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It’s hard to believe Windows Phone 7 landed in the hands of our first customers a mere nine months ago. Since then, we’ve been listening carefully to your suggestions to determine how to make the phone even easier, more efficient, and more fun.
Today I want to provide an insider look at some of the navigation improvements in our next release—including ones related to multitasking. As program manager for these features in Mango, it was my team’s job to help you move more easily around the phone, preferably without thinking much about how you got there.
Reviewing the basics
Before jumping right into what’s new, I want to rewind for a minute and recap our navigation philosophy.
There are two hardware buttons on every Windows Phone for getting around: Start and Back. Pressing Start takes you to the Start screen, populated by Live Tiles that can be pinned, removed, and reordered to suit your tastes. Start is both a launch pad for favorite apps and your personal space. It’s a big part of what makes your Windows Phone unique.
Flicking left takes you to the App list, where all your apps are ordered alphabetically. The App list is consistent and predictable. You can reliably find an app (even when it’s infrequently used) by name.
Finally, there’s the Back button, which pretty much does what it says: takes you back to the place you came from or left off.
That’s it. The model is pretty simple. But, as always, there’s room to make it better.
Finding apps faster
I have about 50 apps on my phone right now—roughly five screens worth. While the App list is predictably alphabetical, it can become quite long over time. Sure, I know where to scroll to find an app. But excessive scrolling is sub-optimal (engineering speak for “it’s a pain”). We’ve also heard this from those of you with large app collections. In Mango, we looked at a number of ways to make this experience better.
Tapping a header in the People Hub today opens the quick jump menu (left), which can whisk you to a specific section of your contacts list. In Mango (right), we’re adding the same feature and a search option to the App list.
One possibility we explored was ordering apps by how recently or frequently they’re used. While useful, this solution can prove disorienting and confusing, since app order is constantly changing. An App list organized by frequency would probably also look similar to your Start screen, where most people pin the apps that they care about most.
We also wanted the App list to feel consistent with other lists on the phone, like contacts. In the People Hub we use search and a quick jump menu to help you find contacts quickly. Ultimately, we decided that approach was the best solution for the App list, too.
Although there is one slight difference. When implementing the quick jump option, we wanted to balance function with aesthetics. If you don’t own many apps, the feature doesn’t make much sense, since the alphabet headers artificially lengthen the App list, creating gaps that make it feel sparse and unappealing. Hence, you’ll only see the headers when you have installed at least 45 apps.
While quick jump is helpful, I have to admit that sometimes it’s easier to just type an app’s name. So we also added a search option. If you’ve used it in People, it works like you probably expect, filtering the list of apps as you type. If you don’t find the app you were searching for, we provide a convenient link to get it from Marketplace by tapping Search Marketplace.
Have you ever wanted to quickly continue or finish something that you left off earlier? I run into this quite often. I’m in the middle of an intense Fruit Ninja game when a text message notification pops up at the top of my screen. It’s an I Can Has Cheezburger link. I must tap it! When I do, it takes me to the website, where I find a pic that’s so awesome that I must share it with my Facebook friends.
After all that, I really want to get back to whacking fruit. My instinct is to press the Back button. But if I don’t see what I want after a couple of tries, I usually press Start and navigate from there. What I really need is a way to hyper jump back to a specific point in time.
Sound cool? Say hello to the task switcher.
We believe the best way for someone to navigate between tasks is literally by showing them where they left off. Whether it’s a half-composed email, a game in progress, or the last photo you saw, you can return to it easily in Mango by pressing and holding the Back button.
In Mango, pressing and holding the Back button on your phone calls up the task switcher, which makes it easy to quickly pick up where you left off.
When you do, you’ll see a set of “cards” that represent the last 5 things you did or apps you used, arranged in the order you used them. (My team’s nickname for this feature is “visual back”.) These cards remind you what you were doing so you can pick right back up again. This is efficient multitasking.
Flick left or right and tap on a card to resume right from where you left off. The task switcher is designed to be fast and predictable (although it does require app developers to do some work on their end). Don’t get me wrong. I still use the Back button for its original purpose: to navigate within an app and or get back to the previous thing I was doing. But “visual back” helps you resume tasks that are a little farther away.
One design problem we pondered at length was how many cards to show. We wanted the experience to be intuitive and require minimal effort. Five seemed like a good balance. Having only a small number of cards ensures that the task switcher is predictable. Unlike other smartphones, this design also helps save you from having to babysit your apps, tracking which ones are running and manually closing them to conserve battery power. The phone does that work instead.
Of course, I know some people will probably wish there were more cards. As always, we’ll continue to monitor your reaction and reevaluate our design for future releases if needed.
We think getting around on a Windows Phone with Mango has never been easier and more fun. Working on these features has been tremendously rewarding for me. I hope that you’re as excited about what’s coming as I am.
Rachel Jiang, Program Manager, Windows Phone Engineering
The jump list implementation is still very flawed. It would be better to have a single button on the left that opens the jump list then to clutter my app list with alpabet icons that all do the same action (open the jump list)... I have just a few apps under each letter and the list is already ordered alphabetically so there is no need to list each letter... just let me open the jump list using the same manor the search is opened...
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One design problem we pondered at length was how many cards to show. We wanted the experience to be intuitive and require minimal effort. Five seemed like a good balance. Having only a small number of cards ensures that the task switcher is predictable. Unlike other smartphones, this design also helps save you from having to babysit your apps, tracking which ones are running and manually closing them to conserve battery power. The phone does that work instead.
Of course, I know some people will probably wish there were more cards. As always, we’ll continue to monitor your reaction and reevaluate our design for future releases if needed.
And this is the whole problem with WP7, you're making all the decisions instead of letting the user make the decisions on what works best for him.
Why can't I change to another keyboard?
Why can't I let a third party app modify my contacts list if I choose?
Why can't I hook my phone up to my handsfree car kit?
Why are you always stopping me for customising my phone?
Unfortunately, my IT dept won't let me have a decent phone (Android). I was hoping Mango would move the game to at least where Android and iOS already are, but it looks as if it's nowhere near.
I'm not impressed with flashing tiles and pretty pictures. I'd rather have a phone that really is 'smart'.
it should be good to have the possibility to group applications, based on my personal category (not default cat.)
something is not true with this kind of navigation...
is kind of.... very unconfortable... it seems like i'm using a 12 years old navigator.. in addition... it requires an internet connection...
i think that this approach to navigation is not right
Here's something that I would like to see in future releases: The ability to run all Windows Live Calendars (birthday calendar in particular) from the phone. This is a major function of calendar use. Also, if this were possible I would also love to see each calendar displayed in different colours. I know this is currently possible but only if I run a completely different calendar (Google for example). Even if we can't get that, at least can we try to get birthdays 'pulled' from contacts (within the People hub) and enter them into the calendar. The iPhone can do it, so i'm quite positive that the Windows team can do it. Don't get me wrong, I love my Windows 7 phone and am looking forward to see what Mango will produce (I am sure there's more to come in addition to what's been discussed above).
