Windows Phone 7 has been a fresh change from the millions of rows and columns of icons we have seen in smartphones in the recent past. Although the operating system is super fast and effective, it does lack in a few areas, when compared to Android and iOS. Here’s what we would love to see in the next Windows Phone 7 handset.
Everybody has personal stuff on their phone. From stored passwords, to ‘logged-in’ social networks, to credit card details, to personal images and documents. There’s a constant fear of spilling out ‘classified information’ when somebody wants to view your new smartphone. What do you do then? Enter guest mode.
With Guest mode, there'll be no more of THIS!
We’ll quickly explain this once, if you’ve not understood it already. Guest mode allows you to hide your personal data like e-mail, social networking updates, files and login info. You have two passwords on your smartphone. Password A enables guest mode, while password B enables your normal phone functionality. It’s an extremely simple to implement feature, but somehow hasn’t been included. No longer do you have to stay worried about showing your latest WP7 handset to your friends, as you’ll have guest mode! C’mon Microsoft, please do this for us and everybody else.
Media formats and Zune
The single most irritating feature in Windows right now is Zune and how it greatly limits media formats for your smartphone. Why do all videos have to be transcoded by Zune? It’s similar to iTunes for iOS devices, but we’d have loved a free approach by Microsoft. Anyway, all is still not over and removing Zune dependency would definitely be a ‘feature’ we’d all love to have. And while we’re at it, more media format support out of the box would definitely be a brilliant addition. After all, they’re all ‘smart’phones, aren’t they?
No more Zune!
To think of it, everything in their user interface is slick and fast. From sending emails to updating your Facebook status, to clicking pictures, to accessing music – the whole experience is a breeze. Why doesn’t the same outlook have to be carried over to connectivity to the PC, data transfer and playback? Playing any video format is definitely on our priority list and transferring music files using mass storage is an easier task to accomplish as well. Even phone updates currently require you to connect your phone via Zune, whereas OTA it's quicker, faster and sexier!
More UI customization
Not particularly happy with the look of the user interface? Too bad, you can’t do a thing about it. Like iOS, WP7 is a closed system and while we aren’t particularly complaining out here, how you feel about the interface from the word go, will clearly decide your overall experience and satisfaction with the phone. WP7 is as rigid as iOS. The best you can do at the moment is change tiles, add or remove them or simply change the background and tile colour.
We’ll reiterate this again, we aren’t complaining about the user interface. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the UI, but sometimes you might want that slight amount of customization that might alter the look and feel of your phone. A desktop wallpaper, an alternate launcher, or simply minor tweaks in the layout mean that you’ll never get tired of the tile interface and you’ll have one more option to choose from.
1080p recording support
So, the UI is fluid, the phone can do all your basic tasks efficiently without too much of a hassle. But, for WP7 to stay in the hunt for the top spot, it’s the ‘small’ things that need to be maxed out, starting with 1080p video recording. Take, for example, the Nokia Lumia 800. It’s one of the top smartphone offerings and at 23K, it competes with the likes of the HTC Sensation and the Atrix 2, two relatively older phones. The 800 can do ‘only’ 720p, while the other two are capable of ‘1080p’. True, this isn’t a major deal, because on a screen that small, there’s absolutely no visible difference. but hey if you’re paying big bucks for your smartphone, you might as well get the best of everything!
This could also be due to the fact that Microsoft has been extremely restrictive with OEMs so far. Single core CPUs, max 480 x 800 pixel resolutions are frustratingly low-end specs. That may change however, but we’re hoping the transition is quicker than their updates!
External memory card support
Another simple addition that we definitely would want in the next Windows Phone 7 device is support for an external memory card. Depending upon your phone, you may either get 8 or 16 gigs of storage, and that is definitely enough for a lot of people, but as of now, most of the handsets don’t have a microSD card slot, with a few exceptions like the Samsung Focus.
How difficult is it?
There’s a certain trend with the increasing use of cloud services and the elimination of memory card slots, and there are chances that more and more devices in the near future would come with ‘just’ the internal memory. For personal reasons, ease of use and poor operation of cloud services in the country at the moment, we’d definitely want the next-gen devices to have an external memory card. It’s just – convenient and easy! For the record, even the Nokia Lumia 900 isn’t going to have an external memory card slot, just like the Galaxy Nexus and the Sony Xperia S. With cloud becoming more and more popular, can you see the trend? Give us back our ‘microSD card support up to 32GB’ spec!
In the year 2012, 100 million NFC-enabled smartphones are going to be sold, according to a study. We can bet that most of them won’t be Windows Phone 7 devices. Why? Because NFC hasn’t still come to Windows Phone 7 devices. According to a Microsoft spokesman, “While NFC is not currently supported on Windows Phone 7.5, it is coming. We expect NFC-enabled Windows Phone devices to ship within the next year.” This statement was recorded in 2011, so hopefully we will get to see NFC this year.
100m in 2012, none will be WP7??
Though NFC is still in its nascent stages here, it’s quite the future of a lot of mobile related services. So, for the love of those of us who don’t change our devices for a long, long time, could you please have that option in your next WP7 phone, Microsoft ? At the moment, it’s not up to the OEMs to include or exclude this feature, so we know who’s got to buck up.
Want to show your videos and photos from your WP7 device on your swanky new HDTV? Well, it’s not easy as 1 – 2 – 3. You’ll have to get them onto your laptop or another device and then showcase it to your friends and family. TV out via HDMI or MHL is definitely an option we would love to have. Nokia Play To is coming soon, so that limitation might have a workaround in the future, but not all HDTVs are equipped with Wi-Fi or an Ethernet port.
What would you want?
As you can see from the list itself, this is definitely not going to be on the cards for the upcoming WP7 devices (like the Lumia 900). Some of these might never even see the light of the day, but considering this is a ‘wishlist’, we’ve not restricted our thoughts and demands, whatsoever. Besides this, we’d obviously like the more common requirements, including better quality apps, more powerful spec sheet et al. Which feature(s) would you like to see in your next Windows Phone 7 handset? Let us know in the comments section below.
Microsoft WP7 features, Pros and Cons of WP7, Smartphones, Windows Phone Apollo expectations, windows Phone Apollo Features, Windows Phone Tango, Windows Phone wishlist, WP7 advantages, WP7 feature list, WP7 features, WP7 handset expectations, WP7 limitations, WP7 pros and cons, WP7 upcoming features, WP7 vs Android vs iOS, WP7 Wishlist