Windows Phone Owners And Haters Alike, Here’s A Lengthy List Microsoft Should Review

Warning: this article begs for a fanboy war in the comments and in this particular instance, I’m only asking to keep it clean as this is an interesting, if not completely subjective look at why Windows Phone may never be as successful as Android or even iOS without some drastic changes to the software. Don’t get me wrong, Windows Phone has incredibly smooth performance, but is that really enough to win over the masses? Part of reasons we love Android and part of the reason I’m truly enjoying my Android challenge is that a lot of the things listed below are already baked into the software — and if they aren’t, compatibility is just one Google Play tap away.

Before diving into this list, you should know that the list ONLY references software and not misc extras a manufacturer may build in. For example, the sheet says that no microSD card support, which is true from a software perspective, even so Samsung has built it into their own hardware. Just keep that in mind while reading this as there may some points here you could disagree with, but they may be a manufacturers decision and now a Microsoft one.

There is a disclaimer here from the person who compiled this list that says these are purely from the standpoint of a Nokia Lumia owner. We should say that that’s ok, as Microsoft’s strongest effort at bringing out the very best in their platform is now said to come from Nokia’s line of Windows Phone products.

I’ll be curious about your thoughts on this list, but you’ve been warned about the comments!

PhoneArena via My-Symbian

1. No true multitasking for 3rd party apps – they re frozen in the background.
2. No Divx/Xvid video codec support. Zune will convert with loss of quality.
3. No mass storage mode.
4. No micro-SD card support.
5. Only support up to 16GB storage.
6. No filemanager. Directory system is totally opaque.
7. Need Zune to transfer files. Zune will only transfer photos, videos & music. All other files need to email/upload to yourself.
8. Your contact details are automatically uploaded to cloud service whether you like it or not.
9. Limited to 800×480 resolution.
10. Voice search is hardwired to Bing.
11. Cannot use any MP3 file as ringtone except those with strict constraints.
12. Cannot set static IP address so no connection to ad-hoc networks.
13. No VPN support for this “corporate enterprise” phone.
14. Cannot sync directly with Outlook without syncing to Cloud
15. Totally closed OS, cannot sideload apps outside MS Marketplace.
16. System font size cannot be changed.
17. Images and photos cannot be renamed in the phone.
18. Windows Live ID account cannot change country once set.
19. No centralized notification page.
20. Alarm clock cannot work when phone is turned off. All Nokia Symbian and Meego phones can do this.
21. The idle screen is completely blank and cannot display time or notifications.
22. Only photos allowed as email attachments, documents not allowed.
23. Bluetooth does not have rSAP protocol which is the most common protocol for car audio streaming.
24. Cannot stream audio from video to Bluetooth devices (No A2DP).
25. No support for full on-device encryption required for secure applications like mobile banking and online payment.
26. Cannot use Bluetooth keyboard.
27. Cannot silence ringtone or alarm by flipping the phone.
28. Very limited customization option.
29. Cannot be upgraded to WP8 (Apollo)
30. No always visible status bar for battery life, signal strength, carrier, 2G/3G wi-fi, Bluetooth on.
31. Taskmanager has no option to shut down apps you don’t want running in the background.
32. Search and Back button cannot be de-activated in apps or games and easily touched by accident which interrupt your user experience.
33. Lockscreen need to be activated to show missed call/sms notification.
34. No way to close an app except pressing back button all the way to the first screen.
35. Tiny fonts in messages is very hard to read for those over 45.
36. Cannot create and save playlists on the phone.
37. Playlist can only be edited when you are playing it.
38. Cannot search your music collection on the phone, only in the Marketplace.
39. Cannot close music player, can only pause. Music player on lockscreen will stay until you reboot. Be careful not to touch it in a meeting.
40. No draggable progress bar for current track playing and no indication which track in an album is currently playing
41. Cannot lock screen orientation.
42. Online and phone contacts are mixed together with no ability to filter.
43. Cumbersome dialing with no smartdial. Not able to enter alphabets into dialler for name lookup.
44. Cannot save draft sms messages.
45. Call history only show phone number type. If a contact has multiple phone nos. for a type the number used is unknown.
46. Cannot recognize phone numbers in sms or email to save or use as calling number.
47. Text messages can only be deleted one by one or the whole thread.
48. Cannot select multiple pictures for deleting, sending or uploading. They must be done one at a time.
49. Clicking on the Me Tile doesn’t take you directly to your notifications it takes you to your profile, a serious usability blunder
50. Apps are listed alphabetically with no way to group by category. Can be hard to find if you don’t remember the name.
51. Calendar scheduler has no weekly view and monthly view is non-zoomable.
52. No peak time/off-peak time scheduling for email downloads to prevent unnecessary email downloads at overnight.
53. If both wi-fi and data connection are available which one it chooses to use is unpredictable. User experiences don’t agree with Microsoft that it “typically” choose wi-fi over 3G.
54. No video call.
55. No haptic feedback for keyboard.
56. No Swype.
57. No flashplayer support.
58. No support for Java apps.
59. No call recording or app to do it.
60. No call blocking or app to do it.
61. No screenshots or app to do it.
62. No auto wallpaper changer and no app to do it.
63. Totally locked down os means apps which interact directly with hardware not allowed. This excludes a whole range of useful apps
64. No equalizer for Zune music player.
65. FM radio doesn’t work on speaker.
66. IE browser has no text reflow, no download capability and no offline reading.
67. No 3rd party browsers allowed except those based on IE.
68. Volume up/down buttons cannot be used to zoom in camera (sign of an immature os)
69. Cannot open zip or rar files received as email attachment.
70. Cannot send or receive video by MMS.
71. Office Mobile has much less features than 3rd party Office editors like SmartOffice, QuickOffice and Polaris. Shame on you, Microsoft!
72. No native Google maps and Bing maps is useless for most countries outside U.S.
73. Email time stamp does not show the year.
74. Wide difference in apps availability in different markets and users locked to one market.
75. Not all Bing features available outside U.S. especially Local Scout
76. One volume control for all functions including media playback, ringtones, alarms, notifications.
77. Wi-fi disconnects when screen sleeps.
78. If you receive a text message when talking on the phone an audio alert will blast your ear at the full volume set. All other phones will give a soft beep.
79. Can only enter one mobile phone no. for each contact. Mobile nos. entered in other fields will not accept sms.
80. Cannot send/receive MMS without enabling 3G data connection. MMS does not use 3G data.
81. Phone cannot be charged when off.
82. Need to be plugged in to wall charger to sync wirelessly (a funny definition of wireless).
83. Oversized fonts for headings waste screen space and result in low information density
84. Phone will wake up and display sms content on lockscreen when locked – a privacy violation.
85. Phone can be rebooted without entering security code.
86. No bluetooth file transfer.
87. Cannot handle USSD codes necessary for prepaid users to obtain services.
88. Cannot filter call history into Missed Calls, Received Calls, Dialled Calls, Recent Calls, etc
89. No way to backup or export call history
90. Cannot show call duration in call history.
91. No way to edit MMS profile to work with a carrier in the OS. Need an app which is not available in all markets.
92. Call history does not group calls by contact.
93. Call history does not show the time of call for calls older than current day.
94. Cannot set custom sounds for different types of notifications.
95. No ringer profiles.
96. No silent option (no vibrate and no ring) from ringer menu. Need a trip to settings and another trip to revert.
97. Cannot send/receive contact as a csv file.
98. Cannot backup sms to PC.
99. Cannot save contact to SIM card.
100. Cannot change alarm ring tone or use a MP3 file.
101. Cannot set alarm snooze interval.
102. Unable to read long names in audio and video playlist as they get cut off
103. Zune does not allow user to add or update podcasts directly from the phone
104. Zune can only be installed if you have an internet connection
105. Alarm does not revert to speaker if headphones are plugged in.
106. Forwarded emails cannot be edited
107. OS does not reduce volume of text message alerts when using headphones
108. All photos automatically upload to Skydrive have resolution reduced (no option) and lose their EXIF information
109. Wifi- hotspot and internet tethering not integral features in the OS but need to be provided by manufacturer on a case by case basis.
110. Internet Explorer has no Forward/Backward button for page views.

