There’s a lot of noise over use of Windows Phones in corporate environments. That’s not what this is about though. Where I work we have lax corporate policies regarding our mobile devices and I don’t have any issues connecting and syncing through our exchange server. What I have more of a problem with are the simple things that I can’t do on my Windows Phone that make doing basic business tasks a chore, if not impossible. Let’s get to it:
- There’s a default font for email. You can’t change that. So if I’m out of the office and sending an email from my phone it’s obvious since the font is something like Curly Cue 12
- If I want to forward an email it’s an all or nothing affair. I can’t edit that email. If you’ve ever had a chain of emails you know how often you want to redact a few lines before circulating it. No deal without a copy and paste job to try to get around it.
- You can’t email Adobes. OK you can forward an email with an Adobe attached to it but you can’t ‘reply all’ and attach an Adobe saved on your phone and you can’t start a new email and attach a locally saved Adobe. This hits a wall with the inability to alter text within emails as I just noted.
- Attachments are a mess in general. The same ‘Adobe’ issue is present in Office files. If I want to attach a Word, Excel or PowerPoint file I can’t ‘reply all’ and attach it. If you hit the ‘attach’ button that means you’re sending a picture. The only option is to start a fresh email but you need to go into the Office hub and start with the file and share it from there. So you can’t attach two office files and you can’t just reply to a chain of emails so if there was a chain you need to copy the recipients, go to the Office hub and then start from there. It’s very unnecessary, messy and often insufficient
- Want to jump onto your VPN and grab a file to view or email around? Yeah not happening. There are some apps that let you remote desktop but that’s not an ideal solution. VPN should be standard
- This is only slightly on point but if you’re on a call and an email comes in, you get those three ‘dings’ with the third being the loudest and most annoying. Really, I’m trying to talk on the phone – no need to make me take my ear off the phone because an obnoxious incoming emails sound is constantly pinging me, a few seconds for each email
- The inability to forward contact information or open and save vcards. We now have some third party apps to send contact information but this has to be native
Now these are all simple things and mostly revolve around attachments. When you hit that paperclip icon I still think you should then get a set of icons that indicate if you want to attach a photo, Office file, Adobe, video, etc. I get that pictures are the most used, but they are treated like they are the only thing you attach to emails.
I mean nothing will ever be perfect and we all have our own preferences. I tried to keep those out, like I never use ‘urgent’ since that’s set by the sender, not me and it’s always some jerk who thinks they’re important. But did I miss anything? Am I overplaying the issue? For me, these little nits add up and I really wish small teaks were made to address them sooner rather than later.