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Poll – What 3 missing features do you want most in Windows Phone 8?

WP Central

Okay folks, we asked and you answered. Yesterday we posted an open discussion on what you thought were some missing features from Windows Phone 8, knowing what we know so far (which is actually a lot due to the SDK leak). We were curious and Microsoft is curious.

In turn we received over 600 well thought out and detailed comments on the issue and we poured over it, trying to distil the top requests.

Looking over the comments we picked what we thought were the top nine most requested and talked about features that are evidently missing in ‘Apollo’. You can now vote on those nine by choosing the top three features that you want the most come to Windows Phone.

The poll is open till Monday, 6AM EST

 

Don’t worry if your feature didn’t make the list—Microsoft is no doubt looking at your 600+ comments and we’re sure someone important is taking notes. 

Our results will be given on to Microsoft for future consideration, so please pass it a long for others to vote. If you are using our app, please use m.wpcentral.com to take the poll.

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Comments

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How about background wallpapers

RobbCab says:

How bout not. The new start screen is already ugly enough
(in comparison)

irlju#WP says:

It's terrible design, no white space. The tiles can't breathe. Why do you think Windows 8's start screen isn't chock-full of tiles from the top of the screen to the bottom?

aschettler says:

First, there's too much white space. Now there's not enough, even though we have greater flexibility in size, placement, and amount of tiles? Seriously?

irlju#WP says:

I never stated we had too much white space - in fact, there were already calculations done that pegged WP7's home screen as more content-rich (by screen estate) than iOS. Why should I have to compromise design in order to get flexibility? In my eyes, Microsoft just went from #1 home screen to 4th/5th. They should just add the gutter back as an option, I'll happily opt for a larger device and the start screen will work just fine.
 
Examples are everywhere, seriously. Most home screens get the breathing room by spacing out the objects. Tiles aren't spaced out, so you naturally need some space on the sides. Again, I ask - why doesn't Windows 8 have tiles from the top of the screen to the bottom?

link68759 says:

As an engineer, your "breathing room" sounds like an inefficient waste of space.
 
The reason Windows 8 isn't stacked from top to bottom is because there are hidden UI elements that pop out on the top and bottom; when they pop out they aren't covering anything, and you're less likely to accidentally hit something while trying to use the touch gesture to call it out. Not because of some imagined "breathing room" to satisfy your claustrophobia.

irlju#WP says:

As an engineer, you can't design. Go take a basic design class.
 
Why does Windows 8 have content from left-to-right when there are hidden UI elements in the task switcher and charms bar on the sides there? Give it up, armchair expert.

link68759 says:

Yeah that was sort of a joke, the engineer giving design advice :D
 
However that doesn't invalidate my point. The UI content on the top/bottom are specific to each app and you will need seamless access those controls while using said app. It makes sense that those would be the ones that wouldn't cover other UI elements so you don't cover text or something you need might need to see in normal operation of the app. Case in point, on the start screen you want to be able to see what you have selected when you are trying to access "run as administrator" or "delete". The controls you access in the side charms or task switcher however are always functionally indepenent of every app.
 
Of course, I probably just put more thought into this than microsoft did, they probably were just going for the widescreen look. Happy accident on their part it makes sense? Or maybe they arrived at that conclusion easier with the help of some designers.

AdeptMaven says:

In metro scrolling is/should always be done on the longest axis, thus phones scroll up and down, wide screens (tablets, laptops, desktops etc.) scroll left and right. The app bar and charms bar are on the sides because it's where your thumbs rest when you're holding a tablet. They only appear when swiping from the bezel (on touch screen devices). or going from the corners with a mouse. Very few (if anyone) starts scrolling from the corner or very edge of a device.

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a5cent says:

I don't think we necessarily need white space to make use of a background image. Take a look at Skinery. Skinery isn't a good/general solution, but with a few slight adjustments to the requirements on apps that are submitted to the WP marketplace, WP could improve on this concept and make it geneinely usefill. I'm sure I don't have all the details right, just the general direction, but others could certainly improve on this starting point (copied from my post in the community feedback thread):
 
More personal and cleaner start screens with animatable background images:
Many consumers find WP's start screen aesthetically unpleasing and in lack of good customization options.

Furthermore, I feel app developers are vandalising my start screen. Many developers don't respect metro's minimalist UI style... instead their apps use detailed and colorful live tiles with almost no white space (space filled by the accent color). In my view, most people's start screens look like a 100 different people with competing tastes and attention deficits spray painted all over them!
Possible solution: Mandate that each app provide a metro style live tile icon (monochrome with at least a certain percentage of white-space) and have the marketplace test kit enforce this requirement. Then give developers and users the following options:
 
A) Developer options (specified in app code):

  1. may specify a default live tile (which may or may not be metro styled/minimalistic)
  2. may specify a default background color to be used by their minimalistic metro styled live tile icon (i.e. the Skype app may specify that it prefers a light blue background over the user's accent color)

 
B) User options (specified in WP settings menu):

  1. Force minimalistic metro style [true/false]

Activating this option ensures that all my live tiles use the apps monochrome icon, irrespective of what the apps default live tile may look like. It also enables the following sub-options:

  1. Force accent colored backgrounds [true/false]
  2. Wallpaper [filename]
  3. Animate Wallpaper [see below]

Sub-option (1) overrides the developer's prefered background color. The Skype live tile would then be displayed in the users accent color instead of the developers prefered light blue.
Sub-option (2) replaces the accent color with a wallpaper image. The Skinery app exeplifies what this might look like, although it wouldn't limit live tile placement options as Skinery does. WP should include a few images to choose from, in adition to supporting user defined images.
Sub-option (3) specifies when and how to animate the wallpaper:

  • when ringing, when playing music, etc
  • ripples, swirls, pinching, alternating, etc.

