Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
xeleraph

Things I hate about Windows Phone

25 posts in this topic

So I've been looking back on my post history and seeing myself defending Windows Phone a lot. So, for some balance, I'll be writing to highlight the things where Windows Phone fails at. Let's face it, Windows Phone isn't perfect. And while I can agree with many people that Joshua Topolsky from The Verge simply has an anti-everything-non-Apple slant, unfortunately I can also agree with him that people need to stop giving Windows Phone a free pass.

I've been using a Lumia 710 for almost three months now, and I'll be basing my points primarily in comparison with Android since I've been using it since Eclair. I don't have much experience with iOS, so I won't comment much on it, if at all.

Here's my list of things about Windows Phone that really peeves me off.

1. Bing Maps is crap outside of the US/Europe. This is perhaps my biggest issue with Windows Phone. It doesn't give public transit directions, Local Scout fails to find many businesses or POIs, and it's really hit or miss in general. I can be standing right in front of a McDonalds' outlet, and have my phone tell me that the closest one is two miles away, or that the nearest store for my mobile carrier (Optus) is in fact two thousand miles away in Canberra. This can get really ridiculous and frustrating at times. Another issue is that if you try to call up walking directions, Bing Maps stalls and eventually fails if it can't get a GPS lock, meaning you're unable to call up walking directions while indoors. On the other hand, when you punch in a precise address instead of searching for a place by name, it does generally give accurate directions.

2. IE mobile is really bad from a usability standpoint. It's not that it renders pages wrongly (it doesn't) or doesn't pull up a mobile version of a site (not IE's fault), it's that IE doesn't handle text reflow when you zoom in. A mobile browser that can't do text reflow, I won't even try to figure out how did Microsoft mess this one up. You cannot search for text in a page. You cannot open tabs in the background. Switching and opening new tabs require way too many operations, that I unconsciously try to limit my number of tabs because it's just plain cumbersome compared to other mobile browsers like Dolphin or Opera.

3. Limited social integration. Okay, so Windows Phone is better OOTB compared to Android or iOS. But at the end of the day, the Facebook integration is pretty gimped; can't delete your own comments, can't search for friends/pages to add, can't see who liked a comment, can't send a photo as a Facebook message, etc. You end up still having to download the Facebook app... which is the same as on Android/iOS now, isn't it? Besides, the Android approach is modular. If Facebook changes anything, which it seems to be doing quite a lot these days, it's quicker and easier to update the Facebook app than to update the OS or underlying libraries.

4. Limited multitasking. Skype cannot run in the background. Glympse cannot run in the background. If you're in the middle of a Skype call and have to switch away to look something up, the call drops. 'Nuff said. I know that it's a tradeoff between battery/performance and multitasking capability, but I feel that Microsoft could have dialed the multitasking abilities a bit more towards "more powerful", because having to work around WP's multitasking model really gimps some important apps whose usefulness depends a lot on their ability to run in the background.

5. Refusing to announce WP8 update plans. Self-explanatory. Microsoft is really committing hara-kiri over this, they're going to lose all credibility with tech geeks if at least the second-gen phones won't be upgraded.

With all of that said, I'm still a fan of Windows Phone. Microsoft really does get a lot of the basic stuff right, but they definitely could've done better IMHO.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hear ya. I love WP and all its promise by there are some things it needs to get on the ball with. I can't imagine the following being horribly difficult to enable in WP. I'm sure some exec sucked his teeth are the importance of these things we want:

- Screenshot support

- Video MMS

- Brightness slider

- Forward button for IE Mobile

- Ability to save music+video files direct to the phone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Additionally, MS needs exclusives. I am not talking about apps per se, but just features no competitor has to woe consumers over to WP. Here's some I came up with:

Favorites Hub

A live tile that compiles a list of favorited items for the following categories: IE, Pictures, Videos, Places. Places would be favorited from any search results from Bing Maps/Local Scout that the user would like to visit or vist again in the future.

Recycle Bin

Ever deleted a photo, video or doc you wish you hadn't? Similar to your Windows desktop, this app allows the user to restore items back to their previous destinations. Password protection is optional and a setting to auto-empty by day's end or 24/48/72 hours out can be adjusted.