I look forward to seeing some sort of response by way of a reply to this blog or by any other means possible. Maybe you could send me a text? My number is 07???......... Ha ha, yeah, right as if i'm going to be doing that!
just 2 things. 1). instead of long-pressing back button to switch betwn apps, an on screen button would be better.. "..." button on the right, and "app switcher" on the left..long-press doesnt really make you feel "flowing" if you know what i mean. 2). unobstrusive incoming call notification. just like you said but for incoming call, when you're in the middle of something ie.brwsing, txting, notes, etc etc, a notification on top of the screen showing who's calling would be great..just tap on it to answer/decline/quick reply, otherwise leave it to voicemail especially from someone u dont know. this is the feature i've been dying to have on any phone. i mean you're bound to do things at any given time on a smartphone, and especially when you're emailing or texting you dont want to lose your train of thought....
@Kenny Rawlins, fair enough. Perhaps that isn't the best approach to the issue but something needs to be done to get WP7 into the conversation & grab some mindshare. Right now, it is being largely ignored - kind of like the Zune HW.
regarding the celebrity issue for advertisement,i completely disagree with you,this is no longer the time were everyone runs into what he sees celebrities using or what he sees in movies and so on,look at how many stars show up their blackberries in public or how many times blackberries appear in movies,but still their marketshare is crap.
Michael recently posted a post/ video of a NBA star using his windows phone,i think you should´ve read the comments there
@bill94in98 Totally agree with your assessment of the sales person situation and the advertising situation. Microsoft needs more and better advertising for WP7. Apple and Google have the mindshare in this market. Microsoft needs to take a page from Google here and come up a bold and ubiquitous marketing campaign to grab some mindshare. Once that starts happening, the sales person problem will rectify itself IMO. Oh yeah, another thing Microsoft could do is sway/pay/sponsor some high profile individuals (hip celebrity types) to switch to WP7 and encourage them to use/talk up their phone in public.
Could you please please please place an application's "action/confirm" button to the right, and the"cancel / back" button to the left? Having the "cancel / back" button on the lower right of the app clashes with the hardware "back" button which is at the lower left of any Windows Phone 7 phone. It's needlessly confusing.
Or do you touch the lower left hand corner of a page to turn it?
Omigosh, @racevthme, seriously? You mean they STILL haven't fixed this? Not being able to hear the audio track of a video over BT or plugged-in headset is just ridiculous.
Hey Hey ! Please note this bug... Even this dev Mango build drops A2DP on playing a video [ #bluetoothHeadset]
BTW,Just something off topic.
I think Microsoft should send a message to all government ministries all over announcing the stop of support for XP in 998 days,so they start updating to 7,it drives me nuts when I turn on my office computer everyday and it starts on XP and is kinda sluggish where as it has high end hardware specs,it just annoys me to the point I have carry my laptop to work everyday to enjoy 7,and today I asked the IT department if they where aware of the end of support for XP in about 3years and they had no idea about what I was talking about
@bill94in98 and @scubadog2011,
I have the sane attitude when it comes to proposing a solution or policy as you guys do,but you have to understand its just a minority of Humans who act like us,the majority usually want people to act and be of the same opinion as them,caring less about others need (thats the sad part of the human mind).reason why i go back to the fact since many salespeople are power users who like dumb customizations and modifying all on the phone( I wonder why they just don´t create their own OS),they want people(potential customers) to go with the same phones as they do( Android mostly),caring the least about actuallly what the customers want from a phone.
I was actually offered a job at "The Source" by the store manager after Demoing my HD7 to a middle age couple in one of their locations in Calgary while i was shopping for a Laptop.the scenario was similar to that of @bill94in98,and guess what ?they bought 2 Focus on the spot since the HD7 was too big for their hands :)
I have to ask you the same question as scubadog2011,are you sure you really know how windows phone works?coz i personally dind the number of hardware buttons on Windows the perfect count and it just intergrates with all apps perfectly and also just rocks the look of the phone,I do phone calls and read emails at the same time open IE at the same time and even the people hub.Actually this makes me think and even wonder why people need multitasking.i that will just ne waisting of resourxes IMO and more to that juste waste your battery,i don´t even need a task switcher
@Troy, yes, that's part of my point. What would be the use of any other part of the app staying active? I'm saying that the way WP7 is going to handle all this is just about as perfect a blend of functionality and resource management (including battery) as one could expect from a smartphone. I just saw a Top 10 Android Apps feature on TWiT's The Social Hour. And, not surprisingly, one of the apps was this "wonderful background task manager" that had, among many features, the ability to automatically kill apps at specific time increments. I was, like, "Wait, what?" Is Android that stupid an OS that you have to install a third-party app to kill running apps over time? What a flippin' disaster of an OS. WP7 handles it properly. I absolutely refuse to be a slave to managing my device's resources.
@dumaal, are you sure you realy understand how WP7 works? I can be on a phone call and do all manner of things at the same time....no hardware buttons required. I can be in the middle of a call, jump to the People Hub to look upsomeone's name and text it to the same person I'm talking to on the phone. I'd say that's pretty cool....all without hardware buttons. I can put them on speaker and open up other apps to, say, calculate the cost of something. I can be on a phone call and then add other people in conference....all without hardware buttons.
Actually, @bill94in98, it sounds like you had the same critique we had regarding salespeople. Anyway, I was watching the latest TWiT podcast and they briefly discussed WP7 and the consensus was that it was awesome but, initially, under-featured, but an absolutely perfect phone for those getting a smartphone for the first time. I think your example demonstrates this beautifully. If salespeople were complelled do approach customers the way you did, I think a more balanced presentation would result. As a computer and network technician I handled things similarly when customers would ask my recommendations on what system to buy. My first question is always, "What do you want to do with it?" In the case of smartphones, what should transpire is showing one of each platform---not pushing a specific device if you have more than one, but rather one of each platform. If the user finds that an Android device gets them where they want quicker and easier, THEN you present them with whatever Android options there are so they can fine-tune their selection. Inititally, it should be about the platform. I tend to agree that WP7 would usually impress first if the customer had a chance to play with it. And, as a power user, I find I no longer have an appetite for manipulating every single aspect of my device. I'm more attracted to a device that is so smartly designed, so finely programmed that it removes any need to dig into it, that it seems to read my mind and anticipate what I want. In other words, the outward simplicity belies the amazingly complex design underneath. This is why I think WP7 is the future and Android is legacy. Microsoft's problem was they kicked it out before everything that NEEDED to be there was ready, or they convinced themselves that people wouldn't need certain things. This is why the catchup with NoDo and Mango (though I believe Mango leapfrogs the competition).
@KennyRawlins -- I read Scuba's and your comments and agree most days with you. However, I have to disagree with the critique of salespeople.
I was in a local AT&T store a watched a mother of three come in and asked for an iPhone 3G as her 9 year old daughter was going "We getting an iPhone! We're getting and iPhone!",. Salesperson says, I have none in stock and pushes a Droid phone. Mother asks "Is it easy?" Salesperson pulls out a working Droid demo and proceeds to make the mother's eyes gloss over. I speak up a say did you look at a "Windows Phone". Response once again "Is it easy?" I proceed to use a Samsung Focus no-working display to walk her through how to make a phone call, post to facebook, and send a text. Her reponse... "That's easy... and it's the same price as the iPhone 3G?!?"
