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8 things that Microsoft needs to fix in Windows Phone 8 right now

With the release of BlackBerry 10 this week, Microsoft has even more fresh blood for competition in the smartphone business. While one could argue that it is still Android or iOS that Microsoft is up against, the picture painted for spring 2013 is one of stiff competition and a fight for the third spot.

Windows Phone 8 has made great strides in making Redmond’s mobile OS much better than its predecessor, most importantly with the new NT kernel which will allow Microsoft to grow the OS. Having said that, there is a lot of room for improvement and we’re not just talking about touch-up features either but core aspects that need to be addressed.

Below is a list of 8 things we think Microsoft needs to fix in order for Windows Phone to really take off. We’re confident Microsoft already knows about these and in fact may have solutions in the pipeline. At least that's the hope.

Before we start we should note that Microsoft is rumored to be revealing some new features coming to Windows Phone 8 next month in Barcelona.

Traditionally Microsoft has a rather large presence at the mobile-focused conference and their absence from CES in January sets up Microsoft to gain back some momentum in the press.  We’re not 100% sure Microsoft will divulge an updated OS but we’re anticipating.

Now on to the list...

#1 Notification Center

Android, iOS and especially BlackBerry 10 all have notification centers, allowing users to have a unified single area to check the status of various apps and services. On Windows Phone, Live Tiles were supposed to be that but in reality, it’s not that simple.  Whether it’s an optional blinking LED or making use of the left-area of the Start screen, Microsoft needs a simple and elegant solution here. Check out this great design concept from our forums

Rumor has it they wanted this for the release of Windows Phone 8 but simply ran out of time. Fair enough. But it better be there in the next update or it will continue to dog the platform. 

 

#2 Universal Search

Likewise, this feature was rumored to be coming in either Windows Phone 7.5 ‘Tango’ or Windows Phone 8, yet this function mysteriously never arrived. It seems simple enough: Hit the Bing search key to make inquiries on the web as well as within the device. Search email, SMS, within apps, documents, etc.

It’s not a radical idea and other competing OSs already have this on board. In fact, Windows 8 has a nifty search feature, allowing you to dynamically search through various apps. It’s way overdue on Windows Phone.

 

#3 Instagram

Yes, we hate writing about it as much as you probably loathe reading it, but the fact is until this hipster service is on Windows Phone, it will absolutely prevent people from switching. We’ve had random conversations with Best Buy and AT&T employees and even a waitress who’ve all said the same thing: until this popular photo sharing app is on Windows Phone, it will always be a deal-killer.

For the record, Microsoft and Nokia know how important this is and we don’t think it’s from lack of trying that it’s not there. But there’s more to this than just throwing money at the Facebook company and while we don’t know the details, we’re sure there are talks of some sort going on.

Regardless, it needs to be here yesterday.

 

#4 ‘X’ to Close Apps

This one is so simple and yet Microsoft has yet to do it. In the card view of multitasking apps, just give us an ‘X’ to tap out an app.

C’mon Microsoft, the paradigm already exists with multiple Tabs in Internet Explorer—just extend it to apps.  It’s simple to do and it will make many folks happy (even if it is arguably unnecessary).

 

#5 Better Xbox Gaming

We’ve been beating this horse for a while now (see our continuing series) but it does need to be mentioned again. Xbox gaming on Windows Phone since day one has been underwhelming.

Integration with Kinect? Never materialized. Synchronous game play with Xbox 360? Never happened. A centerpiece game like Halo to really pull people in? Nope, not yet.

It is embarrassing that Microsoft has not been able to fully leverage the Xbox 360 with Windows Phone in 2012 or 2013 and it needs to be fixed.

Just look at the video above of Microsoft’s Eric Rudder demonstrating the gaming potential between PC, Xbox and Windows Phone and the game ‘Indiana Jones’. We covered that story back in March 2010.—nearly three years ago--need we say more?

 

#6 Folders

Yup, here’s one that iOS and Android have given into and now have solutions for: folders. The idea being that some of us may have multiple media apps that we want grouped together, or a bunch of pins we want rounded up in a quick access folder. It’s a simple thing and becomes increasingly necessary as people add more apps, pins and tiles to their devices. Windows 8 makes use of “grouping” and Windows Phone needs to as well.

 

#7 Independent volume and profiles

Smartphones are called as much because they are supposed to be smart meaning we shouldn’t have to do certain tasks. Having our phones switch audio and notification profiles for home, work, movie theaters, etc. goes back to Windows Mobile and apps like PhoneAlarm. Why do they not exist on Windows Phone?

Likewise, let’s finally give users the ability to control the ringer volume independent of system/game volume, same with an easier way of going ‘silent’.

#8 Fix Xbox Music and Video

The whole three-screens-and-a-cloud vision only works if your media can truly transcend devices. Microsoft hit the reset button on their media services with Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 and while there are to be expected growing pains, they really need to get that system on track. With the amount of DRM errors for music and the inability to watch Xbox Videos on our phones, it’s a real hindrance.

 

Hope for 2013

So those are our Top Eight major things Microsoft needs to sort out. Is that an exhaustive list? Certainly not.

Other features like the ability to force-check app updates, fix YouTube (perhaps out of Microsoft’s hands), a more powerful email client or even making Windows 8 gestures and Tile functionality overlap with Windows Phone to give users the same experience are all up for grabs.

Like we said, we’re sure hoping that Microsoft addresses all or some of these in the near-term, specifically in Barcelona. We have a feeling that they are and for the platform’s sake, they better. BlackBerry is now breathing down our necks and Android and iOS are so far ahead in the market it’s borderline scary.

Microsoft has a solid foundation with Windows Phone 8. Let’s see them quickly build on it.

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Comments

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Hillybill says:

I think that wp8 needs a File Explorer

texantony says:

I sure would like to have a "PRINT" option on my phone. I miss that from my iPhone.

Geerboy says:

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes... I cannot believe I forgot this one

helsten2 says:

Sorry, I am not very intelligent, but this is my list:
1. Fix random freeze and reboot
2. Fix random freeze and reboot
3. Fix random freeze and reboot
4. Fix random freeze and reboot
5. Fix random freeze and reboot
6. Fix random freeze and reboot
7. Fix random freeze and reboot
8. Fix random freeze and reboot
 
THEN, you start adding the "nice-to-haves" ...

Nitaino says:

Or better yet to be able to close an app in card view by swapping the card down like WP8/RT :-) booyah!

RaRa85 says:

And also to have Windows Phone's hottest and best phone not tied down to one carrier! Its the best phone period and people shouldn't be forced to go to AT&T(as I plan to do) to enjoy it especially in light of the whole phone unlocking laws.

Lx23 says:

I'm also getting feed up with this OS and MS. Each time I use my Xbox I feel like the Xbox division is not even part of Microsoft. They get most of their things right. I will keep using my L800 until the end of the year. If by thn MS hasn't fixed everything Daniel mentioned I'm out. I'm going to start working soon and I do not have money to spend on products that don't do what they should do. There's less and less reasons to buy a Windows Phone.

iamoniwaban says:

Xbox division? What does this have to do with the topic? The Xbox consol is a "client" to the services that MS provide. What are they doing right that the rest of MS isn't?

Robinsonmac says:

They need to have an option to save email on server.  Especially if they want to sell to business.  Right now if I delete an email from my phone it is gone forever....

iamoniwaban says:

Emails saved option? The email service depends on the account type ( exchange, pop ) and are a network service standard. If you delete an email from an exchange account, it will delete from the server. The only way is to use a pop account and set it there. But pop pulls data, and isn't as,powerful as such services as exchange. I AM do work for a IT service company and currently Win phone provides the best solution other then BB which has BB enterprise which is a very costly service. Win8 phone has an advantage because 90% of organizations have exchange and there is no additional costs. With the new "company" features like apps, MS with the newly partnership With Samsung will flud the enterprise market.

cbrines says:

Um, custom notifications, push notifications have never worked right, VPN, screen rotation lock....

flawless73 says:

How did you forget that we need a better back up system something like android

ScubaDog says:

1. Lame idea.  Hated the LED on my Windows Mobile devices, my wife hates it on her iPhone.  Live Tiles tell the story of outstanding notifications better than a central point.  I can instantly look at my Start screen to see exactly which kinds of outstanding notifications I have and quickly get right to ones I feel are important.
2. Search works where I need it to work--in context.
3. Instagram is not used by anyone I know.  Those that DID use it now consider it tired.  Stop whining about an app.
4. Requiring an "x" to exit apps is old-school and makes developers lazy.  WP manages memory and developers should be writing apps that properly work within that concept. The need to close apps is for the intellectually lame.
5. While a few aspects of the XBox gaming carry over, it still is largely a separate animal.  If they are bragging on it's integration, it really does need to be integrated.
6. Folders is another holdover that's fast becoming unnecessary.  I use folders less and less on Windows 8 as I find the Metro side to support what I need without the desktop side.  And if someone really HAS to play with folders, you can do so via the Windows Phone app.  Outside of that, people simply need to quit hanging on to the old concepts.
7. What is so flipping difficult about muting the phone or changing volumes?  I have yet to run into a need for volume profiles.  If you vibrate mode you can still listen to music at whatever volume you want or you can set the volume to zero for complete silence.  I've never thought twice about this.  Easy stuff.
8. Agree that XBox Music & Videos is a work in progress.  I'm not concerned about it BECAUSE both Windows 8 and the XBox Music cloud is still in flux.  Better to quit whining about this until they settle on exactly how their cloud will work and then get both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 to talk the same language.

