Six Small Ways Windows Phone 7 Can Improve

These are a few things that have been annoying me about the Windows Phone 7. This not meant to be an all-inclusive list, and they’re not in any order, and they’re all pretty fixable. I’m sure I’ll have more in the future, and most of these will probably be remedied with time.

[update 2011-01-06]

As announced in a recent blog post, #1 below will be remedied in a January update.


1. Limit Marketplace search to one type of entity. When I’m looking for an app, I don’t want artists, songs or albums—those are “noise” to my search. Likewise, when I’m looking for music, don’t throw the apps in. When I search on my device or in the Zune Desktop, I get a mix of everything. Let me filter on what I want, and increase the signal:noise ratio.

2. Better support for self-issued SSL in Outlook app. If I have my own little Exchange server, and I self-issue an SSL, the Outlook mail app doesn’t accept it. This defeats the purpose of one if I have to use clear text.

3. Connect to “hidden” WiFi networks. PLEASE! I know not broadcasting an SSID isn’t total security, but it helps reduce the surface area of a network.

4. Allow me to reinstall an app from the Zune software. I can from the device. Admittedly, having a developer device through the ROM upgrades and phone changes made me more aware of this, but if I switch phones one day, I have to do all the reinstalls from the device. Let me push them out from the Zune software. It’s just a little more comfortable.

5. Have a list of what I’ve installed. Makes it easier to put the apps back after a wipe or phone change. Again, I might be sensitive to this because I had to keep switching phones out. The Android marketplace has a “My Downloads” view which shows me everything I’ve purchased or had installed.

6. Have a “charged” indicator on the curtain, and a percentage of battery remaining. I love this on my Motorola Droid. Aside from the battery indicator, there is a numeric percentage of charge remaining. When the phone is charged, it says “charged”. I’m never quite sure if I have the full charge on my phone.


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