To the average phone customer coming from a basic phone to smart phones, WP story should be an easy sell. People are choosing iPhones and Droids based on status and hearsay not their superior functionality. They do not chose a phone because they have compared a list of X number of funcitons that iPhone has versus WP or vice versa. It is all about easy of use. My wife is a great example she bought a Droid X 2 months before I bought HTC Surround because everyone said she needed a smartphone and she was on Verizon. She is now telling her friends to buy a Windows Phone because it is looks so easy.
You put a Focus, Droid X, and iPhone in front of the average soccer mom and demonstrate how to perform the simple tasks of making a phone call, posting to facebook, messaging, and email, I can guaranteed Focus would win 7 out of 10 times. And that opinion of mine is why I blame salespeople for WP7 slow rise.
PS... MSFT is also to blame because the ad campaign has been dreadful.... I swear take the mom from Modern Family and make a WP7 funny commerical with her and the two daugthers, crush iPhone, and be done with this petty argument.
WP7 is a beautiful smart device, but in my experience a terrible phone. The lack of any hardware keys during phone calls makes any dumb phone preferable for phone calls, no offence. Is there any chance for any of the hardware buttons to get a different function while phone app is running? Thank, you.
the navigation letters in the app list are not that usefull...it would be better you give the users the choice to see them or not
As an alternative, just show the actual letter at the top like it is and show no other letters.
At the moment you are wasting this much space on the screen -> scrolling scrolling scrolling
And please, make the search button usable in the apps (or applist) and dont use it as an second "home" button for the bing search. Nobody needs a second homebutton
@DBman2012 Hold your finger down in a text box and it will show a mouse cursor. Drag the cursor to where you want it to be.
@ScubaDog - Regarding the 'why do you have to kill apps'...there needs to be more apps that actually suspend state exactly where they left off for the tombstoning to be appreciated by the consumer and all those power user salespeople that aren't giving credit to WP7 where it is deserved. There was another post that explained tombstoning here, and there probably needs to be a big push on that for marketing -with- specific apps that actually take advantage of it.
That said, I have a power user nephew who I couldn't talk into the "cute" WP7 for the life of me. His whole thing was how he could customize it, and he actually loved multitasking. I asked him why that was so important and apparently he was under the impression it was necessary to have an app running in the background giving him directions to where he was going, recieving text and email in real time, and listening to music. Now that sounds a little crazy, but he is reflective of a teen or 20 something crowd that loves their gadgets...and influences others that are like, "hey wow...you can DO that? That's cool." He had 3 other friends I talked to that said the same things. Different apps, but they wanted that capability if they were going to spend good money on a smartphone.That said, he agreed he would probably flip over to WP7 after Mango comes out...if he can get a horizontal hardware keyboard from T-mobile. Kinda specific? Sounds like a theme in everyone I've asked. Preference on carrier, hardware choice, and picture quality.
Another informal poll, 50 something cousin has a "Star Wars" themed Android. Says he bought it solely for all of the value added stuff that was put on there associated to Star Wars. Then he proceeded to ask me what my WP7 could do that his couldn't. I tried to show him several things and it mainly came down to Xbox live...to which he said it wasn't enough for him to run down to the store and beat their door down. Fortunately, I did find the Star Wars soundboard on the marketplace which did have him stop for a moment and go..."hmmm...ok so you aren't missing this. But, can you make your ringer HAL 2001?" I just had to come back with, "I hear in Mango...that I will be.". What is it that I'm trying to point out? Influencers and capability to do something the others can't. My wife feels really strongly about custom ringers. Especially funny ones. Fortunately, Mango is going to have that. I hope they go crazy with packages on marketplace for it too. I actually think that WP7 has a leg up on iphone for simplicity and capability with Mango, but I'm not sure there are enough data points out there to really sway those influencers the way WP7 needs it to be. Where am I going with that? While MS may be in the middle of the Mango Beta...they need to not hold out or cut features for it. They need to make it that extra something special to win over the power users and salespeople. How about Skype and camera's on the front of the phone? How about tethering? How about grouping tiles by TYPE if that is what folks want? [just hold down a tile and have sort options available to re-group them]. I for one have been going nuts with so many tiles on my homescreen that I would love to SORT them. That way my favorite people tiles are all clustered without me having to put them 1 by 1 next to each other.
Anyway, I'll keep selling WP7 to my friends and family...just keep giving me more features and customizability to work with than Android and iphone. I don't want either of those other phones because I like the simplicity in WP7, but I do desire some of the capabilities that aren't there yet [re-iterating...I don't have Mango, so don't know if some of these things are already there].
1 more suggestion....an easy way to slide the cursor point around while writing an email. I always have the copy/paste highlight block going around, which is great for that. But precision removal of a previous period and/or creating a new paragraph block can sometimes be a little challenging with just the touch keyboard. :) Maybe that is already improved with Mango. But otherwise think that the software keyboard is superior to my previous hardware keyboard!
@scubadog The audio app will only use the background agent for audio and will tombstone the rest of the app.
@r_keith_hill, I'm going to hit you with the same question that NOBODY has come up with a valid answer to: WHY do you need to be able to kill an app in the switcher? You can't show me a single valid reason. I could name you a few easily in Windows Mobile and on Android, the most significant of which is that THEY DON'T MANAGE THE RESOURCES. Please, demonstrate one actual need for killing an app. You couldn't kill them when WP7 came out, and we were none the worse for it. You don't gain any performance enhancements, so what's the point? Seriously. Some people just seem to be all OCD over killing apps for no reason.
By the way, for all you folks who are playing with the Mango Beta 2.....you remember you're working with a BETA, right? Microsoft said that quite a few of the bits in Mango would NOT be working or available in this beta. It's not worth getting worked up over unless Microsoft said specifically that a certain feature was going to be working in the beta. Just relax and enjoy the Mango goodness while the rest of us slugs sit here and envy you.
I don't know, @@SDM10012, because maybe that's not a really high demand and useful capability? You're the first person I've every seen anywhere post on that. There are a lot of other features and capabilities that many, many people have clamoured for, so those are obviously getting priority. I guess if you're a lawyer something like that could be useful, but I can't imagine any other reasons to hold on to string after string of conversations. I delete them as quickly as they come in.
@Troy, there will be some apps that can continue actively running (music, for example) that won't really be tombstoned. For example, I use iHeart Radio and Tune In Radio apps. I fully expect that once I have Mango and those apps are modified to utilize the functionality added in Mango I will be able to navigate away from them to, say, the Office Hub and work on some notes while the music is still streaming. So, as you said, the correct use of the multitasking and card capability will be up to the developer. Some apps would obviously need to continue being active.
LOL, @Leigh, are we related? Well said.
@rachel: Don't need more cards in app switcher. 5 is fine. Don't need a close button, since the phone will do it for me, and I'm sure you guys have though that since an app can have only so much memory, you need to plan that all 5 paused apps will take that, so that you know that the O/S will still run smoothly.
The people who want those things, are, as you guys have figured out, in the minority compared to the millions of housewives and kids and husbands who work in the construction field, who have a flipphone now, and and just want a good smartphone. We are "Small" now as Steve B said, but we are growing. Remember, Android took 6 months to sell 1M phones. We did it in less than 3.