SaucePolicy says:

Not everyone keeps their phone unlocked on the start screen 24/7. Why pick up your phone and unlock it when we could just glance at the notification LED. Even on my old dumb phone, I didn't have to press the unlock button to see if I had a missed call or text.

SaucePolicy says:

Also, volume 0 is not complete silence. Try it yourself and see. Play a song through headphones and lower volume to zero...you can still hear the song. Same without headphones. But this may be a hardware problem with my phone. (8X)

iamoniwaban says:

I thought I was the only one who sees the win phone as a new and improved way of doing things.Not many know this, but there is already a "notification" center. The "me" hub. The service model of the Win phone notification/live tile service is solid other then 1 scenario. I receive notifications from apps that don't have functional live tiles or I don't have it pinned. So if I happen to see a notification and it disappears before I click it, there is no way of knowing what app notified me. Perhaps not a notification center like Droid or iphone, but maybe a user can set priorities to apps and they can be viewed via the "Me" Hub. This solution will actually make the me hub/notifications area have a purpose ;)

Sean Davison says:

Thank you! Now, ScubaDog friggin' gets it!

mjfadaway says:

These are complaints I hear from regular people, and when I say regular I mean people who buy phones because of "cool" factor. They want Instagram of course, Pinterest, a REAL Facebook app developed by Facebook, and an update to the real Twitter app.

Sean Davison says:

I understand people's need for branding, like having apps built by the actual people who provide the service and all. But did facebook build their apps for the other OS's? If not why should that be done on MS?

I kinda feel you on the twitter front, but Rowi is probably the best mobile twitter option I've ever used, much like Metrotube (IMO) is better than the youtube app on the SG2.

jwinch2 says:

I agree with the list overall, but I would have thought that the errors with the desktop app for WP8 would have been something which made the list.  Syncing media between the desktop and the phone is an unmitigated disaster.  The app crashes all the time mid-sync, shows files on the phone which have already been deleted, loads three or four versions of the same song onto the phone for no apparent reason, etc.  In short, it sucks out loud and with conviction.  The XBox music app, is almost as bad.  

SaucePolicy says:

They could at least give us folders for IE favorites.

Icharbezol says:

2, 5, 7 & 8. The rest aren't necessary for me and especially not 3 but if it helps bring others onboard, sure throw in Instagram.

ur2sweet says:

I completely agree with this article.

Although all are needed in WP8, I suspect much of these improvements won't be seen until WP9 or whatever it'll be called.
The only thing likely to come in an 8.5 update, is some new 'service' or other, that probably doesn't work properly and yet again a promise of the 'hot' app du-jour that's supposedly on its way in the coming months.
I fear that, if Blackberry is on it's A-game, any success they have this year with BB10 will be a final nail in the Windows Phone viability coffin.  There may be room for three major mobile sotware platforms, barely, but there sure as heck isn't room for FOUR.

mrdeezus says:

everything here i am in total agreement on and I would add that they need to have any new must have app that comes out day and adte as the other platforms. Xbox music, lmao, what MS should do is take zune, add thier new drm and call it Xbox music. there is som much wrong with it, newcomers might not see it, but old Zuners like me do, they need to overhaul it. But if they must keep the current app here are some suggestions:
1-Bring back the heart for favorites
2-Bring back the related tab
3-When you click on an album remove the stupid white box that pops up in middle of screen and add another column to the right, that way we could still see the screen.
4-add multiple track selection for purchases and again move that to a column to right instead of big stupid white box in center of screen.
5-Allow for the choosing of colored backgrounds instead of the dull brownish grey one.
6- Have a set up program to walk people through settings for the cloud and sync so people can understand why the app is downloading shit...

iamoniwaban says:

Most of your issues are via the surface and "PC" Xbox music app. All the features you want back still exist on the phone version.

spyderzWPC says:

Custom notification sounds...come on fix this.

mango.lover says:

Agree with all of them except for 6. That's the purpose of the resizable tiles.

Shane says:

It's all about the apps.....

Sean Davison says:

... and to hell with the OS it's self?

someone needs to do an article highlighting the apps that aren't necessary, whether available or not, because the OS does it. Things like search, finding music, note taking, cloud services, etc.

JJohnson1701 says:

I have a list of stuff they need to add in the next version, mostly from comments on the old Backstage site when the phone first launched that they still haven't added, and stuff present in Android/iPhone already: http://wp.me/p1fLW2-4v
I would like to see a notification center like iPhone has on the start screen.  On iPhone you can slide to unlock on a specific text message to go exactly to that text, or slide to unlock on a facebook comment/like to go specifically to that comment or like in the Facebook app.  That's the kind of integration I want to see on the lock screen.  My idea is simple: pull down on the lock screen to see messages in a pivot style like in the Music+Videos app shows albums, artists, and songs.  Tap and swipe up or down to unlock to that specific message.  Same functionality, different implementation.
Better backup - restore my home screen configuration of tiles (size and location), all apps I downloaded, game saves, documents, songs, texts, e-mails, etc. From the cloud.  This is currently not possible.
Replace the horrid X-Box Music, X-Box Video, and Windows Phone apps with the Zune app on Windows 8.  Just rebrand it and add the ability to synch to Windows Phone 8, and add the auto-playlists from Windows Media Player and the advanced metadata tag editor from the Windows XP version of Windows Media Player, and it's almost perfect (I would add back the social tab and show TV shows as shows subdivided into season instead of only as individual episodes, but that's beside the point).
Facebook integration - add share functionality, enhance check-ins with pictures with captions, check-ins with friends, and posting articles to Facebook should allow me to choose the picture to show in Facebook online (windows 8 already does this.  Test this out by posting the same article from your phone and from within Internet Explorer.  In IE you can choose the picture, but from the phone it looks pretty bare and not very good).
Music+Videos - compare how music is displayed vs. how it was in Zune HD.  The Zune HD was more content-rich, whereas now the M+V is gray and dull.  Zune HD had mini-album art all over, artist pictures, song sharing is pretty paltry in comparison to the Zune HD Facebook app which had album art and a link into the Zune Marketplace.  There should be a way to share songs, albums, artists, and playlists from within the Music+Videos app to Facebook so friends can download those shared items on their phones.  Playlist creation on the phone is utterly horrible and needs to be reformatted in its entirety.  I can't stress this enough.
Contacts should have a media pivot so that you can see what the old Zune Social saw - recent artists, top artists, favorites, etc.  You could comment on artists, like, share playlists, etc.  That was a great music discovery tool, and you should definitely add it back in to the next patch release.
For an in-phone notification center (the Me Tile serves this function already so I don't see why so many people keep clamoring for a new one), I'd say swipe from the left to get it, a five-day forecast, and pivots for each app that is allowed toast notifications that actually have unread notifications.  you can swipe to dismiss the notification or click on 'dismiss all' at the bottom of the screen.  Swipe down from top to turn off the ringer, airplane mode, and turn off wifi and bluetooth.
Settings - you should be able to pin individual settings to the start menu, and the settings menu should be alphabetized because it's sadly difficult to find things in the haphazard order they're in.
Skype - utterly worthless.  Try calling an iPhone on Verizon that has Skype from a T-Mobile Windows phone, where both phones have full service.  I can't describe how many dropped calls I've had.  Windows Live Messenger is so much better and reliable.  Video calling needs to be as seamless and work as reliably as Facetime does.
Those are a few of the things that need to be added to Windows Phone, but you can see my longer list at wordpress.  Some are cosmetic changes, others are real functionality that will enhance Windows Phone beyond the competition. 
 