 
After long-pressing a live tile on the start screen, WP8 adornes the live tile with two handles. One handle removes the live tile from the start screen, the other resizes it. I suggest the addition of a third handle to set its background color. This color setting should override any/all of the general settings mentioned above. This could also be used to color-code apps which may be considered a kind of grouping functionality for the start-screen.
I generally find these kinds of features superficial. However, I think getting something like this done is absolutely necessary for WP to succeed. Our WP start screens are certainly personal, but as I stated above, they are not beautiful, dispite MS trying to market them as such. This is the type of thing that average consumers can form their own opinion on, and it is one of the important reasons why WP is not going mass-market!

irlju#WP says:

We don't need white space for a background, we need white space for a decent home screen.
 
I respect your opinion, but I'm not a fan of skinning the actual tiles. Much nicer to have transparency on them and have a dimmed background image, if a background is needed. See linked image:
http://mynokiablog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/mango-600x418.png
 

a5cent says:

Hi irlju, thank you for taking the time to reply. I also respect your opinion, and would like to know WHY you are not a fan of skinning the actual tiles. Given the circumstances, I think it is the best shot we've got.
I agree with you that the WP's home screen looks cleaner with the gutter. In contrast to what many think, it was also functional, as it allowed the user to scroll the start screen in the most sloppy and unfocused way without accidentally launching an app (great for in car usage where you are concentrated on other things).  The asymetric layout was also great for right handed people, as it put the right column of tiles comfortably under your thumb. In WP8, the rightmost column will be awkward to access single handedly. I think MS caved to pressure from people who just didn't get it, but Microsoft also communicated this very poorly. I also agree that the WP8 start screen is even uglier than WP7's.
Anyway, I don't think the image you linked to accurately reflects what you are describing (those tiles are not transparent). I assume you were trying to show what you consider "adequate white space". If I assume correctly, than I disagree.
The white space on the WP7 home screen (gutter) followed fuctional requirements. For the reasons I explained above, I think WP8 represents a step backward. I think your suggestion would be even worse, as it sacrifaces limited screen real-estate purely for the sake of a nonfunctional background image (or purely for your personal sense of "what is beautiful" which is not necessarily shared).
As I see it, WP8 has almost zero white space. As a result, I redefined the term in my post above, where I use it to refer to the areas occupied by the start screen's accent color. The accent color is WP's white space! Substituting the accent color with a background picture has no negative side effects (doesn't sacrifice space uselessly) and it looks really good too.
If you want transparent tiles, than a lot of what I stated above should also apply to your vision of WP8, as the many non-minimalistic and colorful live tiles we have today would look really terrible semi-transparently superinposed on a background (I've seen a few mock ups of this too. Most attempts were abandoned after the authors tried to apply those concepts to their actual WP7 home screens).

JRBLAS17 says:

Why can't they do both? Why not give consumers an option to skin the tiles or have transparent tiles with a nice background or criss-cross? A big reason why WP is not selling is because the start screen looks boring. Iphone is simplistic but it has the name recognition, OEMs skin Android to be eye-catching (HTC Sense fan), and WP justs let you change from bland color to bland color. WOWWWWW. But if they take both of your opinions, Microsoft would have something simplistic but eye catching. I thought the whole point of WP's home screen was to eliminate clutter but now they have just made the most cluttered, ugly home screen ever. The next update should take heed. They have to bring back the white space. 

a5cent says:

As long as Microsoft doesn't compromise on the principle of form/design following function, I would be fine with any solution(s). However, I don't think irlju suggestion qualifies, because it would introduce at least one of the following negative side effects if not more:

  • Make live tiles smaller (to make room for more white space) and thus harder to touch and/or easily read their contents at a glance.
  • Increase the amount of scrolling required to get from the top of the start screen to the bottom (due to the extra white space added between live tiles)
  • Make live tiles harder to read as transparent live tiles won't always contrast well with arbitrary background wallpapers.

I wouldn't oppose transparent live tiles if I can turn transparency off. BUT! I would very much oppose the amount of white space suggested by the image irlju linked to, for the reasons mentioned above.
Contrast that with the solution I proposed. Live tiles wouldn't need to compromise size, readability or anything else. The layout/size of our start screens and live tiles could remain exactly as they are.
Yes, MS could do both solutions, but not all solutions are equal. One way or another, something really must be done to spice up WP's start screens. I agree that this is a big part of what is killing WP, as the pretty pictures on the start screen (or lack thereof) is the only thing an average smartphone shopper is really capable of judging at first glance (at the telecom shop)... as superficial as they may be, first impressions count, and WP doesn't make a good one.

I really like that two tone fade color idea

I agree. The gutter in WP7 gives the design a sense of balance and breathing room. WP8 just looks all squished together.

nizzon says:

It kind of is, sadly.

laserfloyd says:

Only if you make it so.

RobbCab says:

And most of you will. Especially those who think a background would be a good thing.

abaca93 says:

Why do you care how other people make their own phone look? Why is it so bad to have options? If you want your phone to look chic, then set it up as such. I don't see how offering alternatives is bad. As far as I'm concerned, it's empowering for consumers.

tallgeese says:

It's not ugly.

winfreak says:

if you just want the WP7.5 Start Screen you can di that just resize the tiles to medium

astroXP says:

Have you looked at the new start screen? There's barely space to notice a background!!!

