Windows Phone 7 user experience wish list 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010 2:30 PM

Following up on the previous post, which was more developer centric, this one is more consumer centric. The smartphone these days is a very data hungry device. Most smartphone users subscribe to an unlimited data plan. It beats me as to why unlimited SMS is not included in an unlimited data plan (is SMS not data?). But the truth of the matter is that most smartphone users use their phones in more interesting ways than just a person to person phone call. Here is my wish list of what I would expect my future Windows Phone (I’m not saying 7) to do:

  • Video Call – Now this would be possible only if the phone has a front facing camera like the iPhone 4. Skype would be a great alternative. The phone would certainly benefit from the existing user base of Skype. I love my Blackberry on Verizon for this one great feature that I can use Skype (although just for voice as of now).  iPhone 4 does have FaceTime an equivalent service for video calls, but Skype does not yet support video calls on iPhone.
     
  • Stream Media from Home – Granted that devices today have a lot of flash memory, but it isn’t big enough to hold all of the media that people collect on their home computers. Zune streams music from its huge repository, but I’m not sure if it does allow streaming from the media library at home. And then your media is not just music, you do have photos and home video.
     
  • HD Video Camera – Talking about home video, a 5MP camera is mandated by Microsoft, but an HD video capture would certainly add value. If not the front camera, but the rear camera should allow HD video capture in H.264 MP4 format. Since this is a phone, probably with unlimited data plan, it should be possible to upload the video to sites such as YouTube & Facebook (particularly if FaceBook is already integrated with Windows Live).
     
  • Video Hub – Now that we are talking about video, like Pictures, would it not be great to have a video hub (here goes a million dollar idea for an app). Not only would you have access to videos stored on the device, but at home and in the cloud. If this were Sling loaded so much the better. And while at that, why not throw in Netflix streaming, so that I can catch up with that TV show on the commute home, making way for some quality time with the family when at home.

Notice that my thrust is on video, and why not? If YouTube is a contestant in the search engine war, that in itself speaks volumes about the future of videos. If the device has been designed to be a portable gaming console like the PSP and the Nintendo DS., it certainly must have the capabilities of rendering video. With the speeds of the data networks ever increasing, it seems to be about the time, to raise the bar a little further.

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