Most wanted features still missing in Windows Phone 7 Mango?

Now that we practically know nearly everything about Microsoft’s Mango update for Windows Phone 7 I thought that is would be interesting to look at all the new features and see what’s missing in terms of “must have” functionalities. The update isn’t lacking when it comes to improvements and added services but there are still some things that have yet to be addressed by Microsoft.

One of the most important one is IMO the current lack of back-up feature. As of right now the handset is only backed up with an update is done via the Zune desktop software. The user has no choice and unfortunately still can’t decide to back-up is SMS/MMS, installed apps, multimedia content etc.. whenever his wants. A simple back-up option in the Zune application would undoubtedly be a welcome addition but Microsoft has yet to discuss the future version desktop software. The MyPhone service which gave us the ability to save most of the device’s content in its previous Windows Mobile 6.X iteration has yet to be updated on Windows Phone 7.

Windows Phone 7 Mango still doesn’t fully support USB tethering even though the functionality is already present in the OS and accessible via the OEMs diagnosis tools on the handsets (see here for Samsung, HTC and LG). Microsoft has already stated several times that they are following the iPhone’s path in this particular matter and puts the blame on the carriers who have control over this feature.

Another annoying thing that still isn’t possible is the ability to scrub/seek through a song or video via the timeline. Edit: According to Microsoft they’ve added “video scrubbing (where supported) so you have quick access to the parts of your videos you love most”. (it didn’t work in the build I tried and one has to wonder what “where supported” actually means). I frankly can’t figure out why this hasn’t been added in Mango given all the improvements and fixes brought to the Music + Video hub and especially when you realize that it is present in nearly all other media players around (even the Zune desktop app). using the rewind/forward buttons to navigate through a long video is painful.

Finally, using the handset as a portable USB drive (possible on Android and Windows Mobile 6) is still impossible unless you decide to hack it this way.

After looking at what’s new what are the features that you think are still missing in Mango ?

  • Seif Apps

    We still need more keyboards!!!! Arabic, Hebrew etc… I don’t mind about the UI – but we need an ability to write SMS/eMail/Documents in more languages..

  • Matt Orienter

    We need third-party SIPs, Swype in particular.  Microsoft should just buy Swype already; it would only cost a few grand.

  • Anonymous
  • SGuest

    Separate ring-tone and media/zune volume, and allow vibration and ringing simultaneously instead of vibrate then ring. Not only portable USB drive, but allow bluetooth file transfer too! Dang microsoft, don’t make these unnecessary restrictions like iOS.

  • SGuest

    Separate ring-tone and media/zune volume, and allow vibration and ringing simultaneously instead of vibrate then ring. Not only portable USB drive, but allow bluetooth file transfer too! Dang microsoft, don’t make these unnecessary restrictions like iOS.

  • Nguyen Ba Quang

    I need Vietnamese Keyboard too!…

  • Nguyen Ba Quang

    I need Vietnamese Keyboard too!…

  • Mark Gibbs

    There are very few that I would like to see but they are, VPN, coperate Domain access, and my Zune can usb plug into my car stero and be controlled my the radio like an Iphone but since WP7 does not support usb out I can’t do this with my phone … I would like this feature..

  • BucksterMcgee

    Microsoft has been clear that they are working on the most broad requests first, and unfortuantely most of these just aren’t one of those huge requests.

    -Backup would be nice, but they are already adding app history to the phone, among other things so you can restore your phone back to what it was, sans personal data. The large majority of people aren’t going to be backing up their phones even if they gave the feature, and the most useful way to do it is automatically, but that’s not likely to be added considering the grab and go system they have for syncing. It’s definitely something they can bring to a future release, but there are other things that are better first.

    -USB tethering will be by carrier only. That’s that. The carriers don’t want it unless they can fully control it, and charge you a ton extra for it. Talk about Microsoft getting balls all you want, in the end the carriers are still in control of their network.

    -Meh on seeking media files, if they don’t add it’s there’s a reason, such as only 5% of users ever use controls that way. Sorry if you’re in that 5% but, but there are 95% that I would rather have attention spent on.