Kormiko says:

You do realize that on the current Windows Phone, you can align the tiles so that they only show on one side of the screen.  A background could easily be seen with proper alignment of tiles.  I'm not sure what spaces will be available for WP8, but it probably will work in a similar fashion.
 
They have a background on the Music and Video Hub and the Marketplace Hub, so there is no reason why they couldn't put it on the main screen.  It's not a top priority for me, but it seems like such an easy thing for them to do.

For anyone complaining about them adding the option of a background... why?  If you want a black screen or white screen, I'm sure that option would still be there.

a5cent says:

I agree... I have seen mock-ups and they look terrible. However, consider the alternative solution I described above.

mjfadaway says:

Everybody keeps saying that, but it's not true. The medium tiles in 7.8/8.0 are larger than the tiles in 7.5 and under. Therefore they will still take up the whole screen...white space is gone.

How about lock screen from rotating

nizzon says:

Yes that is a must!
But a simple setting like that should not be considered a "feature".

I like this idea. If you had a clear/opaque tile (with a thin border), a background might look nice.

ShortStuff says:

It ain't lucky idk why everyone's complaining bout there being less USELESS white space -.-

irlju#WP says:

White space is not useless. If you don't appreciate design, why the heck are you on a Windows Phone site?

What I like about WP7 start screen is that it doesn't seem CLUTTERED. If every pixel on the screen is occupied by something that launches a task, you have to give 100% attention to operating your phone, or a less-than-perfect scroll motion so you can check a live tile at the bottom launches an app you don't want running. It's counter-productive. Like somebody else brought up, I often use the gutter to scroll so I don't accidentally launch Wordament when I'm trying to get to my email.

dinchy87 says:

Backgrounds with wp7 and wp8 are impossible. Let me explain from the adroid point of view. You have 4 or 5 screens with predefined grid! So anything is static, you think it is customizable but to a narrow range only. Windows phone has a active screen which resizes, how would you all who want backgrounds resize a png or jpeg so that it moves slightly with the tiles? And what would be with the picture if you only have 6 live tiles, and what would be with the same picture with 30??? The picture must than be active but it cant! It could only be a static picture in the background which stays there despite where you are on you start screen. And that ugly to use! Belive me. The "problem" lies within the start screen, colors are possible or even patterns but notging more, because you can set a color or pattern to repeat to infinite. A picture you cant!!! And stop asking for ugly android features! The background is one. You need customizable features? I DONT! I NEED A PHONE WHICH WORK FOR MONTHS WITHOUT RESET or freeze like android. Backgrounds are really a no go with windows phone, so dont ask for it please

ahuczek says:

Amen brother

ZuNuKoo says:

I agree with dinchy87. Logical. And everyone should think this way.

WPenvy says:

There's nothing "new" about the start screen. Its just resized. Idk how everyone's calling that a "feature" and giving it so much fan fare. Raise your standards and expectations of MSFT. We've gotta push and support them past Apple.

JRBLAS17 says:

Its not the same because the screen looks cluttered. The white space brought more individual look to it. IMO

rath79 says:

How about the people that still want the gutter leave 1 mini tile gap down the right side. Eg 1 medium tile & 1 small tile across or 3 small tiles, that way the gutter is still available

J4rrod says:

I really don't get this hold "folders" thing, especially with the new Start screen. You just don't need them.

dkp23 says:

I think the people that want folders want to stick a load of apps in the folder like iOs. 
I personally dont feel i need that, since i will just use small tiles and group four apps on my screen and make multiple of them for smaller less used apps. 

dinchy87 says:

Thats the whole problem with all complains, people got tied to iOS and Android and now they want the features of these os in wp7 wp8. I suggest these people to switch to these oses thex want. So easy.

a5cent says:

Agree. However, the fact that all we can vote for is "Folders" is REALLY UNFORTUNATE and also useless (HEAR THAT WPCENTRAL MODS!). What does it mean?

  • Folders for the home screen?
  • Folders for the app list?
  • No folders at all but something like app hubs?

These are all completely different things, and from the posts in this thread it is obvious we have a complete mess on our hands!
In a way, we already have folders in the app list! If you install more than 40 apps you get one folder for every letter in the alphabet... a grouping by the first letter of the app's name if you will. I would simply ask for an alternative grouping... a grouping by puropse (Maps & Travel, Communications, Accessories, Finance, etc). Why? Because we generally don't pin apps we rarely use to the home screen, so we must go through the app list and remembering the names of all these rarely used apps is hard... however, remembering their purpose is much easier!
I would also completely oppose folders on the home screen.

Dare2Blink says:

Well said indeed. Having folders on the home screen is pointless but on the app list it would be great

Instead of folders - which to me implies pigeon-holing an app into one organized spot - why not have category groupings? The following is my rationale (excuse my use of likely incorrect terms).

- an app would always exist in the full app list like now.
- an app would have the 'Press and hold' option to add or remove it from a category (including adding it to a new category.
- an app could be associated to more than one category.
- there would be a right/left slide group that would expose all the categories to allow accessing them directly and administering members in a category.
- categories could be pinned to the start screen.
- think of the Start screen as a special, undeletable 'category' that could be selected.

The intuitiveness and deeper flexibility with this approach would go way beyond a a one-dimensional folder implementation. I would vote for this instead of folders. What do others think?

hwangeruk says:

I agree too. We need to ween ourselves off of folders, its so last year :)
But seriously, front page for frequent. Apps list for archive. Simple.

astroXP says:

You sir stole my words; well said.

Exactly! When I read "folders" I was horrified... I mean, folders will never get along with the-interface-previously-known-as-Metro... The most I would be willing to accept is making groups pf apps like in Windows 8.  I don't know how well that translates to a smaller screen though.

