Windows Phone 8: Key Functionality Updates Needed (Part 2)
By on June 22nd, 2013

In the first part of this topic, I looked at some of the platform features in Windows Phone 8 that need to desperately be updated. Here I look into some other items and apps that need similar, desperate updates:

  • Internet Explorer: I know it is “IE 10 underneath” but on the phone, there is no way to upload files from the browser. Surprisingly, I have hit this issue in several places, especially at those sites which don’t have Windows Phone apps, or when the mobile site does a better job than the app (Facebook, I am looking at you). Unrelated, Internet Explorer really needs to support syncing favorites, passwords, open tabs, etc. from the PC. There is really no “ecosystem” story if browser, the most crucial part of computing today, is isolated from the desktop or tablet.
  • Video upload: Windows Phone 8 took at step further from Windows Phone 7.5 by allowing video backup to SkyDrive and sharing video by email, but there is still no way to share video to other apps. Attach a video to WhatsApp? No. Upload video to Facebook via the app? No. Secondly, there is absolutely no video editing option at all. It is ridiculous that there is not even a trimming feature.
  • Office: I use Excel on my phone quite a bit, surprisingly. Among other things, there is a simple list of expenses that my wife and I track regularly. I formatted that list as a table on my PC and realized that shockingly, I cannot edit anything in that table! I cannot add a new row, nor can I edit an existing row. I can of course edit any row on that sheet that is not part of the “table”. Bizarre.
  • Mail: I have started using Outlook.com more now and really love their send-and-receive account feature which lets me send email from that account without showing the annoying “on behalf of” header. However, these aliases and accounts from Outlook.com are not available to send from within the Windows Phone Mail app. Mail app really needs to add the ability, like the Windows 8 Mail app recently did, to send from aliases.
  • People Hub and Messaging: I can see replies, Likes, comments in People Hub but I cannot see retweets or favorites. Also, when there is a reply, it would really help if at least one prior tweet would show up. A lot of times, replies like “LOL” or “yes, agree” are so vague that it becomes hard to reply back from the People hub and one is forced to go to the full app to take action. On a similar note, we really need the ability to do Group Chat for Facebook Chat within Messaging. Most of my Facebook chats are group chats, so the feature is being grossly underused at this  moment.

I know these seem trivial from implementation perspective and there is a prioritization involved and so on, but I feel Windows Phone team has to show more urgency especially in updating non-core features like the ones I have listed above. I understand of course that something like a Notification Center may need a larger launch vehicle, but just like Windows RT has seen regular monthly updates since launch, I feel Windows Phone should do something similar to get the ancillary features fixed.

Do you have any other “minor” functionality that needs fixing? Sound off in the comments!

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Author: Romit Mehta Google Profile for Romit Mehta
Romit writes about mobile news and gadgets, and is currently a Windows Phone owner (Nokia Lumia 920). Find him on twitter @TheRomit. Personal site is http://romitmehta.com.

Romit Mehta has written and can be contacted at romit@techie-buzz.com.

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