I’m all for constructive criticism… but you know, when you got so much tension bottled up inside and then somebody uncorks it… guess what will happen? Yes, old faithful. Why? Oh here’s why… (pause) all will be revealed in … 3… 2… 1 (cue “Twilight Zone” theme) (cue “Psycho” effect) (fade to black)
I was so excited when news leaked about the new Windows Phone and Metro UI. I want Microsoft to succeed in the mobile business because I look up to Bill Gates! Heck, Microsoft was in the mobile business when Apple was still learning how to walk again. Unfortunately back then, the consumer-base wasn’t ready, infrastructure wasn’t really there, there was no ecosystem, technology was still dinosaur-ish, and the price was still a premium.
So as soon as Nokia Lumia 900 running Windows Phone 7 came out, I immediately ditched my Android Nexus phone and bought one. It was expensive since I was still under contract. I was so excited that I finally get to try it out! It didn’t took too long for me to realize that it was so crude. It felt like Microsoft just discovered mobile phones. Rudimentary functions like; tapping on a phone number from a store found on Bing Maps won’t dial that number, or you can’t copy a phone number from a contact info. The UI was great but I want to do more than just swipe the tiles. I want it to work like … a goddam phone!
I try to live with its many shortcomings and rationalized that it was a first release … and maybe an update will fix the flaws. Then (cue lightning effect) … Strike One: The screen was always on auto-rotate. So it was very awkward to read your phone when it’s not upright (pause). Don’t even start! Reading mobile phones laying down is very common… and natural. So F off! (cue rolling thunder) … Strike Two: Only a couple of months after I bought my phone they announced Windows Phone 8. Da F?! I felt betrayed. Why would they market a dated product when a new major release is just underway? (There are only two strikes in my game. Ok, Internet Explorer’s lack of Forward button can be strike three… or apps constantly running… well there have been many little strikes. Strikelettes? Whatever. Done!) So after five months of living in utter madness … I sold my Nokia Lumia 900 and bought a Samsung Galaxy S3.
It was a very expensive lesson. Early technology adopter is great … but not when you rely on that gadget for your day-to-day activities.
So you asked, What improvements would I make to the Windows Phone? Let me see … It’s not about the User Interface really. It’s more about basic functionality one would expect a mobile phone should have BEFORE the bells and whistles. Nokia Lumia 900 felt like it was eight years behind the competition at that time. I no longer have my Windows Phone. And I no longer follow the device buzz. So I’m going to rely on memory from my past experience to construct a short list of improvements I would like for the Windows Phone.
- Ability to lock the screen orientation.
- Ability to copy information between apps… like contact information to SMS. Perhaps like a global clipboard mechanism of some sort to transfer data between apps.
- Apps interoperability. Why can’t I tap a phone number from the maps and the phone dials the number?
- Internet Explorer forward button, back button, and close/exit button.
- Ability to exit from an applications.
- Ability to disable apps not in used from auto-starting (I don’t care if Android is doing this, it’s stupid!).
- Better tile management and customization.
- SMS backup and restore.
- Removable battery.
- Micro SD card slot.
- Better camera flash.
- Standard audio jack.
Maybe when Windows Phone is mature enough, I might buy one again.