Can't wait until we have the Marketplace open to Mango apps, so that the cards will actually be paused, and not tombstoned apps.
Don't make WP7 like WM6 or Android, so that I have to constantly look to see if I have too much open, and then can't even answer a phone call!
I love Mango and love WP7. I'm a power user, but one who has GOTTEN TIRED OF fooling with my phone, and I just want to use it now.
I'm also a developer and will be developing something soon.
Enjoy Windows Phone 7.1!
I am new and has just recently tested WinPhone7. I find WinPhone 7 very responsive and I understand that change and smoothness cannot happen overnight and I look forward to further updates.
If the team is actually open to suggestions, one thing I can find very helpful with a change in the task manager is not to make it feel like you are using your PC. Can there be a way not to go to your task manager? why not just make it into windows where you can wisp from left to right for the applications that you have open and like have a little button ontop or pressing the back button will cancel or kill the application. I think that would be a nice change of how you go about multi-tasking.
next is I wait for the time where we can change from just plain back-ground tile to like that of "photoenhancer", "XBox Live" and "Office". Colorful and more appealling. Small things that I think would really make a big difference.
I seem to have lost my forward function in the browser after the Mango update, will that be put back? Also I though we were going to have advanced TCP/UDP functionality? I am not able to set a static ip address for a wireless network at work.
It amazes me that so many people that talk like power users and WP7 users don't know how WP7 applications work. There is no user "killing" of apps like Android. When you switch away from an app it is suspended until the next time the app is opened (whether from using the back button, reopening the app from the app launcher, or using Mango's task switcher). The suspended state (tombstoning) is entirely dependent upon the developer. Some apps allow you to resume exactly were you left off when you reopen (switch to) the app. Its exactly the same way apps function in NoDo, its just with Mango you can visually see the tombstoned state of the last 5 apps.
So there is no need for a "task killer" because apps are "killed" when you navigate away from them. In Mango apps that are "killed" can still keep running though thru background agents.
You can actually exit apps by using the back button, so if you want your history clean, you can do that. I think this isn't as big of a problem as people think.
However, the fact that having several IE pages open completely wipes everything else is a real problem.
I agree with the folks who pine for a way to close apps via the task switcher. I understand that you want the phone to just manage its resources for the non-tech savy user. That's cool. But for us control freaks, you could provide a press & hold context menu with a "Close application" command on it. That way it isn't in the average user's face.
Another thing I would love to see is the history feature for individual contacts migrated to the new group feature. I would like to see my interaction history with that entire group of folks.
Also, you should consider some sort of Windows Live Essentials like app to allow folks to easily create groups and then allow folks in the group to download that group/contacts to their phone. For instance, when my son is playing baseball I'd like the team info in a group and then when that season is over I'd like to be able to easily delete that group and the contacts associated with it. Ditto that for appointments. It would be cool if my doctor (dentist, barber, etc) could just text (or email or perhaps a visual scan using the camera) me a calendar appointment for my next visit.
I like the idea of 5 cards, saves me on battery life and I rarely multitask on my phone anyway, but an option to add more using a configarable options would be nice.
Every time you come up with something new you also create new mistakes which might be crucial in the long run or even short run,whereas moving from something old to something new reduces the mistakes
As you say,you are prolly a customer of the future(like 10years ahead),but you know the mistake IMO in Capitalism and the western system of governance (which I hate) is that they rejected everything from the past(Communism) which also had a lot of good things and came up with a new system from the ground and see where it is leading the world into.that is the same Microsoft just did.IMO they just have rejected all from WM but instead design WP and implement some of the great functionalities of WM.just as it is the case with the Windows OS.
Staying in this approach to me will make WP pick up only after Windows 8 will gain ground since the lack of capabilities will be ignored by customers and compensated for by the communication and consistency between W8 and WP.which means for now and for us who want more capabilities Microsoft just shows us a big middle finger
At first I use to blame salespeople on being ignorant,but I changes my mind lately,I still blame them though for not presenting all choices to customers.the thing is WP brings something new to the table in its UI and in its way of handling tasks.but whether you agree or not it is still lacking a lot even after mango when it comes to capabilities not talking of features(if its features I think it even has more.500),I mean when a sales person wants to sell something to a customer he should first be able to tell him that all the things he currently do in his life,this product can do,before even going ahead to tell him how better the product can do those things.now back to real life,for a salesperson to market WP he has to tell the customer all the things you like and are currently doing you can still do it on WP and then go ahead and start telling the customer how it will even handle it better with the hub approach.but you'll bear with me that what are the things you can accomplish with an iPhone or Android that you can also do on WP before even talking about how its better on WP.i wouldn't go ahead and start listing all the capabilities lacking in WP,compared to other devices in 2009,not talking about customization of the UI,just productivity.
So you can't blame salespeople for being ignorant you just have to admit that WP is lacking in capabilities and as such the salespeople will push forward more capable devices
<sigh> The background color for the switcher is supposed to be whatever your theme color is. Mine is purple. The demos simply had green as their theme, so that was the BG color for the switcher. Also, the Mango version that's in developers hands right now is a beta...Microsoft has said many times that not all the capabilities and features are active in it yet (e.g., sending video). That stuff is coming. Who knows, you might even see a Beta 3 come out before the final in the fall, where bug fixes and more features are active (I have no specific knowledge of this).
Again, I think it's worthwhile to debate the number of cards in the switcher, but I have yet to see anyone give a credible reason for insisting on a way to terminate apps. If the OS is managing the resources (just as it is now) and does it well, what use---other than having the pretense of "managing" the OS? It's an old habit that OTHER OS's may require, but it really needs to die with WP7. It just serves no real purpose anymore.
@ ScubaDog2011 - Reading your comments is like reading Don Quixote...
Okay, now that we're debating the "average customer" issue, I'd like to point out that there's possibly a difference between "average customer" and "target customer", at least where Microsoft is focusing. Brandon Watson explained in one of the podcasts what that target was. Clearly, a lot of you don't agree with the strategy. Now, rightly, many of you have brought up the point of marketing. It's, frankly, dismal when it comes to WP7, and it's made worse by the fact that we have, largely, ignorant or incompetent carriers out there (at least, it's what I've seen in every one I've visited so far). The ignorant ones---power users or not---simply don't know what WP7 already does bring to the table (which is a lot more than folks give credit for) or what it will be bringing very shortly. The fanboys of the competing platforms share all the shiny parts of their favorite device and conveniently hide the dirty laundry. That's the game, unfortunately. But some of you are insisting that power users, be default, want certain things all the time. That's just no true. I am a power user. And I specifically DON'T want a lot of the things some of you insist MUST be part of WP7 or it is a tragic failure. Believe it or not, there are plenty of power users who can appreciate the quiet power and grace of an OS and UI that does what WP7 does without muddying it up with our own tendency toward going all overboard with silliness (which we do, admit it). WP7 makes a stab--like it or not--at shifting our paradigm in information use and socialization. Will it succeed on those merits? Hard to say at this point. You see, I see movies like Minority Report and others that dramatically alter the way I look at interfacing, and I WANT that. When something like the Metro UI comes along and starts to move me in that direction, I'm excited---the flowery bloat in Android just looks...old, tired, ridiculous, to me. I don't know....maybe I'm an example of the future customer, not the average. All I know is that I want WP7 to catch up to the competition on what most consider common capability, but not go backwards on what many consider common FEATURES (I treat capability and features as different animals). I consider both iOS and Android very much "legacy" systems. But how does one even market that? It's a tough one.
