Community feedback - What’s missing from Windows Phone 8?

WP Central

As the title implies, we’re looking for your input on what is missing from Windows Phone 8.  Yes, it’s a somewhat of an odd question because as you know, Microsoft has not “officially” unveiled the entire consumer features of our waiting-in-the-wings OS. But you do know what we’ve shown you from the leaked SDK. Moreover, we know for a fact that some people back in Redmond want to know your thoughts on what you’ve seen so far—otherwise we wouldn’t be asking.

So consider this an unofficial-official survey of the largest Windows Phone community on the Internet...

WP Central

Here’s how we are going to do this: Instead of tossing up a survey or poll, we’re going to let it be a free-for-all in comments. Simply write in what you think are the top-three missing features (or that we haven’t seen yet) from Apollo.  Try to keep the diatribes and debates limited, as we would like some clean, concise results. For example:

  1. Notification center
  2. New backgrounds for the Start screen (not just dark/light)
  3. Facial recognition for screen unlock

In 24 hours, give or take, we’re going to take a gander of the results and try to come up with what are the top 5 features which you folks think are missing from the new OS. Then we will put up a poll to measure the priority which items are the most important to the community.

Now granted, we know for a fact that there are things we just don’t yet know about this OS so some items you many think are missing are actually there. Thems the breaks though as we’re working with what we have in front of us. Remember, things like screen-capture, options for alerts, app backup, etc. have been pretty much confirmed already, so try to think of things we haven't yet seen (you can go through our coverage first to get an idea: www.wpcentral.com/tags/sdk)

And yes, if you are curious our results will be passed on to Microsoft for consideration by their team and their engineers, so please take this seriously…but have fun with it too. Go!


Reader comments

Community feedback - What’s missing from Windows Phone 8?



+1 on the folders, I mean when u think windows, u think folders. I think Microsoft could incorporate them into metro in a unique way. I know they are trying to distinguish themselves from the other two major players but I think WP is unique enough where a folder system would only increase the whole glance and go aesthetic. The only thing I find annoying about WP is having to scroll FOREVER!!

+2 on folders I hate not having them. Also the ability to save any pic by taping & holding. Seams easy on Android but wp7.5 impossible.

They could put folders like they do with the Groups for contacts.  Create a folder with news apps and the live tile flips and shows all the icons for the apps in there, like it does on the "people" tile.

The letter system is ok but if u haven't used an app in a while sometimes its hard to remember a name. A category is way easier.

LIKE. I'm not a big fan of folders personally, but I also know each app I've got. My wife wants folders, because she has stuff she won't remember the name of, and doesn't want to scroll through a long list. You can call them hubs if you want, and make them not look like folders.

You might be on to something. Kinda like how you can use labels in Gmail or categories in Outlook.com mail.
I rather be able to pin a category than just have an old-school folder. Maybe you could associate an app with multiple categories so it surfaces during several different keyword searches, that's something you couldn't do with the old folder metaphor.

I want the ability to sort apps by something other than alpha. Like put most recent and most used at the top..

Swipe again to the left past app list to find. "recently used" apps. As we all have apps we constantly use but don't really want to showcase them on the main start screen.

Make the search button search for whatever app your in not deafault back to bing search,,,,like when your in the market place and want to search from where your at and not have to go back to the main screen.

This used to be present in the first release of wp7 and they dropped it in the mango update.
Your so right, the search button should be contextual. If your in your contacts list for example it should search your contacts.

But they added search icons on the screen for those instances you talk about. I think the change in the search button's function from 7.0 to 7.5 was a more logical choice. The problem with the contextual search is that it won't work consistenly in third-party apps/games since developers would have to implement something to be searchable in their apps (which may not make much sense depending on what the app is)
Now maybe MS could add a device-wide search if you tap and hold down the search button, I think everybody could get down with that.

