Windows Phone users protest possible loss of back button

Windows Phone users protest possible loss of back button
A recent rumor that Windows Phone will lose its back button with the next iteration of the OS has started a firestorm among current Windows Phone users. The reason for the removal of the button has to do with the confusion some users of the platform have been experiencing with the button. But most believe that the real reason for removing it is to make the OS more usable with tablets.

On the Windows Phone users voice site, a post was put up asking Microsoft to keep the back button on the OS. The post was put up by Dev Jaykrishnan, who suggested that Microsoft make it an option to disable the back button feature, which certainly sounds reasonable. So far, 318 votes to keep the button were made in response to the original post.


More interesting are some of the actual comments. Some complain that using the back button accidentally takes them out of an app and to the home screen instead of going back one page. If the back button is removed, the gang in Redmond will need to add a back button on the screen or rely on developers to update their apps.

If you're a Windows Phone user, how would the loss of the back button affect you?

source: WindowsPhone via WMPoweruser

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37 Comments

1. papss unregistered

Hmm this is the first I'm hearing of them removing the back button. I'm pretty fond of it myself. I think it would be a mistake.

33. Timmehor

Posts: 599; Member since: Mar 09, 2013

It would just completely change both the OS and app ecosystem. It's dumb to take it away, after so long.

2. GrapeEyes

Posts: 248; Member since: Sep 01, 2013

. The back button will not go, just like the Nokia shareholders will vote NO on19th November 2013 for Microsoft to buy the Nokia mobile division. .

3. HASHTAG unregistered

You really think they're gonna vote no?

13. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

when the company announces a purchase of this kind its because the most influential shareholders already approve... haven't seen a single time a purchase have been haled by shareholders

36. AeroPrime

Posts: 175; Member since: Feb 21, 2011

There's always a first time!

4. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

I mentioned in the first airing of this rumor previously that the button should stay. It makes sense, especially when used more in practice, and is a familiar element to folks switching from Android to Windows Phone. Furthermore, it keeps the UI/UX more intuitive, as it allows some multifunctional abilities to the Start button and its own, keeping them separate and less cluttered and confusing.

25. lalalaman

Posts: 638; Member since: Aug 19, 2013

I think they want to do it like iphone....bt ur point about ppl shifting from android is so correct....ppl are familiar with it frm android.. My point tht if they do it like iphone, we will have to close apps in multi tasking window like iphone.....imo one of the best feature in closing apps is pushing back button 5 times and all apps are closed:) (I find it very easy) IMO BACK BUTTON SHOULD NOT GO

26. KIANO

Posts: 91; Member since: Feb 13, 2011

Microsoft is very fond of swiping back and forth. So it seems that back button makes not sense for them. But it is certainly preferable to keep it as an option for those who still need/use it.

5. londoner

Posts: 36; Member since: Sep 12, 2013

I got the feeling that ms, is messing around... I really wish to the Nokia holders will vote no and force the company to jump into android. Even that idont like android.

8. Tommy1960i

Posts: 144; Member since: Oct 11, 2013

I think it is the only way for Nokia to succed (Android).

6. Ty_inCA

Posts: 18; Member since: Oct 13, 2013

I registered JUST so I could complain about this. Out of the three buttons, I use the back button the most by far. Don't lose it!

32. jedpatrickdatu

Posts: 169; Member since: Jan 24, 2013

They should remove the search button instead.

7. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

"If the back button is removed, the gang in Redmond will need to add a back button on the screen or rely on developers to update their apps." So, what's the point? Remove the capacitive button and put the button on the screen and take more real estate space?

12. papss unregistered

It would be like a nexus device if they took it away and put it on the screen which I really hate.

14. noler

Posts: 326; Member since: Aug 19, 2013

"The reason for the removal of the button has to do with the confusion some users of the platform have been experiencing with the button." How is it going to solve the problem if they put it on the screen ?

15. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

actually no, Google removed the physical buttons but added software buttons that would compensate so no app needs to be rewrote. in the wp case it could mean that developers will need to add an option to go back to their apps a la apple (places top left, top right, bottom left or bottom right) witch can be annoying

16. noler

Posts: 326; Member since: Aug 19, 2013

On Android, when the application is running the software buttons disappear?

17. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

depends on the application, the gallery video apps can request for the buttons do become hidden and they will be revealed when the user taps (or double taps) the screen. but browse and other apps won't do that

18. noler

Posts: 326; Member since: Aug 19, 2013

I'm talking about third-party applications? So what happens to application that was written to 720p screen but getting less screen?

20. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

well we have third party gallery and video apps and they work fine, android has something called density pixels witch is a fancy word for "auto scaling" when a developer makes an application they make it so the android system can fit it on nearly any resolution, any Dev that created an application using the basic guides will have little to no issues with how apps scale to all the resolutions, and most guidelines already take to account the on screen buttons because the nexus is mostly made for devs

22. noler

Posts: 326; Member since: Aug 19, 2013

Ok, thanks.

9. QuadFace

Posts: 179; Member since: Aug 19, 2013

They took away the field test after Amber update, I used it to select 3G only, now back button, I am going to sell my Lumia now.

10. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

This falls under the category of "S*it Developers Think of That They Should Be Slapped For". My daily driver now is a Lumia, M$. Don't make me go back to a GS3. I'm already upset about the Nokia buyout, so quit putting straws on the camel. Thanks.

11. Qwerty-keyboard

Posts: 10; Member since: Sep 29, 2013

microsoft thinking is that they can apply gestures like apple iphone for getting back,,,lol

19. Beijendorf unregistered

Could someone please explain why Microsoft seem driven to remove as much functionality as possible just in order to dumb their devices down for the lowest denominator (read: most retarded users). Don't be Apple, Microsoft. Be Microsoft minus the 'being evil' part.

24. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

That seems to be happening everywhere. To quote from That 70s Show, "all sharp corners will have padding on them, libraries will fall into disrepair." But seriously I agree, MS seems hellbent on removing things that have been around forever, are intuitive, and that the public wants, for example, the Start button. To me that's like putting a car ignition under the hood.

21. DevJkrishnan

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 13, 2013

Thank you PhoneArena for putting up this article!

23. nvrhde

Posts: 77; Member since: Nov 10, 2012

Why bother, (Next time) just get Android or iPhone .

28. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

That's not a option for those who like WP❕... If you liked your platform a lot, and they were rumored to remove a feature that you used a lot, wouldn't you speak up❔ You obviously don't know what WP has to offer because you've never owned a WP8 device... That's why you don't understand the value of the platform.. Quit being so closed minded, and naive...

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