@DBman2012, I think you've described it exactly: an itch that no longer needs to be scratched. It's an old concept, that generated an old habit for the compulsive (which I used to BE one of those). I have to force myself to trust the resource management capability of this new OS --- and that's something I'm willing to do. I can assure you that you can't have that confidence in Android, since it's a resource disaster that BEGS you to micro-manage it. I lived that life with Windows Mobile and I never want to go back to that. So, I think the task switching method in Mango fits the bill just about as well as you can reasonably expect in any OS (easy to access, immediately reminds you where you are in each app and quickly gets you there). Having said that, I think we can fairly debate the issue of how many cards should be there, although I'm inclined to agree with @Rachel Jiang that five is the sweet spot. I just hope the browser tab issue is rethought for future releases---tabs, to me, are no different than pages in a document, so it doesn't make sense to me to eat up multiple cards for multiple tabs. I'd rather just touch the IE card and then play with my tabs there. I currently use Surf Cube for my brower interface and easily move between the tabs, copying/pasting, etc. But, that's me. I suppose others may have valid reasons for a separate card for each tab.
@Sanjay Sharma, what you and others are saying by implication is that you also don't like the way the jumplist works in the People Hub, either. Microsoft is being consistent in their implementation of the jumplist. The only way I see making sense to do something different is to force the top (or bottom) of the screen to stay static and have a single jumplist button that brings up the alphabet. HOWEVER, when it jumps you to the "K's", for example, you'll have no visible marker that you are now in the K section of your applist, other than the fact that the names of the apps suddenly start with K. I don't know that I like that at all. In fact, that's kind of what has bothered me about the current applist, particularly since I do have more than 45 apps there. So, really, this comes down to preference. I suspect the reason for the letter icon being placed amidst the apps (as with the contacts) is so the jumplist mechanism CAN zero in on that spot----it's a pointer in the programming.
Or a even better idea,Why don't you guys provide two of the same OS,one with more choices(usability choices) and the other with fewer choices.both having the same look and feel of the WP OS,the only difference being one has more choices on how to get things done,then see which will get more of the market
What I am trying to say is that Microsoft has one theme for WP which is simplicity,but that will not get the average users out there,since the power users wouldn't recommend it.i think mixing simplicity and choice,while retaining originality is the way to go.
If u keep on ripping off features you'll end up redesigning this OS again
You've made a very strong point regarding the average customers.and totally support your idea.Microsoft counts on carriers to push their WP,but they don't look at how the carriers are going to push their device to match it with the capabilities of the device.what I mean is sales representatives are the way the carriers push a device to the market,and most of these sales reps are power users,so they first need to be satisfied with a product before recommending it to customers (average users),and when Microsoft releases a product which is not meant for power users how do they expect it to get to average users who are being oriented on what to buy by power users,since they don't really care about all the geeky stuff
My apologies for pasting messed up link above. Please use this link to see suggestions (there are two) for a different kind of jump list - skydrive.live.com
It's awesome. Quick jump menu is a fantastic solution in such scenarios, but, I have an issue with quick jump menu icons. What's the point of wasting vertical space (and increasing scrolling size) by inserting quick jump menu icons in the list itself. Aesthetically also I don’t find it ok to have an odd looking same size alphabet icon in any list. It messes up with the continuity. If it is necessary to provide a separation where one alphabet series ends (I personally don’t find it necessary), a thin line separator goes well with the design. So how can you open quick jump menu. Every icon essentially opens the quick jump menu, my idea, have a single icon to open the quick jump menu, frozen at the top or on the side below search. Have a look at it here -
<iframe title ="Preview" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" frameborder="0" style="width:320px;height:320px;padding:0;background-color:#fcfcfc;" src="skydrive.live.com/.../QuickJumpMenu.JPG
...and don't get me wrong about the previous post. I'm not saying an X is needed in the Task switcher which I haven't even used. That post was more of a philosophical response to folks that were going on and on about it on both sides. Everybody just needs to realize and believe they don't need to scratch something that doesn't itch anymore. And, that can be a difficult habit to break for power users....who influence...the average people...who weren't even told [by the influencer] they are getting something simpler and easier to use...and that is what they really do want. :) It may seem obvious that people should want something easier and simpler to use....but by that measure they should all already have a WP7.
will someone please explain to me why I cannot archive my text messages ????? Either via backup to PC via Zune or to a web resource .... Like with myPhone for WP6 ???????
I have a few ideas for you...
For future updates, I think you could use the extra space above and below "visual back" for extra features. For example, there could be a screenshot button on the top of the switcher that allows you to take a screenshot of the card you currently are focused on.
More utility usage could include "sub-tasks" in the space below a given card (if applicable). For example, your Internet Explorer task card could show tabs below it. Angry Birds could have your most recent levels. Zune could show your most recent played songs, etc. It could be another way you could allow developers to make the most out of task switching.
In fact, it is somewhat similar to the way the Windows 7 taskbar previews handle similar issues.
So after reading all of these comments, I have to say I agree that the 'why' comes up about the task switching. I'll leave that topic at that because I see both sides of it.
However, one thing got me running over to my PC to login and comment was the explanation of 'average' user. One thing that MS is missing in that belief of what the "average consumer" is. Who influences people that don't know anything technical? More tech savvy people do. Including reviewers and sales people at the carrier's stores. The hostile environment for WP7 at carrier stores almost amounts to a conspiracy...particularly in light of how good WP7 actually is! That said, I've been doing an informal poll over and over again this past year...and every single person I talk to has a common set of answers about why they chose an iphone or Android. "Because it was available and the sales person told me it was the best.", "Because I can do whatever I want with it including customize the heck out of the ring tones.", "Because I can make it operate unique to me.", "Because I'm a texter and the WP7 hardware options weren't there...and no I don't like the SW keyboard no matter how much you do", "My teenage son/daughter said it was the phone to get for the most capability.", "I hear Apple is the best.", "Frankly, I couldn't find it at the store even though you told me it was there, and then the sales person told me it wasn't the best anyway."[seperate conversation on how my influence was stomped over...but it related to percieved popularity because they read about it in several articles in the press]
At best, those responses mean MS advertising is going to have to seriously motivate the average person into overcoming those influentials. Or, MS is going to have to win over the technically savvy reviewers and sales people. Have you guys been -reading- the reviewers? It is a TOUGH crowd out there that doesn't want to cut MS a break even when MS is technically executing extremely well with a better phone OS.
