Microsoft has offered employees free Windows Phone 7 phones. This means a lot of people around the office are carrying them now. Before that, if there was any one most popular device it was the iPhone. I also had a first-gen iPhone before switching to the new Windows phone. It is a nice gesture for Microsoft to give everyone a phone. It also increases the likelihood that Microsoft people will find and fix flaws in the phone (alliteration anyone?) more quickly. There are a number of bugs being fixed in upcoming updates, so hopefully some of the problems listed below are addressed. I’m not going to list the cut-and-paste because that one is done to death.
- No visual voicemail – I know this is probably in the done-to-death category too, but come on! I feel like I’m stepping backwards by having to remember what numbers have what actions and then having to step through my voicemails in order. My first-gen iPhone fixed that years ago.
- Phone does not silence completely – The iPhone has this nice little switch that lets you turn off the sound. It’s a physical switch so you don’t have to use the touchscreen, which is nice. Also, all apps heed the setting. In WP7, if you set the phone to vibrate, the sounds that are part of the core OS are silenced but none of the apps.
- Not all new emails show on the lock screen – Outlook, GMail, Yahoo Mail, and Hotmail all show icons on the lock screen when a new message comes in. But my custom POP account does not show up. I still get the tone to indicate a new mail, but nothing on the lock screen.
- The pictures live tile – Every now and then the pictures live tile will change pictures. I wonder if it ever occurred to someone that maybe I don’t want a particular picture to show up there? Also, why does it change so infrequently?
- Zune doesn’t know what an audiobook is – It can distinguish a podcast, but I can’t tell it that this mp3 is an audiobook. Which is annoying if you want it to randomly play all on a music library.
- No vCard support – The windows mobile phone I had before my iPhone has vCard support and it annoyed me to lose it with the iPhone because the only way to share contacts with my car’s bluetooth connection is to use vCard. I thought for sure WP7 would have it…
- The awful headphones – I do conference calls a lot and have to choose between either not hearing through the headphones or plugging them in my ears to where it doesn’t let any noise escape and I hear my own voice (breathing, chewing) too loudly. I usually revert to the speaker. The iPhone headphones work better for this. Second-gen iPhone headphones can plug into the WP7, so that helps.
- The “Now” app’s weather reporting – If I want to see the hourly breakdown of weather, I first have to tap into the current day and then switch to the “6days” forecast. That’s unintuitive.
- Updating apps in the marketplace – The marketplace live tile has a number on it to indicate the number of apps that have updates. If you update all your apps and then press the home button, the live tile does not update. Instead of pressing the home button you have to hit the back button to get back to the main marketplace screen before it updates the live tile.
- No stopwatch/timer – While I realize I could buy an app for this, that seems ridiculous. No offense to the people who write these apps and charge for them, but I don’t see the sense in buying something that could be the subject of a tutorial on how to build WP7 apps.
- Live tiles have problems – I tried both WeatherBug and weather.com apps and found the same behavior with the live tile. It’s supposed to update every few hours to tell me the latest weather. Instead, it just gets stuck on some time period and never updates again. This happens with both apps and I’m sure that’s not coincidence. Removing and re-installing the app does nothing.
- My phone renamed itself automatically – You set a name for the phone when you set it up. Then you set up your bluetooth with that device name. Some time later my phone decided it didn’t like that name and changed it to match the model name. I changed it back and it hasn’t done it since. That doesn’t mean it’s not a bug.
- Phone abruptly shuts itself off – Run into this one a couple times already. Not sure what causes it, it just shuts straight off, no “Goodbye” message, just off.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate Windows Phone 7. There are a lot of good things about it that I enjoy. Also, the iPhone is not some bastion of quality either. I lamented each update because while it would fix some bugs and add new features, it would also add new bugs and slow down the phone just that much more. By the time it got to iOS 4, which I couldn’t install, my phone was so slow I couldn’t take it. I was also restarting every couple days either forcibly or because I had run too many apps and one of those apps somehow managed to trigger something that caused the battery to drain much faster than normal. I rejected the Apple paradigm where I have to buy each new device that comes out. “iPhone 3GS – The ‘S’ stands for speed” just doesn’t work for me, and I love performance.
Anyways, hopefully I can revisit this list after each WP7 update and cross more things off than I add.