The smartphone industry is evolving at an extraordinary rate.
Your brand new smartphone could be outdated in a year or so. To
keep up with the competition, the operating system must be
constantly updated with competitive features.
Although Windows Phone is very young compared to its
competition, it has the potential to be on top. Even though the
last major update - Mango - added about 500 new features to the OS,
Windows Phone still lacks the luster in some areas.
I've prepared a list of features which I feel the OS just has to
have in its next version:
Dual-core/quad-core processor support
None of the 1st-gen and 2nd-gen phones
feature a multi-core processor. The market is flooded with
dual-core Android smartphones and already, a phone featuring a
quad-core processor has arrived. Though the current Windows Phones
don't feel slow, the addition of faster hardware is always
Removable memory support
In this age of high-definition, the built-in memory offered in
Windows Phones falls short very often. You have no option but to
stick with what the manufacturer offers. This can be a deal breaker
for many users who like to carry their whole media library with
them. Microsoft can take a clue from the iPhones, which also have
no support for memory cards, but offer higher built-in memory.
480x800 seems to be the maximum resolution for all Windows
Phones. Even the giants like HTC Titan, Titan II and Nokia Lumia
900 have the same resolution. 720p displays are the norm in the
high-end smartphone segment and there is no reason for the new
Windows Phones to have low-res displays.
Currently, there is no central place to see notifications except
for the tiles on the Start screen. The notification center/drawer
should display notifications for recent missed calls, messages,
emails and app updates.
Repeated alerts for missed calls, messages and
There should be an option for repeated alerts if you miss calls,
messages or emails. Presently, if you miss a call while you are
away from your phone, you won't be aware unless you manually unlock
and check the phone. The phone should repeatedly alert you with
short beeps at regular intervals to notify you of what you've
Quick switch for enabling/disabling Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
and data connectivity
At present, there is no quick way to enable/disable Wi-Fi,
Bluetooth and 3G/EDGE. A quick switch can be neatly incorporated
into the notification drawer, saving the user a lot of hassle.
Consistent landscape orientation support
As of now, there is no consistent support for landscape
orientation in Mango. The Start screen, Phone tile, People hub,
Pictures hub, Marketplace, Zune and Xbox Live apps don't support
landscape, but on the other hand, the Me tile and the messaging,
mail and calendar apps work in landscape mode. This inconsistency
should be ironed out in the next iteration.
Complete backup and restore
There is no way to completely backup and restore data on the
phone directly from the OS. There should be an option to backup
data and dump it into a single file on the inbuilt/removable
Mango has multitasking but it's more like app switching rather
than true multitasking. Apps are just temporarily suspended and go
into hibernation until resumed. True multitasking will enable apps
to execute in the background. For example, you'll be able to listen
to 3rd-party music apps or take calls from Skype while
doing other tasks.
In the US, it's usually the carriers who decide whether to
enable USB tethering on phones. USB tethering enables users to use
their phone's data connection on their PC. The lack of it can be a
huge deal breaker for some people.
Support for VPNs
VPN (Virtual Private Network) support is essential for business
users. Mango has support for Exchange and RPC-over-HTTPS, but not
all businesses use them. The addition of VPNs will make Windows
Phone more business-friendly.
Native app/interface for video calling
Skype and Tango are the only known apps for video calling on
Windows Phone. Though most of the 2nd-generation Windows
Phones have a front-facing camera for video calling, there is no
native app to take advantage of it.
There's no guarantee that the inclusion of the above features
will make Windows Phone a killer smartphone operating system, but
it will definitely give its competition a tough time. If you feel
any other features must also be a part of WP vNext, leave a comment