I would bet that the average smartphone user is more technically savvy. They [the reviewers and/or tech savvy] may zero in on the inability to kill an app in the task switcher...so it would be a good idea to pre-emptively get out there with some good marketing which people hear in the "average" forum. But it may be interesting to remember that the original WP7 ad campaign talked about how you would spend less time on it...and the reviewers blasted that they LIKED spending a lot of time on their phone. Otherwise, why have the gadget that does more than phone calls, texting, and checking Facebook? So, whatever the ad campaign...MS needs to resonate with -everybody-....not just the average consumer who listens to the more technical influentials. Win over the power users, reviewers, and sales people...and the rest will follow. Anyway, I confess I don't have access to Mango...so maybe it is already a long way there. The theme I'm pointing at here is to remember who the influencers of the final purchase are.
The fact that WP7 isn't already the number 2 phone out there is because of those influencers finding a few relatively unimportant nits to rip apart with wild abandon; not the average consumer saying they weren't interested because it was more complex than the other guy. Not that it is, but that is the point. Choice is important for the broadest possible appeal.
Great job, Rachel and team. I'm beyond ecstatic about these Mango updates and, in general with all the momentum Windows Phone is garnering lately. It's a thrill comparing the slue of recently released marquee apps, NY TImes, USA Today, MTV News, France24, EPI, Groupon, etc, to name a few, with friends who have iOS or Android -- they're envious.
I would have to agree with comments about grouping of apps. The unending scroll is tiresome and unnecessary. Also, Skydrive access (including Zune downloads) is an absolute must if we want to stay competitive.
I also agree with other comments about carrier promotions. It does seem that whatever store you visit, especially Verizon and Sprint, the phones aren't displayed and, in all cases (including at&t) the sales associates aren't knowledgeable enough about functionality, etc, and do go out of their way to steer patrons to Android and iOS phones. Lastly, as we all know, you're lacking massively in compelling promotions, seriously. You need a team that gets the smartphone market and key demographics to have a chance at making inroads with the finicky buying public. Efforts so far have been very poor . To end on a positive note though. keep up the good work with the updates..
I agree with Windoze9t8 , we should at the very least be able to video to a message, non smartphones have that capability.
Also again regarding the task switcher. People have been complaining about the back ground color. You should just make the back ground of the task switcher color the color of whatever accent color the user has chosen.
(Off Topic) I still think you guys should add much more accent colors, but also i think a color mixer could be used along with the accent colors for darker or lighter accent colors or a completely different color all together. Also even create, save and name your own colors. The 10 accent colors we have now are just nice but it's a little few for me.
A way to close an app while in task switcher mode will make the consumer feel that they are fully in control of their WP7 device. The multi tasking that mango brings to the platform is a highly anticipated feature and it only feels right that it should offer not only the ability to switch apps; but to be able to quickly close and app that is no longer in use, it can also help minimize battery consumption at the users discretion. I am very impressed with my WP7 device and know that it has all the potential necessary to be the smartphone powerhouse of the future; but with that being said the attention to the small details can make or break the success of the OS. Things as simple as not having the option to close an app tab while multi tasking could be the difference in a consumer picking up a WP7 Mango or buying back into iOS or AndroidOS. If MS can get the WP7 platform into a consumers hand I'm confident they won't want to put it down but only by giving the consumers the small detailed conveniences will they get the crossover from what users know to the next generation of Smartphone that is the WP7 OS.
About the task switching. You should just add the ability in the settings to choose up to how many apps one will be able to switch from. The default will be 5 and the numbers to choose from will be from 5-10 or more but not alot. That way everyone can be happy so you won't have to go back appeal to the majority, you can appeal to everyone. You'll have to just add another thing to settings.
Also i agree with some others about being able to close some apps in the task switcher.
i'm a sort of business user and WP7 is no good to me if I cannot send attacments other than pictures...what on earth is going on with that... I have a dev version of Mango at present and it is still the same...which is a real shame.
The integration of the Facebook chat and MSN its good idea, but, in the practice, send a message its too complicated, for example this scenario, if your contacts of hotmail, facebook and sim card dont stand Full organized for you, search conatcts for send message its a trouble and if your contacts have old information in their profiles, clean this data is too hard. How to fix this trouble? Thanks in advance. Sorry for my broken english.
Hi. I have to agree with most of the previous comments:
- we definitively need a close button in the multi-tasking switcher,
- we need access to more than the last 5 apps;
- the bg color for multi-tasking won't be green, will it? =)
Still waiting for comments on improvements made on contact search.
I agree with ScubaDo that Windows needs to be its own OS. If I was so insecure that I needed to buy an i-phone or android, I would have. I never owned a crackberry and would never own one. I realise that the money resides with the masses and the masses are still looking for the any key and that is the only reason why i-OS had a chance. I use my phone as a palm-sized computer and not so much as a phone. I will not ever use social media and I wish I could delete it from my phone. Can we get a file browser so I can find the presentations I need to give. Can we get driver support for a bluetooth keyboard? Can we get an option to access the phone as a USB drive? I love the Skydrive, but I would love being able to hot swap SD cards, but would be more than happy with just being able to swap them out by shutting down the phone and restarting. I like the newest fixes and cannot wait for Mango.
CAN WE HAVE A WINDOWS PHONE APP FOR THIS BLOG,WHICH WILL ALLOW US POST COMMENTS,BROWSE THE POST FROM OUR WINDOWS PHONES??
@Rachel Jiang I must agree with most comments regarding the absense of a closing functionality in the task switcher. I also agree with you in the sense that the average user won't need that level of customization.
But, can a little "X" cause harm to the average user? I doubt it. If the average users don't need it, they wont use it and and will forget about it as long as it don't get in their way.
BTW, great work. Mango looks fantastic, and the beta run almost flawlessly in my device.
@Ashok Hoysal,I just had the same idea.
@Rachel,i think it will be a great idea even in the people hub to take a way the letter header for each group of contacts that start with the same header,and just have one button at the top of the list that opens the quick jump menu.its true for me i will never have to deal with those headers in my applist,since i usually don't like installing more than 5 third party apps on my phone ,but even in the contact list and zune music list i find those headers ugly and useless,hope you fix ASAP after mango,since the ingeneering is done in mango
I think it would be really cool if my phone could copy and paste like my iPhone.
@Scubadog2011 Let me clarify.
I am a big fan of the quick jump menu . Infact if you read my previous comments carefully I have requested this to be made mandatory in the app list. However I dont exactly like the 26 alphabet headers . I know that this would make the UI consistent with the People hub, but thats no reason why you need to have the same approach for everything else.
If you look at it, all the 26 alphabet headers in the app list take you to the same quick jump menu. Why do we need 26 extra icons in the app list which do the same thing? Why cant we have a single icon that does the same??
This would also mean that I can access the quick jump menu irrespective of the app count. As of now, if I have 44 apps I still have to bear the pain of scrolling through the huge list.
@franwick, again I must insist on asking: WHY? Why do you need to kill tasks? Especially now that you know that not all running tasks even show up in the switcher? To insist on it is just a waste of effort for no value other than "peace of mind".
Wait, what? @Kenny Rawlins, you say individual TABS are treated as a card? Okay, now that's just plain silly. Would someone with Mango please try the Surf Cube app or Metro Web Browser and tell me if tabs in either of those show up as separate cards? I'm betting they don't, but I'd like to know for sure.