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  • tommy

    What does this mean: ” Calendar scheduler has no weekly view and monthly view is non-zoomable” ?

    • ratnok

      If you had an Android Ice Cream Sandwich phone, you would understand. 

      • Riopato

        So you have to have a 4th revision Os in order to do what a second revision phone can’t? Guess I’ll have to wait then.

  • Darrenn

    I feel as if you want all of those geeky custom features, you should get yourself an android phone.

    If you want a very rigid and strict set of rules that are essentially determined by one man, get an iPhone.  If you want a clean, new, non cluttered, mildly restricted feature set…get a Windows Phone.

    The no-rules method of Android is turning out to be a huge mess of confusion, ugliness, and frustrating usability for the average user while any iOS user will tell you they wished they had more options. Windows Phone fills that void.

    • ratnok

      “The no-rules method of Android is turning out to be” a raging success for consumers, and are mass rejecting the fanboy evangelism of Windows Phone owners. 

      There. Fixed.

  • Rich Coleman

    “Cannot stream audio from video to Bluetooth devices (No A2DP).”  My Nokia Lumia 900 does this.  My Focus did not.

    • FUS3360

      Same here.  My focus didn’t so I was really surprised when my Nokia did right out of the box.

    • Riopato

      That’s interesting. I wonder if my lumia 710 works? I assumed it didn’t since my venue pro doesn’t so I never tried.

      • FUS3360

         i was definitely surprised when my lumia worked.

  • Roger

    In the end, WP will fail unless Microsoft loosens its programming environment so companies make applications for it.  What makes a good phone is one that allows you to do as many things as possible on the phone nativly.  If companies aren’t going to program to it, it will fail.