    -Using your phone as a drive again is one of those 5% things (not that’s it’s really 5%, just used to illustrate lack of use), with the move to the cloud this is all just unecessary. Why waste space on my phone when I can just use skydrive, dropbox, etc to hold files? It’s just not worth it when you can get a $5 thumdrive, as small as  stamp, that can hold way more room, and doesn’t require me to set my phone down. Again there are a hand full of uses where it would be nice to have the option… but in the grand scheme of things, I would rather see resources spent elsewhere. My phone doesn’t feel any less usefull because it can’t replace one of the dozens of memory cards/sticks/drives I have.

    Even that Windows Community site is skewed because it’s going to be requests from nerdy type people, not the average user, which people seem to forget is much much much much bigger then the nerdy crowd. There are plenty of things I think would be neat if I had it built into the phone, but I know they are ridiculious because the average user just isn’t going to use them.

    Looking at the Community site, I see things that are just not what’s Windows Phone are about, and are frankly outdated ways of thinking. Folder of Apps? You’re serious? Go to effing android or the iphone if you want your icons and folders. Battery percentage? Because knowing you’re at 50% vs 44% makes so much difference… Windows Phone is designed to remove these outdated models of thinking, and bring a clean UI where you don’t have to think about is my phone at 68% or 57% power. That’s the whole reason those icons are removed and hidden, because you don’t need to be looking at them all the time. There’s no reason to, other than to be paranoid. It’s outdated. Yeah I understand on Android where you battery leaks like a sieve, you want to be watching it all the time, but my phone goes on for days, and I don’t even have to think about its power. And when it does get low, guess what it pops up and lets me know it’s low. And even then the battery seems to last forever even at a critical state. So if you want to watch your battery slowly drain, go to android.

    Even with the bad idea’s there will be good ones that won’t come simply because it was pushed aside for something else. People seem to think that companies have unlimited resources, and that features are just something you have to turn on, and they work perfectly. That couldn’t be farther from the true. Even a large company like Microsoft has limited resources that they can use in any given time. These people are working hard day in and day out to bring the best experience, and sometimes to bring one great experience you have to hold off on another. Some things are easier to implement then others, and some things have bigger challenges than people realize. Pretty much every discussion I’ve ever heard from Microsoft how features and choices has been level headed and frank. We did this for X reason, we went with that because we saw Y result. They aren’t just doing stuff or not on a whim, they have carefully thought out what they can and cannot do, and that’s what we will see. If we haven’t seen something that is still coming in Mango it’s most likely because one part or another of it isn’t complete yet. They don’t want to show off something if it only works limitly, or some important function hasn’t been perfectly tweaked. And futher still some things they want to add have complications and they can’t add it, like the podcast function for example. That was susposed to be added from the beginning, and wasn’t working well enough, so they pulled it back to Mango. This is all just how development is, it’s not ever perfect.

    In any case, ya it would be nice if they add some of this stuff, but I’m not going to lose any sleep that it isn’t in there, and a larger majority won’t either. If these are the only features you wanted, then ya I get it sucks, but if you got one of these and lost a different feature then you would just be complaining that the other one wasn’t there. Personally I want my phone to stream Zune video and video from my media center over the internet the same was Windows Media Player can play between two Windows 7 computers, but would I want that over losing turn by turn navigation? Nope. Give it take. That’s just how it is.

  • Ccmd_232

    Add to the list also:
    1- Bluetooth Profile updates to allow sending/recieving files/contacts, heard nothing about it.
    2- A decent screen to enter MMS Settings since the Network Profile Tool from Samsung does nothing but allocating space!
    3- No demos have been presented to show a fornt-facing camera in action, correct me if I’m wrong.
    4- The ability to attach files (not only images) when sending an email, for example a PDF or DOCX, (If there is a way, someone please update me) as I wasn’t able to do so.
    5- A better way to syncronize my company exchange email instead of the workarounds we have to do. Other platfroms are to setup instantly, why can’t I do the same with my WP7.
    6- Have the hardware vendors man-up and do servicing and proper updates to thier hardware devices. Samsung and HTC are pushing update to thier Andriod phones, and are more open to speak up when it comes to thier Android devices but when it comes to WP7 they do nothing. For example, when the Samsung issues occured during the updates, Samsung did not even comment in the matter, like the devices affected belong to a completely different vendor.
    I know there is a huge difference between the Android and WP7 ecosystems that limits the level of involvement, but come on it’s your product and you have to support it as long as there a single customer.