Maybe some sort of comprimise would work,,,contextual for built in apps like contacts and the market place,,,I just think its kind of frustrating hitting the search button while in in the market place going to bing lol

Dont think folders will be coming to wp8 or anytime soon.  doubtful MS will put something in the OS that allows you to dump a load of apps into one folder, that is not the purpose of metro. 
Essentially, the 4 small tiles that make up one medium tiles will pretty much your "folders" feature. 

Yer, I agree. Whilst I can sorta see why people want folders, it should be:
* Front page, stuff you actually use
* App list, place where the occasional stuff gets "dumped"
I've got Apps I use everyday - on start screen.
And stuff I use rarely in the Apps list.
I personally think thats enough. I think part of the Windows legacy is the need to file into folders (I blame explorer for years of brain washing)
I try to explain to people, the future is _not_ having to file. Its the App putting Docs in the correct place, and decent search to locate.
Time will tell :)

I want folders bc: If I have music I could store in diff folders, same with pics & not to mention access to apps library (that would give us access to start creating themes) but bc of that I don't see ms integrating folders.

Isn't that what playlist do?  I have a playlist for 70s/80s/90s/ music, R&B, Rap, Country, Rock, etc... or is there something I'm missing? 

I'd love the ability to have a tile which can be a folder. Example is those lists apps. I can pin a To Do list, I can pin a Shopping List of groceries and a Shoping List of hardware for a diy project... 3 lists tiles. I'd like to decide it's a stack of tiles in one tile space which I can unstack to see them. Yes it is a bit Explorer, but it is logical.

I'd also like to be able to pin an individual setting item. Eg Bluetooth on/off setting pinned. I have wi-fi and 3G on/off via an app but it's slow to work and update the live tile.

I get what you mean on the "folders" concept, but I think that the 4 mini-tiles will do what you want without taking up too much real estate. I think the part to remember as far as folders go is that Windows Phone was the "OS to save us from our phones" and Microsoft doesn't want to start layering crap-stuff-etc... down inside as it would require more time to find-get to-use... it.
As far as the request for Wi-Fi/3G/Bluetooth/Network Settings goes, there is a great free App that places a tile on the front that gives you one touch access to those settings... I think it was called Network Dashboard or something like that. It's a simple click to turn on/turn off live tile. Again this will be more useful when the smaller tiles come out.

I've always wanted folders. When I Chevron unlocked my phone and used the folders app, I got bored with it after a while. I think it would be mice to have as an option. Now, I use that app that essentially creates tile breaks in your list of tiles. Almost like a header for like tiles. So I have one for photography apps, travel apps, social apps, most used apps and tiles, etc.. What would be cool is if that option was built in. Almost like the alphabetized jump list to the right, but at the home screen. And you can sort these headers into any style you want. Whether be by alphabet or app/tile type.

What if you made the app page like the people hub? Still alpha but with the option to create custom groups at the top. I know that would solve my issues.

I'd love to find out more of what people want in/on wp8. But I'm not scrolling through over 450 comments to find out. Need scroll to bottom link desperately.

No but seriously, support root access, make it more open I.e. Read a book from android. Not that Microsoft would ever do that.

Didn't it already leak that you could set what apps you use to open specific file types like images, pdf, video, etc. in WP8???
I thought I read that as part of the SDK leaking a few days ago...

Root acess is a little too techy-nerdy honestly. Though that said, it seems like Microsoft has been busy putting a lot of Android-esque control into the system and that would make it more open but let's see what happens.

If they did that it would ruin the security and stablility of wp7 just look at android to see whats happened a lot of devices are unstable, cant run certain apps complicated stuff and look at iphone: stable, simple (too simple, not functional enough and boring interface) wp7 is the most secure easily available OS out there and microsoft likes it that way and so do i

I have a tiny thing that more related to the store than Windows Phone 8 specifically, but there needs to be a seperate medical section so my app isn't included with a bunch of things I consider fluff.

While I understand this post and survey, we haven't seen Windows Phone 8. Thus, we cannot reasonably conclude what is missing as we do not have all of the information. That's like having an Algebra problem that says: 8-x = and being asked to solve for y. There's not enough information there to solve the problem.

