NEWS

3 annoying problems that should be fixed on Windows Phone 8

Windows Phone is cool for many things. Fast and fluid user experience, unique tile-based interface, great Microsoft Office functionality, etc. But it also has many minuscule flaws which really shouldn’t even exist in the first place.

By Raymond Lau

These are the three issues I found most annoying with the existing Windows Phones. Hopefully, these issues will be soon be fixed on the Windows Phone 8.

No centralised notification page

Android had a fantastic pull down notification menu from day one, and Apple subsequently devised a suspiciously similar system for iPhones. Windows Phones? Nada.

Sure, notifications were actually much more advanced than iOS at the time of Windows Phone 7’s launch. A bar appeared at the top of the screen whenever notifications come in and users can dismiss them easily with a swipe. On iOS, you still had to endure an in-your-face pop-up notification window which completely interrupted whatever you happened to be doing at that time.

But there’s no way of catching up on your missed notifications on Windows Phones. Most apps will have a ticker to tell you how many notifications you missed, but only if you happen to pin the app to your start screen.

I believe most Windows Phone users thought a centralised notification page was coming with Windows Phone 8, but there’s no indication that anything of that sort is happening. So if you happened to miss a notification when it arrived, and don’t have the app tile pinned, that notification just entered a black hole.

Primitive phone dialer

Most people use their phones for actually calling people, but Windows Phone’s dialer lacks several important dialing features.

For one, you can’t copy and paste numbers into the dialer. This isn’t too bad in a native app like Microsoft Office, as the numbers in a document are automatically formatted and you can just tap to call. But if you see a number in Internet Explorer, you’ll have to memorise it and manually dial it out to call.

There’s also no autocomplete in the dialer. I have several numbers which I call almost every day, such as my parents’, and I don’t want to have to dig into the People Hub to make these calls. I want to be able to just type out the first few numbers and make the call immediately!

Fortunately, as the saying goes, “there’s an app for that” – 7Dialer solves all of these problems. But such basic functionality should really be included in the OS from the get-go.

No separate media controls for ringer and media

In Windows Phone, you can’t turn down the volume of your media – whether music, video or games – without also turning down your phone’s ringer.  You also cannot turn down the ringer and also expect to enjoy music at full blast. I play games with the volume turned down, and many times I forget to turn the volume back up after I’m done, causing me to miss a few calls and texts.

Sounds like a small issue, but incredibly annoying!

Do you have any nagging issues with your Windows Phone? Share them in the comments section below!