Looking Forward to Windows 8.2: A Wishlist
Several months ago, I made a post here on The Verge Forums discussing features I was quite interested in seeing in Windows 8.1. A few of those features made it in, at least to some degree, but many did not. After using Windows 8.1 Preview since the day it went live, I still have a healthy-sized list of things I'd like to see make their way into Windows 8.2.
What We Did Get
Sticky Screen Edges
This feature was implemented in a small way that made a big improvement. Now, in Windows 8.1, when your cursor nears the hot corners, it gets the same sticky effect as Ubuntu's sticky screen edge, making it easier to use the charms bar with multiple monitors.
Uninstall Desktop Applications from Start Screen / Applications List (Partially)
Whilst they didn't really do what they ought to have here, at least there is a shortcut that least to Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel--oddly, that shortcut is called "Uninstall", which makes me worried that some people may not understand that there's still another step before things actually get uninstalled.
What We're Supposed to Be Getting Soon
I just wanted access to TellMe within Windows 8, but, if you believe the rumour mills, Microsoft is entirely revamping TellMe to be something beyond even Siri and Google Voice Search/Google Now. How well Cortana lives up to her hype will be for us to judge when she makes her debut.
Recent changes to how Skype handles notifications and general rumours that have existed forever now about Windows Phone 8 getting a notification centre make this seem like a high possibility.
We've actually seen this teased, though only briefly. This one is basically guaranteed for eventual release. As always with Microsoft, the question is when we'll see it.
Unification of the Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 Stores
It's coming, and soon.
What I'd Still Like to See
As I mentioned in my last feature wish list, I'd love for the Windows 8 keyboard both to be able to uses keyboard gestures and to be able to handle Swype-like text entry. The iOS gesture to "break" the keyboard from standard to the split keyboard just makes sense on so many levels. Similar gestures for bringing-up the handwriting keyboard (making a wave-like squiggle or four finger swipe sideways [this could even potentially be used to cycle through the keyboards], for example, or bringing digitizer pens close to the screen) and hiding the keyboard (four-finger swipe downward) would make the already pretty awesome keyboard even quicker to use.
Getting rid of the transparency on the taskbar would be its much-needed bullet to the brain.
Tabs in Windows Explorer
It astounds me that Microsoft still hasn't done this. Why isn't this a thing?
Pin Files to the Start Screen
As I've mentioned before, there are some apps on Windows 8 that attempt to replicate this functionality from Windows Phone 8, but it's all quite wonky. I just want it to act just like it does on Windows Phone 8. Can you imagine what this would do for people who work with the same few documents every day--like me, for example. I could easily pin the novel I'm working on to my Start Screen and jump straight in.
Percentage Indicator for the Battery
Needing to jump into the desktop to tap on the battery indicator for the battery life percentage remaining is a bit of a hassle when it could so easily be placed on the little pop-up clock thingy where the battery life icon already appears.
Sometimes, while I really do want to work in a Modern UI app, I want to just shake it out of the full screen mode and use it like a regular program. This functionality could be off by default, but I'd like to be able to pull down on an app (as if I were to close it), then shake it as if I were using Shake, and get it to "shake out" into a windowed version of the app for intense desktop use.
Custom Live Tile Density
I would like to be able to manually adjust how many tiles "fit" on my Start Screen. That's all, really. It's not a complex idea, but it would be a handy one.
XBOX Videos + TV Enhancements
To me, it seems like Windows Media Centre has become something of a last thought to the developers at Microsoft. What I'd like to see, however, is a major update to the current XBOX VIDEO app. It would include Blu-ray and DVD playback support and would scrap the need for crap software like CyberLink's PowerDVD. Even if disc playback features were introduced as in-app purchases, I'd be plenty happy.
Shutdown from Start Screen
This isn't for me so much as for people not so familiar with how to shutdown in Windows 8. It really does, however, feel like the "Shutdown" option belongs on the same menu as the "Lock" and "Log out" options on the Start Screen.
Task, Device Manager MX
These two features should be pretty self-explanatory, so I won't bother.
SMS/MMS Integration with Skype
I'd love it if Skype worked in tandem with my Windows Phone devices to allow me to send and receive SMS and MMS messages via the Skype app like Zipwhip does for Android devices and iMessage does for iOS devices.
Improvements to People
I know some changes are being introduced to People with 8.1 RTM, but it's just so slow at loading content and rubberbands so dramatically when it updates or fails to load content. It's aggravating.
Internet Explorer Reborn
Rather than go into too much detail here, I'll point you to this article I wrote up a while back that details a few ideas I've got that might save Internet Explorer in the eyes of the average consumer.
Built-In Kinect Gesture and Voice Controls
To some degree, this would come with Cortana, but I think the ability to use regular monitors like touch screens a la how Leap Motion was advertised to work would be freaking amazing. The ability to simply plug-in a Kinect for Windows and get moving without any fancy software installation would be great.
Anyway, I know this list is lengthy, and maybe it's all an unachievable dream, but, personally, I'd love to see everything I've listed here. What would you like to see and why?