So a while ago I wrote about some exciting additions to task management in Windows Phone Mango, and I thought I’d touch on what I still think is missing.
OneNote for Windows Phone is pretty good and I use it all the time, I especially like the fact that To Do tags can be shown in notes.
But unfortunately other types of tags that you can add in OneNote for the PC still don’t turn up. They do turn up on the web client though. The same happens with tables and ink and other formatting.
Also you still can’t pin a section to the home screen, but you can pin a notebook or a shortcut to creating a new note.
Tasks in Windows Phone Mango are great, and even support different exchange accounts with highlight colours that match the calendar…
But tasks are hidden away inside the Calendar app. I’d much prefer to be able to pin the tasks directly to the home screen, with a count of tasks due. I’d also like to see a way of pinning ‘new task’ much like you can pin a ‘new note’ in OneNote – unfortunately this hasn’t been implemented in the current release of Windows Phone.
What else is missing
On the topic of being unable to pin things – here’s a selection of things that I’d like to see pinnable in future versions:
- Wireless Settings (on and off)
- Flightmode Settings (on and off)
- Blueooth Settings (on and off)
- Task List
- Individual Tasks
- New Outlook Task
- A OneNote Notebook Section
- Individual Pictures (you can pin an album though)
- Individual Calendars
While this is not a list of everything anyone could possibly want to pin (I’m sure there are lots) these are just the things I’d like to be able to pin today.
At least one* of the 500 new features in Windows Phone Mango is the addition of the to-do items in the Calendar app.
The fact Exchange Tasks was not supported in Windows Phone 7 was a very sore point for a lot of users. Some even going as far as to say that the platform was not suitable for business at all until this was rectified.
It’s understandable for users to be upset. Task support has been in the Windows Mobile platform since forever, and users have come to expect it to be there. Currently the best solution is to buy a task application like the one by APPA Mundi which I use (and seems to be the best of the bunch) – but paying for something that many feel should be baked into the operating system leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.
The to-do list is included as part of the Calendar application in Windows Phone Mango – not a separate application. There is no support for folders or categories – which is somewhat annoying – and all tasks from each account is just shown in one list. But the synchronisation of the tasks is much more robust than is available in third party applications, and includes the handy features of being able to see tasks with a due date on the calendar (though this doesn’t seem to show up on the tile) and the ability to have reminders pop up just like an alarm or calendar appointment.
As a ‘power user’ of tasks in Outlook, I’d much rather the this as a separate application in future versions of Windows Phone. I’d also like to see the ability to use organise tasks with folders and categories, and to be able to pin each of these to the start screen in a similar way to OneNote’s impressive implementation of tiles.
Until then, I’m probably going to end up using some combination of APPA Mundi tasks and the built in support.
* I’m unsure how they count a ‘feature’
One of the nice new features in OneNote for Windows Phone Mango is the ability to pin a ‘new note’ tile to the start screen. I absolutely love this feature, and I don’t remember reading about this anywhere else – so it was a bit of a surprise. When you tap on this tile you are taken to a brand new note inside your default OneNote location. For me this is synchronised with SkyDrive and is accessible from my any of my other computers. Very handy for capturing information when on the move.
Another new addition when it comes to pinning, is the ability to pin a whole OneNote notebook. Currently missing (in this build) is the ability to pin a OneNote section.
When you tap on the notebook tile you’re taken directly into the list of sections just as expected. Here you can make sure you have the latest changes from SkyDrive or pick your default location for new notes.
Once you are inside a section you can see the pages. Above you can see a few of my pages are actually nested. I don’t recall seeing the nesting like this on the previous version of Windows Phone – but it might have been there!
Once you’re actually editing a page you can now create to-do items which can be ticked off. This mirrors the functionality on the desktop version of OneNote. I’m pretty sure this feature was actually available in OneNote for the older Windows Mobile 6 operating system, so I don’t know why it wasn’t in the initial release of Windows Phone 7. I actually use these to-do widgets for simple project management, so I’m very pleased to have the feature back.
Finally, as in the previous version of Windows Phone, you can also pin a note itself directly on the start screen. All of the OneNote tiles now match the colour of the icon on the desktop version of the product, unlike the ‘Office orange’ that was used last time.