The point is to say things that we "want" to see that we haven't seen yet, regardless if they're really there or not, I think.

No. I was one of the first to comment. It looks like Daniel updated the text of the article to reflect my comment. Not that he did it based on my comment specifically, but it certainly didn't read this way at first.

I don't use this feature at all, as i have nothing to hide (lol), but they should use the same security feature that windows 8 will have. Instead of entering a 4 digit pin, perhaps drawing a series of lines across your wallpaper will be more secure.

Good point. If that Wallet is ever going to get a look at my credit card numbers, there better be tighter security than a four digit pin.
In addition to that, an audio password would be good. When I'm driving off from home, I don't want to match pictures or something. If I can turn on the phone and say, "Something's rotten in the state of Denmark" and it unlocks my phone...yeah!

The 4 digit pin doesn't even adhere the the Microsoft password security standard for desktops which is 8 characters. And we're not even talking about special characters or case sensitivity or numbers. It should be the same and consistent with Windows 8. Especially on a mobile device.

1. Any word from any manufacturer as to CDMA or specifically Verizon
3. New backgrounds for the Start screen
Seriously, just tell us trophy users if pissing in the wind hoping for a WP8 device.  Before, the word was if it is LTE, verizon would go for it.  Whats the hold up with another manufacturer having the 2nd WP at Verizon??  Look how many of us got on board with the trophy!  I'm not saying there are enough to start our own country (but maybe we should, and we won't invite any of those iKoolaide drinkers over for lunch).

BUT !!! Verizon DID say they were going to support Windows Phone 8, the only one with the big question mark is Sprint, as there CEO pretty much downed it (I believe it was about MS's marketing for WP).
I do agree, would love to have any idea on what my options are with Vzw when they come out...

It really was only Verizon up until recently. MS and Nokia both wanted to work with verizon, they were even offered an LTE phone but Verizon didn't do it. They are, however, getting behind wp8 and I can almost guarantee that we'll see at least a Nokia wp8 device on verizon, if not also one from Samsung and HTC.

They were offered the Lumia 900, they turned it down because of the issues it was having at the time (the L900 was full of bugs) as I understand it

Verizon is confirmed for WP8 and they were mentioned by name at the Windows Phone conference. 
+1 on new backgrounds for the start screen.  The whole light and dark thing got old within a week of owning my Trophy.

I'm in agreement with Wyn6...
plus we don't know if there are any apps that are in the planning stages to take care of those "missing" features.

1. Notifications center
2. Photo password similar to windows 8
3. Folders
4. Universal search
5.Ability to creative playlists on the go

You can already create playlist on the go. You simply add your music to now playing the save the playlist.

1. Notifications center
2. Photo password similar to windows 8
3. Folders
4. Universal search
5.Ability to creative playlists on the go
6. Ability to search for songs inssde a playlist or your music collection.
7. Ability to close apps quickly with a simple flick upwards or some other smart gesture.
Best list so far.

Add the ability to sync favorites through IE via the cloud.
Delete multiple pictures/videos/songs at once on the phone
notification center for sure

I would like to have preselected text option with an "Ignore with Text" features as I used to have on prior phones.  Due to being on the phone for many hours of the day, it would be a nice feature to have to immediately alert the person calling that I will call them back as soon as I am off the phone. 

1. a real notification center
2. close apps with a simple flick upwards
3. a function like Google now or a mutch better tellme function.

+1 I think swiping up in a similar fashion to webos would be a great addition, instead of jut pressing the back button a thousand times....

Pressing the back button a thousand times is more of a pain when an app decides it has to resume and all you want to do is close it.