Sean Davison says:

I'm not gonna address your entire post, but have you checked this out yet? Or did you know this existed??

http://www.windowsphone.com/en-US/How-to/wp8/basics/back-up-my-stuff
 

Ticomfreak says:

I definitely don't agree w/ 4 and 7

dula714 says:

I would like to close apps like in Windows 8, drag from top to bottom.

Shane says:

Yes, found myself doing that after having worked on my surface.  Just felt natural to swipe from the top down to close the app.

JJohnson1701 says:

One other thing:  fix search.  Have the search button be context sensitive so that in Mail, I press the actual search button to search my mail.  In my text messaging app, I press search to search the text messages I have.  In Netflix, I press the search button to search movies and tv shows within netflix.  The only time I could possibly want to go to Bing search is from the start screen, and maybe if I long-press the Search button.  Otherwise, 90% of the time I want to search within the app and the search button on my phone is useless.  That is a big frustration.  That and having to put up with capacitive buttons.  I despise capacitive buttons.  I can't stop accidentally pressing them, and no one else can either.  I show friends a picture, and they always accidentally touch a button and wonder what happened - that doesn't present a good image to them of the phone.

iamoniwaban says:

This is how the very first version of win7 phone worked. After about,1 month they released an update that removed that.

Sean Davison says:

I do kinda agree with the need to have search be in-device, but E-mail has a search feature already. Why is that not good enough?

Mattyh95 says:

What would be awesome is gestures in things like the web browser, swiping from the left to go back a page and on the right to go forward..?

I think a swipe gesture like in windows 8 would be pretty cool to close apps.

Big Supes says:

Ringer profiles - tap to scroll through all profiles, as well as being able to create customisable profiles.
Rotation lock.
Decent EXCLUSIVE Xbox Live titles for a limited time period. 
Xbox Music app developed ideally to be an improvement to Zune - not worse.
Me tile needs to log 'toasts' or somehow deal with the problem another way... preferably without an additional notification center.  
 
Couldn't really care less about folders, but each to their own.

 

JJohnson1701 says:

One more thing: add the smart dialer feature back from Windows Mobile.  If I start dialing 326, start smart-searching for all phone numbers containing 326 and people's names I could mean, like Daniel, Dan, and so on.  This saves time dialing and is present in other smartphones and dumb-phones.
And another thing: allow the dialer to be pinned to the start menu so I can just tap and start dialing.  Ninety percent of the time I don't need to see my call history first.  Then, split the call history to incoming, outgoing, and missed calls, and add the duration of the calls.  Not a big request but incredibly helpful.

browryan says:

How about a better calendar app? I want to see a week view and at least some info on the month view! And no, I don't want to use a crappy 3rd party app for this.

No folders!!! Groups, like Windows 8, fine, but folders don't really jive with the UX model.

Also, instead of an X to close an app, how about swiping up or down like on web os or even win8. It's easier than having to hit a little X.

sketchy9 says:

I'm sorry but your #8 should be #1, by a mile. The Xbox Music situation is horrible-- the phone essentially cannot be used to play music. That needs to be addressed before anything else.
 
-R

JeffeMaximus says:

And the fact that microsoft doesn't even the see the "platforms" as the same.  The Solitare collection on Windows 8 is awesome with the daily challenges and stuff, sure it's not for everyone, but why shouldn't I be able to do a daily challenge on my phone and my surface.  The new hold em game that was announced is the same way.  You are asking companies to work on your phone platform but you all don't.  Sigh, lead by example.  Unify the application experience across the WP8 and W8 and show everyone what the dream looks like.  Heck, you could even make the solitare game available on the XBox.  That would put it on all 3 screens, I've heard that somewhere before....
The idea isn't to be like iOS or Android, it's to be BETTER!
I don't agree with all 8, but this is a REALLY good list, and would love to see a MS person respond.  I know it won't happen, but Ben the phone guy, someone who is an evangalist, please give WP central some feedback to let your faithfull know you are listening.

Kooosh says:

How about contextual search results in Bing? I'm not asking for a personal assistant, but I'd like Bing to be able to answer my simple questions with the answer rather than a bunch of links. Bing does this in a desktop browser, so why doesn't it do it on the phone where it would be even more useful? Even the Google Search app does this in Windows Phone.
This is a major oversight, and even more imporant to me than a few of your must fixes. Good article.  

bbennett40 says:

#7 is really the only item on the list I would want added. Just IMHO. :)

jhoff80 says:

I don't actually agree with most of these.
 
What they REALLY need to do, is connect Windows Phone 8 to Windows 8 and Windows RT better.  Just some examples off the top of my head that there is no reason to not do.  My web passwords that are synced in Windows 8 and Windows RT need to sync to the phone.  Text messages should show in the tablet/PC messaging app (a la webOS), and I should be able to tap on a phone number on the tablet and have it dial on the phone.  Game saves (other than Skulls of the Shogun) need to be synced between devices.  If I set up an email account on my tablet, it should also show up on my phone, without having to re-set it up a second time.
 
The list goes on and on.  Right now, Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 are two entirely separate products that pull from the same pool of data (ie, Google Reader apps both pull from Google Reader, my email is connected separately on each device to the same EAS server, my devices are both separately connected to Skydrive), but what really needs to happen is that Microsoft needs the devices to feel cohesive, like each is an extension of the other.  That would allow Windows Phone 8 to grow symbiotically as sales of Windows 8 products ramp up over the next few years.  Instead, there's little incentive for a user to be entirely in the Microsoft ecosystem.

rodneyej says:

Speaking of FOLDERS... If this does materialize it would be nice to have a option to be able to lock a folder down with a pin or password.. I have some private files on my phone from time to time, and it would be nice to be able to hide them within a pin protected hub, or folder.. Wait a minute,,,, that's a good idea! How about a pin protected hub?? We got kids corner, now we need our own pin protected corner.. This could be accessible from the "ME" Hub.

CrimsonTear says:

You missed the rotation lock, IMO.

Michael Duda says:

The key improvements I need:
- Improved WiFI support for corporate environment
- VPN Support
- Backup functionality
- Seamless cloud integration (favorite sharing phone - computer)
 
 

Sean Davison says:

I keep spamming this link now, but backup already exists. What more do you need it to do? I mean besides save Game achievement info and stuff like that.

http://www.windowsphone.com/en-US/How-to/wp8/basics/back-up-my-stuff

RN50 says:

Agree folder would be great but i would like it on the app list side instead of the main screen where i can pin app i use regularly.

Volume button needs fixing asap as i hate having to change my ringer volume

I am not sure folds is necessary especially you can access like media type app from the music and video hud. And phone app from the picture apps. I mean it is really an automatic process that actually on the developer which could be a double edge sword.

Sean Davison says:

Not to mention that searching for and finding apps is easy and fast on WP.

I have talked to a couple who had windows phone, and they went back to Iphone just because of app like Pandora, instangram. I am big advocate of windows phone just because the phone has a level of functional that is far superior than what IOs and Android offers, but app is seriously a problem. There only so much a OS. App is important and Microsoft needs to spend some money to get the big names on Windows phone when WP is far easier to develop for then IOs and Android.

What I would like is that the OS recognizes when we have two versions of the same app in the memory,.i rather not have four message cards open at the same time!!
And also improve on the small things..music and video experience should be top notch and,half the battle is won!!

hungdizzle says:

Apply the picture gesture unlock feature found in Windows 8. This would be a cool password feature for WP8.
There should definitely be option to Create FOLDERS by combining tiles by drag + drop.
The left side screen should be the NOTIFICATION CENTER. Center is the HOME SCREEN (LIVE TILES). Right Screen is the APPS LIST.
Even if it would mess with the minimalistic looks. They should still allow the user to change the WALLPAPER behind the tiles.
Remove/CLOSE APPS by swiping down on the screen thumbnail on the MultiTask view. Should be able to hold down on the page in that view to SAVE as SCREENSHOT, or SHARE via email/text.
 

