Closing the gap between Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8
AboutI 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 BarCurrently 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.
CharmsBy 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 ScreenNow 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 - SearchThe 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 - StartThe 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 - SettingsAs 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.