Quin 2013 says:

It'll be rediculous to have folders that contain apps, it's like having android. Forget it, it takes away the "Simplicity" feel of the whole phone.

sepatown says:

I agree. This whole folders idea is just not needed on Windows Phone. If you want folders move over to iOS. Folder is so last century.

ShortStuff says:

No I want a folder tile that holds all my news apps and all my fitness apps and game apps and ECT. Its very useful and would be cool to if a folder had a live tile that switched between the last new on each app

chucky78 says:

Well I agree that if Folders do what your describing then yes it's a great idea and it an idea that basically already exist. If you group a bunch of twitter contacts it's exactly what your describing. When Groups were added I had only wished I could put my apps in there.

dinchy87 says:

You have all your apps on the right side, no need for folders. That would give a mess...

OMG55 says:

Think of the the games, music, and even the office hubs as container or folder if you will. The only thing missing from the games and office hubs is the search or grouping functionality. Items you use frequently should be grouped together on the start screen
using the appropriate tile size.

schlubadub says:

@joaquinavellan79 yeah, because Pictures isn't a folder and XBox Live isn't a folder. </sarcasm> Hubs ARE Folders - you can launch specific lists of apps from them, which is all we want

OMG55 says:

Sorry guys, I left an important part of my comment off. What I was going to say was that each hub or the important hubs should have a grouping feature like the people hub that allows you to make groups.

venetasoft says:

Not so ridiculous in my humble opinion...
For example some Nokia app names do not start with "Nokia" and I have to scroll to find when I don't remember the name...Its not cool when you want to show it to friends who are watching you, if they have another os they always say me: "why don't U create a Nokia group" ? I will like to group similar apps. Ms could add a button to let the user choose to show or hide groups, so all could be happy.

skywalker#WP says:

How about hubs, just like xbox live tile for games.users could be able to create and name their hubs for which ever apps they wish to keep. Like social hub for facebook, twitter and the likes.

blackprince says:

Like the People hub you mean.

blackprince says:

You sir are either a genius or you just understand how WP works or both. i'll let you choose.

WPenvy says:

No folders. This is Windows Phone. Not iOS. They should be stealing from our playbook not the other way.

I would like folders. If you don't like them it's as simple as not using them.

schlubadub says:

I want a custom hub where I can have my own selection of grouped apps

I would like folders, but not on the Start screen.  I'd like it in the list of apps.  For example, if I have lots of banking apps, I would like to have them all in one place when I look at the list.  Also,  we already have folders on WP7 with the contacts list.  You can create different groups for your contacts (ex: family, work) and see the live tile move like on the People tile.  That would be a nice option if they decided to put in on the start screen.

R0bR says:

We don't need folders we need the ability to filter app search based on taxonomy\metadata. Apps already have this data since its used to filter on the market place but allowing us to add to the data would be a benefit. Swipe left to get your app list then swipe again if you want to filter, save filters, list recent filters etc.

ade333 says:

How about sliding to the left to expand on a genre of apps?

ade333 says:

If my thumb is on a tile and I slide left, show tiles for all apps on the same genre

With no "useless" white space your thumb is ALWAYS on a tile. Also, I want to swipe left for a notification center. :)

With no "useless" white space your thumb is ALWAYS on a tile. Also, I want to swipe left for a notification center. :) Also, I want the emoticon page of the keyboard to show the emoji.

a5cent says:

The poll simply states "folders". I think this is useless, as it should at least also state where to use them, e.g. in what context.
I deem folders on the start screen totally unnecessary! However, something similar to folders for the app list could make sense. Take a look at the first entry in my post from the community feedback thread where I also attempt to explain why.

scdkad says:

I would like an apps Hub that you could put your favorite apps in. And going into the hub takes you to a screen of tiles of the apps you put in there instead of the alphabetical list..

schlubadub says:

Hubs are Folders. All we want is CUSTOM HUBS

TonyDedrick says:

When you say "you just don't need them", you're talking bout yourself, right?

IMO, it doesn't hurt to have the option available. You'll either use it or you don't

MastrMeatWad says:

I initially wanted folders too, but I have changed my mind. I do not use them on my other devices and for WP it would make live tiles useless and that is my favorite feature

volcane2004 says:

I actually don't need any of those new features nor do they interest me. I am happy with the phone right now.

dkp23 says:

If you feel that your phone does not need a full system back up for apps, settings, content, i dont know what to say. 
For any reason you have to reset your phone, you have to start from scratch, with a full backup system, you can sync and your phone will be the same as it was prior to the reset. 
You could say you never reset your phone, but the millions of other people might for any given reason. 

hwangeruk says:

I've reset my phones several times.
Its not really that big a deal, the settings are in no way hard to "get back"
Add a 4 or 5 accounts to cloud mail (contacts and calendar)
Skydrive does have all your docs right? ;)
The biggest pain being the App re-install, but to be honest, I've got / had  300-400 apps. I probably only use 2 or 3 everyday (BattleNet authenticator, WPCentral of course ;) )

The rest, are either built in or Nokia apps. I just download them on demand and slowly build back up.
 
I guess a full backup option would be... sorta ok, but more "day to day" stuff would be much more useful like better notifications, and more colours!
 

pepsijosh says:

I agree with you that the majority of your stuff is in the cloud the only things I really think are missing from the cloud is game save/application data (especially XBL Games with rediculs achievements like 250,000 blocks smashed in Angry Birds) and SMS Messages (because I'm a horder lol)

Fludlyt says:

I agree, when I ask for backup the main thing I'm asking for is backup of game data.

