What's missing or should be fixed in Windows Phone Mango

As you all know Mango is packed full of new features and improvements that will surely make many people happy but after more that two weeks with the Beta 2 there are still a few things that I think are missing from what has become a really great mobile OS. Most of what everybody’s been complaining about has now been changed, added or fixed so what I’m going to list below will probably go unnoticed by the average Joe but I do hope that Microsoft adds or fix some of them later (I’m not expecting much changes between the Beta and RTM version). Hit the break to see the list:

1)The new Internet Explorer 9 UI is a step backwards in useability. Creating new Tabs, going to the favorites is now a real pain. Using the task-switcher is a solution to quickly jump from one tab to another but only in limited scenarios.

2) The ability to close/terminate the task-switching “cards” would be great.

3) Bring back the time counter in the mini-playback controls. God knows why this was taken out cause It’s now really annoying to fast-forward/rewind a song without having any progress indication.

4) I want to be able to delete more than one picture or video at a time. Once again this is something relatively simple and straight forward that should have been implemented in Mango (it’s available on all other platforms, even WM6.X).

5) It would also be great to be able to rotate a dn crop picture directly on the device Especially when the phone’s G-sensor messes up and save a photo in the wrong orientation.

6) A feature that’s been available in phone since the last century: search for contacts by dialing the phone number.

7) Last be not least: Proper USB Tethering support. Sure it can already be done via the phone’s diagnostic tools but official support is really need. It’s up to the carrier to enable it on the device but what about unbranded phones?

8 ) Toast Notifications history: Toast notifications come and go… There’s no way to know if you received one if you didn’t have your phone in hand because it will disappear after 5 secs. A history will be really useful. thanks to WixosTrix in the comments below for reminding me about this issue.

That is all and as you can see this isn’t a very long list. Mango is a real joy to use even in its current Beta form so what’s listed above shouldn’t be seen as deal breakers at all, just annoying little things that I hope to see implemented sooner rather than later. Anything else you would like see (other than the better Bing Maps Navigation which is currently useless because of the required screen taps to get the software to speak…) ?

  • Anonymous

    ” should be seen as deal breakers at all”  … I am hoping that there is a “not” missing?

  • http://www.mobiletechworld.com MobileTechWorld

    Ah, sorry typo on my part! Thanks for the heads up :)

  • http://twitter.com/gibbyhome Mark Gibbs

    I would have liked to see built in DLNA Support..

  • MC G

    I haven’t heard anyone mention being able to connect to the desktop yet.  Can you turn on the ability for the title bar to be displayed full time?  I hate that the time disappears.

  • http://www.mobiletechworld.com MobileTechWorld

    Ah true. But it seems like this will still be an OEM thing (like on Android where it’s up to the OEMs to ad this to their phones). So I really hope that HTC LG isn’t going to be the only one with this feature on WP7.

  • http://www.mobiletechworld.com MobileTechWorld

    Connect to the Desktop without passing by Zune? We probably won’t see that ever happen I think. The title bar thing is up to developers unfortunately (they decide whether to show it or not).

  • Anonymous

    with mango when you bring the multitask ui it shows the time. I know sometimes is handy, but i prefer to have a clean UI, than always havin the time bar on top all the time.

  • Anonymous

    Mango is really worth of its name :D
    1)I personally think the new IE9 UI makes sense,
    yes theres some drawbacks for those who always have more than one tab going.
    But its clean and beautiful, it’s a joy to use, maybe they will make it work
    like the IE10 on Windows 8, when you tap on the address bar you get the tabs on
    the top.
    One thing they could do is while in landscape maybe
    add two button to the address bar for favourites and tabs, as theres enough
    space.

    2)Yes I think I would like that too. Sometimes you
    end up with useless cards (ie. Setting and wifi page)

    3)I really never noticed that until now :P

    4)Definitely. Something really necessary.

    5)never had that problem.

    6)yep, bring it on.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ian-Cavalcanti/100002178260420 Ian Cavalcanti

    It also miss a data counter (especiallly for me now that i am in Norway and Vodafone allows me 150 mb in Roaming)

  • Martin

    They should add more features to groups. For example post or share things to groups which is only visibl to them. Same for photos….would be cool if you can post something only to close friends.

  • Maximilian

    So dam right about it!
    1. That is really annoying. There should be an extra Button for Tabs and favorits
    2.not that big deal but wh, Not.
    3. Yeah that is just stupid… I never know where i am.
    4. A key Feature missing. This should be fixed asap!
    5. Oh yeah. I hate it when my phone screwes up in the orientation.
    6. Never used it… And wont use it.
    7. The Most important Point on that List!