Classic Mode

Metro isn't for everyone. Some like traditional icons. Like Windows 8, WP should allow the user to go between "Metro mode" and "Classic mode."

Movie Maker

The power of Windows Movie Maker should come to WP. iOS has its movie editor, so why not WP? The ability to chop, crop and send off via YouTube or a direct WMV download via the user's SkyDrive would be a nice exclusive for WP users.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

- Screenshot support

- Custom tones

- Change search provider in IE (typing in address bar)

- More tile colours or even just a colour wheel for them

- Windows 8's version of arranging Metro tiles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No proper Multitasking is an issue for me.

Ring tones and file manager

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

why would you need screenshot support?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Simon, there are many of us who wish to take screenshots. From developers who want to showcase features, to social situations for sharing a humorous conversation and much more. It's a nice thing iOS'ers have enjoyed. The rest of us want it too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No proper Multitasking is an issue for me.

Ring tones and file manager

No mobile OS has proper multitasking except for WebOS. Android is probably the 2nd best implementation. Meanwhile, iOS and WP7.5 are laughable at best.

I want repeat notifications - I use my phone as a pager, so I need the text message to repeatedly notify me until I acknowledge it. Also, custom message tones would be sweet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Bing Maps is crap outside of the US/Europe.

This isn't really a problem with WP, it's a problem with Bing Maps. You can always download alternatives like gMaps from the Marketplace.

2. IE mobile is really bad from a usability standpoint.

My HTC HD2 came with Opera which supported text reflow and I really thought I would miss it when I switched to my Omnia 7. I quickly found that it was rarely necessary and IE is clever enough to zoom in on the text I'm reading. Text reflow also slows the browser down and messes around with pinch-to-zoom.

3. Limited social integration.

Again, this isn't a WP problem but I'm sure the Marketplace includes an app that will solve your specific problems. If not, speak to the company that develops the app you're relying upon.

4. Limited multitasking. Skype cannot run in the background.

I agree that this is an issue for now. Thankfully it will be addressed in WP8.

5. Refusing to announce WP8 update plans.

This is a storm in a teacup generated by bloggers who want something to complain about. Microsoft tried being open about new features when they announced Mango but Google and Apple copied many of the new features before the update was released. This time around they're keeping quiet about their update plans and the blogosphere is unhappy. Current phones will be updated so there's no need to worry on that count.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Favorites Hub

That's quite a good idea.

Recycle Bin

If you use SkyDrive to backup all your files this shouldn't really be necessary. With the limited memory on phones I'd rather not have a recycle bin using up storage space.

Classic Mode

If you like icons then I'd suggest a phone from the '90s :p

Movie Maker

Hopefully this will come with WP8 once MS have created a Metro-style version of Movie Maker for Windows 8.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Favorites Hub

That's quite a good idea.

Recycle Bin

If you use SkyDrive to backup all your files this shouldn't really be necessary. With the limited memory on phones I'd rather not have a recycle bin using up storage space.

Classic Mode

If you like icons then I'd suggest a phone from the '90s :p

Movie Maker

Hopefully this will come with WP8 once MS have created a Metro-style version of Movie Maker for Windows 8.

RE: Recycle Bin: not everything is in my cloud and I don't want it to be. A bin would be great for those OOPS moments.

RE: Classic mode: Tiles are huge turn off for many I have talked to online and in-person. People are creatures or habits. There is nothing 90s about it really. It's familiar for many. I prefer tiles but if Windows 8 offers it, then WP should too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hear ya. I love WP and all its promise by there are some things it needs to get on the ball with. I can't imagine the following being horribly difficult to enable in WP. I'm sure some exec sucked his teeth are the importance of these things we want:

- Screenshot support

- Video MMS

- Brightness slider

- Forward button for IE Mobile

- Ability to save music+video files direct to the phone

Out of all you listed, for me, having a forward button in IE would be most beneficial

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i wanna be able to delete all my text message threads at once!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Bing Maps is crap outside of the US/Europe.