WPenvy says:

Im totally with you on SMS... They need to throw a search function in there though if we need to find a particular message.

dkp23 says:

Resetting the phone is a chore and although all your content like music, pics, vids, doc are on cloud, there are many other things like your phone settings such as ringtone, background tasks, push notifications, the tiles on your screen, the live tile settings you have for each app, your text messages, your games, your progress, or if somebody actually wants to get there content on their phone in case there is no data connection, a true backup system is a must.  
I didnt mention what you said was the biggest, getting the apps back, would i want to go to a reinstaller app and manually and individually have to check off the apps i want and then after that, provision the apps for my live tiles settings or turning off the live tiles?  Not really...
A true back-up restore function on wp8 is a must so if somebody has to reset or even LOSE a phone, they can do a full restore and save all the settings, tiles, apps, and all that step with one simple step.  Instead of restoring everythign piece by piece.  
Resetting your phone is a big deal and restoring a new phone if your phone is lost is a very big deal as well.  If you noticed the outlook email blog, there were many comments of how they wish there was a true backup-restore feature.  

tbonenga says:

Microsoft already said full back up was coming. If I remember right it was said if you lose your phone or drop it in water you'll be able to go online and push a few buttons and your new phone will be cloned. It will be identical to the old one.

TPM50 says:

I think he was referring to aesthetics.

scdkad says:

As long as that backup is on my PC that would be cool..

chucky78 says:

I didn't vote for full system backup but I agree it's very important

ahuczek says:

That's a typical power users response. 99% of us are never going to reset our phones. For one we don't need to. My phone has never crashed in a year and a half. Not once. And secondly I think most people would be afraid to so they just hold off unless its absolutely necessary for some reason.

OMG55 says:

While I'm happy with my L900, I hope device backup come with 7.8; if so, I will be content with my current srvice for sometime :-D

MastrMeatWad says:

I agree, the only save option that is 100% needed is game saves!

AriesDog says:

I would like to pay for apps with Microsoft points. iPhone has iTunes cards. I don't like attaching a credit cards to my devices, be it phones, tablets, game systems, or whatever.

R0bR says:

You can buy apps with PayPal if you setup PayPal on your Xbox live account as a payment method. However, PayPal doesn't work with Zune so you'll need a credit card registered for that. I hope MS fixes that for the new music service and WP8.

AriesDog says:

Not interested in PayPal. They already have the Microsoft points system in place for Xbox, Zune, and Games for Windows Live. It works great there. But for some reason Windows Phone doesn't accept them. Just bring it over.

TechAbstract says:

1. File system
2. Bluetooth transfer
3. Adobe Flash

inteller says:

go get android dude, this is not the platform for you.
 
oh and 2011 called, Flash on mobile is dead.

DaveGx says:

I loved using Dolphin browser for Android. I could view pretty much ANYTHING. Audio and video streams....it was great. I really miss that. Flash isn't dead and not every site is mobile ready, especially many audio and video streams.

agm353 says:

Yes, flash is dead.

agm353 says:

Don't argue. It is. Its all HTML5 now.

zuner@heart says:

On mobile Adobe announced that flash will no longer be available. Therefore mobile flash is truely dead. Besides if you really want to watch flash video, use a pc(running mac, windows, or any distro of linux). In my opinion, the biggest reason not to incorporate Adobe Flash, is because within a few years EVERYTHING is going to be HTML5. What Microsoft needs to do is to throw away trident (what makes internet explorer such a load of garbage) in favor of WebKit (what makes Safari(mac) and Google Chrome such awesome browsers). This has been a request of mine ever since the days of shitty IE8. I really don't understand why microsoft refuses to admit defeat as far as browser quality goes. This would greatly improve Internet Explorer by giving the software engineers more time to focus on other things.

zuner@heart says:

As a side note, I love microsoft. I think internet explorer has come a long way since six, but it is by far not the best browser out there. It may 'support' html5, but ie has always had the worst way of interpreting what should be standard code and this has made it the but of almost exery browser joke on the web. By the time microsoft gives us the usability of other current browsers, they will be on html6. Please everyone give Microsoft some prodding to greatly improve their browser and the opinion of their browser should also be improved. I don't know how you do a blind taste test with browsers, but however you would do it, microsoft needs to take chrome and ie and compare them in a way that even the greatest hacker couldn't figure out which one was which. Give this to web developers and show them their website on the same computer in both chrome and ie and start to change web developers opinions of internet explorer. Once they can get enough of the testers to say that their site looked better on ie than chrome and if those are influential web developers slowly inernet explorer could sway me to believe in it again.

There is nothing wrong with how IE renders things. It passes the acid tests.

WPenvy says:

Exactly why MSFT needs to throw more weight behind HTML5 and Silverlight. Steal the spotlight turned off on mobile flash.

TechAbstract says:

Already had 5 android phones. Don't want another android. There is nothing in Android that interest me anymore. My experience with Android goes like this. New fast phone->install some apps-> lag, force closes and freezes->hard reset-> fast -> install apps-> slow and unstable. It's a never ending cycle.

It's nice to have an option as many sites still have AFlash. FlashVideo for WP is one of the top selling apps.

So what you are saying basically is that if someone asks for a feature that exists in another OS, they should leave WP and get that other OS. Isn't that a little too extreme?

How about we drop Notification Center and say to the guy who suggested it "go get Android dude"?

Is it really so bad that I want a file I downloaded through IE (and my phone doesn't know what kind it is) to be sent via Bluetooth to my friend? How would I do that? Obviously with an explorer app.