    8. In marketplace to sort the apps with “Most downloaded” and “top Rating”

  • Henrik Juhlin

    I would love to see Skype added the same way as Messanger and FB is added in Mango.

  • Anonymous

    Can’t wait til they slap that “Grown in Redmond” sticker on Mango and get it out the door!!

  • Anonymous

    Can’t wait til they slap that “Grown in Redmond” sticker on Mango and get it out the door!!

  • http://netnate.net Matthieu Nate

    I was disappointed by Facebook chat. I excepted it to include messages from Facebook as well and thus really make a Facebook app useless with the OS.

  • http://www.twitter.com/wixostrix WixosTrix

    The way task switching and the back button works.  It’s unpredictable for when it’s going to takes steps back within the app (especially in IE) or if it’s going to back into the previous app.

    Software search buttons are all over the place.  Why can’t they just give third-party developers access to the hardware search button and make good on your contextual search idea.  It should go to Bing it you long press it.

    Expand the Facebook “Like” functionality.  We should be able to natively like comments on updates/pics and not just the update/pic.  Press and hold to “like” and view “likes”.  Also, when you click on the content you go to a different commenting view, which doesn’t let you like, than when you click on the comments counter for that item, if it is ever there.  That’s annoying and inconsistent.

    Would be nice to see some toggle options in the task switcher: Wi-fi, brightness, bluetooth, volume/playback controls (it’s hard for my mother to access the volume rocker on the LG Quantum with only one working hand)

    DLNA with remote control of Zune player.  The Zune software already has a service that sits waiting for a device connection for syncing.  That same thing can be used to starting a stream from the device. 

    Add push notification to the new notification area.  If you miss the toast notification, then you will never know you go it unless the app has a live tile and you pin it or go into it.

  • http://www.mobiletechworld.com MobileTechWorld

    I agree with most of what you are saying (especially the back button being woncky when getting back into IE). Regarding the software search buttons: Yup this is one of the changes in Mango -> the Search Button = only to access Bing and nothing else. Given that MS won’t even use it in the OS’s native apps anymore I’m not surprised that third-party devs don’t (and probably won’t for a while) have access to it.

    I’m really surprised that Microsoft didn’t include native Zune remote support in Mango. I’ve suggested this in my WP7 review IIRC cause it’s really one of the things that shouldn’t be that hard to implement given the WiFi Sync functionally of the Zune software (like you correctly noted there’s already a connection service constantly running in the background).

    Ah totally forgot about the Toast notification stuff. Will ad it to my post! Thanks!

  • Yohann POUGEOL

    MS have to implement gesture into IE and other apps …..

  • http://www.mobiletechworld.com MobileTechWorld

    Yup, for example on HTC’s Android device zooming out of a webpage (pinching the page when it’s zoomed-out) will give you access to the tabs menu. Really really handy and could be a great way to improve the new IE9 Mobile UX.

  • Anonymous

    Why do you only want USB tethering? Every competing OS offers WiFi tethering and this is the only thing I miss coming from webOS.
    Even my old Nokia could do it :(

  • http://www.mobiletechworld.com MobileTechWorld

    Ah I’m trying not to ask for too much stuff that’s why ;-) . Having proper USB tethering would be a good first step :)

  • Anonymous

    Sure, but it doesn’t help those people that want to use their tablet or iPod Touch on the go…

    Hopefully they include it at least for the open market Windows Phones…

  • http://www.mobiletechworld.com MobileTechWorld

    Agreed, but  I really think that all the stuff we are noting/complaining about here unfortunately won’t be included until after Mango (hope to be proven wrong by MS though).

  • Anonymous

    We’ll see :)

  • BucksterMcgee

    1) I completely agree. At the very least, just add a button for tabs next to the address bar, but really there is a lot more they can do.

    I think adding the address bar to landscape mode full time is a terrible idea. I loved using landscape to get the full use of the screen. Now I have a full time bar wasting that space and for what? I rarely actually type something into the address bar, and I like hell don’t need to be staring at it all the time. The simplist solution would be to add an option to turn it on and off, but again, I think they can do better.

