Windows Phone 7 was built from the ground up and the developers did a phenomenal job rebooting Microsoft’s mobile OS. There is still plenty of work to be done and 2011 should bring a bevy of updates. Here’s the ten things we’d do to improve Windows Phone 7.
- Speed. Windows Phone 7 is plenty fast within the confines of the OS. In-app speed needs to be faster. Currently, some apps perform better than others, but it’s still needs improvement. The overall UI is fast. We need apps that launch faster and offer better performance across the board. I’ll even trade some of those fancy transition graphics if we can achieve more speed.
- Landscape keyboard support in Internet Explorer. If you’re browsing in landscape mode, there is no way to bring up the browser bar. You have to go back into portrait mode and then you have access to the address bar.
- Tap To Top. If you find yourself at the bottom of a long Twitter feed or with email, there is no easy way to get back to the top. You can slide right and back left in email. Why not allow apps like Internet Explorer, email and third party apps to allow you to tap to return to the top of your list.
- Screenshot capability: Admittedly, this is a request from a blogger whose job would be made easier if he could take screenshots. iOS and webOS make this real easy. Android has the feature, but requires downloading the SDK and connecting your Android phone to your Mac/PC. Adding the ability to take quick screenshots would be a welcome feature.
- YouTube App. Microsoft did a good job getting key apps available for launch. Facebook, Twitter among those offering up solid efforts, but not so much with YouTube. The Marketplace download is just a redirect to m.youtube.com. It’s time they offered up a full blown app. On the iPhone and webOS, YouTube is an included app. Windows Phone 7 needs to include a capable YouTube app.
- Easier To Answer Calls: To answer calls on Windows Phone 7, you have to swipe up to unlock the screen and then select “answer”. For those counting at home, that’s two taps and one too many.
- microSD Mess: Microsoft has been clear about microSD support, but it appears the manufacturers didn’t heed the warning. The result being phones on the market that have an easily accessible microSD card slot. It’s natural that most will look to add memory to their phones. Microsoft expects to offer up information on compatible cards, but it’s still a bag of hurt. Cards that are not compatible become toast (unless you’ve got a Nokia lying around). This needs to be more consumer friendly. This likely means a change in how the OS manages data. Make it happen. Make it easy for us to add memory cards.
- Custom Ringtones: There is no way to add custom ringtones. People love ringtones. They don’t want to pay carriers for ringtones. They simply want to download them off the Internet and have an easy way to add them to their phone. The more you can customize ringtones for callers, text messages, the better.
- Homescreen Customization: Personalization is big on phones. The beauty of Windows Phone lies in its simplicity. Not everyone loves simplicity. What if you allowed a fully customizable multi-tile mosaic. Users could select the number of tiles to use, ability to select one or more photos that would rotate into the homescreen. Extending the capability of the current Pictures app might help bridge the gap between simplicity and customization.
I’ve narrowed this list down to ten, but there are numerous changes that can be made to improve upon Windows Phone 7 and hopefully we’ll get news of a forthcoming update that will address this list and more. Windows Phone 7 is a great starting point. Now it’s time to refine the OS. Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments or in the forums.