DontHate707 says:

good start to actually catch up with the competiton 

toph36 says:

I can't argue with any of the suggestions in the article or in the comments.  The ‘X’ to Close Apps seems like it would be an easy one.  I wouldn't mind folders.  I do like how all the Games are under a single tile, which is like a folder, and is not restricted to 12 apps limit like in iOS.  They could also let you group your apps list by category to make then easier to find.  The Maps and the Drive apps definitely to work better (or at all) with the People Hub.  How about having "Favorites" within the Phone app for the numbers you dial the most.  I wish we didn't have to go into the People Hub to make a call every time.  Even with missed calls listed in the Phone app, when you click on one you go to the contact in the hub instead of just dialing the number.

mythos13 says:

Great article Daniel and lots of great suggestions in the comment.
 
Another big problem is trying to buy apps in the web-based marketplace. What a screwy process that is. It almost always fails and the link it sends to install from email goes to my desktop most of the time--aarg. I miss of lot of apps this from not remembering to seek them out in the phone marketplace later. The Zune desktop was way better for buying apps.

helios_ says:

I don't think folders would suit WP. Would they really be any more functional than just panning right?
 
My list:
Customizable alerts
Independant volumes (or just a multiplier I can set, e.g. headphones are 0.5x the volume of speakers)
Global mute (games make noise in silent mode)
Option to read text messages aloud over headphones automatically

Sean Davison says:

"Option to read text messages aloud over headphones automatically"
Doesn't that already exist...??

schlubadub says:

Haha yep! Since Win 7.0

PittaMan says:

#5 Exists already in Skulls of the Shogun

Villain says:

awesome article... fix those things as well as removiing txt toast from scrolling across the lock screen and I myself will be beyond happy with my WP8 device

lebeau32 says:

100% agree with all of these.  I have converted more than a few, and even though must like their phones I get app questions, and movie streaming questions (all the time), with instagram being the number 1 "why is this not on Windows Phone?"

ncharlt says:

Nice post - agree with all.

However, none would drive me away from WP8 but the ones below most certainly will if not sorted by mid-year:

A proper inbuilt podcast solution outside the US.
WiDi/Miracast - preferably including OS level DLNA.
Bluetooth 4.0/low energy to allow use of modern peripherals (e.g. Pebble smartwstch)
Repeating missed call/sms reminders.
Mapping that includes good traffic, rotating map for walking, usable satellite view and useful inbuilt transit info - all of these are hopeless in my area :(
Enforced resume without reload from tile or back button for all apps.
Office hub to work with older .doc .xls files.
Option to download anything on 3G - some have unlimited data.
Quick access to radio and other settings - similar to a notification centre.
Proper one-shot, full-phone image-based backup facility.
Internet time sync - auto useless on most UK carriers or, at the very least, the ability to set the click accurately (inc seconds, not just hours and minutes).

In addition, the following need to be fixed now:

Freezes/reboots
Battery issues
Bluetooth fiasco with many car systems

Regards

dbgman says:

Need to add custom tones for SMS, email

My must have list:
Agreed on:
o Granular volume control
o Folders (so call them groups or whatever, but if I have a bunch of related apps I want to collect them together)
 
o I would definitely add:
o Custom sounds for SMS (I *NEED* a loud one to wake me when I am on call!)
o Better saving of attachments
o Proper handling of complex phone numbers (for dialing conference lines etc.)
o Get Skype working/baked in properly
o Release features, not just fixes, between major releases
 
Lastly, there are features on the iPhone/Android that may seem frivilous or unnecessary to some on this forum, but WP *MUST* cater to the masses, and if those missing "frivolous" features are causing people to not choose WP then that is a problem.  Yes, to the serious techies and purist on here it may be nausiating to talk about custom SMS or folders, but if that is causing people to not buy the phone in notable numbers, then you need to suck it up for the success of the platform, it's simple business.
 

Xaphoon148 says:

Agree on most paragraphs, but would also like; info about pictures, like date/time ++ the app Picture info covers most after the update, but should be native as it was in WM. (properties)
Smart dialer also, missing it from WM.
Making folders for pictures, moving pictures, renaming pictures and folders...
Really like wp8 and going to stay, but don't sit back MS. You got to keep it coming, and do not be late for class...
You listening Joe B. ?
Not doing your job if you're not paying attention to WPcentral and it's readers...

Sean Davison says:

Unless there's something I'm completely missing here, I think everything you mentioned related to pictures already exists. Especially if you use SkyDrive.

Xaphoon148 says:

Maybe on SkyDrive, but the date shown there is the date of upload, not when the pictures was taken.
Can't find it anywhere on the phone, details about when I took the picture.
A simple thing like that should be available on the phone. Don't like to upload and turn on my PC just to find out when I took a picture. And can't find a reasonable way to edit folders from my phone. At least not on cellular data. Would like to add and edit pictures and it's folders locally on my phone, not on SkyDrive. Could do this on old wm6.5, so why not on modern wp8 ?????

lonbraj says:

I want a Notification Center so bad because Microsoft will be forced to fix this ridiculous push notification system that never worked.

NUGAmaan says:

#1 Don't agree. This hype about notifications is nonsense. How about everyone convert to "Live Tiles" instead. If you don't think live tiles are more simple than a notification that you actually have to open, slide up or down, or whatever other than just look at your phone, then I don't know what will satisfy you. And, come on, a led light blinking, whats that, nothing but a light, keep that off my phone, don't need it.

#2 Why, every phone does not have to be the same. Plus, searching all over the phone is pointless if your already in the field you need to search in. Windows Phone 8 does very well.

#3 REALLY... OMG, who cares about intagram other than children and people that have a lifestyle which may need that quick pic type option. Other than that, it want be long before something else comes alone and trumps "Instagram", can I say Myspace, who really uses that today... I can't wait until "Instagram" plays out, such a FAD APP. Worry about longevity APPS, PLEASE. LOL.

#4 OH YES, Please DO...LOL.. Agree.

#5 Ditto #4..LOL

#6 NOPE, not needed, I can just group my APPs where ever. However, you can also search, use the jump list, never had any thought about needing a flolder, Windows phone just works well without it.

#7 WHAT!!!! That really bothers people... No comment,... OH, LOL, that was one...

#8 AGREE

THAT'S ALL I HAVE TO ADD, WHAT DO YOU THINK...

katakulli says:

you forgot one thing: WP desperately needs more marketshare. it could be, that you don't like a notification center and instagram etc. but the majority of the people do like it. and thats the point. i tell you what: microsoft is probably thinking the same way you do, and thats the reason why WP grows that slow. they need to do the things people like most. just put a option to enable/disable notification center and everyone is happy. i do love WP, but i also want to use instagram or flipboard or any other app which my friend next to me uses also. With WP7, the developers excuse was that native code was not possible and porting an app was way too difficult, but WP8 does support native code, but the same developers has lost interest long ago, they don't give a fu** about WP. Microsoft should wake up and see the world from other perspective and realize that not everything, which they like and decide, is good for its business.
it couldnt be that difficult to make a GODDAMN rotation lock setting (!), just giving an example! 2013 is the last chance for WP, with its current build i really don't see anything good in future.

Sean Davison says:

Oh you don't see anything good in their future?, *gasp* Well, I guess it's a good thing you don't work for MS.
Please understand that app developers are responsible for apps. When it comes to big names like whack-ass instagram and things like that there are legal ramifications to just building an app with THEIR names on it unless they provide the means (api) to do it, like facebook and twitter.
What's holding instagram back? who knows, but it's not MS nor any "difficulties" developing for WP.

I'd move #5 to #1.  The cross platform ability was the single strongest thing going for windows phone.  Though with smartglass I'm suspecting that Microsoft is abandoning that as an "exclusive" idea.  Even then they really need to push out some games or better music/video content to smartglass as it stands now it's only real use is to compesate for Netflix's terrible UI on the xbox.
Yes to #8 I seriously hope they fired someone over that screw up.  I'm really miffed that I've never seen them acknoledge that, that never should have happened.  Personally at this point I've stoppped buying xbox videos and I'm diliginatly breaking the DRM off the videos I do have so I never have to be beholden to it again.

CobaltDragon says:

I think vpn trumps one of those (not sure which, maybe app closing) especially if they want to compete for business use

jarail says:

With the exception of Instagram, these are all pain points for me. Good on you guys for building pressure and visibility on these issues..

skullbucket says:

How about a drag able scroll bar for exceptionally long pages like this damn comments page. It took me about 36 swipes to get to the bottom, and the whole time that little grey chunk of scroll bar was just moving down the side of the screen mocking me. And at least the music hub is not as horrific as the music app on windows 8. I mean it doesn't even give you a breakdown of an artists songs by album when you tap on an artist, just a list of all the songs you have with no sorting options and no album name. It seems like the devs working on win 8 and the ones on WP8 weren't allowed to speak to each other. Win 8 succeeds at some features that WP8 fails at and vice versa, it hardly feels like a unified experience.