@Rachel Jiang, as you can see the thoughts on the task list is very decisive in favor of allow a task to be killed from this screen. I know you put a lot of though into it, but that doesn't make it right. Consider the camera settings in pre-Mango. Microsoft also put a lot of thought into having the defaults re-loaded every time. Thankfully you listened and this was changed in Mango and our camera preferences are now saved. Why not listen to users now before it's too late? Really, the current implementation is UGLY and HOKEY. It just seems to natural to "close" a task. WebOS really got this one right. COPY THEM!!
Thanks again all. We really do appreciate the feedback.
With regards to timeline, we've pretty much wrapped up our engineering efforts for Mango. However, as we work on future releases, we'll definitely keep your feedback in mind.
Many of your are concerned about how IE tabs are integrated into the task switcher. To be honest, this integration needs more work. In Mango, we allow you to switch between tabs using the task switcher. This is the first step. In the future, we need closer integration of tabs into this experience.
We also want to provide greaterr customization for our customers ranging from more colours to perhaps being able to organize apps. I can't make any promises, but can only say that these areas that you've hit on are things that the team wants to evaluate.
To clarify, what is displayed in the task switcher - we show you the last tasks that you were doing. It does not show everything that is "running." Background music may be playing from Last.fm, but it does mean that there is spot reserved for Last.fm in the task switcher. Hope this helps.
one thing you guys should understand is that there are some great ideas which can be easily implemented in the WP,the greatest challenge is to maintain the consistency of the metro UI and the hub approach.if you want a phone were everything in the phone looks diferent then Android i guess is the way to go
most of us on this blog and other WP blog/forum,might constitute a good userbase of WP but not the targeted audience.Microsoft targets the average user,but from what i see on this blog and others,about 99.5% of the comments come from advanced users
For all those asking for customization of the UI,i think y´all still don´t get the idea of WP,which i summerize by simplicity and elegance,though i agree on the fact that WP lacks a lot in functionalities i thing what microsoft got right the most on WP is the UI,AND TO ME ITS JUST PERFECT,true that i will like too see more themme colors,like gray :)
@Scubadog2011,Looks like you´ve got lots of time,for having to go through every single person´s comment.well while i agree with you on mosy of the issues you mentioned in your replies also d´isagree with some,among which the idea of 5 cards its is not a pain in the ass,its true task switching i guess is a tough job to make it incorporate the metro UI,but given the fact IE tabs count as cards,then 5 cards is no way sufficient.I personally don´t even need the task switcher and the multitasking thing,so it doesn´t mean anything to me
@Tommywannabe, yes, and then they risk losing the rest of us as customers. I would argue that most of the people who post in these forums do not represent the largest portion of the actual customers, nor the target customer. In other words, we are a subset of their customer base. If their research showed that most of their target audience wants certain features and doesn't want others, then I think it's reasonable to consider that. You keep insisting on the task-closing option---which Microsoft may yet add in a future release, who knows---but I have yet to see any good reason from someone WHY. What I typically hear is they go back to the tired Windows Mobile philosphy, which sucked badly and was a nightmare because WM did a horrible job ITSELF of managing resources. I'm a geek. I'm fully versed with getting into the weeds with OSs and devices. I not unwashed when it comes to using homebrew on my device (though I'm hoping this becomes less of a need with future versions of the OS). But I don't want to have to get into the weeds. I want an OS that is super-clean all by itself, that manages things all by itself with very little interference by me. Truly, a glance & go experience. I'm a root cause kind of guy. In the case of task closing, I can't escape asking why it's needed.
are you working to improve battery life in mango update ?
@Teufel Hunden, so you're saying any native app you run takes up one of the cards? Thanks for clearing that up. Now that you mention the scenario I can see why it would make sense. What about the Zune player? In fact, I'd like to have someone test something: run five native apps, with Zune player being the first, and then throw in a third-party game or some other third-party app....does Zune disappear from the switcher list? If not, is it still running? I'm just wondering how it manages those resources.
@Lachliggity, I've been using the homebrew apps that handle WiFi, Bluetooth and Airplane mode separately. I have them pinned to the Start page, so while I like your idea, I'd rather the API be available to allow a Marketplace app to do what I'm doing with homebrew apps now. I'm never more than a click away from various radio control.
@Ashok Hoysal, the choice of 5 app cards was already explained by @Rachel Jiang. As for IE, that's not the same thing. You can have as many tabs as the app allows (and there are other brower front-ends--Surf Cube or Metro, for example). Limiting running apps to five cards isn't going to affect your tabs--no more than it does now (which I often have six or more tabs up). Also, Microsoft isn't "taking away" an option, because it never existed in WP7 in the first place. Folks need to stop playing the "well, in Windows Mobile we could......." This is a new animal. This isn't Windows Moble 7. Again, what did you do with background apps pre-Mango? Nothing. Now we have a way to reasonable navigate background apps, while allowing the OS to handle the management of resources. I don't think you trust the OS to do it's job, either because it sucked so badly in Windows Mobile or it sucks so badly in iOS and Android. It's worked surprisingly well up to NoDo that I'm willing to give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt with Mango, too. If it turns out to start degrading performance, then I'll rethink my position. But why not wait and see?
@arrow22, can you explain more what you mean by the task switcher interface being unappealing? From what I've seen it looks really nice. It keeps with the pivot idea (moving between the app cards) and shows you a picture of the last state the app was in (which I think is PERFECT, and hints somewhat at how the desktop does when you move across the apps on the taskbar). Also, read @Rachel Jang's follow up in this thread regarding the thoughts beind the task switcher. To be honest, what were you doing regarding background apps prior to Mango? You probably never gave it a thought---because all of that was hidden. Now, suddenly, the curtain has been pulled back and you have the ability to actually navigate between the last five active apps (the rest, according to Rachel, are put to sleep as with NoDo). Here's the thing: WP7 was designed from the ground up to manage resources MUCH better than iOS or Android ever dreamed of. So, either you trust the OS to do a good job of it or you don't. Insisting on manually "cleaning up" the device is a throwback to the old Windows Mobile way of life (which I lived since PocketPC and hated). If it turns out that the OS no longer manages things better, then I'd agree that giving us back that management capability would be important (and dramatically reduce WP7 as a desireable platform compared to the memory disaster that is Android).
@Ashok Hoysal, as I mentioned in another post, the alphabet jumplist showing up at 45 apps or more is so that it's consistent with the People Hub. So, it sounds like you would prefer they get rid of that with the People Hub, too (this would be necessary if they are to keep the platform consistent). If you're okay with it being in the People Hub, then could it be that 45 apps is still too few a number to make the jumplist usable? I'm just askin'.
@mdoan300, two things. First, you know there is a plethura of timer/stop watch apps in the Marketplace, right? I think having a native one would be a bit of a waste, particularly since some of the third-party ones are pretty cool. Second, can you explain more about the issues you're seeing with the voice-to-text and voice search? I know the Mango beta isn't quite ready for prime time, so there are probably capabilities that are not fully implemented, but what is it you're running into with it? I'll be wanting to use these features a LOT when Mango get released to the public, so I'm curious to know what weaknesses there may be.
