Closing the gap between Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8


I am very passionate about technology and enthusiast about MS current direction, I would like to mention that I am NOT a DESIGNER and I am NOT an English native speaker, so please avoid any negative comments regard this.

As a Surface RT and Nokia Lumia 710 owner I can clearly see that there is a lot of work to do in both platforms, both look similar but behave different. They feel more like distant cousins instead of part of the same family. This is something they need to get fix if they want to accomplish the 3 screens strategy.

Personally I think that Windows 8 have a lot of touch gestures that Windows Phone should include, I build a quick mock ups to illustrate how this could be implemented in Windows Phone.

Status Bar

Currently to view any status such cellular signal, cellular connection, roaming, Wi-Fi, battery etc. (with time been the only exception) you need to pull down from the top.

The problem with this approach is that is not always accessible because some apps disable the status bar making this one of the most annoying, and inconsistent features in Windows Phone, is also worth mention that this "status bar" does not exist in Windows 8 creating a disconnected experience between both platforms.


By removing the status bar we need to find a place where to find that information, the solution is quite simple, place them below the clock area while access the Charms as shown in the picture, the user will require to make a swipe from the edge right to left instead of pulling top down to get access to these status but this time the user also gain access to core functionality in a consistent way across the platform and most important thing is that it will be the expected behavior for a user coming from a Windows 8.

NOTE: As an improvement for both platforms Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 I see absolutely imperative the need of a battery %. It is beyond my comprehension how they could miss such a basic feature.

Start Screen

Now that the status bar is replaced by the charm they should place the "Start" label on top of the tiles, as shown in the image below to keep a familiar look and feel.

Maybe it could be possible to add styled backgrounds or custom backgrounds like the ones found in Windows 8.

All the charm should behave exactly the same way as the Windows 8, they need to be context-aware and provide API so developers can update their apps to use this functionality just like Windows 8.

Charm - Search

The Search button (hardware) in Windows Phone should be a shortcut to the "Search Charm" and they need to make the Bing Search an independent app so it could be updated in a regular basis instead of every 6 months or so. Also the search should be context-aware and universal search just like Windows 8 does.

Charm - Start

The Start button (hardware) should be a shortcut as well and need to behave like Windows 8 switching between the Start screen and the last opened app.

Charm - Settings

As mention before the settings charm should be context-aware just like Windows 8 the only "core" button that should be replaced is the power button since this is completely useless in a Phone, maybe to be replaced by something else like battery saver.

NOTE: As an improvement for both platforms Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 I suggest to consolidate all wireless settings for easy access as shown in the image below.

Fast Switching

This is one of my favorite things in my Surface RT is really handy to switch between apps by swiping from left to right, so it would seems natural that all Windows Phone have it as well.

App History - Multi Task

Currently you can check and switch between apps by holding the back button key and selecting the app, while this is nice I believe that is way easier using a gesture like in Windows 8 swipe from left to right and left again, and also is easier to navigate between open apps in portrait mode.

Closing Apps

Currently to close an app you need to hit the back button "x" number times and if you want to close an app running in the background, you need to open the app from app history then hit the back button another "x" times to close it… To be honest is far too many steps to accomplish such a simple task. In Windows 8 this task is a breeze and I think Windows Phone users deserves the same.

From Open App


From App History – Multi Task


App top Menu

This menu should be optional but the API should allow developers to use this menu just like Window 8, one of the apps that definitely should use this kind of menu is IE 10 I find myself using it a lot in my Surface RT


Personally I think that Windows 8 settings are better organized than Windows Phone 8, there are a lot of things that can be grouped and the naming convention should be the same in both platforms


If you made this far you can clearly see that I am not trying to reinvent the wheel by introducing new functionality I am just based my suggestions in things that are already implemented and working in Windows 8. If they do this they will eliminate all the learning curve between Windows Phone and Windows, allowing millions of Windows 8 users to automatically know how to use a Windows Phone and vice versa.



I was thinking of how to implement this feature using the existing gestures, because we already covered every edge of the phone, so I realized that the best way to do it is by tapping the clock area as shown in the image below.