An explorer app is necessary, I'm tellin' ya.

pulkit10 says:

While I agree that it is extreme to belittle any suggestion to make the OS better, I think an explorer option is a little silly. All that file management nonsense is perfect for us power users but it takes away simplicity without offering any serious function for the majority of users - a phone, in my opinion, isn't meant to be a computer replacement, it's only really meant to be a versatile device perfectly apt for media consumption, communication and maybe a little more. Packing too much in there ends up making it like Windows Mobile - it isn't really a lightweight mobile OS anymore, it's a clunkier version of a real OS packed into a pocket sized device which is a disaster. That is my biggest gripe with Android. There's just too much going on and it's perfect when I want to spend hours tinkering around with it but the lack of simplicity kills it.
And bluetooth support was abysmal in WP 7.5 - I'm so glad they are adding the ability to send pictures/audio/video files. WP8 seems like a nice evolution and it's firmly in the middle ground for me - not too closed down like iOS and not too open like Android - it's just done right (in theory, at least).

There are more than 100,000 apps in the Marketplace, and I don't know how the availability of all these apps would complicate anything for users. An explorer would only be just that: yet another app.

What I am saying is that I don't think having this tool available on WP devices would make it any more confusing for the average user. If Microsoft are really worried about this, they can have it hidden and have an option deep in the settings to enable the app.

In the end, in addition to helping many users like me feel they have complete control over their phone, Microsoft can lure many more Android users who fit the "power user" category, as I hear them saying WP is "too closed down, like iOS".

Sevehn says:

Yes, WP8 Blue tooth protocols need to be updated. This is my #1 feature that I will be looking for on the new device. Many old dumb and smart phones (including my old winmo 6.5 HTC TP2) have no problems syncing/ pairing with other devices. If the WP8 phones will not pair with my Toyota EnTune radio (wp7 does not) it is buy bye windows phone. That will be depressing since I love the WP7/8 platform and am a MSFT fanboy. But you can only give them so long.

I would be willing to bet your problem will be solved in Windows Phone 8 since the bluetooth stack will be the same as in Windows 8... meaning support for the latest and greatest protocols.

inteller says:

i'm glad to see the rest of you agreed with me on the top three.  Microsoft should have taken its features list directly from the microsoft feedback forum.

I just want a notification center and some toggles available anywhere in the phone without leaving the current app. Oh and an equalizer!!

i dont understand why everyone brings up the notification center. The Live tiles ARE the notification center. If MS added a notification center what would be the point of the live tiles aka their design language?

Jeff Kibuule says:

Live tiles are only useful if you have the app pinned to the start screen. Some apps aren't important enough for that. Live tiles also can only slow a limited amount of info.
I don't really want a notification center. I just want a place where I can see the last 10 notifications I form I don't want to manage them or have to clean them up. It's a chore on iOS and Android. 

WPenvy says:

Mainly for toast notifications. They fly away so quickly. Especially if you put your phone down or its in a not so accessible pocket

R0bR says:

Live tiles are not the notification center. I could have my BBC app show there are 4 new news items to read. Meanwhile it sends me toast notifications for certain things that if I don't catch in time are lost forever.

zuner@heart says:

I dont get why people keep saying live tiles arevthe notification center. They aren't. Some people want to see ALL their notification even from apps not pinned as tiles. A notification center is pretty much expected. Android, iOS, WebOS, and BB10 all have ways to see all your old  unacted upon notifications so that if you dont want to scroll to the icon of the app in question tosee if it has a waiting notification, you just open up notification center.

pulkit10 says:

Hardly so. There are obvious issues with toast notifications in the OS. Too late to look? Too bad, the notification is gone - open the app to find out and even then you aren't guarunteed to know what the notification was about. 
WP can borrow a little from Android here, it has both widgets AND a notification centre and it has WP beat in this area; Microsoft could learn from that. I'm not saying pull an Apple and put a notification drawer up there - that just wouldn't fit with the OS' design language - but give us something to go back to. A while ago I saw this article on here describing an artist's impression of what a notification centre on WP would look like; you'd swipe left to see all your stuff that you missed and toggle major connections from there (sort of like the Windows 8 charms). 
To summarize, a Windows 8 charm like notification centre where you swipe to the right to reveal the notification centre on the left would be amazing.

PeterFnet says:

No options interest me

WPSteve says:

There are some dumb requests in here... Seriously, why do we need a landscape start screen? I'm all for notification center and backups though.

ZX9 says:

If you had a hardware keyboard you would understand. I navigate through my phone in landscape normally and most apps work for that, as does the browser, but the start screen does not--and it's awkward.

ZX9 says:

It's not necessarily a must-have, but it is aesthetically necessary and seems logical.

DaveGx says:

Is the keyboard thing just like the browser? MS locks it down? WPs would be perfect of they let devs create browsers not based off IE and keyboards. That, besides a folder system I can save any file too is what I miss most from Android. Swype and Dolphin HD browser were the best apps ever. MS needs to be a little more open I think

hwangeruk says:

Gees I've got some Android devotees at work who talked about using the device as a file store. The only thing they use that for is illegally swapping movies. Everything else is in the cloud.
I really hope we don't mess up WP7 pandering to the Android style of doing things or their users. I like the simple uncomplicated quality nature of WP7.

Swype really isn't all that.

agm353 says:

It isn't.... It messes up a lot

snowmutt says:

If Microsoft would just add arrows to place the curser where I wanted it, I would be fine with the keyboard even if I do not love it as much as everyone else. 
But truly, would designing three or four seperate keyboards based on popular options on other platforms be that horrid for them?  Just a couple of options.  It would be a good selling point.

schlubadub says:

I find the current way of placing the cursor pretty easy... (Hint: press & hold on the text, move cursor where you want it)

ZX9 says:

Hold down and the cursor will pop up to place in whatever space you want. OR you can get a hardware keyboard like the HTC Arrive (or 7 Pro) which has an arrow pad--and it's extremely useful.

