From the Forums: Jessica Alba or Alicia Keys, x86 Windows Phones and suggestions

It's that time again, folks. More discussions pulled from our ever expanding and growing Windows Phone community. If you've not been 100% with it these past handful of days then fear not as we have you covered. The forum is constantly a busy place, which isn't a bad thing, but it can prove difficult to keep up with everything that's currently going on. So what's being discussed?

Windows Phone 8 to offer downloadable Text Suggestions

Downloadable Text suggestions in Windows Phone 8

Here is something we clearly missed yesterday but reader black_lion picked up. In the video we showed of some brave souls using forks (yes, the utensil kind) to navigate their Lumia 920s, a little notification popped up that raises some eyebrows: Text Suggestions.

The dialog simply states "You are missing text suggestions for this keyboard. You can download them now or visiting Settings > Keyboard to do this later."

Microsoft appears to confirm custom Accent colors, Hubs and native PhotoSynth for Windows Phone 8

Custom Hubs & Accent colors for Windows Phone 8? Yes, please.

Earlier in the day we reported that Microsoft was going through the User Voice feedback system and signing off on feature requests from end users.

In short, if a feature is being positioned to be included in Windows Phone 8.x, it gets stamped with a generic “Planned” label from the site Admin for Windows Phone. It is then followed by a comment noting “Just a quick update to let the Windows Phone community know that this feature has been announced for Windows Phone 8”.

Indeed, many of the features such as Arabic language support, NFC and 720P displays have been publicly confirmed back at the June 20th Summit, making this forum cleanup standard practice.

But out of the 22 “Planned” suggestions, three stuck out...

Microsoft's Suggestion Box Windows Phone app

Microsoft has released an app for Windows Phone to complement the suggestion website that's up and running where visitors can submit and/or rate suggestions for the platform. Users are able to login with the website credentials (sign up should you not already have an account - can be achieved within the app), and are then able to contribute to the feedback queue while on the go.

Some highlighted features of the app include:

  • This app connects your Windows Phone to the Windows Phone Suggestion Box forum (
  • Suggest new capabilities and features
  • Browse current suggestions (sortable by top ideas, hot ideas and new ideas)
  • Comment on submitted suggestions
  • Add up to three votes to suggestions

The Suggestion Box app can be downloaded from the Marketplace for free. 

Provide and vote on feedback for WP7 [Developers]

Developers, when not building incredible applications for the platform, would you like to leave feedback for the Windows Phone 7 team and vote on other ideas? Well, you can with the Dev Feedback Forum. Should you wish to see some changes (or features introduced) in a number of categories, including the emulator, network, sensor APIs, Silverlight and tiles, now's your chance.

You have 25 votes to use, which will be returned should ideas be taken on-board by the Windows Phone team. Suggestions will be moderated should they become actual planned features to be included in a future update and it's stated that all ideas will be looked at. Some good signs showing from the developer community with a good number of ideas already submitted and voted on. Microsoft seem to be continuously providing the means for users and developers to provide feedback, always a good thing.

Source: Dev Feedback Forum

Ten ways to improve Windows Phone 7 - a developer's perspective

Since its inception, suggestions have been scouring the internet on how to improve Windows Phone 7. We ran across an interesting list of suggestions that come from a developer's perspective. While recognizing that Windows Phone 7 is a "modern, well-throughout and refreshing OS" the article concentrates on technical and strategic changes that would help with WP7's longevity.

Along with UI Virtualization and Hardware Acceleration, here are some of the suggestions offered that an end-user might agree with:

Fix Push Notifications: From capping the number of apps that can receive push notifications to the overall reliability of push notifications, this area needs improvements.

Improve the Home Screen: I've grown fond of the Home/Start Screen with Windows Phone 7 but, as suggested on the list, the design comes at the expense of application discovery and usability.  Sometimes it just takes forever to swipe down to the app you're looking for.  We've heard mention of folders but what about having multiple sets of tiles? Have a Home Screen Hub of sorts?

Update the Back and Search Button Behavior: Change the Back Button functionality to only navigate within the context of an app. Then add a long press that would take you to the previous application. It is also suggested that the Search Button should be contextual to the app running. A long-press would pull up BING and pressing the Search Button on the Home Screen would search your device. These suggestions would help eliminate the accidental presses that send you completely out of an app.

The author also touches on the need for a companion Windows Phone 7 tablet. A tablet allows you to scale up Windows Phone 7 and allows for developers and Microsoft to tap into a secondary market.

I agree with one of the closing thoughts in that Windows Phone success is a matter of execution and strategy. Microsoft has a very good foundation and next month we'll see how the first step in its growth takes shape.

Source: Orktane

January Windows Phone 7 survey available

Previously, we looked at how one can getting touch about Microsoft and provide feedback about their Widnows Phone 7 experience. There hasn't been a clear located channel for the community to focus suggestions and feedback, but a survey has popped up from @windowsphone on Twitter.

The first question you are faced with is (quite obviously) querying if you actually own a Windows phone, and if so what platform you currently use. Selecting Windows Phone 7 will bring you to a table where you rate (out of 5) the level of influence that particular feature had on your purchase decision.

The beauty of this survey comes after you have selected the choices and move onto the second half of the form - "What, if anything, would you change about your Windows Phone 7?” As many have stated over at the XDA Developer forum, this is a perfect opportunity to release the ranting anger inside of you about some missing functions and features. As much detail as you can provide, or a simple list will suffice.

Once complete, you receive a love note from the big MS "Thank you for taking our survey. Your response is very important to us.", you're very welcome. Take this survey at surveygizmo.

New YouTube update brings suggestions to Windows Mobile app

Google today took the lid of an update for its Windows Mobile YouTube app, taking it up to Version 2.4 and bringing a few new features online.

There are now search suggestions (which you see above), along with "My Account" settings and a new homescreen that's redesigned for larger screens.

Head on over to to download the latest version. [Google Mobile]