Replacing Windows Phone 8 with Windows RT

ABOUT

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.

INTRO

In my previous post I design some mock ups and talked about how to close the gap between WP8 and W8 but now I realize that doing that is probably harder, time consuming and potentially more expensive in the long term due to maintain WP8 and Windows RT than emulate current WP8 apps into RT and provide an upgrading path for all WP8 phones to Windows RT "Blue" (with new screen support) and of course bring all good stuff from WP8 to Windows RT.

I made more mock ups to illustrate how Windows RT could look with new screen support, and I will talk of the potential in doing this.

MULTIPLE "SCREENS"

I know that many people will start telling me, use android or iPhone if you want multiple screens etc.. I actually don’t need them but many people does, and this multi-screen isn’t a multi-screen per se, it will be more like a panorama used in every HUB (People, Photo, Store, Music+Video) and it will let you have your apps arranged in multiple categories just like W8.

If the user don’t want multiple screens, the start menu will look exactly the same way as it look now.

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The user can access to the app list by swiping from bottom to top just like Windows 8

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Playing with the previous idea I came to the conclusion that using a Pivot (email, messaging) would be even better.

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NOTE: In this last case it could even be possible to add the notifications as an additional screen

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REMOVE DESKTOP

One of the main reasons to do this is save as much space as possible, since is a phone and the last thing they need is another scandal about storage or maybe they can leave the Desktop but only for future super phones that have more than 32GB and have microSD expansion or premium devices with bigger screen size like the Galaxy Note but in any of those cases they need to lock/hide the app until the phone is connected to an external display via micro HDMI or some sort of WiDi.

IMHO I think this would be much better than trying to use Windows 8 Pro in phone.

START SCREEN & CORE

Multiple Tile Sizes

Windows RT currently lacks this basic ability so it would be natural to bring it to the platform.

Performance

I don’t know if is my perception or what but I think that WP8 performance is much better than Windows RT so whatever is causing this perception (maybe apps optimization or the animations & transitions or both) I wanted in Windows RT.

WP8 Tiles arrangement

I don’t understand why they decide to use this way of arrangement instead of using the one in WP8 personally I think that the floating tiles in WP8 looks fantastic and is way faster to organize multiple tiles and more flexible as well.

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BRING WP8 ANIMATIONS & TRANSITION

In general WP8 animations & transitions look better and more polished than W8 for example:
•When launching an app
•When moving between app pages
•People HUB tile transitions
•Photos HUB tile transitions

I noticed that W8 tiles transitions move in a faster pace than WP8 making it a little bit annoying.

BRING WP8 APPS FUNCTIONALITY TO W8

How do I start with this one… there is so much material that if I start talking and comparing every WP8 with their counterpart in W8 this will be a very long post, the only app that is better in W8 is OneNote and even this app need a lot of optimization, so in general they need to bring all the WP8 goodness to W8, functionality, design language & performance.

•Calendar
•Camera (Settings & Lenses)
•Games
•Mail
•Messaging
•Music + Videos (integrate both)
•OneNote
•People
•Photos
•Bing (Scout, Music, Vision, Voice)

BRING WP8 FIRST PARTY APPS TO W8

There are some basic and other advanced apps that are currently lacking in Windows RT so if they if they decide to use Windows RT instead of Windows Phone 8 they need to include this apps. (Actually even if they decide not to replace WP8, would be a good idea to include them in Windows RT)

•Alarms
•Calculator (I can’t believe there is no Calc app in W8)
•Office
•Phone
•Wallet
•Kids Corner

STORE

Add functionality

Ok the store in Windows RT needs a lot of work they need to grab cues from WP8 like "More from [Insert Developer Name]" link, Related Apps, Best Rated, "wth Live Tile", Collections, New + Rising etc..

Merge Stores

This it’s inevitable they will need to merge the store, and specify if it run in the phone or not, adding additional information within the app will do the trick.

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XBOX

In my opinion MS needs to use Windows RT in Next Xbox with a highly specialized "Game" app that run blue ray games and online distributions (available only for Xbox), using RT will allow multitasking while playing, imagine snapping Skype or Netflix app while playing GTA5, or using the Xbox as a Windows RT computer, this will be awesome just plug a mouse and a keyboard.

CONCLUSION

Currently Windows RT is stable and run fine on ARM, it need more optimization but is working and the foundation is there, so why not make this additional effort and use it everywhere the benefits and the potential is huge and the best part is that this time they can provide an upgrade path for all WP8 users. I really think MS is going to do something like this and the key lies in Windows Blue.