Jazmac says:

Notification, Swype and the ability to change message tones

WPSteve says:

Custom Message Tones would be nice! +1

Munkeyphyst says:

Isn't wp8 getting custom tones?

dukrem says:

Pretty sure I read somewhere it was

ZX9 says:

Message tones are something any phone should logically have.

mmoses1978 says:

Swype is a good idea

blessthejon says:

The ability to close apps is really unnecessary. That's the whole reason I left android.Just tapping the start button won't make the phone slower or kill battery.

irlju#WP says:

Then Microsoft needs to allow apps to resume from the app list and tiles. Else, I want to clean out my switcher so the apps I want to switch back to don't get pushed off the switcher.

R0bR says:

They should add the option where you can select which app in your switcher you want to remain at all times. It would also help if the same apps don't take up multiple slots in the switcher, like email for example.

schlubadub says:

I want to Lock an app so it doesn't disappear from the list. At the moment you can say play music from an app, open 5 other apps, and the first one is still playing even though you can't switch to it anymore.

dukrem says:

Actually the lock idea is very good, I think this is probably the best solution. I'd also like to see the number of apps expanded to 10 or so.

pulkit10 says:

+1
Much better than trying to close the apps in the switcher - that's just pointless.

TheMofaDe says:

Notification center and swype would be awesome I love using swype

captaincomps says:

I'm dismayed that the 9 voting choices you have whittled down are relatively so lacklustre. I hope that Microsoft will take note of all the source feedback and act on some of the inspired ideas (which aren't present in the voting choices).

ggonzalez777 says:

Omg, I completely agree. The only way Microsoft can gain market share is if they start pushing the envelope. I wrote some ideas that I feel would truly make the OS feel completely different from anything out there, not just catch up like this list is suggesting. Its so uninspired and pathetic. Dream up more innovated idea than folders and notification center people!!!

zuner@heart says:

Please tell me that you dont start off everything you say with 'Omg.' Besides your comment is in no need of those three letters. "I completely agee. The only way microsoft can..." would sound just as good and make you sound less like a teenage girl addicted to txting. Of course this is probably making me look like an utter a**. I dont want to sound like that, but the starting of with omg thing when not constrained by a character limit is just a huge pet pieve of mine.

TonyDedrick says:

Simple....ignore the post.

MastrMeatWad says:

I too was hoping for more ideas that would be exciting..

simbadogg says:

Dear MSFT...
If you're going to implement a task closer, please don't do anything that has an X button. That will instantly remind people of windows desktop, and i'm pretty sure you learned from your previous mistakes (your phone is not a pc). Many of us from the old Windows Mobile days used switchers like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IaQdaLkuLm4 Task Facade, and there was another one that also used Xs, but i forget the name.
You have a very gesture oriented OS, use something like a swipe up, or swipe down to eliminate it from the the multitask view. If that doesn't work since webOS and android do things very similar, use a simple two finger pinch to close it. It would, in practice, look a lot more elegant than ever seeing an X next to applications.
BTW, in terms of the screen shot functionality that's being added, has anyone ever thought about just putting a screen shot button in the multitasking view. In the sense that, once you hold the back button to get the zoomed out view, there could be a camera icon right below that particular view which would save that to the screen shot album. I mean, the system already, as it is now, takes a screen shot which is used for the multitasking view, why not just make it higher res and it would be taken care of.

Munkeyphyst says:

That screen shot method has been discussed in screen shot article comments. The issue with it is there wouldn't be a way to take a screen shot of the app switcher... Huge deal? maybe not, but something to consider

skypirateDE says:

I agree with you. I hate the X-button concept. WP needs a stylish way to close apps.

polychromenz says:

Totally agree, surely it should mimic Windows 8 RT press and hold then drag down off the screen to close an app. Why on earth would it not act like Windows 8? We are supposed to be bringing things together.

Mafijoco says:

I remember that like with whatsapp when you open it go back to home screen then tap on the whatsapp app it opens the app again and wach time you had to waait couple seconds that was so annoying if they fix that it would be great .

Munkeyphyst says:

I hate seeing the multiple instances of the same "app" in the app switcher, especially text message screen... Very annoying

I hope Microsoft sees this !!

12Danny123 says:

No doubt they are!

blackprince says:

Thats why there is a poll, see the orignal post.

fpostrow says:

I may be going out on a limb here but how about .... ALL OF THE ABOVE?

All of the above is fine but we wanted a sense of priority...if everyone can select all of 'em, we wouldn't really know which are the top. After all, Microsoft would have to  prioritize what they chose to implement too ;-)

astroXP says:

I truly don't understand why people want a notification center a la Android because then, what was the bloody point of adopting the concept of live tiles?! It's enough that "Metro UI" will be dead shortely and now this—oh Gawd.

Fiann says:

Because not all notifications are appropriate for a live tile?