Xaphoon148 says:

... And choose jump to last...

skullbucket says:

Ya, cuz every dev adds that. I was using this page as an example of a long page. And is there a jump to middle? No there isn't.

Xaphoon148 says:

They should have...

Purge_GT says:

#6 I disagree with - it messes with the function and the form. I'd rather they allow "grouping" and heading, like W8. 

sanien says:

Great suggestions but knowing MS right they will disappoint! I wonder how they could possibly fuck things up this bad? These thing should have been ready from day 1! Stuff like this is the reason WP marketshare is going so slow.

Don't need an X to close the app. Use Windows 8 and drag it down to close it. That's my suggestion

BuddhaLite says:

It needs the ability to add different notifications for other alerts.  The sound are either 1)very generic and sound very similar 2)waaay too long to use as a notification.

Xaphoon148 says:

MOST important!!!!!!!!
Fix random freeze and rebooting.
I'm one of the lucky ones with a working 920, but this is the WORST possible advertising, having people writing everywhere about malfunctioning phones.
Should be at top of the list and the ONLY thing of interest and focus until it's resolved.

SaucePolicy says:

Maybe he means scrubbing. FF and REW was good enough when cassettes came out but I think MS can do better.

HalM says:

I desperately want to love Win Phone 8.  I bought a Focus the first day Win Phone 7 was released.  But the lack of "profiles" -native or 3rd party- drove me to Android within 3 months. 
 
Seriously, the lack of profiles makes me long for WM 6.5.
 
I just ordered a Nokia 620 and I'll swim in the pool again.  Hope things get better quick.
 

dalydose says:

#8 should be #1. XBox music is driving me crazy.

+100 trillion!!!

I still don't see the need for a notification center when the lock screen does that and is customizable! Everything else is on point!

Dt967 says:

Surprisingly enough I don't want folders because everything is sorted in alphabetical order already :L

PEdgeworth says:

I created an account for the first time just to say how excellent I thought this post was.  These are EXACTLY the top 8 things that need sorting out asap in WP8!.  Great post!

boozydad says:

My wife has the 920 and I can't believe there is no "select all" copy to clipboard option. I am also dumbfounded that the clipboard contents are emptied when the screen powers off... wow. 

dtriono says:

Maybe I'm the only one... I've been travelling back and forth and Setting-Date & Time-Set Automatiocally didn't work. It misses a time zone, where it should be GMT+9 it showed GMT+8... I know maybe "just set it manually" etc but IOS used to have this no sweat. And I love my black L920, so...

dtriono says:

and.. Contact Purge.. I really hate to see 5 contacts linked together where they are in fact only 2 unique .. Outlook and Facebook and Hotmail somehow replicate themselves (shrug)..

dtriono says:

Another thing is Unified, international store. I really can't understand why it should be different. No, seriously I really don't. I mean I paid just like the next guy so.. why? Really annoying. "But iTunes is also different in every country.." so what?! Do BETTER than them, I'll say!

GuybrushCH says:

There IS an easy way to go silent... just tap the bell icon when the volume level is showing.

sayonical says:

In stead of folders I would like semantic zoom

RayWP7 says:

Agreed! Instagram? Ugh, sadly true until it becomes lame for "cool" people.

1Rahtid says:

Excellent article. We should all hope that honest articles like this one will serve to push the platform forward. Regardless whether there are other worthy areas requiring improvements and regardless what order such request should be placed in, these 8 are all necessary and MUST be addressed by Microsoft, and quickly, before the end of this year.

 

Microsoft abandoned Windows Mobile in order to create a more advanced OS, yet that more advanced OS (Windows Phone 7) lacked features and capabilities that were baked into the OS it replaced. They then abandoned WinPhone 7 in order to create a more advanced OS, and again the new OS (WinPhone 8) lacks features and capabilities that were baked into the system it replaces. In both cases, it is the customer who is left feeling frustrated and cheated. Microsoft cannot hope to honestly compete against iOS and Android for market share when its OS is way behind in features and capabilities. Microsoft must urgently and feverishly work to deliver feature parity for WinPhone 8, and then when that's delivered they cannot rest, but must instantly get back to work to innovate and deliver features that push Windows Phone ahead of competing platforms. Only then will Microsoft realize success in the smartphone market. As consumers of Windows Phone, and fans of the OS, being complacent with the current state of the system is not going to drive improvements. Being patient is not going to deliver the features that the OS needs. 

 

Being honest and aggressively pushing Microsoft to deliver a premium experience and deliver it NOW is the way forward. We, especially those who bought into Windows Mobile and then 7.x and now 8, have been patient long enough.

NosRokanaske says:

I think another way to improve the way WP8 interacts is if you can remap what holding down the touch buttons do. For instance, i dont mind that the start menu held down brings up the voice command thing, but if paired with the notification hub it would make it even more effective. Something to add to the notification hub thing would be a pop out feature where you dont necessarily have to pop out of the hub to reply to emails or messages

DJCBS says:

Honestly I only see as URGENT numbers 4, 6 and 7.

And much more important than Insta-foodpictures-gram I think it's the capacity to personalize sms and email tones. It's a basic function which is essential, specially when the tones the phones bring as as shitty as they are and there's more than one Windows Phone in a household. It's f*cking annoying to listen to the sound of an incoming sms/email/whatever and have everyone checking their phones because one can't f*cking tell from which device the sound came.
Because, guess what? BB, Symbian, iOS and Android they ALL have that. And by the logic of #1, such function should also be available. And note that a notification centre is not THAT essencial with a system of live tiles. Whereas the different tones are.

So that's my #1 which I hope is fixed quickly along with #4 #6 and #7

(Edit: Regarding #6, I'm thinking about the capacity of creating and organizing folders to organize pictures and videos without having to connect to a PC. Not the folders one finds in iOS to place Apps into.)

katakulli says:

+1
i know that feeling.

bono5112 says:

Great article Daniel, and soooo spot on !!

TJWINS says:

We need a more usable calendar with custom reminder times and better snooze options.

romeze says:

You know just reading this article, it made me think why did I even bother getting a windows phone? Seems all I see is faulty product forums and what windows needs to be competitive. Myself I fell in love with the tiles but after about a month that gets old. I have to turn everything off just to have enough juice to finish the day. I need to see at least four of these fixes addressed in the next update, because I am growing very frustrated and have considered other options for my needs.

jmarnell says:

All of these recommendations are so much needed and I am simply amazed that Microsoft did not incorporate them into Windows phone 8. For Gods sake, RIM completely rewrote every line of code for BlackBerry OS 10 and got it right. Shame on Microsoft for being out played by a company nearly out of business.

Coke Robot says:

All of that sounds good, except folders, X to close, and the notification center. The Start Screen in Windows Phone 8 allows for baby tiles, so you can group like 8 small tiles of different apps in what would had been a large tile space. No need for a folder, and it would also negate the visual design of metro. Speaking of that, X to close is a tad redundant and would be weird with Windows 8 apps. A better idea would just to steal Windows 8's app close pull down gesture. And the notification center, this isn't really needed. Again, the Windows Phone 8 Start Screen is much more useful than 7's was, so again, you can put a bunch of app tiles that are small, medium or large on it and they're all live. The mockup, the one of the far left shown above, is pretty redundant as well as a good Start Screen would already show that with the Phone app, Me tile, Messaging hub, and on the WhatsApp tile. The point of the Start Screen is to pin and see, not to be bare and masked. If this was Windows Phone 7, a notification center would be nice, but in 8 with the lock screen and different tile sizes, it's kind of ridiculous and pointless. If apps don't show all the notifications, that's a third party app issue that could be easily solved by making the live tile flip and show updated content and maybe a new content count on the tile as well.
 
Remember, this is WINDOWS Phone, the live tiles are little "windows" into the app. That's why it's called the "new Windows."

Great list! Spot on!

bibbo81 says:

They HAVE TO remove the stupid limit of 15 background apps!

