New hardware keys for WP8?
Now that WP7 devices won't support WP8, Microsoft is free to redesign the hardware buttons. So let's come up with some suggestions! Will they change the front buttons? Will they add edge swipes? Corner swipes?
The search button could be replaced by a charms key, bringing up the charms on screen. This would be nicely consistent with Windows 8. It would free up the app bar and create consistent ways to get to search, settings, sharing and devices. Devices you say? Of course! Printing, Share-Screen-To, connecting your SLR camera; the phone just turned into a PC.
Application bar key
Not that I'm a fan of the hidden application bar in Windows 8, but it would be consistent to do it on the phone as well. Even more, it would make more sense on a phone, since screen real estate is precious.
I'm not so sure about that. Horizontal edge swipes would intervene with left-right page swiping. Swiping from the bottom would intervene with the hardware buttons. That leaves a top-bottom edge swipe for app navigation like switching browser tabs. It's possible.
Blackberry uses a nice corner swipe on the Playbook. It brings up the settings, time and notification bar on top. Don't know what WP8 would do with it though. Notifications are still a bit bare bones on WP.
So, these are my suggestions. What about yours?