The Features I Would Like to See Added to Windows Mobile

This month our focus is on Windows Mobile features that we would like to see added to the platform. While it is doubtful that any operating system is perfect, Windows Mobile has been taking it on the chin as of late. One of the main reasons is the recent hype surrounding the iPhone, and its simple, finger-touch enabled, OS. Many Windows Mobile fans are wondering why some of the iPhone’s features have never been included in any of the WM updates. I have never been secretive about my feelings for Windows Mobile. Again, it may not be perfect, but I do love what it can do for me. I feel there are too many limitations with the iPhone as it pertains to business usage, but perhaps Windows Mobile could take a few pages from the Apple playbook. With that said, I wanted to focus on improvements on the Windows Mobile user interface, and upgrades that might improve its standing with the general public, and not just business users.

I couldn’t justify buying an iPhone merely for testing, but I did buy a device with similar features so I could get an idea of its interface. I purchased an iPod Touch which uses a similar UI to the iPhone. The device has the same finger-enabled touch capability as well as the same internet browser. The touch is limited to WiFi connectivity, but testing around the house gave me a peek into the iPhone world. Based on my personal tests, I came up with a short list of improvements I would like to see for the wider acceptance of Windows Mobile. Finger Touch – Let’s start with the big one. Many people have been waiting for an update that lets them use their device without having to resort to stylus use. The stylus may provide more precise “point and click” capability, but it just happens to be the one detachable item on a mobile device, leaving it exposed to the possibility of loss. It also takes a few extra moments to take out and place back in the device. Perhaps it may not seem to be a big deal to some, but clearly the general public would like to see the stylus go the way of the dodo. Multi-Touch Capability – Zooming in with a Windows Mobile device requires users to select a text size from a preset list within the application’s menu. The iPhone feature that many have appreciated is both the double tap zoom, and the multi-touch zoom. Simply put, the user can touch the screen in two different places, then draw the fingers apart to zoom in. Conversely, drawing the fingers together zooms out to allow one to see more of a particular web page. Adding this feature to Internet Explorer and Office Mobile could simplify the zooming process. Some other improvements I would like to see – Better Flash Player capability - I am not as big a YouTube fan as many others, but clearly sites such as this have become very popular. YouTube (and other similar sites) have responded somewhat with mobile versions, but having the ability to access the full version would put a smile on many faces. Advanced Media Player – I know that the primary purpose of Windows Mobile is as a business tool, but wider acceptance requires exploration of features deemed desirable by the public. Media players, MP3 players, PMPs or whatever other names they go by are some of the most popular electronics on the market. I admit that small electronic “toys” are a passion of mine, and I enjoy the ability to be entertained regardless of my location. There are some great third party applications available, such as The Core Pocket Media Player (TCPMP), which I consider a “must have” for any of my WM devices. I have found my device working as a media player on many business trips, and I see this as a realm ripe for improvement still. I recently purchased an Archos 605 media player and I love its user interface. It features icons that clearly represent particular functions. It is straight forward and simple to use, a feature that future WM device media players would do well to add. I could probably add a few more, but these improvements or add-ons are those foremost on my mind. It will be interesting to see what my fellow bloggers and Smartphone and Pocket PC magazine readers come up with on their lists. Either way, I still see a pretty bright future for Windows Mobile in both the business and non-business world.

If executed correctly I do not thing they will have to loose a greal deal. There is nothing to say that a stylus can't also be used. I have an Archos 605 which uses finger touch and also has a stylus available.

The stylus can be handy for detailed work. For example - drawing a map on a Notes page.

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