Sean Davison says:

Are you serious right now? 15 running apps isn't enough?? It's a smartphone not a desktop computer....

scdkad says:

List the 15 apps you have to run at the same time please!

ihavewp8 says:

Keep battery, time, on top

uopjo6 says:

Notification? I thought this is the last place I'd be hearing about a Notification center. Add notifications and a folders, then you might as well just get an Android. 

I'm a WP user and loving the OS w/o those unecessary features. 

Whodaboss says:

My thoughts exactly!
Notifications:  Not needed or required
Universal search:  Big whoops!
Instagram:  Hell NO!  Definitely not required!
"X" to Close Apps:  Ok.  I can go for that!
Better Xbox Gaming:  Don't use my phone for games so not interested.  But I get it some do use their phones for this.
Folders:  Really?!  I have this on my iPhone 5 and I'm not impressed.  Not one bit!
Independent volume:  Didn't realize this was an issue.  Never had a problem with any volume for any programs.
Xbox Music/Video:  It plays all the music I want to listen to so I have zero issues.  But with anything I always look forward to feature improvements.
 
My 2 cents!

You are in the minority.
I am sure we could find a few WP users who'd say "There is no need for a touch screen, it's overrated" IF Microsoft hadn't implemented proper touch input for the OS.

Whodaboss says:

Really?!  That's your point?!  Ok so be it if you believe I'm in the minority.  Truthfully, if people want those features please don't stop, go directly to Android and iOS.  Don't even bother with WP.  I have an iPhone 5 as well a Nokia WP device and my WP device way bettter than my iPhone 5 without these so called missing features.  To each his/her own!

You nailed it Daniel...

I hope people at Redmond are reading WPCentral, the suggestions and the criticism...

Just to add...please a better desktop sync client, ability to toggle settings from any screen and may be a speed dial..

Benjisbrk says:

Seriously ? Instagram ? Really ? And screen orientation lock is not even on the list ?

The list is not just for you; it is for the platform and what it needs to make WP a viable option for the majority.

miloadams says:

a comment to the closing notes of the article: The tiles in Windows 8 aren't as functional, personal, or thoughtful from as design perspective as they are on Windows Phone 8. The windows 8 tile scheme seems like an unfinished and misunderstanding of original windows phone tile experience intent. If there's a convergence of the start screens I HOPE that windows 8 adopts the windows phone design philosophy and functionality and NOT vice versa.

danielgr says:

I sure agree with some of the items (like search and the Xbox Music/Video thing), but to me the rest seem to go in the direction of Microsoft cloning Android mess.
 
Personally, one of the beauties of WP to me has always been the way they reduced functionality to the essentials. At the begining I remember I was missing features such as: "why can't I choose the length of my snoozing time for an alarm". "Why only having the option to ring/vibrate instead of the usual modes?", "Why not independent volume?".
 
Little by little, and after swtiching phones several times (my Toshiba IS12T broke 3 times in 1 and a half years; right now I'm on a Galaxy SIII, of which I love the display but hate the OS), I've trully come to appreciate the usefulness of simplicity. I just rather have the possibility of doing 90% of what others do 1000% simpler and faster, than cluttering the OS with limitless options that end up making me lose my time on a daily basis.
 
That is pretty easy to understand if you take the average Android user, and check out how much of his phone capabilities he is actually able to exploit. The truth is most of them do litle more than text-messaging and opening the facebook app. The rest, just like a PC in the past, remains a complete mistery, about which some of their best informed friends claim all kinds of marvels, sometimes even show them: "woaw, my phone can do that! how cool is that?". If only they remembered for more than a few minutes, and if only it was actually usefull on their daily lives.
 
Sure in dumb features-lists WP will always end up losing, but sure it's simplicity to achieve do what's most relevant to most people is what makes most WP users love their phones much more than the average person likes his/her Android. Sure hope that Microsoft remains on the path of simplicity, and keep their focus in preaching the message that "more" isn't necessarily always "better". And that the key thing is that the phone does the most for you while requiring the less from you. That was their message from day1 (taking people out from their phones), a message that many on the IT blogosphere failed to catch, seem they keep failing to catch. It's only natural if you consider that for people writing here this represents "their life", they just tend to forget that the rest of us we just need a (smart)phone.

My list in addition to this list:
1. Add features to Internet Explorer, no back and forth button?? Also, most websites are 'adapted for your browser' and look 1000x worse than mobile sites.
2. Copied text dissapears after a few hours, having to recopy text later on is really annoying
3. xbox music sucks!!! I know it's already in the list but this thing must really be fixed asap! 
4. Where is Spotify? And Pandora with 12 months of ad free listening?
5. Ability to change search provider from Bing to Google. Honestly, Bing sucks compared to Google.
6. No true multitasking. Cmon, at least do it for TWO of the most recent apps! 

Boris Gong says:

Maybe you can try UC Browser for list No.1
 

frenzydude says:

And attaching .pdf files to email (and other files for that matter)

phing77 says:

Fix "Other Folder" asap.i only have 4gb more left with a few app and media file with 32gb storage :-(:-(:-(:-(:-(:-(:-(:-(:-(:-(:-(:-(:-(:-(

Instead of just moaning about stuff on here, get a hold of customer service and voice your concerns. The squeaky hinge gets the oil.

neelagopi says:

Totally out of context: But why is wpcentral using Google-custom-search, why not bing?

EMINENT 1 says:

You really need to add bluetooth functionality. I still cannot auto pair like I did with my 900.
And, proximity sensor needs to be fixed so I can see the keypad again during a call when pulled away from my face.
Absolutely ridiculous I have to keep blowing compressed air to allow it to sense more light to press a key on the phone.

ImpalaDoug says:

I don't want independent volume controls for ringer, music, games, etc. unless they can all be controlled together through my volume rocker on the side. Back in mu android days, there were times in church that I had turned the volume all the way down, yet I found myself embarrassed when a sound that wasn't a ringing incoming call still managed to play loud and clear. Not cool. But I guess that's what I got for not turning my phone off at church. :-). So as long as all volume levels will respect the side rocker level, then I am good. :-).

Maybe just a simple mixer app would suffice. Or even simpler, just have a mixer that can slide down from the top "toaster area" (or open by a button) which displays when using the volume rocker anyway. That would be too convenient. And ultimately follows the use ability convention of the volume level mixer in the Windows desktop OS.

I believe you should have set your phone to 'Silent'. Turning the volume down has never been the solution to what you described. That is EXACTLY why Silent Mode is there.

baseballbert says:

How about phone screens that don't scratch if they touch oxygen molecules.

I'd be lovely if MS could expand the playable formats for the videos as well.  Most of mine are .mkvs... of course with VLC heading our way this isn't that big an issue.  The music portion has its own share of issues though.  Second VLC launches I'll consider a bit if I should just do away with teh Xbox video/music app, and stick to Nokia music instead. 

Panda EXE says:

In addition to all of that, they should add:
-Screen orientation lock
-A slider to seek through your music and videos
-A way to toggle through silent, vibrate, and ring only instead of two options of what's already set.
-When there is a drop list for something you put text in, if it's too long and you have to scroll down, you can't be cause the QUERTY field blocks you from scrolling further.
-Why that empty black space at the top of the home screen? Why no make the first set of tiles meet just underneath the battery, signal, etc. information? It would look better to make the tiles aligned with the borders of the screen.
-Add an option to keep the battery info/signal/WiFi always on-screen.
-Notification center of some sort.
-Add an option to enter specific text and app notification from the lock screen.
-Text shortcuts.

Sean Davison says:

Sounds to me like you want Windows MOBILE... or Android, so yeah. See ya!

mihesq says:

The funny thing is, these features are what I've been waiting for since WP7 came out and after two years nothing.   So I doubt I'd even see these features implemented into WP8 anytime soon.

oscargodson says:

Everyone always complains about #1, but coming from having an iPhone since they implemented it, it never got used. My wife never opens it either. Most people I know say their notifications fill up so they never open it.

Instagram tho is a must. Search and the X to close apps would be nice.

oscargodson says:

Oh, seriously, please add a rotation lock. Biggest and one of my only gripes about WP8.

MerlotC says:

Id like to see Xbox Music working as good as Zune did (or just bring back Zune) and Skype actually usable/working. 

WoWNyx says:

What about backing up locations of life tiles? So that If we have to reset or format our phone the tiles can always be restored to their position after all the apps have been downloaded.

There is also the need to attach PDF into emails and not just pictures. The email app should allow users to attach anything they like may it be documents,PDF video. Or audios.

