Monday, 17 January 2011

Windows Phone 7 - Great start, but with room for improvement

Well it's been nearly a month since I recieved and started using my shiny new Windows Phone 7 that I won because I cycled into a tree - Thankyou Microsoft!

I've been using it non-stop for gaming, socialising, taking photos and listening to music. From using it day to day I would have to say it's a great OS and a real breath of fresh air in the Phone OS market where there are so many iOS imitaters.

Though like all software, there are still bugs and changes to be made (I know, I used to work for Microsoft and am a software engineer by trade) so here is my list of things that bugged me that I hope are changed, or added to in the coming updates to WP7. Now remember everyone, Rome wasn't built in a day and the iPhone didn't even have an App Store for over a year and has already gone through 4 major system revisions.

Lack of tile colours - It seems strange that the number of colours to choose from were so few and some key colours were missing eg. White

Update Image album thumbnail - As a user you can't select which picture in a photo album appears as a the albums thumbnail (such as what you can in iPhoto)

Better Quality Image & Video tile thumbnails - When you select a video to pin to the home screen, the image quality is terrible compared to the original, the algorithms or method to extract the thumbnail needs to be improved.

Selecting position in Video - Although you can press the right or left arrows to scroll through a video file, if it is a large file this can often be cumbersome and slow. It would be nice if you could actually use the slider to select the offset within the video.

Homebrew Dev - I guess a lot of devs will be with me on the fact you can't even make your own games / apps without paying the developer charge, even if you have no wish to upload to the Marketplace.

Selectable default search engine - I understand it is a Microsoft OS and they wish to promote Bing, however it would be nice to see the ability to use other search engines when the search button is pressed (eg. Wikipedia, Google)

Split Marketplace results - When I search for an app, or sony on Marketplace, it would be nice to be able to sort the results by type so I don't get a list of albums when I search for an app.

Simple Image tools - The camera and image viewer is missing some rather simple tools such as crop and rotate. Currently though this is getting filled in with free apps

Move Images around - It seems obvious with the use of albums for images that a user may wish to move images around or create new image albums rather than having a huge Camera Roll album.

Select which Facebook / Live Images to show - Its nice being able to sync with online services but if you are like me and have lots of albums this can get annoying, it would be nice to selectively hide image albums.

Choose which Image folder to display in the Panorama - Bit obvious really.

Memory Leak in Marketplace - When viewing the entire marketplace list, if you scroll right to the end the phone *seriously* lags, once the application exists the phone can become near useless until a restart. (May just be due to excessive memory usage by the Marketplace app)

Improve Mac Sync tool - Being able to select individual songs / images would be a huge boost!

It will be great to see what other people think, and forgive me if you can do some of these things already, I keep finding out new things on my WP7 everyday

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