    If you look at how Windows 8 takes care of those bars by swiping from the edge, then you know exactly how they should do it on Windows Phone. The same goes for potrait mode. You should never have to have the address bar showing. It is simply a waste to have it up all the time. A swipe from the top should pull down the menu bar as well as a tab bar like Windows 8 does, that way you don’t even have to go to another window to switch tabs. Having the two separate bars on top and bottom would also help to possibly give room for a favorites button. The two things I do most in my web browser are, 1) open favorites, 2) move between tabs. The current Mango version makes the two most common things painful to do.

    Yes the back button task switcher is one method, but it shouldn’t be the only.

    2) Actually you can close task switching cards, but it’s a little strange. The way to do it is to hit the back button out of an app. If you hit it enough, instead of going back to the home screen it will take you back to the last previously opened app in the card stack. While this ‘works’ I barely would call it elegant. I akin it to like walking backwards until what’s in front of you looks familiar…. not exactly the most comforting ways to move.

    I would assume they designed it this way to make it seem more “natural” in the old before-mango way of just backing out of an app, and it’s fine to think if you back out of an app you should be “done” with it, and thus can close it and release the memory, but to actively use this method is a bit cumbersome and would be fixed simply by adding an “X” in the corner like IE tabs, or being able to hold down on them like start menu tiles to close or something. I think the idea is they don’t want people to “have” to think about it, so it should just automatically close the ones you don’t end up using, and you shouldn’t have to think about it, but it reality I end up jumping into an app just to back out of it and clear it when I want to make sure an important app isn’t lost from memory.

    3) I didn’t even notice it was gone. (Do’h, now that I re-read it, I see it was mini controls, i was thinking player controls, ok yeah then I definitely agree… silly me) I will say I would like a time counter on the drop down audio controls, and if anything only on the lock screen. It’s not so bad for music as i would say podcasts are far more frustrating, trying to use the drop down audio controls to figure out how far I “jumped” forward. Did I jump 10 seconds? a minute? Half the podcast? It’s really impossible to know since the only way to know how far you’ve moved in a podcast is to already have listened to the podcast and have it memorized…. which defeats the purpose.

    4) Yeah deleting multiple things at once annoys me too. There are plenty of ways they could do it too. Invoke the wiggling tiles from the start screen, where you can lift up multiple items and perfrom mass actions on those selected items, or possible using the mass check method that is used in the mail programs. That reminds me, wasn’t there a way to mass select all mail items before? I did a search on my mail and wanted to select the entire search list to delete it, but I had to click each one at a time, and I swear there was a way to select them all before, but I could get it to work. Maybe it’s a bug or something. Weird.

    5) Rotating pictures and cropping are simple and should be there. I still have at least one picture that for some reason thinks it was taken portrait when it wasn’t… and know way to fix it. Silly… fix it.

    6) Not sure what you mean by search with phone number…. like on the dial pad to auto complete? Or in the people list when doing a search. Auto complete would be nice, but probably would just be easier to just use the history to call back, which works well. And as for searching from the people list, ya I guess they could add it, but thinking of people as numbers is a long lost method…. hell I barely know my own number, instead we should be thinking of the person, and the OS finds the number(s), email, address, etc for you. Still seems trivial that they could add it.

    7) USB tethering is the same issue, it will come down to the carrier. The carriers are in control of this, and if you get it or not it will be because of them. Maybe when Windows Phone becomes a hit, Microsoft could have some leverage on this, but for now it’s mostly out of their hands. As some noted, what I would far rather want is wifi hotspot. Even if my focus is only 3G, that small connection spread around is better than no connection at all. Of course I don’t want to be forced to pay a ton more for a data plan I barely use anyway, it should just remain at the limit I have… 2GB, if I go over then charge me more, but don’t charge me 20 bucks extra just so I can connect my laptop once in a awhile on the road.
    8) Ya toast history is another one that’s odd. Not only because once it’s gone…it’s gone, but most toasts don’t even show the whole message. I think if you tap and swipe the toast to right, it should disapear, but if you tap and pull down it should expand. Some sort of notification on the lock screen would be nice as well. While I wouldn’t want all my txts to be piling up on the lock screen for anyone to see, at least a single hub or screen to show  history of the toasts would be nice. Obviously I would want it to be elegant, simple, and fast, which makes it hard to perfect, but something would be better than nothing.

    9) More with the lock screen. I don’t want the lock screen to become cluttered, but I think adding a few simple things could make it even more glance and go.

    -A simple weather icon with current temp and/or highs and lows, could quickly let me know what the temp is going to be and to know if it’s going to rain or not. This is a quick thing like first getting up in the morning, or being stuck in a building and wanting to know at a quick glance if you need to grab your unbrella. Obviously have it follow you with your location. This icon (and others) can be in the top right area, where the asian characters are shown, and can stack up and down as well.

