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10 things we want in Windows Phone 7.5

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Windows Phone 7 officially landed last week and, on the whole, we were very impressed ­– it’s got a nice UI, decent hardware and is very easy and intuitive to use out of the box. Nevertheless, we did have some reservations about Microsoft’s latest mobile OS.

Here’s 10 things we want included in next iteration of Windows Phone 7:

Multiple Startscreens
One of the things we absolutely love about Windows Phone 7 is the way it looks and the general feel of its UI. The Tiles were a stroke of genius and when combined with that trademark font and panoramic menu it really does stand apart from the crowd.

That said it isn’t perfect. Sure it looks good and is great to use, but after prolonged usage both your Startscreen and Apps/Menu display begin to get very, very long, which means lots and lots and lots of scrolling – and we mean lots.

Hopefully, though, this will be alleviated in Windows Phone 7.5. After all, it’s not a big ask – all we want is the option to have multiple Startscreens like you get on Android and iPhone.

We’re not just suggesting Microsoft make Windows Phone 7 more like Android or iPhone –– far from it. Instead, we’re saying just give us the option to add more Startscreens, because scrolling down for what seems like an eternity is a bit of a pain. It’s not a big ask.

Full Multitasking
Full on, Android-style multitasking would be an obvious choice when deciding what would make Windows Phone 7 better. Unfortunately, we really can’t see this happening – Microsoft is essentially a closed book in this respect, just like Apple.

Nevertheless, multitasking for third-party apps would be a start, so you can listen to music from a third party application and play Rocket Riot, for instance – even the iPhone can do this now, albeit in a limited manner.

We reckon Microsoft will step this aspect up in the next Windows Phone 7 OS, but the chances of it being full-on Symbian or Android-style multitasking are slim-to-none.

Copy and Paste
The fact that Microsoft has made untold billions out of Word Processing software and somehow managed to miss out including copy and paste functionality within Windows Phone 7 is practically laughable.

Windows Phone 7.5 needs to have copy and paste, it’s such a useful feature to have on a device, either for when you’re sending emails or simply browsing the web.

Come on Microsoft, this one should have been obvious!

HTML5 support
All Windows Phone 7 devices use a mobile version of Internet Explorer that’s based largely on the desktop versions of Internet Explorer 7 and 8 – IE9 supports HTML5.

Microsoft has said it has no intention of including HTML5 in Windows Phone 7, which is a shame, because at present there’s no Flash support either and this makes watching internet-based videos on the device a very frustrating process indeed!

Nevertheless, Microsoft has confirmed that it is working with Adobe and Flash Player 10.1 will be included in later versions of Windows Phone 7. Lets just hope it’s the next one!

Speed Optimisations
Overall UI speed and fluidity on Windows Phone 7 is superb and this is largely thanks to Microsoft’s decision to go with minimum hardware requirements such as 1GHz processors.

Nevertheless, we had a lot of issues running third party apps. They were slow, sluggish and sometimes very laggy, which is unusual because the overall touchscreen sensitivity of all the Windows Phone 7 devices we tested was up there with the iPhone 4.

No Orientation Lock
This one is a bit pointless, being merely aesthetic, but we think it is worth mentioning all the same: we want landscape orientation support for the Startscreen – hopefully, Startscreens, in Windows Phone 7.5.

The first batches of devices support it practically everywhere else, so why not just include it on the Startscreen? This issue is especially pressing for devices that feature a slide-out Qwerty keyboard.

Drag-and-Drop support
Zune is beautifully integrated in Windows Phone 7 and now you can even sync with iTunes and iPhoto on both PCs and a Macs, which is very much a good thing.

Nevertheless, we’d like the option to simply be able to drag-and-drop content onto the device without having to go through some kind of corporate music store – be it iTunes or Zune.

Better Social Network support
The People Hub on Windows Phone 7, like Zune player, is beautifully integrated. However, like Zune player it is also very limited with regards to what you actually get in there – Facebook, Google Mail and Windows Live.

What about Twitter, Myspace and Bebo? Well, they’re not included. It’s like Microsoft decided everybody uses Facebook and went with that when it’s not actually the case, especially since more-and-more people are beginning to move towards the simplicity of Twitter. 

Tethering
Being able to plug your mobile phone into your laptop to use its internet connection, known as Tethering, is great – especially when travelling on trains that like to charge you for using their Wi-Fi.

Both Android and iOS4 have this ability built into them and it’s extremely popular with users. Microsoft needs to do the same with Windows Phone 7.5.

 

Unified Inbox
Having a unified inbox isn’t a luxury, it’s something BlackBerry, iPhone and Android users all have the ability to do. In case you don’t know what a unified inbox is, it can be described as follows: having the ability to view all your emails from all your email accounts in one place – it just makes life a lot easier.

This needs to be on the next iteration of Windows Phone 7.

These are the first 10 things that came to our mind about what we’d like to see in Windows Phone 7.5. What are yours? Tell us in the comments section below.

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