Sean Davison says:

Have you ever bothered to look into what the back up feature actually does?

danielgr says:

One thing I'd love to see, imho much more important than most of the stuff here, is a synchronized camera roll folder.
Being a phone it doesn't need to be instant, but it'd be great if:

  • Phone camera roll was nothing but an off-line cache of my Skydrive Camera Roll.
    • When I take a picture, it gets automatically updated with my Skydrive Camera Roll (full-res, as in WP8)
    • When I delete a picture on my skydrive, it's also removed from my phone

Its just apps really, sad but true, but I'm thankful windows has been my first and only OS for a smartphone, the whole "need to be like everyone else" NEEDS you listed are so not. Like notifications, My start screen is my notification screen and it works perfect. Too bad its not what your used to so apparently that's bad ...pfft

mughni says:

You forgot about a decent PDF reader and how the lack of it is making people suffer. i almost went to sell my brand new week old fone.

Ravenkoz says:

I totally agree with the paragraphs number 1, 4, 6 and 7 on the article :) Those would more than welcome!

paras chugh says:

is this the article with the most no. of comments on wpcentral ? ......hope WP makers read this

Ronnet says:

I heard that Windows Phone used to have universal search in its earliest version. But users were confused how to use the search function within apps as there was now software search key and they failed to understand the concept of universal search. Microsoft gave in, added software search keys and made the search button very pointless.
 
Of course they are repeating history with Windows 8. I LOVE the universal search that even lets me search within apps from the startscreen. But many do not understand the concept. Just look up the wikipedia app, its getting a lot of 1 stars because people say they can't search for articles...
 
So is Microsoft going to give up again? I hope not, just stick to it and hopefully people will grow a brain. I hope to see universal search return to WP when it finally gets understood on Windows 8. A temporary solution could be the combination of the search button/charm as well as software search keys.

bridder says:

I'd like to see better call management, in this aspect WP has moved backwards from dumbphones, how about accept calls only from Contacts list, it would be good to have custom lists with rules that can be applied to each list too. Some basic control over who can call you and when would be great...

Gary Ormond says:

My concern is that Microsoft just don't 'get it' and are a bit like the Emperor in his new clothes. Also, other media outlets, such as pocketnow, are far less forgiving of MS's obvious blunders, and so are their readership. MS need to sort this out quickly or the platform will die, killed by a mixture of Software mistakes, aggressive critiquing, derision from fans of the other platforms and WP user despair at the state, still, of something that we know could be good; but MUST be better.

TudorD says:

the most important things are sound profiles (with time,place,contact,etc. management) and vpn.

phazer89 says:

Don't really have a need for folders personally, especially with the quarter-size tiles.

HM02 says:

The words "competition" and "Blackberry" in the same sentence? HA!

cheshirster says:

I really really hope, that MS would not listen to most of silly "usability" suggestions and would not turn today's greate WP-experience into another crapdroid mess.
Notification center would be some kind of a spammed mail box that you would not ever want to open. I already have all needed notifications on tiles.
Folders is just a way to hide things you don't need from sight. Using folders is like cleaning your room by taking garbage under the carpet. Just take it out and forged.
I dont need garbage collectors on my phone.

1-Then don't open it. No one is forcing you.
2-I didn't know you throw your files in the recycle bin instead of hiding them under the carpet (categorizing them into folders on your PC). Or you'd rather throw your books out instead of categorizing the books in your bookshelf. Every library around the world, take note.

cheshirster says:

1) I will be forced by developers. Just like with system screen orientation lock every developer would think "Why should i care personally in my app? There is a system switch, user can toggle it if it is needed".
It will be "Why should i inform user in my app? There is a Notification center for it". In case of 100's of apps it will be total chaos.
 
2) It is not a computer. It is limited by space, by battery, by screen size. Google tends to turn smartphone in full-blown computer just because they don't have a desktop OS. MS have it, and I too own a Windows PC.
Libraries and bookstores all use shelves with alphabetical order, not some kind of "folder-in-folder-in-folder" disorder.

invisik says:

It is very embarrasing #7 Profiles have not been implemented.  I've gotten used to the two choices (Ring/Vibe or Vibe) but come one, ring profiles are a basic feature these days even on feature phones.  As I understand from an Android user, they have profiles that are location aware (by GPS position or something like that)--that would be incredible.
#4 X to close apps.  Not sure if it is as much essential but the current way of "backing out a zillion times" is just plain confusing.  Apps are a Task... give us an X or some mechinism to end the Task... I'd think would be pretty easy to implement.
#6 Folders.  I'm going ot have to go ahead and disagree with you on that one.  I won't complain if they add it, but then you'd partially lose the very cool feature of pressing the alphabetic letter to jump to apps starting with that letter.  I've never seen that before and it's super quick and logical.  Other operating systems need folders to help organize icons because there is no other way to access them then scrolling through.  WP keeps icons in alphabetical order so icons are always found in the expected place and in a logical manner.  (apps like "Amazon Kindle" bug me, as I expect to find "Kindle"  under "K" for Kindle, not "A" for Amazon, but that's just a filing issue).
 
I suppose you're going to want to take it a step further and let your app icons arrange in any order instead of alphabetical?  Then you've just made it the same as any other phone out there and what's the point in that.  (Or at least leave the default arrangement behavious alphabetical, and give the option to arrange manually).  Or I think that's what the Tiles are for--your own manual arrangement.
And my own suggestion for a new feature from Blackberry 7 (correct me if not included already).. the Unified Inbox.  Too many places to look for new incoming communications.. (text, chats, e-mail from multiple accounts, etc).  I miss that big time. 
Lastly, a nit pick just from me, please give me the option to immediately show the dial pad after answering a call.  I have to press a key to answer calls transferred from my cloud PBX and I cannot bring up the dial pad fast enough after picking up my L920 to ever answer a call (I only get like 2 rings).  :)
Keep on keeping on.
-m
 

danmorrissey says:

I definitely agree about Universal Search. It's the only thing I really miss about my iPhone (and I REALLY don't miss my iPhone). I also agree that anything you rent/buy from Xbox music/video should be available on all Windows devices. That's still all a bit backward.

From a business point of view, I think Calendar REALLY needs a proper week-view. Turn the phone to landscape mode and it should all pivot round.

jfash007 says:

A lot is wrong with d OS, like the phone vibrating when receiving whatsapp notification even though vibrate is set to off under sound settings.

Lenn Liggins says:

I write Instagram once a week and ask them for an app for Windows Phones and we need more people to do the same thing on their Facebook.  Also, I hope Microsoft is reading these suggestions and will do something in the near future to add these features. 

Riftsurfer says:

Fix support for Corporate voicemail!
I get asked all the time about my Lumia 920 and when I tell them they won't be able to listen to voicemails from our Cisco Unity system they go running to Android or iPhone. WP 7/7.5 supported the GSM 6.10 and ADPCM codecs for .wav files but WP8 doesn't.

jonathanrn says:

Here here!! All 8 need to be fixed yesterday!!!

Cellus13 says:

Instagram isn't going to happen anytime soon. Nokia US said on Facebook that instagram only responded to the request by saying they're only focusing on making Android and Iphone a fluid experience. Basically they won't make a app for windows phone nor care for it. So we might as well get over it.

pgeller says:

Pretty spot-on, Daniel. A little condescending, but hey, that's you. Personally, I'd be thrilled if they'd figure out how to have separate volume settings, especially for Bluetooth. Play on.

l3yl05a says:

I really love WP8 OS on my Lumia 920 having recently upgraded from a Lumia 800 and really want WP to succeed as I never want to be in a position where I would have to move to the ugly and dated UI's of the competitors should the unspeakable happen and MS decided to pull the plug but being a WP user in the UK I am quite concerned Blackberry may regain 3rd spot from WP if MS do not continue agressive forms of marketing.
The issue with MS is they appear at times to go all out at the start with big marketing campaigns as they did here with TV ads but they only ever last short term and the public only have short memories especially in a market where iOS and Andoid are so far ahead, and although it's on the wain more people would list Blackberry as the third most recognised smartphone OS and wouldn't realise until they went to a shop that WP existed.
MS need to drum more money into advertising, and raising profile of WP. They need to stop exclusivity to stores/carriers as they will never market WP ahead of the others. This was an error they made and are still making with the Surface over here.
They need to provide funding or enticements to get big apps from across retail, banking and others. They really need to stop giving iOS and Andoid our exclusive apps at least for as long as they are still trying to establish market share as why would customers bother to make the move.
They need to sort the xbox games fiasco once and for all as good xbox games on your phone will entice another spectrum of customers.
Music syncing also needs sorting. We want Zune back MS!
We also need a little more comitment from MS overall they have a habbit of putting in their all at the begining and then seem to get bored and drop things to the detriment of the product as time goes on.
Let me reiterate I love WP and W8/RT and have these on my PC and Surface but until some points are addressed I am concerned WP as a huge fight on now and MS really need to step up to the plate and flex some muscle

Please everybody FW this articles link to Belfiore's twitter or FB... Lets make a point !!!!