I agree. I think that the way that the app switching works right now is a half baked solution. Flicking up to close would be a huge improvement, and so would having the app continue to work in the background instead of "tombstoning".
But the other thing I find annoying is that the way you navigate through a hub or app (say Internet Explorer for example) can get broken up depending on how you use the app switching feature.
Say I go from the internet to the music/video hub by holding the back button to get to the app switcher, and then switch back to the internet from there. If I hit the back button, it goes back to the music/video hub instead of back to the webpage I was previously (like a back button would do in any web browser). That means that in order to get to a webpage I was on previously, I now have to type it back into the web broswer (unless I'm missing something)
The point is, if you hit the back button you should go back through your history in that app, before it takes you to a separate app.
I used to use webOS, and as someone coming from that os, I was really happy to see the fast app switching come to mango, but it needs to be improved.
Improving the fast app switching feature in general would be my number one prioirty for WP8.

I like the idea of flicking up to close. And this might have been confirmed somewhere, but I hope they increase the background apps limit to 7 or so.

1. Image-based backup. At the very least, backup start screen settings so I can restore my phone (across manufacturers) like it was before.

2. Better notifications than simple live tiles/toasts. Lock screen is a good start but it is still kinda limited.

3. Make capacitive buttons harder to accidentally get pressed.

I should have said "easy restore" above. Backup of apps and settings is nice, but it should not take me 5 steps to restore my phone to previous state. Make it easy to restore what can be restored (naturally, between OEMs there may be some stuff that cannot be restored).

Yes! I would love to have a total backup solution so if I brick or lose my phone I cab get all my text messages, apps and settings just my logging into my windows account on a new phone.

Contracts (vis a vis Windows 8). Not sure how they left that out.
Native XAML. Windows 8 does it...

Search Contract:
I thought I read that the Share contract would be supported. I would like to see more contracts added, but at minimum, have the Search contract. I think that would provide universal search without leaving the search button's behavior left completely up to the developer.

Anyone else think is ironic how in this article, Daniel choose the 3 lumias which will not get WP8 despite that in theory they could...I cannot say what is missing from WP8, but I can tell you from where are they missing from. Current, fine, capable devices. (Still paying for my L800 month by month)

Shouldn't there be a what's going on 7.8?
If I had known buying WP7 was just beta testing for 8 I'd have kept my iPhone

Seriously this and Ben The PC Guy make the whole update situation 1000 times worse for me.
Glad my HTC One X will get Jelly Bean ;-)

Given that its on the Galaxy S and Nexus line I'm going to say its possible on IE10 even if patented. If Sammy can figure it out, MS has the brain power.

•Mass storage
•Lock screen widgets
•downloading files from web
I think these are some things that will attract and appeal to more people

1. Amplifier for music!
2. Yes, Folders!!!
3. Fix the damn Marketplace! Its sad that I have to find the new/latest apps on here instead of the market.... So, thank you WP, without you guys, I wouldn't be able to find/dl the best apps for my WP

I agree, though I understand the simplistic look of the marketplace. I would like to see more on there, not just featured apps or the new apps...lets face it, half those apps aren't even worth scrolling through. If there are "big names" in the marketplace, those are the guys (or girls) that are going to bring people to Windows Phone, and they should be treated as such. I understand fair play, and equal opportunity...but if they are buried in deep with the rest of the crAPPS...how are we supposed to know?

I know there are good apps in the market place, but finding them is impossible without WP Central (and btw thanks). It would be cool if you could tailor the market place to a genera (professional/business, family, kid friendly, technical, gamer, etc).

I like the look of the Marketplace. But I agree finding stuff is a pain. Also, the recommended and related apps categories need to be fixed. Also hope Xbox Music is more like iTunes on an iPod/iPhone that its a bit more organized and if its still done, that there is a section for free songs, lol

The marketplace does need a few improvements. If not for WPCentral and the AppFlow app, looking for good stuff in the marketplace would be a bit difficult.

1. Notification center- which includes the Windows symbol lighting up for missed calls and texts. The notification center could be placed to the left of the home screen.
2. More background colors- in addition to making the individual tiles any color I want.
3. Ability to close background tasks when you have the screens showing after holding down the back button.