    -Mini rotating message marquee message area. Just above, or rotating with the calendar event on the lock screen. This should be accessible by 3rd parties to a point. May be as simple as a rotating list of the previous toasts that have yet to be scene.  Clicking on them, or anything should allow you to jump straight to that message, app, appointment, etc. Obviously there woudl be some concern to privacy, so options to turn off, or only allow certain apps access would be nice. (oh, and they can use the nice text flip animation that the audio player uses to cycle through songs.) :D

    -Other useful and simple lock screen messages or icons. I had a bigger list but I can’t recall them at the moment… sigh.

    10) Full landscape support. I’m not sure why they don’t have this, if it is because it doesn’t work right, or doesn’t look right, but I believe there is a way to make it work… I mean look at windows 8. I’ve seen some early WP7 prototype images, where they have a landscape start menu, as well as 3 tiles per row, so obviously they have played with the idea, and chose not to use it. The first issue for the home screen is the tiles rotatinging. Seems simple enough, but the double wides make it confusing. You could move every 4 block (2 block for double wides) but there would still be configurations that would break it.  Maybe have the tiles just rotate, and have the double wide areas rotate large blocks, but again that would break up some configurations, which is probably why they don’t use it. Oh well… maybe not.

    11) Bing maps… this is a tough one, because Microsoft cannot contractually do this at the moment. The tapping is annoying, but their current deal with their map providers specifically prohibit them from automatically reading out turn navigation, hence the tapping required. What they did so far works for that restriction… but doesn’t change the fact that it is heavily annoying. Maybe the deal with Nokia (owner of navteq) can help this. I would also like landscape support on this as well, where I can set up my phone as a gps nav for trips.

    12) Someone mentioned the search button. This is a similiar issue to full landscape, where you get yourself into issue where there isn’t an easy answer. For the search button it comes down to… is there something to search for in an app or not? If there is, then great, search button to the rescue. Tap once to use in app, long press for bing. The problems comes when there is nothing to search for in an app… what then? Does a press do nothing, as there is nothing to search for? Or does it take you to bing? This unkown is the problem. If it does nothing, how do you know if you pressed it right, or if the system is slowing, or the app is just badly written? If pressingly repeatedly does nothing, then it would be quickly frustrating. If you instead defaulted to bing, then you have an issue where you don’t know what will happen when you press that button, which is the case before mango. It “could” take you to bing, or it “could” search in the app, if that 3rd party set it up correctly. This inconsistency is the problem, and making it always just go to bing is the best answer.

    I think maybe reversing it and having a long press search to app would be nice though. Also, full system search would be nice as well, even it it’s just tied into searching bing. Why search through a bunch of apps when I could just search in one spot and have the OS tie everything in.

    There’s plenty more, and if I have time I’ll come back to it.

  • http://www.mobiletechworld.com MobileTechWorld

    Wooo… now that what I call a giant comment. Agree with most of your thoughts there Buckster.
    Mango is a huge step forward compared the initial release but oddly enough Microsoft decided to either strip things off (the timeline in the mini-playback mode and redesigned UI in IE) or not implement things that relatively common everywhere else and shouldn’t be hard to add to the OS at all. The good thing is that behind the crappy marketing and lousy PR there are folks who have been listening to our early user complaints and have been working their ass off to fix/add stuff as soon as possible. As with all project there may have been priorities and most of what we are talking about here probably didn’t make the cut for this release and is being worked on right now (but I do wonder why they included the relatively useless picture auto-fix feature instead or rotate & crop..). Let’s just hope that we won’t have to wait until WP8 though.

  • http://twitter.com/mywpnet myWindowsPhone.net

    Nice article about the lacking features. Just after the Mix11 event I too wrote a detailed article which covers a very few basic lacking features. Kindly have a read and feel free to add it to your list. These features are again very basic and importantly very essential: http://goo.gl/kN6fF

  • Jamil

    9) Function that would allow to turn of auto rotate sensor so you can be comfortable in your bed
    10) Internet explorer 9 in landscape mode should let you see the address bar so you dont have to switch back to potrait mode to type and address!! annoying!
    10) Changed Camera settings should save!
    11) Camera Self timer!
    12) You should be able to forward/ rewind by sliding your finger across the bar instead of holding the forward/rewind button! Cant believe they didn’t think of that

  • Jamil

    Also basic feautures like Stopwatch, To-do list and converter!

