8 Ways to Fix Windows Phone 8

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When we reviewed Windows Phone 8, we gave it high marks for innovative features such as its customizable Live Tile interface and the way it integrates social networks and connects you to friends and family. Overall, Microsoft has done a very good job with its new mobile OS. Yet after using Windows Phone 8 extensively on a few different phones, in some ways the software feels incomplete compared to competing platforms--and we don't mean the app gap. Here's what Microsoft needs to do to fix its OS.

Reviews Editor Michael Prospero oversees every product reviewed by LAPTOP Magazine. Read his regular column at www.laptopmag.com/labrat, and follow @mikeprospero on Twitter.

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  • dg Says:

    This is awful.

    1. Install an app such as Toggle. Not that difficult
    2. The do appear in non Microsoft apps. A developer can choose to hide these if they want, but saying they don't show up in all no Microsoft apps is incorrect.
    3. Don't know - have Nokia. That's one of the reasons I bought a Nokia.
    4. Why do you need to close them? They don't take up resources when they're not in the foreground and they only run certain tasks in the background every 30 minutes (regardless of whether they're open or not). They also don't stay in memory indefinitely like in iOS, only 8 apps can remain at any one time. So again, why are you closing them?
    5. Ever thought social networks require you to sign in? After all, you are using different apps with different functionality and different developers. The usage agreements won't let MS share logins with third party apps.
    6. Not all apps make sense in Landscape, regardless of size (unless you want a square phone). I'll grant there could be some tweaking, but wholesale landscape support is silly.
    7. Notifications - swipe the notification to the right. Fixed.
    8. So Microsoft should support other competing products such as Google Drive? C'mon, who gives a crap about drive. Where's Google's support for SkyDrive?

  • Frankie Says:

    About google, thats not Microsoft fault. Thats Google's not making their apps for WP8. As for any notification, swipe to the right and it disappears. As for the maps & transit, nokia provides the nokia transport app as a premium for Lumia users. Guess HTC should either: A) pay nokia for that, B) invest some R&D to make apps like that.

    In my opinion, Nokia has been the only one pushing Windows Phone. HTC was too busy fighting a war with Samsung (One X vs Galaxy S3). Nokia has been the only commited to its users investing tons in R&D to bring apps like Nokia Maps, Nokia Transport, Nokia Music. Why would they release such apps for the competition? talking about morning jokes.....

  • Ian Says:

    First off, I'm not a fanboy of any of the companies compared. I am a fan of techology, we have the iPhone4s, an android and a windows phone in the house not to mention iPad3, HP laptop, home server, roku etc. I'm not locked into any single company but I will say that there are entirely too many things about Apple that I absolutely despise. Give me Google or MS any day over Apple. Back to this article, this is the most nit-picking article I have ever read and I read a lot of articles daily. I can poke more holes in iOS and Android than this article did about Windows Phone 8... way more. All in all I like it better than the iPhone4s and the Droid. The biggest drawback is the lack of apps, plain and simple. The writer of this article must be a fanboy of Google or Apple. Had the article been titled "tweaks", I would respect it much more. I do agree with a couple of the "tweaks" pointed out that are needed. I only hope this site did the same for the latest iOS and droid releases.

  • Chris Says:

    1. Uninstall Windows 8
    2. Uninstall Windows 8
    3. Uninstall Windows 8
    4. Uninstall Windows 8
    5. Uninstall Windows 8
    6. Uninstall Windows 8
    7. Uninstall Windows 8
    8. Uninstall Windows 8

  • Mike Prospero Says:

    Thanks @angrywarrior. I would say that these are tweaks more than anything else. I agree with @Samir, the main issue is apps.

  • steve Says:

    How about your next article be "100 ways to fix Android"

  • angrywarrior Says:

    To ppv: Wow! Did you actually read this article before commenting on it, or did you just glance at a few sentences and form your opinions from that. I don't usually comment on other people's comments but you say Microsoft is making these "unforgivable" mistakes and then misquoting what those mistakes are. I have a windows phone and I fully agree with points this article makes about certain things needing to be fixed, but let's be clear about how serious those issues really are, particularly the ones commented on by ppv. Regarding battery life and signal status, the article never said the phones don't give you this information, they just don't display it constantly. It can be a pain in the butt sometimes but other times, like when watching videos or looking at pictures, I don't miss those icons at all. Plus, it takes less than second to pull those icons up by pulling up your lock screen. Definitely not ideal, but it's there. Second, about not being able to shut down apps easily, where did that come from? The article said that apps weren't AS easy to close as on other platforms. So how much harder is it? It takes exactly one extra finger tap. UNFORGIVABLE!! I definitely agree it could be easier, but I don't think most people would consider it a deal breaker. Finally, as for the Google issue, it's stated that WP8 could use some better integration with Google apps, not that it completely ignored Google. I personally don't use those feature much but I know plenty of people who do, and it would be nice to see more useful Google available. It's been my experience with windows phone, so far, that they respond fairly well to feedback and there are plenty of third party developers constantly working to bring better features and ease of use to the platform. No phone or operating system is perfect or without it's problems but, for someone who claims to be pro-MS, you sure are quick to exaggerate some of their problems. Great article!! I really hope it get gets read by the right people at Microsoft, and they take it to heart and make some improvements to the OS. Only time will tell.

  • Samir Shah Says:

    This goes into details which are secondary, the main problem is Apps.

  • ppv Says:

    I have always been pro-MS - but this article goes to show why MS has no hope of winning the phone or tablet OS battle. Half of the things in this articls are UNFORGIVABLE and and could only have come about because of complete incompetnance and contempt from MS. How can they not show battery life or signal status on a phone ? How can you create an OS that doesnt allow you to shut down apps easily ? How can they be so out of touch to not know almost EVERYONE uses google - even crApple, who have complete contempt for their users, understand this. If MS dont fix these things ASAP, then there is no hope for WP8

  • 12345142 Says:

    You can make notifications disappear by swiping them to the right.

  • Italiano Says:

    -"Don’t Make Me Sign Into Social Networks Twice"

    Why would you want to use social apps if everything is integrated into WP? I don't use any apps so I signed in only once. Try it for a couple of weeks without apps. You will find the experience much more cleaner and straightforward.

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