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Here’s What Nokia Needs to Do to “Nokiafy” Windows Phone and Keep Their Core Users

If you haven’t noticed I haven’t posted anything in the past few days.  I got a Nokia Lumia 710 for review and I have been trying to wrap my head around it.

While I will wait till my trial period is over to pass judgment on it one way or the other I will tell you that it does not “feel like a Nokia”.  Don’t get me wrong it’s got a solid build, it gets great signal, etc… but the Windows Phone OS is pretty much stock Windows Phone. While Nokia hasn’t had a chance to Nokiafy yet I figure I’d get my two cents in hoping they will listen to me and do these things.

Ability to Change the Hubs Landing Pages: If you don’t know what the Hubs are they are the tiles that lead to a four screen spread that is all “one page”.  Normally they are in group of same functions good idea right?

Umm…kind of.  The problem is you can not control where these things land and you end up pinning stuff to your start screen in hopes of avoiding using them. Want an Example?  If you hit the “dialer” tile one would hope you would get the dialer right? WRONG! No you get your call history and have to push another button to get your dialer. If you could change your landing page it could take you right to your dialer but you can’t, so you have to go the MarketPlace and download a dialer app and pin it to your start menu effectively avoiding that hub.

You will do this with most hubs unless they happen to land on your most used spot on the hub. (which is not common)  So once your phone is set up, you really don’t use any of the hubs. (The hubs are the whole point of Windows Phone) You just end up with a HUGE and unruly start screen with too much pinned on it because of this.

Unlocking the Phone: So there are three buttons on the front of the phone so one would think you could hit anyone of them to get to the unlock screen right? WRONG! You have to find the “special button” on the phone that gets the unlock screen up. Why? I have no idea…on a Symbian phone any front facing button will do, on a MeeGo phone you don’t even need a button you can double tap to unlock.  Nokia, why so complicated on a Windows Phone?  We can’t put the double tap to unlock option on the Windows Phones? I know, you know how to do it…I use it everyday on my N9.

While I am on the subject why do I have to swipe up to unlock? Why can’t I swipe any direction like the N9? Lets use some of that Microsoft free reign and make your users life easier.

Buttons, Buttons, Buttons:  What’s with the three buttons on the front here? The back button takes you to the last thing you used, however if I am in an app couldn’t swiping back do the exact same thing but easier?

The menu button takes you to the start screen so we can keep that if you want. The search button lets you talk to the phone and find stuff on the web in a snap!  Cool right? So why get rid of it? Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you that the menu button does the SAME THING if you hold it down just a little longer. Expect you can also use voice commands to open apps in your phone too with this button.

Nokia only has themselves to blame on this one for getting me use to not using buttons. My N8 has one button, my N9 has no buttons, the Lumia series has three buttons?  That is not progress folks.

Themes! We need themes!  So when I first started to read about Windows Phone I read about the Metro UI…Which made me think there was a whole list of  UI’s to choose from. (Ok, at least three or four.)  I am here to report there is not…If you don’t like the metro UI tough you are stuck with it.

It would not be that hard to keep the tiles,the hubs, etc.. and change the UI behind it.  I am sorry, changing the color of my tiles and picking white or black for a background color does not count as “personalization” in my book.  Come on Nokia step it up we are use to Symbian where we can re-skin the whole phone if we wanted to, changing tile colors will not do.

Control of Normal Functions from the Start Screen: Raise your hand if you want to have to go into settings to control your WiFi, Bluetooth, etc… anyone, anyone? You don’t!?! Me neither, yet unless you go to the MarketPlace and download an app for these things you have to go into the secondary menu, than go to settings, than turn off or on your WiFi. I just tested it and it took me six gestures to turn on my Wifi! Six come on Nokia this is basic stuff we can’t make the top of the screen useful again?

Wifi That Stays on When Phone is Locked:  This one is SUPER  ANNOYING! I can’t even think of a good reason for this happen.  If you are using WiFi and you lock the phone (or it locks itself) the WiFi turns off! I use WiFi to save on my data plan, plus it’s faster.  Windows Phone has live tiles to that needs to update constantly, so when I lock my phone it puts that WiFi to sleep?  Umm..WTH?!?

Hello if my phone is locked it still needs to update!  The quickest and the best way to do that is my WiFi connection so we are shutting that off why?

An Options to Keep My Status Bar Up: In an effort to make your phone simpler Windows Phone makes your status bar disappear leaving you with just the time up top.  You want to know useful stuff like signal strength, battery life, if your WiFi or Bluetooth is on?  You must swipe down from the top of screen to get that information and it will go away as soon you change pages.

All I am looking for here is the option to keep that useful information up there ALL THE TIME where it is easily accessible when I need it.

Real Multitasking: This one is simple, as Nokia users we have had real Multitasking since we had a Nokia please don’t take that away. This suspending stuff in the background crap just does not cut it.  Come on Nokia this one is a no brainier.

Options With Pictures: With a Windows Phone when you take a picture you take it just goes away! You don’t even have chance to even see what you took! They claim it’s so you can take the next picture faster, however how do know if I need to take another picture if I don’t know what the first one looks like?  Can I please have a least the option of the picture hanging out for a few seconds so I can look at it to see if I like it?  Don’t make we swipe back for it, this is an unnecessary extra step. The whole point of Windows Phone is less steps not more.


Bottom line for Nokia:

This is merely a starter list that would “Nokiafy” a Windows Phone.  With every other Nokia phone you can customize every aspect the phone to your likings. There are VERY FEW options for the user right now. While this will get new users,  it will infuriate the loyal Nokia base and push time toward and Android phone.  Symbian users will be searching for that “Nokia experience” and sadly they will not be able to get it on a Nokia phone anymore.

With the Windows Phone, it feels like the phone does what it does and you get use to phone. This is ridiculous and backwards, the phone should work for me and I should not have to work for it!  This is why I say a Nokia Windows Phone doesn’t “feel like a Nokia” and Nokia need to take steps to “Nokiafy” it or risk losing there their very loyal base.