  • Anonymous

    Not sure if you know it but their is a official “Wish List”: http://windowsphone7community.uservoice.com/forums/84435-feature-feedback
    Vote and get noticed :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/nicholas.coulter Nicholas Coulter

    For me the biggest thing missing in Windows Phone Mango is:
    WALLPAPER SUPPORT.  I mean, When am I going to be able to customize an f-ing background on my phone.
    Also, Tethering in general, it sounds like is going to be in Tango/Apollo (which ever comes first), One that I really wanted back when I had my Zune HD, was Wi-Fi tethering.  Also, another great thing that’s missing is support for Blutooth keyboards and custom bt accessories.

  • Gambit

    Support for the Facebook inbox! Without that the Facebook integration is just not complete.

  • MC G

    Via Zune is fine.  I just need to get more than songs and videos on there…. namely my calendar – without having to go through an online party.  Would be nice to get my bookmarks or PDFs or other files on there.  At least get my calendar on there.  Email via the desktop is icing to me. 

  • Anonymous

    1. Access to missed notifications
    2. New podcast alerts
    3. Improve HTML5 standards support – only scores 141 out of 450 on html5test dot com 

  • Ccmd_232

    I might be repeating myself over and over but I really would like to see:
    1- Better Bluetooth Profile: to send/recieve files/contacts
    2- A better management of the MMS Settings
    3- As you said, multi-deletion of items at once, and by items I don’t mean video and images only, but also messeges, contacts, and documents.

    Amen to the reset points you have mentioned.

  • Jatcolomb

    I can understand that Microsoft wants us to use its own Zune software, that’s why bluetooth file transfer is still prohibited.

    But talking about Bluetooth, I have an htc device which hasn’t a keyboard because I anyhow can’t type faster on it compared with an ordinary Laptop keyboard.

    This is why I would like to buy an additional keyboard, the only problem is that Windows Phone 7 doesn’t support HID!
    I wish that the Mango update will include this. I mean, the bluetooth hardware doesn’t need to be changed, you only need a software update for the current bluetooth chip, right?

  • http://www.mobiletechworld.com MobileTechWorld

    Yup BT HID support is only a software restriction now. The hardware is here but Microsoft still hasn’t implemented it. Annoying..I know.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Haikal-Sykes/100001531666758 Haikal Sykes

    IMO..

    1) Yes! Now that the Tabs page is hidden, u have to press an additional button to bring up the tabs page. Maybe microsoft could create the Tabs button just beside the address bar. The favourites/history page could stay hidden cause i dont think people use is much as compared to the Tabs page.

    2) Definitely. It feels awkward to keep pressing the back button to return to the first app you went. Though, MS mentioned that they only store the last 5 apps you’ve used so i guessed, it kindda saves battery life too.

    3) Must! It’s odd and dumb that they removed this feature. We now have to guess how much we have fforward.

    4) Been complaining bout the issue months back. They can do this in the Email, so they could also implement this on the Conversations(Threads) hub. As for music, videos..at the ‘…’ button below, they could create a ‘Delete’ button. It isn’t that hard really.

    5) Cool feature to have but not needed at the moment.

    6) Smart-dialing u mean, if yes, then yes! they should have included this since day 1! Every other OS can do this simple task.

    7) Cool feature but not an urgent need.
    8) Agree on this too. Even though some apps have tile notifications showing that u have a message, email etc., it would be nice if the user could just swipe from the top to reveal notifications. (though Android fanboys might probably troll on us later on)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TQI6ISQ4UKQB7NDRJ44CPS7IQM Chris

    To-do list is in the calendar.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Allen-Goodman/100000423857172 Allen Goodman

    I want to be able to sync the Outlook Calendar and Contacts directly, without going through the cloud.  I would also like to be able to sync Office documents directly, without the cloud.  I really don’t understand taking this away.  I could care less about my music on the phone.  Or my pictures.  Taking Office sync and Outlook Calendar and contacts away has stopped me from buying one of these new phones.  I am still on Windows mobile 6.5.

  • Anonymous

    You forgot one very important tech issue.
    VPN
    where is the VPN support for PPTP? WP7.5 doesn’t have it…and from the looks of things, it most likely won’t!
    And why is this? Is Microsoft angry at it’s enterprise users? Apparently so, why else would they get rid of a key security aspect that *EVERY* smartphone has had for the last 10 years?