth at low end but now after kit kat being optimized for 512 mb devices and updagrade in hardware it's going to be very difficult to even retain old wp customers than acquiring new ones

posted on 14 Dec 2013, 11:40

23. snowgator (Posts: 3292; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


I ain't too worried about all these other new OS's. So far, none are making any splash except on mobile forums.

posted on 14 Dec 2013, 15:44

30. nokia12 (Posts: 351; Member since: 19 Nov 2013)


sure there are many new Os coming out but it's hard to ignore when these many companies get together ,.. it's a corporate mass movement against google..that's why google itself has started focusing on Motorola..

posted on 14 Dec 2013, 11:36

21. snowgator (Posts: 3292; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


Maybe long, long, LONG term, but for the next few years, MS needs to focus on just getting their phone and tablets mainstream. The "Metro" UI is very likable if you try it, but it is also still fairly uncharted waters for most consumers. There is a "comfort level" to Android and iOS. MS will have a hard time getting past that anytime soon.

If MS can get WP anywhere close to 10% of worldwide sales, which needs to include serious "Bing" improvements for Europe and Asia and some high end success stories here in North America, that would lead to great things.

20% sales by 2016? That would be amazing and a huge victory. I do not think WP comes close to Android sales anytime this decade.

posted on 14 Dec 2013, 07:05 1

3. uchihakurtz (Posts: 276; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)


If it was black instead of that button-like look on picture 2, this would look cool.

posted on 14 Dec 2013, 07:15

7. papss (unregistered)


If its like the g2 you can change the color

posted on 14 Dec 2013, 07:07

4. abhi12345 (Posts: 12; Member since: 16 Sep 2013)


There is a reason nexus devices are cheap. On screen is the cheapest way to make phones.Iphone home button costs a lot.

posted on 14 Dec 2013, 11:52

24. TechBizJP08 (Posts: 495; Member since: 25 Mar 2013)


Talk about finger print scanner. Now thats a lot. :)

posted on 14 Dec 2013, 07:10 2

5. emadshiny (Posts: 1142; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)


The current buttons are more beautiful, specially on those beautiful black bezels of Lumias.

posted on 14 Dec 2013, 07:14

6. papss (unregistered)


So it will be like the n5 and LG G2? I think on smaller screens its tough to do since there is less screen but i say why not try it. I preferred no on screen buttons when i use my lumia full time, when i use my g2 full time i prefer them on a phone... moral of the story is that i get used to whatever im using after a while.

posted on 14 Dec 2013, 07:21

8. jedpatrickdatu (Posts: 157; Member since: 24 Jan 2013)


I hope this means bigger screens.

posted on 14 Dec 2013, 07:28 7

9. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


Looks ugly, the current one looks much better. A Lumia must be a Lumia, you can't change the Lumia feel on a Lumia. Be original, this is Lumia.

P.s. Don't call me a Nokia fanboy, because I'm not.

posted on 14 Dec 2013, 07:48 1

11. ihavenoname (Posts: 1521; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)


Yeah, this looks like Nexus copying. And as a Nexus 7 owner, I don't actually like virtual buttons.

posted on 14 Dec 2013, 09:50 1

15. nokia12 (Posts: 351; Member since: 19 Nov 2013)


those were Nokia Lumia

these are Microsoft Lumia

posted on 14 Dec 2013, 11:53 1

25. Dastrix (Posts: 620; Member since: 23 Nov 2012)


Totally agree. Looks ugly and out of place. I certainly would NOT want that on my Lumia 920 lol. It's still minimalistic like the Modern UI, but I hope that they do come up with a more inspired design. It just seems odd to me.

posted on 14 Dec 2013, 14:22

29. elitewolverine (Posts: 2068; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


You guys do realize the buttons we have are already 'screen' buttons without the ability to go away.

All 4 of my lumias have waisted screen space because of this.

Hardkey resets etc are not handled by the 'home/search/back' button.

posted on 14 Dec 2013, 07:43

10. YourNightmare (Posts: 32; Member since: 12 Jun 2013)


I guess once Nokia under Microsoft they will launch more devices and not only Lumia series, on screen buttons look good but the bezels kinda suck some times.. Just makes the phone larger and heavier.. I'm gonna upgrade from my L920 to L1850 that got no bezels

posted on 14 Dec 2013, 10:18

16. user996 (Posts: 193; Member since: 25 Feb 2013)


buy just a display panel and call it Lumia. that would be without bezels and very thin

posted on 14 Dec 2013, 08:24 1

14. sianto (Posts: 65; Member since: 11 Dec 2013)


Haha, you know why the lumia 800 had them? Because it was based on the n9. The picture was a prototype of the software on an n9. You can check that because you see the front facing camera. (not present on the 800) #stillhavemyN9

posted on 14 Dec 2013, 10:19

17. user996 (Posts: 193; Member since: 25 Feb 2013)


you are right that's N9

posted on 14 Dec 2013, 10:38

19. nokia12 (Posts: 351; Member since: 19 Nov 2013)


just saying.. that could also be the screen guard air bubble .. as you can see the air bubbles all over the screen..

it could be n9 also i don't know i

posted on 18 Dec 2013, 16:51

34. sianto (Posts: 65; Member since: 11 Dec 2013)


Pretty sure it is the N9. It has a FWVGA display which means a 16:9 aspect ratio in the place of a WVGA display 16:10 display. Remember WP didn't support onscreen buttons then.

posted on 14 Dec 2013, 10:29

18. Aplusk (Posts: 108; Member since: 10 Nov 2013)


Its waste for screen space. capacitive buttons are good on bezels.

posted on 14 Dec 2013, 11:38

22. snowgator (Posts: 3292; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


Like this decision. Like that MS is serious about making things easier and more profitable for OEMs. Can only help.

I agree with other posters.... that don't look right in that screen shot. Hope that was just a "rough draft" and the end product will be more refined.

posted on 14 Dec 2013, 11:54

26. 0scar1Ox (Posts: 12; Member since: 05 Oct 2013)


looks ugly.

posted on 14 Dec 2013, 14:07

27. Sire3008 (Posts: 87; Member since: 26 Sep 2013)


Nonsense. Release GDR3 update world wide first. Let's receive that b4 talking about Window Phone blue that will be released to existing Lumias in 2015. MS is too slow with their updates

posted on 14 Dec 2013, 17:03

31. makio9 (Posts: 47; Member since: 23 Jul 2012)


I like it better from design and screen aesthetics. It makes the screen look bigger also. It's also a nice modern look to have the glass covering all of it. What took them so long?

posted on 15 Dec 2013, 04:21

32. Antonyjoseph (Posts: 215; Member since: 06 Apr 2013)


With both Android and WP supporting these virtual keys, time for some dual boot devices.

posted on 15 Dec 2013, 12:58

33. 7thspaceman (Posts: 1145; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


if Microsoft created this new Windows smart phone feature folks it will be used. My suggestion is that it should be a show hide action like the battery strength indicator already works on the Windows 8 smart phone. in this case a person should touch the lower right
hand cornet of the windows 8 or 8.1 smart phone and the 3 onscreen buttons would appear
like the 5 charms appear on a Windows 8 or 8.1 desktop/Laptop computer when you put your mouse pointer to the monitor screen's lower right end corner. it has to be out of the way foe viewing videos anyhow this is the best way to do it that Microsoft programmers already know how to implement

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