This isn't really a problem with WP, it's a problem with Bing Maps. You can always download alternatives like gMaps from the Marketplace.

It is a problem with third-party apps don't get access to the same APIs that Bing Maps does. gMaps is nowhere as well-integrated with WP as Bing Maps is, needs to launch the browser to show public transport routes, doesn't tie-in with Local Scout, etc. When you force third-party apps to live as second-class citizens but the built-in app fails to deliver, then yes, it's Windows Phone's problem.

2. IE mobile is really bad from a usability standpoint.

My HTC HD2 came with Opera which supported text reflow and I really thought I would miss it when I switched to my Omnia 7. I quickly found that it was rarely necessary and IE is clever enough to zoom in on the text I'm reading. Text reflow also slows the browser down and messes around with pinch-to-zoom.

Well, if you like reading horribly cramped text or constantly scrolling from side to side, that's your opinion. No other mobile browser (Opera, Dolphin, Safari, Robot, Chrome) has the problems with text reflow that you mention.

3. Limited social integration.

Again, this isn't a WP problem but I'm sure the Marketplace includes an app that will solve your specific problems. If not, speak to the company that develops the app you're relying upon.

When Microsoft heavily advertises WP's social integration features, but that integration turns out to be lacking so that you have to rely on third-party apps anyway, then yes, it's WP's problem. It's disingenuous to tout a feature but then absolve oneself of all responsibility for that feature's shortcomings.

4. Limited multitasking. Skype cannot run in the background.

I agree that this is an issue for now. Thankfully it will be addressed in WP8.

5. Refusing to announce WP8 update plans.

This is a storm in a teacup generated by bloggers who want something to complain about. Microsoft tried being open about new features when they announced Mango but Google and Apple copied many of the new features before the update was released. This time around they're keeping quiet about their update plans and the blogosphere is unhappy. Current phones will be updated so there's no need to worry on that count.

Wait, so if Microsoft doesn't announce new features, how did you know that proper multitasking for Skype is coming in WP8? Do you work in the Microsoft Windows Phone division? How do you know that current phones will be upgraded at all if Microsoft is keeping as quiet as you claim? Fact is, Microsoft does announce new features. They're not keeping quiet about it at all. The only thing they're keeping quiet about is whether the supposed "hero" phone is going to be obsolete in a a mere 6-7 months after it's launch. I wonder why.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is a problem with third-party apps don't get access to the same APIs that Bing Maps does. gMaps is nowhere as well-integrated with WP as Bing Maps is, needs to launch the browser to show public transport routes, doesn't tie-in with Local Scout, etc. When you force third-party apps to live as second-class citizens but the built-in app fails to deliver, then yes, it's Windows Phone's problem.

Regardless of the impact, the problem is still caused by Bing Maps. That might not help you but its the Bing Maps team that need to improve their service. It may seem like splitting hairs to you but the integration within WP works well so long as the Bing Maps data is available. It's up to you if you don't want to use 3rd-party alternatives but at least they're available while the Bing team lifts their game.

Well, if you like reading horribly cramped text or constantly scrolling from side to side, that's your opinion. No other mobile browser (Opera, Dolphin, Safari, Robot, Chrome) has the problems with text reflow that you mention.

As I said, I don't find text in IE to be horribly cramped and I don't find myself constantly scrolling. I don't care if MS add this feature so long as it doesn't have any impact on performance or the smoothness of the zooming.

When Microsoft heavily advertises WP's social integration features, but that integration turns out to be lacking so that you have to rely on third-party apps anyway, then yes, it's WP's problem. It's disingenuous to tout a feature but then absolve oneself of all responsibility for that feature's shortcomings.

I don't think it's reasonable to expect Microsoft to support every little feature of every social network out there and, to be honest, I don't want them to be distracted by these sorts of demands. I think it's fine that they support the main capabilities of supported social networks for a glance-able experience in the built in apps/hubs. For anything else you should go to the site you want to use or use their app. That's not unreasonable and you still get more integration in Windows Phone than you do in any other phone OS.