  • gbr

    1) i agree re separate volumes but there need to be separate volumes for voice call notification, text message notification, games, music, alarms etc. i can’t use my wp7 phone as my primary phone because it won’t ring loud enough to wake me up when a new text message comes in. although i love it as a portable computer it’s still weak a a phone per se. 2) i really really want speed dial numbers. it is far too time consuming to look up a number in a similar group (eg 15 people with the same last name). 3) when you tap the phone icon, i’d like it to go to the number pad instead of recent calls. 4) label radio stations with names you chose. 5) music player mode with random songs but each song plays once before any song plays again (needs to be persistent when you close the app).  mango might have these? -> 7) spam filter. 8) create email folders. 8) forward email.

  • Anonymous

    The two things I wanted out of Mango I’m getting: 1. Unified In-box and 2. Manage playlists from phone. I’m happy with those, and everything else is extra. Oh actually I could use voice navigation… ! Hopefully Nokia will bring that. 

  • Techtacy

    1. i want multilanguage smartdial
    2. i want multilanguage search on contact list without change keyboard like wm6.x
    3. i want quck list with bluetooth gprs and wifi switch

  • Jeroen

    Everybody needs something but does wp7 post-Mango really misses something everybody needs? Why do people keep nagging that it’s never enough. It’s a beautiful phone that works very smoothly and will become bettter and better.

  • Jaro Simek

    smart dialer like the WM always had.  I don’t want to search contacts, I just want to start hitting numbers and have it search contacts by name, as well as prior numbers dialed.

  • Anonymous

    I would like it to be able to connect to ad-hoc wi-fi.  I use my N8 as a wireless modem but the WP7 can’t see the service.  That is number one on my list.  Everything else I would like is hardware driven.

  • Anonymous

    4. The only way to do that is to go to the Docx and start the email from that point.  When you send it it goes to the email app and then you can do what you want.

  • Matthieu Nate

    Good ideas that are listed down here.
    As one said, of course Mango is pretty good already, but we can see that some features are more specifically wanted by users.
    - I wish it had a smart dialer as well, and that it launched the dial when you hit the phone tile (unless you have missed a call => history).
    - Better auto brightness (right now on the HTC Mozart and the Samsung Omnia when it’s completely dark the screen is not as low as it could be when on auto, and nor is it at its maximum when it’s bright outside – so I have to manually switch between night and day).
    - More colors for the background (not necessarly pictures as a background in Mango, let’s save that for Apollo)
    - The background’s colors being independent from the applications’ dark or white theme (I wish I could have my background dark and my apps looking all like the mail app)
    - Modem use for unbranded devices!
    - Ovi / Nokia Maps added to Bing and not as a separate app, which I might just never use. This takes time, but I wish it was done already.

  • Guest

    I want Outlook Notes
    I want usb sync with Outlook.
    I want handwritting recognition in Outlook notes.

    All of this 9and more) is available in Windows Phone 6.x, but didn’t make it to version 7?

  • Fredrik71

    What about contact search, has it been imrpoved at all?
    At the moment it really sucks.
    You cannot find contact by Company name
    You cannot find contact by any other critera than first and last name
    That is just not acceptable.

  • Nataku4ca

    well said, this is one of those things i tried to tell ppl but get response like “they are giant corp they must be holding back on purpose to make people get new phones”… then i go =.= “updates are free…”

    i would really like to see more phone hardwares though, too bad this isn’t something MS could control…

  • Stephen Guise

    Um, don’t know if you bothered to check your facts, but from the Windows Team Blog article about the music + video hub:

    “More video options: Last but not least, for videos, we’ve added a full-screen toggle and video scrubbing (where supported) so you have quick access to the parts of your videos you love most—features we heard you ask for!”

    The only thing I’m missing still from a music + video perspective is…GAPLESS PLAYBACK. The Zune could do it; almost every other mp3 player can do it; why not WP7???

  • MobileTechWorld

    Re-read the post….