1. Better voice recognition (siri-like)
2. Search text messages (probably won't make it to top 5, but I really want this; you can open a thread and search for say "Tony's Pizza" and say a month ago it was mentioned along with info)
3. Notification Center

Windows phone 8 has TellMe (and constantly improving on the technology).  No, it is not as 'personable' as Siri.  Yes, it was around before Siri.  No, I hardly use the feature.  Yes, I am waiting for the feature to improve to be almust human-like.  (...hey, you never know.  LOL.)

We have tellme. One of the leaks said wp8 will have tellme with extended features, if I remember correctly. And personally I like the tellme style more than siri.

As an Android and iOS user I miss the ability to grand apps access to accounts you have stored in the OS. Works with Twitter and iCloud on iOS and with literally everything on Android. Extremely handy feature. I hope you get what I mean ;-)

Definitely notification center by far, but also new themes, not just different colored backgrounds (although I'd probably be happy with just that), maybe something similar to windows 8 metro themes or transparent tiles like on the app phone 8 or whatever. And probably most important to me is to be able to play music with tellme. Say artist, playlist, song, etc., to play without opening and looking through Zune.

Additional features I remembered that I'd love:
Universal search (texts, apps, notes, music, contacts, etc.)
Different volume controls for different sounds.
A forward button in IE.
Messages hub integrating more im services such as gchat.
WiFi calling like Android has.

Perhaps they should do something about missing album artwork on lockscreen if the song is not present on market place. I should see my custom artwork on lock screen if phone cannot find the song on marketplace. Also, there is no landscape mode in Music and videos app. 

one feature i would like that i had with nokia a decade ago is an alarm feature that will alert even when the phone is off. once you stop the alarm it will ask to keep the phone off or turn it on.

Excellent idea. I'd forgotten this from the Symbian days. Its even more relevant if you own a Lumia 800 as it won't go three days on a charge like my N8 used to. :)

If there has been one major issue with Windows Phone is that in many small ways I have had the impression I was going back in time many years. All my previous Nokias would wake on alarm and my E71 could do WiFi printing, tethering, open ZIP files and download podcasts over the air (via 3G). I hope WP8 covers all the gaps left by my switch from Symbian

1) Ability to search calendar. 
2) Option to sync back up to one year's events in calendar
3) Universal search
4) Notifications center

Universal search and contextual search are NOT the same thing. Both are great, though, and either one would be a better use of the search button.

I would love more options for customizing the colors. Way more than what has been shown will be in WP8. It would be really nice if users could use a color wheel to pick both the tile color and background color.

Ability to deleted more then one picture at a time in picture hub, right now u have to deleted one at a time, when looking for someing in search mode, hp had a great search function, u just type a name( like contact person) and it would search in google, msn and contact folders...this was awesome...

I would say a notification center. 

I understand how Live Tiles work and what metaphor they stand for, but I would still like to have a view that shows me a big picture view of all incoming notifications on my phone. 

It sucks to miss a toast on 7.5 now and not see what app it went to. 

I'll add one more thing that comes to mind... 
I want the option to password protect indiviual apps. I don't care if I put a passcode on my phone, sometimes I let my brothers or friends play games and I'd rather not get a notification two minutes later from my FB status I posted where I announce how much I like meat. 

Password protection for texts, pics, apps, etc. would have been next on my list after my top 3.

I can't remember all the leaked features I read about, but I don't remember reading about these:

1. Turn-by-turn voice nav like in Bing for WM 6.5. No more tapping the screen to get the next set of directions.
2. VPN support
3. RDP client
4. Media control in voice command ala Hey DJ
5. Fingerprint reader to unlock the phone and use as password safe for web sites and apps.

I believe your first 2 features have been addressed prior to the leaks. The former with Nokia taking over Bing maps which I believe included the turn-by-turn of drive. And I think MS announced vpn some time back for WP8.

messaging between windows phones built into the messages app.  basically, iMessage but for Windows Phones.

Really? No one has a Windows Phone, how do you want to use it? A partnership with Whatsapp would be awesome though.

Tell Microsoft windows phone 7.8 needs screenshots, IE10, new dictation, over-the-air updates, new languages, and office 2013, Skype VoIP (if possible), and datasmart.