  • Lubbalots

    Love my hd7.  The best and longest phone I ever had.  Does everything for me with ease.  For those who claim the hd7 and is is boring after couple months of use, that’s just too bad.  Go back to you razr and download a couple of stripper backgrounds.  It’ll keep you occupied for another 6 months… 

  • rtechie

    Of course the biggest problem with WP7 is that the entire platform, including all 3rd party applications, is being discontinued by Microsoft at the end of the year. Windows 8 is a completely different OS from WP7 (which is a skinned version of Windows Mobile 6.5) and 3rd party WP7 apps may or may not work with Windows 8 phones. But no WP7 device will be able to run Windows 8, period. Specs are too low. 

    • Riopato

      Winmo 6.5 is based on WinCe 5 while windows phone 7 is completely new build based on WinCe 6 which was supposed to be winmo 7. Unless you work for Microsoft, you don’t know what windows phone 8 will be based on.

    • Jlesho09

      There is so much wrong information here. Someone here has already stated that WP7/7.5 are COMPLETELY different from 6.5 so I won’t touch on that much, but I’m not honestly sure where that’s coming from. It’s a completely new OS from the ground up…

      As far as WP8 compatibility, it’s already been stated NUMEROUS times that WP7/7.5 apps will run on WP8.

      This official statement is the most important thing to take from that article:

      “With regard to existing applications: today’s Windows Phone applications and games will run on the next major version of Windows Phone. Driving application compatibility is a function of Microsoft’s commitment to its developers. Regardless of what we release in terms of new developer features and functionality, we have made a large investment in protecting your existing investments.”

      As far as Windows Phone 8 specs and minimum requirements, that information has not been released yet, but there have been reports of Windows Phone 8 being tested on 1st and 2nd gen devices, so clearly it hasn’t been ruled out just yet.

  • Riopato

    I really need point #14 fixed right now! Mac users are forced to use exchange in order to sync their outlook since cloud syncing isn’t available for mac office!
    I can wait for the rest of this if only point 14 has a solution outside of exchange!

  • Fray26

    Certain things are true and certain things arent. But for the most part, Windows Phone Apollo will come and fix those problems. Its only temporary.

  • Cairat

    My three primary gripes (and I know one of them will be getting fixed with Apollo) are:

    ~No SD Capabilities (being fixed in WP8)

    ~Having to use Zune to transfer anything (Zune is a clunky program and could be so much better IMHO) (Kind of being fixed with WP8)

    ~Personalization: I converted to WP when my old Blackberry Curve died and my dad gave me his HD7. I was hooked and still love the system (especially considering the fact that BB has stagnated as far as handset innovation is concerned). The one thing I sincerely miss from them though was their ringtone personalization. You could use ANY valid audio file you had saved, even if it was too long for a valid ringer. You could also personalize ringers, not only to each person, but to each type of communication from each person. On my BB I had my general ringer and text message notification. I also had different tones for each of the three linked e-mail addresses I used. On top of that I gave all the members of my family a different ringer so I’d know (just by sound) if it was family/friends or not. I could also go into each individual contact and give each of their possible communication means a different sound. So my wife not only had her own ringtone but, if she sent me a text, she had her own tone. If she sent me an e-mail, she had her own tone (and I could even specify different tones for each e-mail address she would send from. I rigged my incoming Twitter texts with a short, minimum volume tone so they wouldn’t be distracting. On top of that you could set each of those ringers to individual volume levels and vibration settings. That is the one feature I truly miss from my Blackberry but I will keep my WP in hopes that they will enact these changes soon.

  • tommy

    are there windows phone tablets like we have ice cream sandwich on android? are there any good remote control (phone or tablet) to windows apps like we ‘jump desktop’ on android? how are the apps? 

  • Aqibone

     Patience Man…. Patience…. Your Android took almost 5 long years of experimental journey to reach where it is today. Even then, with all power of Quad Core behind, it still stutters, freezes, crashes, and can’t even scroll smoothly. Still this is the most resource hungry and inefficient OS among the others.

    The Windows OS for mobile phone, on the other hand brings freshness, smoothness, aesthetics and most importantly stability and reliability, to the table, which android can only dream even after 5 years of experimental journey.

    Give Windows OS some time, and I am sure, this platform will bring most of your listed features and more with the same freshness, smoothness, aesthetics, and importantly stability and reliability to the end users.

    I know mobile phone is a very personal choice, it’s hard to convince anybody to use this or that OS or model. It purely boils down to what you want to do with your device. But I believe we need to give every OS fair amount of time and chance to prove.

  • BlahBlah

    Hate to say it but no (easy) video upload to Google may be a deal breaker for me. I like the phone otherwise. I sold my iphone, and will probably choose an android phone after this. Google knows what we want in a phone, like easy video sharing. (duh) Most of the stuff on the list I agree with but the one that sticks in my mind is the universal volume control. BAHHHD. I want my ringtone loud but my games muted.