Features Windows Phone should have, does not, and homebrew remedies
Posted on 02-15-12 02:33 pm

Here's just a quick blurb that came to mind in my usual busy work day. You see, Windows Phone Hacker has two disjoint goals:

  1. To enable (or add ease to) bringing freedom, both gratis and libre, to WP7 devices
  2. To enable features the operating system lacks

The second goal is really what I'd like to touch upon. Obviously, Microsoft has its reasons for keeping these devices locked down. We argue on the extent of necessity, and question priorities, but those are reserved for rant posts. The second goal, however, is perfectly in reach, and we do have to wonder why Microsoft hasn't implemented such things, or more importantly, whether or not they will in the future. Here's a brief list of things Windows Phone currently lacks, that homebrew applications have remedied, and should probably be integrated into the OS:


Excuse the self promotion, but when you have tiles upon tiles, things can get pretty disorganized. And while the applications list is now searchable and contains letters if you love hoarding apps, it's still a tad annoying to separate out where you want your application. Of course, opinions on this vary, and some people would find this feature completely useless. Still, many people have requested this, and hey, we know it's within plausible reach because we already made it.

Orientation Lock

One last little promotion. We've seen some rumors hinting that this will come in future WP7 builds, and there's no reason why it shouldn't. We have a little solution that eases some frustration, but it would be nice if this were integrated directly into the operating system, which is more than possible.

File Explorer

Do we think Microsoft should open up the whole OS? Certainly not. But it would be really nice if photos, documents, downloads, attachments, etc., could all be synced between a computer and SkyDrive, and could be easily managed. Even a simple storage place with minimal control would be nice, as I find it a real pain to handle anything on my phone, especially when emailed attachments. Managing this better is technically possible with homebrew, though integration is perhaps a little weak. In fact, I might just add that to my list of project ideas.

Colors, notification sounds, customization

Is it really that hard to just add a little pinwheel to customize colors? Perhaps make ringtone support less annoying, and make ringtones usable on notification sounds, too? This is obviously the least of my worries, but it seems like something WP7 should have, just for the sake of personalization. It's possible with homebrew, anyway.


So there are my 2 cents on what Windows Phone should have. I'm curious, too, to see what other people think, and if anyone has some bright ideas, I might just be able to find something. Share your thoughts in the comments.


#wp7 #homebrew #editorial

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