220SeaChaser says:

Exactly and there are some tiles I don't want on my start screen.

ggonzalez777 says:

Then you need to reprioritize your needs. If it wasn't important enough to be on your start screen, why would need to know there was a notification? The only idea I have for your dilemma is having the OS giving you a visually indicator on the app in the app list, either a count of notifications or something cooler like pulsating/wiggling to visually cue you to tap on the app to see any notifications. Part of the problem will be resolved with the developers able to add an icon to the lockscreen.

jessecabrera says:

I want a place where my notifications are there. I'm a twitter user and I barely use Facebook. Facebook is way down in my home screen, but I'll get a notification now and then. I want a place where I don't have to keep scrolling down and searching for notifications. I know Windows Phone is different, but they don't have to be complete hipsters.

blackprince says:

So reposition your tiles. Problem solved.

schlubadub says:

"Doctor, it hurts when I move my arm like this"
"Then stop moving your arm like that. Problem solved."

ZX9 says:

Truly dynamic tiles has to be a part of the future of Windows Phone. I've envisioned this from the beginning, and have hoped to see it in every update. I like the ability t switch photos on any app in WP8, and maybe that could be used for GIF-type things and animations, BUT WE NEED to give developers complete ability to customize live tiles to the max, making them visually appealing with videos, slideshows, unrestrained animations, and other things with their tiles. What the tiles can do should be left to the developers. The start screen would become truly alive if this happened, but Microsoft does need to set some standard in order for the idea not to become confused and simply cause developers to make the start screen choatic.

IamSparta says:

None of these interest me.  I like the simplicity of the windows OS and I get everything I need.  Maybe full backup and more lock screen security but reallyI feel that the rest will take the simplicity and clutter it up like android. 

jkxwright says:

I agree, new start screen is ugly compared to the beauty of windows 8 on desktop.  I for one was expecting something prettier.  Will still own a windows 8 phone.. just sayin.

xirsteon says:

Yes to screen orientation lock
Swipe to close app from multi task tray
Bluetooth File Transfer

Notification Center and Folders. Folders only for dragging and dropping stuff onto my phone. I sometimes dislike all the synching programs, and just want to drag and drop.

WPenvy says:

LOL you mean file system access. Folders are for organizing your apps.

Dome85 says:

I hope Microsoft take a look at every suggested features in the past thread... every of these 9 option should be implemented... and many other! Thanks MS and WPCentral.

NIST says:

It still boggles me that there is no Zune style screensaver on the lock screen when music is playing

I thought I was the only one

ggonzalez777 says:

I think that it should be expanded to 3rd party apps as well, like metroradio or last.fm showing fade in/out of pictures of the current artist. The last.fm app on the xbox does this already and looks very visually appealing.

NIST says:

LIVE Music is the only app I know that has a music screensaver. Wish there were more.

schlubadub says:

Well it can already change the lockscreen & music tile to the current artist playing... But only if it has appropriate artwork. Playing with a zune pass does this perfectly

skywalker#WP says:

One for Spotify would close this thread for me. Ain't asking for anything else

pantiko says:

1. Left swipe from home screen to find notifications, most used apps and recently downloaded apps
2. The ability to close apps in multitasking view
3. All kind of file attachment with mail
4. Bluetooth file transfer

alex6272 says:

We definitely need more colours and I would love a way to close apps but I voted for the notification center as that could be really interesting.

jyerby says:

Can I please get a Splashtop app? Then I'll be happy.

Coler7 says:

I recently asked splashtop if they were looking to do anything with windows phone and they said they developed an app, tested it and said it didn't work. At least not with the current software (7.5). Though idk how cause I have a streamer type app on my WP (I have yet to use it though.

mjfadaway says:

There is no need for another keyboard at all, and how about them bringing some sort of white space. Its what made Metro so appealing.

rjmlive says:

I only selected 2 because we NEED much more robust and customizable sound, alerts, and volume controls.  I'm used to Blackberry level customization but the sound and alerts options on Windows Phone is probably on par with my 1989 Casio calculator watch.  Why do I rarely see any other comments about this..?

Also, why can I not scrub through songs?.. wth?  If I stop playing a podcast, which is tragically easy to do, I can't fast forward to where I left off.  This is essential functionality.  Honestly, am I missing something?  I'll feel stupid if I can't find an existing way to manually scrub through a song.

Someone, please tell me I'm crazy and the functionality is in there and we just need a special key combination to unlock it or something.
I also use my phone for work and personal use.  I'd like a way to select what content goes where when it uploads to skydrive.  I take a lot of photos relevant to my job and in my personal life, but I hate having to wade through them to reorganized them whenever I can find the time to do so which is basically never. I'm showing a client details of their installation and all of a sudden up comes the dead bird I found in the back yard or the shelving unit for the basement I found that I want to show my wife.

Someone know how to manage this stuff like upload to folder x or y or something?

 

Ticomfreak says:

Hold down the next button to scrub

skywalker#WP says:

That only works with zune. Would be awesome if it worked for all audio apps. When playing music from spotify for example you can't do that. That's the same from a dozen other apps. I use spotify for all my music. My Zune is empty, because all my music is streamed.

schlubadub says:

I don't understand the issue with fast-forwarding. In the lock-screen nav (or when you press volume up/down) there are 3 controls. Previous/Rewind, Play/Pause, Next/Fast-Forward. Holding Previous or Next goes backwards and forwards in the track.

schlubadub says:

As for photos... Put them in Albums! Why do so many people ask for photo folders when it's already built-in since 7.0? Folders on SkyDrive become albums. Sub-folders are also albums! The same goes for your normal pictures synched with Zune - the catch is you have to create them on the PC you sync it to. You can have folders/albums inside your camera roll, and folders/albums outside too. There is a SkyDrive (or was it DropBox?) picture app to upload to different places (I think). I find it easier to organise it all on my PC and sync with SkyDrive there (using the SkyDrive Application)

"X" to close app would be nice, however borrowing flick to close from webOS would be very cool.

We don't need to close apps

Or even pinch to close

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