DavidinCT says:

I've been shocked that the dual volume control has not been there, This is one of the biggest misses from Windows Mobile 6.5. A ringer and notifcation volume then a Media (games, apps, music) volume. It happens a few times a week, I lower the volume to play a quick game when I should not, and I forget to adjust the volume, someone calls and I miss it because I didn't hear it....
 
If you follow any of my posts, you will know Xbox gaming is top on my list too, Before they didn't have the higer end hardware, now they do, where is the titltes ? THey really need to get the unreal engine on WP8, It's only available on iOS and Android. This is what the big AAA tiles use and with out this in most cases, your not going to get the dream games you hope for. Microsoft should dump a lot of money at this one...

I'll say this again on notification center... The live tile concept is somewhat a conflict... So... In the ME hub there is a page for notification and the Me live tile flashes notification... Granted the functionality there isn't as desired... Its just need to be enahaced... So the live tile for Me should display better messages or icons of notifications for you to dive into...not just FB..... Regular txt messages should not be there... The live tile is fine... But for everything else(fb, twit, linkin,etc)... That's the natural spot to place it

gadgetebz says:

Daniel great article and agree with everything you suggested... 
I think Windows 8 could be improved with the following also....
1. Phone Menu - sort out the Phone LOG so it shows CALL DURATION and introduce SMART DIALING
2. Messaging  - Get Skype to work like iMESSAGE with delivery notifications etc...
Also allow third party APPS to Integrate into Windows Phone Messaging. So when I go into Messaging I can send my message via SMS, SKYPE, WHATSAPP etc.........  
3. Browsing - Encourage third party browsers like Firefox, Dolphin and Opera
4. Music - Plz bring back Zune!!! Should never have got rid of it, I really think it would have been a hit on Windows 8...   At the very least change the design of the Tile as it looks like a copy of the Games Tile which is confusing...
5. Podcasts - Fix PODCAST for everyone outside the USA !!!
7. SETTINGS - allow more options in SETTINGS for example WHY CAN`T I decide if I want TOAST MESSAGES to preview my received SMS... or If I want my email to automatically download pictures etc....
8. SD CARD - ALLOW USERS the abiliy to move MUSIC, VIDEOS, PODCASTS, Audio books etc to the SD CARD manually. Help Developers download media to the SD CARD properly as often is appears to download to the Phone memory which is no good if you only have 8 GIG and alot of APPS...
9. STANDARDS - I really wish Microsoft would support the most popular standards as well as their own... So Allow WEBKIT BROWSERS and HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) for BBC Iplayer etc
10. Make Windows 8 and Windows Phone run the same APPS as I dont see much cross over between the two at the moment.

bigdjunk says:

Most of those reasons are rubbish. In my business, It is the need to be able to play VoIP messages sent to our email account. Cisco is huge. Microsoft is huge. They both care about business, but yet I can't play my voice messages on my phone, when every other phone out there can? I am deploying windows phones and every single user pisses and moans that they can't in their windows phone, but they could in their android or iPhone.
They are wave files... really?? Even 7.x phones could play them!
Things like this just make MS phones appear less-than, compared to androids and iPhones, and that bothers me since I am a huge supporter of MS

Giddora says:

Am I the only one who gets a notification center each time I hit the Windows-button on my phone?

Anyone know why Microsoft deep sixed XBOX video on Windows Phone? If this isn't a temporary development it is really stupid move on Microsoft's part. Even Blackberry now has a video store now.

jptbay says:

#1 Xbox music is a joke. Returned my 920 specifically because of this. Was impossible to get my downloaded Zune pass songs to work. Zune client is far superior.
 
#2 Rotation lock
 
#3 Screen shot.
 
#4 improve calendar  

Sean Davison says:

^This right here is more proff that articles like this bring the trolls and crybabies out. I've read over and over about things that already exist in WP.
So to you I say if you ever get your hands on a WP device again, please press the Windows button + camera button and find out what happens.

sarim_xyz says:

You mean, Windows + lock button, for screenshot!

jocke92 says:

I don't see a big use of an "x". It just a bad habit to close/shutdown things. But maybe on apps running in background and with a close gesture like W8. Also folders is a no need in wp because of the usefull app menu. Click on a letter and jump. If you forgot the first letter i the app-name use the magnifier and search or the sugestested "bing" improvement universal search(#2).

cheshirster says:

Double "Back" key closes apps right now on my L820.
What is the point in closing suspended apps that you suggest in #4

c8m6p says:

This is literally the best list that's been put together. It just seems like MS does not have the manpower within the company to be able to update WP on a timely basis. I'm with a lot of other people, if MS doesn't add most or all of these features by next November, im out. The 920 is a nice piece of hardware that is flat out hampered by the OS right now

phatboy66 says:

Instagram is a big deal because the Lumia 920 has such an amazing camera, its crazy that we don't have this application yet
 
 

Sean Davison says:

yes it is crazy... insane in fact. But PLEASE do your research and find out why it's not available on WP. Is it MS or instagram?
When you figure it out, maybe it will make you rid yourself of your loyalty to that whack shit.

Spolier Alert: it's not WP's fault!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

wookie301 says:

Lumia 920 needs a screen orientation lock

Wevenhuis says:

Yes, Please to all except 3,5,6,.

All I want from Microsoft is VPN support.

bigdjunk says:

Yes, and this is just as important for business as the ability to play cisco wave voice mails.
Screw all the things that the phone needs to make it more fun, MS needs to make the phone a great work device so businesses buy them again.

Simon Kaos says:

Also need to be able to save and e-mail PDF files. 

xd1936 says:

#9, and most important of all to me: Podcasts

Sean Davison says:

What about podcasts...?

gadgetebz says:

Daniel
             During 2013 I want Microsoft to deliever FEATURE PARITY with IOS and Android...  I have not idea how Microsoft can claim no time and resources to complete fundimental parts of the Windows Phone OS when Blackberry have just delivered LOCAL SEARCH and NOTIFICATION CENTRE on their first version.
Microsoft obviously did not plan for these features which again makes you wonder do they really understand the market and what people want.....   Anyone remember when they said we users didnt need CUT and PASTE??
 
              

Mashgh says:

the main thing is orientation lock

danzeman says:

How about saving usernames and passwords. This is so annoying, even my Symbian browser could do that!

Onerunjunior says:

#1 is SORELY needed, 2-5 I couldn't care less about, #6 is completely stupid because Metro doesn't need folders, that's why it has live tiles (are you actually serious?), #7 is a pretty big thing for me as well because the way volume works on WP8 is pretty dumb, and #8 doesn't matter because the Xbox is useless because Xbox music is a seriously awful service all around and completely pointless to buy into. Buy music from Amazon, the less ecosystems you buy into the better.
The biggest thing I want is to be able to make the damn phone make the sounds I want, not what Microsoft and Nokia want it to. I mean seriously, they talk up making your Windows Phone "yours" and I can't make it make the email sounds I want? Really? What a COLOSSALLY stupid decision that was. The year 2000 called and is laughing at you, Microsoft.

CheukMe2u says:

 Might I add... In regards to #4, I would love to swipe up/down to close apps and I would also love for this feature to be carried over for deleting photos. Anyone agree? o.O

Also, rotation lock please. haha

Sean Davison says:

How about doble tapping the back button to close out of an app..?

jwinch2 says:

Good list overall.  However, I cannot believe that the desktop app for syncing media did not make this list.   That thing is an Eff-ing disaster.  Every single time I have tried to use it, it crashes right as I am about to be done with the sync.  And lately, it loads 4-5 versions of the same file on my phone.  Then, when I go to delete them, it claims it cannot delete them because the file does not exist even though I can see it on my phone.  So, I go into the windows directory and delte the files manually, and they STILL show up on the app.  
The desktop app sucks out loud, and with conviction.  

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