The Wishlist is home to our tech desires. It may be improvements to existing things, or something that doesn’t exist yet, but we really, really want.
This time we’re talking about Windows Phone. We’ve both been using Windows Phones since WP7 first came to market, WP8 since that dropped, and before that Windows Mobile. That’s not to say that we’re devoid of experience of the other mobile platforms – between us we’ve owned dozens of mobile devices with nearly every OS going (except WebOS, although that nearly happened). So, we know what we want and we don’t think we’re being too demanding in this instance.
- I want a Windows Phone 8 phablet, with a >5″ screen. It’s probably got to be a Nokia because they support their devices with new software and services more than any of the other OEMs. It has to be 1080p and it’s going to require Microsoft supporting that resolution with a new tile layout because scaling up is not good enough.
- I want proper podcast support in the OS. That means Microsoft opening up the podcast directory in the Store worldwide. On top of that though, I want to be able to add a podcast URL on the phone and subscribe to it. At the moment the OS gives the impression that podcasts are supported wherever you are, but it’s just misleading you. Microsoft have updated the desktop sync support for podcasts, so you can subscribe to them on your PC in iTunes/Zune/whatever and have them copied over when you connect. That’s just not good enough; in fact I think it’s a bit of a joke. That’s the sort of support you need for an MP3 player that doesn’t have its own data connection. The Verge’s Tom Warren indicates that better international podcast support could be coming in an upcoming GDR2 release, but Microsoft haven’t confirmed this yet. I’ve tried the best rated podcast apps on Windows Phone and none of them are up to scratch.
- I want the Calendar live tile to show more than just the next appointment. I don’t care if it does that by making better use of the space, or by flipping the tile to show “next” on one side and “later” on the other.
- I want edge gestures. I know that Ben and I don’t entirely agree on this, and I know that it would have to be done carefully, but having used Windows 8/RT on a touch screen, I’m getting used to swiping in from the edges of the screen and I think that adding them to Windows Phone would be great to add consistency across the board – heck, we know the Xbox One is going to have a swipe up gesture. I’d like to use the swipe in from the left edge to manage multitasking like in Windows, and I might even be coming round to the idea of swiping in from the right to access some charm-like functionality.
- I want to be able to have two apps on the screen at the same time, a la Windows 8 snap and newer Samsung Android phones.
- I want a notification center and quick access to toggle radios on and off.
- I want a Swype-style virtual keyboard (and so does my wife).
- I want to be able to set a default “lens” for the camera, so that it jumps straight to that when I launch the camera with the shutter button.
- I would like to be able to specify which apps can use a data connection when I’m roaming, limiting the others to wifi.
- I want to see consistent video output across Windows Phone devices. It would be nice to have HDMI output, but failing that I’d like to see DLNA built in to the OS and not relying on OEM apps.
I don’t think my list of niggles is as “thorough” as Jon’s but I do have some big gripes around how WP8 handles music particularly its handling of the “Xbox Music” service
- The ability to download & keep in sync certain playlists from xbox music
- The ability for the Music app to “match” songs I’ve copied to my phone via USB against the songs in playlist from xbox music (currently the device sees things separately)
- A notification centre would be kind of handy & some options like “Do not disturb” for notifications during specific times of day (or night!)
- The default lense would be handy on a phone, however Nokia look like they will deliver this as part of their Amber update – no news on if that’s Nokia exclusive or not yet
- Smarter data connections would be handy for blocking when roaming
- Proper support for podcasting like we had back in the Zune days with WP7. I just want the things to be downloaded and ready to go when I decide I want them
- I’m not sure how I feel about edge gestures or larger screen phablet devices, I think I’d be quite happy with something like the Lenovo Miix (8”) running full Windows 8 as my companion device and keeping my phone at about 4.3” or so… we shall see
The thing I’m finding most disturbing about WP at the moment is we’ve had Teched (Europe & America), Build and currently WPC with very little lip service being paid to WP. Hardly any news or discussion about it’s roadmap or planned upgrades etc… the only news out there are leaks and rumour. Come on MS throw us a bone