Concept: Fixing Windows Phone, step by step

A lot of people have a lot of different ideas about Windows Phone 8 and how to improve on its shortcomings. A few days ago our own Andy Weir posted a feature on what he would like to see with the next major update to Windows Phone 8.1; look for the easter eggs in the screenshots ;)

This post is no different, and offers subtle but worthwhile tweaks to make Windows Phone more productive. It was put together by Simon Polthier who contacted Neowin about his concept for his idea of a Windows Phone update.

First up is the Windows Phone search, which is a personal annoyance for me, even accidently clicking it loads Bing when you'd normally expect it to allow local searching on the phone or app that you have open. 

Windows Search

  • Shares all features of the Windows 8.1 search.
  • Keyboard pops up automatically once the search button is pressed.

 

Charms

Double tap the Windows-button to open charms.

  • Settings: Toggle wifi, bluetooth, brightness etc. or launch the app settings.
  • Share: Unified sharing.
  • Devices: Print etc.

Swipe up from the charms bar to open the notification center.

 

Multitasking

  • Swipe right in the multitasking view to open notifications.
  • Swipe down to close an app.

 

Settings

  • Phone: Improved usability by adding icons.
  • Phone: You can reorganize the list.
  • Camera: Improved the experience of adjusting settings.
    Currently it takes 5 steps change the exposure time, plus you have to remember to reset afterwards.

These are just a few of the ideas behind the concept, and Simon has even created a Windows Phone app called zero-to-hero which lets you explore your unplayed and most played songs that you might want to check out. 

View: Fixing Windows Phone, step by step | Images courtesy of Simon Polthier

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Doesnt matter who added the app. Bad enough that Microsoft doesnt get this fixed as a big player. And I dont mean the Me-Hub, but the Messages-Hub.

This stuff makes it always difficult to me convincing friends to switch to WP. Every other platform can do this right.

It is fixed, at Microsofts end. The people to blame for the integrated Facebook Chat are Facebook but they don't seem to care that it isn't fixed at their end.

Some great ideas there, I like!
However I think Notifications should be a swipe to the left from the Home screen, we have Apps on the right, so why not Notifications on the left?

Notifications are the biggest one. We recently had an amber alert broadcast but good luck trying to find it after that popup closed.

wv@gt said,
Once the pop up closes just check your text message tile, its all there

Not everybody like to have all their apps pinned to the start screen, or scroll up and down.
People who do not like a notification center do not have to use it, the ones who like it will.
Nothing wrong addressing the need of the widest possible audience.

Fritzly said,

Not everybody like to have all their apps pinned to the start screen, or scroll up and down.
People who do not like a notification center do not have to use it, the ones who like it will.
Nothing wrong addressing the need of the widest possible audience.

So you dont even have the Messaging app pinned to your start screen? That thing is done by default. So you would have to unpin it manually. Really, how hard is it to pin your most important apps to the start screen.

Kunal Nanda said,

So you dont even have the Messaging app pinned to your start screen? That thing is done by default. So you would have to unpin it manually. Really, how hard is it to pin your most important apps to the start screen.


Did I ever specifically mentioned Messaging? My point was about pinning apps in general...
And how hard is to understand that different people may have different preferences? I do not use FB but I do not have a problem if the capability to use it exist?
Choice and,flexibility is what made Windows the,dominant OS.....

wv@gt said,
Once the pop up closes just check your text message tile, its all there

That makes sense, I didn't realize it was a text because the delivery was so different. There was buzzing and stuff haha

Fritzly said,

Did I ever specifically mentioned Messaging? My point was about pinning apps in general...
And how hard is to understand that different people may have different preferences? I do not use FB but I do not have a problem if the capability to use it exist?
Choice and,flexibility is what made Windows the,dominant OS.....

So you'd rather launch a separate screen entirely to check your notifications, then just pin all the appropriate tiles to the start screen and scroll down to them? Seems like splitting hairs a little.

headsoup said,

So you'd rather launch a separate screen entirely to check your notifications, then just pin all the appropriate tiles to the start screen and scroll down to them? Seems like splitting hairs a little.


Personally, yes I would; I do not like a cluttered start screen. Again, people who do not like do not have to use it.

M_Lyons10 said,
Not really groundbreaking by any means... I hope Microsoft has some better ideas honestly...

MS has tons of great ideas; just take a look of the clips about Office in 2017 for example.
The issue is just a tiny amount of them become real products and, when they do, usually are quite watered down compared to the original vision which is really a pity.

Really don't get the notification centre bit myself. The whole start screen acts as a notification centre most of the time.

Trollercoaster said,
Really don't get the notification centre bit myself. The whole start screen acts as a notification centre most of the time.

Not for those of us on 920s that have Live tiles go dead randomly. Also, it's not the same because if I get a FB toast notification and I don't look right away the only way I can tell what happened is to open my ME tile or the FB app. For other apps forget it, you have to open the app to see what the notification is for. For apps that don't do a good job letting you know right away once the app is open you might not ever find out what the message was for. A notification center solves this issue and should be top 3 on their priority list. There's no excuse for it not being there.

When are they going to add a voice-to-text button on the keyboard so we can use this functionality across all applications??

I think its the cloud integration limits on length, an Outlook message could get long and frustrating. I would like to see more apps take advantage though.

Nice concepts. One idea that MS should borrow/steal from Nokia is the Fast Lane, which integrates notifications, replying in line, upcoming calendar items, previous apps opened.

This would be a nice way to get a notification center, but add other natural work-flow functions, paving the way for a Google Now-like assistant. Check out the Nokia video on the Fast Lane below:
http://youtu.be/TZ0DrNSR5Tc?t=57s

The only one of merit is swipe down to close. The rest, meh, again.

I really don't get the search complaints or fixes though. I could see search becoming more universal, but its not broken due to no device search. Popping up the text box also doesn't make sense since they added the extended left/right swiping.

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