Wait, so if Microsoft doesn't announce new features, how did you know that proper multitasking for Skype is coming in WP8? Do you work in the Microsoft Windows Phone division? How do you know that current phones will be upgraded at all if Microsoft is keeping as quiet as you claim? Fact is, Microsoft does announce new features. They're not keeping quiet about it at all. The only thing they're keeping quiet about is whether the supposed "hero" phone is going to be obsolete in a a mere 6-7 months after it's launch. I wonder why.

I might be wrong but I believe better support for Skype multitasking has already been announced. Maybe it's just a rumour but I believe it's coming as a result of the changes in Windows 8.

It's up to you to decide whether you think current phones will be upgraded. I believe there's more than enough evidence that they will and Lumia 900 sales would suggest that it's not a huge problem for consumers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bt transer support and microsd support

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dunno if I've seen anything that should reach the 'hate' level. In fact, most of the items listed are either international issues with Bing or non-issues to me. Who is still bitching about ringtones?

I will agree on the IE nav/tabs portion though. It was better pre-mango. Beyond that the only thing approaching hate is that you still can't copy/paste into the phone app. I loath having to remember a number that isn't automagically recognized. The rest are simply wants.

Text reflow - overrated

Social integration - still better than the rest and bound to be improved over time, though it will never have feature parity with the app in most cases. (FB)

Multitasking is fine - it just needs broader yet managed app support (which MS is smart to limit) Skype will undoubtedly be baked in down the road. ("Skype has reached out to say that this "is not a Windows Phone platform limitation," but "a combination of how Skype works and how the Windows Phone OS works.")

Filemanager - not happening (security)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regardless of the impact, the problem is still caused by Bing Maps. That might not help you but its the Bing Maps team that need to improve their service. It may seem like splitting hairs to you but the integration within WP works well so long as the Bing Maps data is available. It's up to you if you don't want to use 3rd-party alternatives but at least they're available while the Bing team lifts their game.

The gMaps app has just been pulled from the Marketplace for "rebranding". The public transportation directions don't work anymore either due to a backend API change by Google, and now I'm stuck without fast transit info for the weekend (and an indefinite period of time).

This is why Bing Maps sucking so hard is a problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with your comments on the social networking integration. The main reason I reckon I'll be switching to an iPhone is because the iPhone Facebook app is more functional than both the Windows Phone integration and the Facebook for Windows Phone app (and that will be the case with the upcoming 2.5 version of Facebook for Windows Phone, it seems). I dislike using the horrible mobile version of Facebook that is supported by Internet Explorer on Windows Phone.

I will wait to see what Microsoft and Apple both announce regarding the next versions of their mobile operating systems, but as it stands now, I prefer iOS, mainly for the reason stated above (there is more to it, though; e.g. the lack of apps I'd like to use, especially Instagram and Path).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No mobile OS has proper multitasking except for WebOS. Android is probably the 2nd best implementation.

Symbian and Meego both have "proper" multitasking. In fact Symbian had pre-emptive multitasking before anything platforms you just mentioned even existed.

Next time to do a little research before you make laughable claims.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Symbian and Meego both have "proper" multitasking. In fact Symbian had pre-emptive multitasking before anything platforms you just mentioned even existed.

Next time to do a little research before you make laughable claims.

Great, want a cookie? How much market share do those 2 OS's have in the US? I was only talking about the major mobile OS's that the market as a whole cares about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with your comments on the social networking integration. The main reason I reckon I'll be switching to an iPhone is because the iPhone Facebook app is more functional than both the Windows Phone integration and the Facebook for Windows Phone app (and that will be the case with the upcoming 2.5 version of Facebook for Windows Phone, it seems). I dislike using the horrible mobile version of Facebook that is supported by Internet Explorer on Windows Phone.

I would strongly warn against using the Facebook app as a reason to switch :p

It was okay before they redesigned the app by making it almost the same as the mobile web version. Notifications stop working after a while, the app is noticeably slower than the mobile site despite loading almost the exact same content (and on that note, they're both slower than the desktop site), etc.