Oh, I hope Microsoft ports over all hardware-independent features. It's only fair to us loyal from the beginning.

Would like to see more background capabilities. Its a bummer when one of my many start screen apps stops working due to "to-many" apps thing. Also would like the option to have WiFi active, always.

Do you think they'll fix that stupid behaviour of re-launching apps when they are already open?...its what annoys me the most in 7.5, and don't tell me about fast switching, some times I'm in the home screen and the tile is just there, so I feel like just tapping, instead of press the back button for half and hour and browsing through the "open" apps.

They should save the state of all the exited applications and just resume by default when apps are relaunched.

1. Notification center. Damn, how much I hate when my phone rings because of a notification, and I don't manage to pick it in time to see what it was...
2. Integrated flip-to-silence feature. Not everyone has HTC/Nokia phones.
3. Close apps directly from the task-switching UI

Deeper Facebook and Twitter intergration
For example (integrated):

  • Twitter photos in the People feed open the browser but they don't for Facebook
  • You can't view, get notified or responding to Twitter and Facebook direct messages
  • Can't view or respond to Facebook events
  • Twitter can't search hashtags
  • Can't follow or unfollow people on Twitter
  • Can't add or unfriend people on Facebook
  • Can't delete comments or posts
  • Liking photos
  • Liking comments
  • Better conversion view for Twitter in the notification menu. Half the time I can't tell what someone is replying too unless I use a 3rd party app



Can't forget about sharing of posts. I hate having to go to the computer and scroll through tons of posts just to share something.

 - Bing maps suck a lot! Maybe, it's because they don't support Brazil, but it's impossible to use them.. They never find a street, a avenue, a place, etc.. just cities..
-  Gmail support: I don't know why, but when I reply an email, it creates another thread..
- Native backup for sms, mms, calls, etc.. In case, I want to reset my phone..
- Calendar.. don't you guys hate the fact that, it is not possible to see a day and a month at the same time?

  1. VPN (I have a corporate life)
  2. Ability to dismiss/close an app from the small tile preview (press-hold the back button) either by swiping it away like WebOS/Playbook or by providing a small X on it somewhere like when we remove a tile from the main screen. I really can't stand the fact that I need to back-back-back-back-back to close an app
  3. Tile Groups
  4. Link the Calendar location field to map apps. If I go out of my way to put a street address in the location field of an appointment, it would be nice if my phone allowed be to find it on a map without editing the appointment and copy/pasting the address into the map/navigation app

1. I agree witrh VPN supprort...really supprised Microsoft didn't include this from the begining

2. TBH this is no biggie I never use the Windows button to get back to the main menu & so never press back more than about 3 times; but since Microsoft market this phone as a device for doing stuff in less steps I kinda see your point.
3. If by tile Groups you mean "folders" I'm not that botherd I only have stuff I want to see on my "start" menu and with WP 7.8/8 you can make stuff smaller it is un nessassary to make folders as you can have a group of little icons which lets you open the apps in less steps than consoladating in a folder that would take up the same amount of space as a consolated tile.
4. Good idea never thought of it =P

This may seem like a silly question but what's the point of closing those apps? They're saved in the background and aren't really impacting the resources so what's the point? I could see the point if you want an app to remain in the "5 most recent" view so that you can kind of multitask but that rarely happens.
Instead, I'd rather have the ability to have more apps run in the background than just 5 - it's a little limiting at times.

One reason to want to close apps is that they end in some bad state, eg Spotify can't connect to network after wifi-fault, even if the phone has gotten new WiFi, in the end you need to reboot the phone.

I would like to be able to set a delay on the response of the capacitive buttons so I don't accidently hit search while in an app or game.

1) notification center..for all different notifications..with reoeating alarms
2) seperate volum control levels for the different notifications
3). Repeat 1&2

Oh, and they should change the "multitasking"  (I giggled) launch button from the back button to the windows one, is way more natural. After several months it does not feel right.

I like that idea, and they should change the voice command to long-pressing the search button...that to me, would make more sense.