@Sogeman, you apparently disagree with Microsoft's target market. And that's fine, of course. But if Microsoft has decided that their most profitable market is X and you're a Y, then it may be that WP7 isn't for you---yet. I can list a whole lot of examples where I'm clearly not the target audience, but yet the producer is quite successful because they cater to the audience that IS their target. I don't subscribe to HBO, Showtime or the rest because their target audience isn't someone with a modicum of traditional values. But they are very successful with their target audience. Lexus, Audi, Subaru and many others clearly do not have me in mind as a target audience (there's no way in the world I'd buy their products) but they are successful with the market they target. In the case of WP7, they aren't taking choice away. You have a choice: WP7, iOS, Android or others. It all comes down to utility. Of the three platforms, which one MOST meets utility for you? It's that simple. If you desire customization more than certain functionality, then WP7 currently won't meet your utilization needs as well as Android. If integration and near seamless movement from one app's functions to another is higher on your priority list than creating pretty little groupings with fancy backgrounds, then WP7 probably better meets your needs. It's whatever fits the best utility. Speaking for myself, the beauty and utility of WP7 is so far advanced over iOS and Android's old meme, there's no way I'd pick the other platforms. The customization that Mango will provide satisfies any serious need I might harbor. Outside of that, it would be waste and detract from what I really like about Metro as a UI. So, which most closely fits your needs? Answer that question, and you have the platform you should go with for now.
@Rachel Jiang, thank you so much for following up. I hadn't read your second post yet, but it confirmed what I suspected was Microsoft's intent, and I completely agree with it. Background management was tedious and painful in Windows Mobile. One thing you might confirm or deny, if you can--along with the five cards, are certain native apps that may also be running in background "hidden" from the switcher, or do they show up as well?
@WinPhonePhan, you're talking about grouping, not a hub. I still think most people do not completely understand the hub concept. In fact, I think not even Microsoft fully realized their own meme when it came to the hubs, though it looks like Mango goes a long way toward that. I don't see the sense, within the context of how WP7 works, of having sub-groups. I hated that in Windows Mobile, having to drill down into nested groups to find apps. It's also why I can't stand Android in particular.
@Ashok Hoysal, you have to understand that they did it that way to be consistent across the platform. Your People Hub is exactly the same way. I like it, and, in fact, many of us asked specifically for this feature to be added to the applist. I'd MUCH rather have that than a sea of icons.
@Parrotlover77, I not only disagree with you, I militantly disagree with you. I absolutely, without qualification do NOT want WP7 to emulate, in any shape or fashion, Android or iOS. If you want that, then PLEASE, please, please just switch to Android, since that's apparently what you like better. Customization in the way that you mean, as far as I'm concerned, completely takes away from some of primary things I love about WP7. I HATE Android. I HATE iOS. Part of that reason is because I got to a point where I HATED what Windows Mobile had become.
As for your contention on the five-app limit in the switcher, I suspect the reason for the limit is because Microsoft has a pretty good idea what memory and performance limitations are reached, on average, by x number of apps "keeping time". As I mentioned before, I don't think that native apps are shown in the switcher, meaning they may take up resources but are managed internally--I could be wrong, of course. If I'm right, then that means you have the five apps PLUS any native apps floating in background. Again, I hated Windows Mobile because I was ALWAYS bouncing apps around since my resources usage would eventually drop usability down to zero. In keeping with Microsoft's target of "glance & go", I don't want to have to manage the device.
On the "sea of icons", again, I couldn't disagree with you more. It is NOT fast or intuitive. Because everyone can create an utter mess with their Android phones, you can't expect to hand someone your phone and have them simply do something with it. In contrast, I have yet to hand my Focus to someone and find them having any difficulty getting to something on it.
Finally, as for your Windows 8 reference, what you saw was the fact that Windows 8 has a "touch-first" philosophy, which differs from the smartphone, which is a "touch ONLY" concept. Also, the demos you see emphasize a considerable degree of backward compatibility. I think you can totally expect that as the other software that the Windows desktop uses matures, they will also look more like the Metro-esque UI. In other words, the next big version of Office may look very much like that rather than what it looks like now.
Ultimately, what you're talking about is insisting that WP7 be a two-interface system. I'll drop the platform in a second if your wish ever comes to fruition.
@Tommy - that's why there are choices out there - Android, iOS, WebOS, Blackberry etcetc
57 comments on a blog is not enough research to say "Oh man MS is so wrong on this and these people are right"
I am guessing they had regular people come in and tell MS what they wanted, what they liked and what they didn't like
She feels the way they implemented is best but should there be a greater need for change it will be addressed and changed at a later time
Can't wait to mango to come out! :)
skimming the comments, why do people need to close stuff in the task switcher? I'm confused...
Rachel - with all due respect you're talking like a manager, which just never works.
Please don't patronise us. Don't say "we’ve been listening carefully to your suggestions to determine how to make the phone even easier, more efficient, and more fun" then turn around and tell us what people will think in regards to app closure.
You have 57 comments as of yet in this blog post. 95% of those comments specifically state that they want to be able to close apps and processes they aren't using. The other 5% just haven't mentioned it. Almost every single person in this thread owns a windows phone and is making your job completely simple. This is a complete no-brainer, and the decision to ignore an almost 100% agreement amongst your consumers would be catastrophically stupid.
I hope you can take a step back and realise that amongst 57 people unanimously telling you exactly what they want, you're then telling them they don't actually want it at all.
You also need to make the homescreen/tiles more customisable. Same again. Don't have 74 group meetings about it, don't consult a market research team to construct a case study - just go onto every single WP7 review/discussion out there and identify the plain fact that the vast vast majority of the community wants a MUCH greater degree of customisation.
I know this doesn't relate to this story exactly, but any word on having a dedicated back button in IE, so when you accidentally hit the start button and go back to you IE you can actually go back a page? has it already been announced?
@Lachliggity Why don't you just pin to start your settings app?
@ScubaDog2011 Microsoft apps also show up in the task switcher. For example, if you are using the mail client to compose an email, you can tap the window button and enter another app and copy text. Then use the task switcher to go back the the email you were composing and paste the copied text.
I do not know why you do not put menu in Grid mode !
One thing I have to beg for is to please put the settings app as a seperate icon underneath the arrow in the apps sections.. It is very frusterating for people that try to save battery by turning WiFi on and off multiple times thoughout the day to scroll to the bottom of the apps section
@king: I agree that the average user does not care about memory and CPU usage and its good that the phone automatically closes old tasks. But why completely take away the option?? The average user would still not worry about open tasks (phone takes care of it for them), and the rest of us, would have the choice of closing tasks. This way both groups get what they want.
I also have a problem with limiting the number of open tasks to 5. I generally have 2-3 IE pages open on my phone and this would essentially mean I can only open a max of 2 more apps..
1. Add the option to close tasks within the "quick card" view
2. Increase the number of quick cards.
Btw I just love the way we can quickly switch between multiple IE pages using the task switcher. I hardly use the tabs option in IE anymore..
I hope when Mango updates comes out, they release short video of upgrades just like those on Youtube. I won't able to so many new features, even though I am keeping the track of updates :)