Photo by Dell Inc. / Flickr

Windows Phone 8 is chock full of features that loyal users enjoy, such as Kid’s Corner, Data Sense, Driving Mode, Mobile Accessibility, Tap + Send, Rooms, Lenses, as well as improved XBox integration, a removable microSD card, and more. But, as we all know, for tech users, it is never enough!

Microsoft has recently made a significant update to its Windows Phone 8 operating system, known as Update 3, available to registered developers. This update should be available to the rest of us in early 2014. It is assumed that Windows Phone and Windows will move even more closely together, bringing more consistency between Win8 and WinPhone.

We Love It! Now, Fix It.

Despite their loyalty, many Windows Phone users have been clamouring for bigger changes. And feel they have waited too long between rollouts of new advancements. It has been said that slowing down would put Microsoft in reverse gear. Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s devices division and some related patents has lead to understandably high hopes for innovation, and no dearth of commentary!

Speculations Abound!

Many leaks and purported screenshots have escaped, as usual. Here are the most likely to not be total fiction Update 3 predictions:

  • Improved notification center.

  • Expanded multitasking ability.

  • Enhanced voice dictation across platform.

  • A new look and visual design, possibly due to frequent user complaints that every version of Windows Phone looks exactly the same as the others.

  • And, drumroll please, enter “Cortana”, the Siri-like personal assistant. The is the name of the star A.I. character from the beloved XBox video game HALO, notorious for her sex appeal to the primarily male players of HALO who enjoy imagining interacting with a girl. Many have said they would switch phones and platforms with Cortana as the only reason. Windows Phone currently offers basic voice commands and Cortana is said to expand by learning and adapting. Teen boys are desperately hoping for a visual animated avatar for Cortana and the same Cortana voice from HALO. If this prediction is correct, the default alarm setting might as well be, “Wake up, Master Chief!”

Hopes and Fears

Users have no problems expressing their opinions, here are their wide-ranging requests:

  • Fixes to inconsistent/volatile push notification issues.

  • Improvements to slow app start up times.

  • Browser updates to bring it up to Chrome/Safari/Firefox Mobile HTML5 standards.

  • Shifting of many actions to a swipe motion, rather than a tap, as swiping requires less accuracy.

  • Having the notification center accessible via gesture while inside apps.

  • Work around to the privacy faux pas of notifications automatically turning your screen on when they come in.

  • Adding to the Phone tile who calls are from.

  • Same thing with the Email tile.

  • Making use of the volume button to show notifications.

  • Addition of a gesture to access settings quickly.

  • Improving ease when rearranging tiles.

  • Grouping apps into one tile, leading to sub-tiles for grouped apps.

  • Erasing the patchwork look with ability to change color settings.

Jenny was once confused about rotary screw air compressors, but after researching, she got it all figured out. When not working out in the garage, she likes writing helpful articles for the Internet.