It's easily the worst must-have app for typical iOS users and since Facebook loves changing their site every month, the alternate apps end up falling behind in functionality (like WP's social integration) or don't work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The gMaps app has just been pulled from the Marketplace for "rebranding". The public transportation directions don't work anymore either due to a backend API change by Google, and now I'm stuck without fast transit info for the weekend (and an indefinite period of time).

This is why Bing Maps sucking so hard is a problem.

That happened since I posted originally. Anyway, there are other alternatives that you can use since you're using a Lumia 710. Have you tried Nokia Maps and Nokia Transport? Depending on where you live there are loads of public transport apps in the Marketplace.

I agree that Bing Maps should be improved for people who don't live in civilised parts of the world or the US ( :p) but those are changes that need to happen on the Bing side, not the Windows Phone side. That's the distinction I'm making. In the meantime you have other options so try them out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with your comments on the social networking integration. The main reason I reckon I'll be switching to an iPhone is because the iPhone Facebook app is more functional than both the Windows Phone integration and the Facebook for Windows Phone app (and that will be the case with the upcoming 2.5 version of Facebook for Windows Phone, it seems). I dislike using the horrible mobile version of Facebook that is supported by Internet Explorer on Windows Phone.

I will wait to see what Microsoft and Apple both announce regarding the next versions of their mobile operating systems, but as it stands now, I prefer iOS, mainly for the reason stated above (there is more to it, though; e.g. the lack of apps I'd like to use, especially Instagram and Path).

Have you seen this article about Facebook focusing on mobile apps that appeared on Engadget this morning:

http://www.engadget.com/2012/05/12/facebook-ceo-mark-zuckerberg-says-mobile-apps-top-focus/

Judging by the image behind the guy in the picture Windows Phone has not been forgotten.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's no way FB has forgotten about WP, not with the relationship MS and FB have going.

And as for some of the points people bring up, it's true the IE needs to get tweaked when it comes to tabs, some way to quickly bring them up is needed, but I like the overall look and having the address bar at the bottom compared to the top, for me it's better when using the phone with one hand when it's down there instead of up at the top.

Things like microSD support, though i'm just guessing, but I think will come finally with WP8. Though I honestly don't expect a file manager to ever show up, that's just not the way WP is designed, it's all about libraries and data showing up where it should when you open that hub/app. If/When they do add microSD support I hope there's a UI element that lets us know what's on the card and what's on the phone at a quick glance.

As far as moving data on and off the phone, the new sync/management app is on the way now that they're not going to use the Zune client software anymore. That new app should also support documents IMO. We already know, though not yet officially, that they're going to be adding broader backup options with the new app, letting you manually do backups and even letting you do full transfers from an old phone to a new one, just hope these are true and not rumors. It'd be nice if WP8 expanded it's skydrive integration to the music+video hub as well and not just pictures and documents, something I expect will happen as well.

As far as the social integration and stuff, I think MS should make specific hub APIs that 3rd parties can use to "extend" the hubs with their own services instead of waiting for MS to add in support for everything out there (which they're not going to really do anyways). Like letting any of the many photo sharing sites up there write what is basically a plug-in that lets them integrate into the Pictures hub directly like FB and skydrive are right now and not having to make a whole app if they don't want to. I think it'd be a unique thing to WP and pretty cool.

Multitasking, well, honestly unlike some of you I still see a smartphone as a phone and not a PC in my pocket. I like the way the OS manages apps for the most part. I shouldn't have to keep track of whats open all the time and what could be eating away at my resources and data without me wanting it to. That said MS will probably open it up more in WP8 to allow 3rd parties to multitask more but at the same time I really doubt they'll open it up all the way and let you do anything. First and foremost is battery and I'd rather have longer battery life than the ability for all my apps to keep running in the background 24/7 when most of them honestly don't even have to. I think a few select things should, we did get music background process but i'd like to see more wifi controls and the ability to let chat programs run int he background when I'm on wifi (not for 3g/4g because it'd kill my data). They could just make it optional really, I'd like to be able to keep wifi open even when my screen goes off when I'm using a specific network, like home or work and power/battery isn't an issue.

That's really it for me, some more start screen and lock screen options would be nice as well but I expect we'll be getting those.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.