Top 5: Changes we want to see in Windows Phone Blue

Jordan O'Brien
June 13, 2013

iOS7 has just gone and gained a heap of new features, some of which borrowed heavily from Windows Phone, but let’s not forget that Microsoft’s operating system is still left behind in many ways.

We sat down and considered all the things we miss in Redmond’s OS, it turns out there’s a lot more than just five, but we managed to whittle it down and here are our thoughts on what needs to change in Windows Phone Blue.

1) Notification Centre


Yes this was always going to be the most obvious request — but seriously Microsoft, I want a notification centre. Whilst LiveTiles might be great for glanceable updates, like the weather and what not, it’s really terrible when it comes to getting my notifications. I mean, great I have one unread message on some app I rarely use, but you can tell me a little more than that surely? Windows Phone developers Liquid Daffodil have tried to help out with this situation, by launching their own notification centre called Unification, but honestly I don’t want to keep going out of my apps to read hundreds of notifications. Yes apparently Microsoft is working on a solution — with a leaked Lumia 920 to prove it, but if it’s anything like what some users suggest, that is a swipe left of the start screen, then I’m abandoning ship. I’m sorry I just don’t want to go to my start screen every time I want to read notifications — it defeats the object of having any live tile notifications at all.

2) Improve Multitasking


Is it just me who has noticed how terrible multitasking is on Windows Phone 8? I’m constantly confused by what is actually going on. Sure enough holding the back button shows you the last few apps you’ve been to, but the only way to close that app is by launching it and then pressing the back button an infinite amount of times — depending on how far into the app you are. Surely if you’re going to borrow WebOS’ card view, you can take all the functionality, not just the tip of the iceberg. That’s like me offering you a burger, with just a bun. Even Apple knows how to steal properly, now it’s your turn Microsoft.

3) Screenshot sound


Now this is just awkward more than terrible. If, like me, you’ve ever had to take a screenshot in a public place, there’s nothing more awkward than having your phone sound like it’s taking a photo. As someone who has had their photo taken by random creeps on a train, it’s really uncomfortable for the other person to think that you’re taking a photo of them. So I plead to you Microsoft, stop making me look like a creep and silence the screenshot sound when I have the phone on silent. Everything else is silenced, why not this?

4) Notification LED


Now I have seen the start button logo flash when the Lumia 925 is out of power and charging, I want it to flash for several other things. Tell me when I have a notification by constantly flashing the start button — a lot like what happens with the notification lights on similar Android phones. I often miss things like text messages, because I don’t immediately notice that I have a notification, although this is something that can be integrated in Glance Screen at some point (I hope).

5) Improve the messaging hub


Hey Microsoft, if you want a hub for messaging then stop making the messaging hub suck so much. Microsoft launched the messaging hub to include Windows Live, Facebook and Text Messaging — which is great, although considering only two of those services still exist, your hub kind of sucks. Well, you can say Facebook still exists but it’s incredibly temperamental on the messaging hub, only opting to work when it wants — so let’s say you have 1 and a half services on the messaging hub, that’s much more accurate. Now firstly, I want you to improve Facebook’s reliability. I want ALL my messages delivered, not just the ones you feel like delivering. Secondly, I want you to allow 3rd party app developers to integrate into the messaging hub, because seriously who likes having a billion messaging apps like Skype, WhatsApp and Viber, when Windows Phone was supposed to make everything easier — not more difficult.

About the Author

Jordan O'Brien

Technology Journalist with an unhealthy obsession with trains and American TV. Attempts satire far too often. (+44) 020 7324 3502

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