Advisory Board Assignment #2: Windows Mobile Ideas

windows-mobile-logoThe Advisory Board is back! For those of you new to the blog, the “Advisory Board” is you! Here at Ilium Software we’re extremely interested in what folks have to say about our products. We take the advice we receive to heart and it plays a major role in deciding what to do in new versions of our applications.

So, let’s get to the assignment! Read on after the jump!

Advisory Board Assignment #2

As most people know, Windows Mobile is a big deal for us. We love the platform and love writing software for it. Even with the excitement that the iPhone has whipped up, we still love Windows Mobile. And with WM 6.5 just around the corner we are really geeked about the future of the platform.

What I’d like to hear from you is what YOU want to see us do for Windows Mobile in the coming year. Examples of the sort of ideas we are looking for include:

  • Ideas for improving eWallet and ListPro.
  • Old products that you’d like to see us spruce up or bring back.
  • New products you’d like to see .
  • Stuff you want us to avoid!

Don’t hold back on this. No idea is too big or too small. We want to hear them all. And let us know what is the most important to you. New features? New products? Updated appearance? And what is the one thing you can’t live without?

Considering how fantastic the replies were in the first advisory board assignment, I’m extremely excited to see the results here. Thanks everyone!

-Marc

26 thoughts on “Advisory Board Assignment #2: Windows Mobile Ideas

  1. David

    Marc, one idea that I keep having for Listpro is the ability to send a list to someone. I keep a list of groceries that we need in the house, I would love to just send an sms to my wife of the items. I enjoy listpro more each day and am looking forward to future updates.

  2. dave

    hi marc, you’ve seen my ListPro suggestions before but maybe other people would be interested. these mostly pertain to the desktop version but some could apply to the wm version.

    - pressing a letter key scrolls the list to the next item that starts with that letter.

    - ability to edit multiple items at once in order to change a field’s value in several rows. the item Properties dialog in this case would only populate the fields whose values were consistent across all selected items – others would just be blank.

    - more than 4 items in the File menu’s recently used files list.

    - item properties dialog (optionally?) includes currently hidden fields. (why? so a hidden field can be edited without having to go to List Properties, unhide the field, go to item properties, make the change, go back to List Properties, and re-hide the field.)

    - ability to color an item’s (row’s) text. perhaps Highlight could be split into background & foreground.

    Find:
    - option to search only in a specified column
    - whole word search. (it’s frustrating to search for “other” and it finds several instances of “brothers”, “another”, etc)
    - if a found line is below the current (selected) line, it gets positioned at the bottom of the pane. if the found line is above the current (selected) line, it gets positioned at the top of the pane. you have to scroll to see entries above/below the found item. could the found item be positioned in the middle of the pane? at least, always positioning it at the top of the pane would be an improvement, since in alphabetized lists, the found item is the first of potentially several more matched items below.

  3. Kevin White

    @David: SMS would probably not get you what you want. SMS is limited to 140? 160? characters or so. You can send multipage ones, but they get split up into multiple SMSs. A decent-sized grocery list would probably overflow the limit for a single SMS.

    You would want to tap+hold on a list name and pick “Send via email”, which you can do right now! However, that sends the actual list as a .CLF file containing that particular list. It doesn’t convert the list to text, so your recipient would need a device that has ListPro installed.

    You can select multiple items and then Copy them, and paste them into a text editor/email program/etc and send them that way.

  4. David

    @kevin white Thanks for the suggestions. I have the WinMo smartphone now so I don’t think I can copy and paste items (I also don’t have a data plan, so no email) but I am getting the touch pro next month, so that will all change. The copy and paste idea seems like a solution to me. Thanks again

  5. Peter

    Biggest suggestions for me – ability to sync the information off of the device without requiring Active Sync. You’ve made a lot of progress with eWallet, but how about syncing with something like RTM or similar List web services for ListPro? What about just being able to sync it to an FTP share of some sort? I rarely directly connect my device anymore unless I absolutely have to.

    As for future apps – how about something for Twiitter that supports a pretty decent array of functionality? Facebook? There are some pretty good possibilities there, but can’t say for sure what they’d be. I’d have to look ahead to what WM 6.5 is providing, but you’ll probably want to take those considerations into account as well.

    It might help if you give us a hint on your general direction so we’re not telling you that we would like app XYZ when you just don’t have anywhere close to the necessary people/resources to pull it off. :)

  6. Jim Dantin

    I’m really happy to hear that you’re still interested in developing Windows Mobile applications. At our last WindowsMobileLouisville meeting, we were bemoaning the lack of upgrades to Iliumsoft apps. Many of us are long-time Listpro users. I also rely on eWallet and KeepTrack as necessary applications.

    Unfortunately, the apps seem a bit stogy compared to offerings from other developers — this makes it difficult to interest new users in these excellent programs. Listpro is in a league of its own, but seems too geeky for some users.

    I’m a geek, so I really haven’t been unhappy with the programs — it’s only when confronted with newer programs that I feel a bit “old”.

    So, my first request is that you seriously consider revamping the UI of your apps to be more in tune with the finger-friendly interfaces of the iPhone or HTC Touchflo style. It is frustrating to try to use your icon views, and then find the need to tap a tiny “OK” or other small element. I would also appreciate a consistent UI between your apps.

    Next, we need some serious eye-candy improvements. Flat, sparse buttons and boxes should be replaced with dimensional full-color graphics on clean backgrounds that remove the WM elements that waste space.

    I’m really looking forward to a bright future from Iliumsoft!

  7. PJMDS

    Please improve newsbreak (RSS hub on HTC devices) with the sugestions that the users sent to you or posted in many blogs and forums, the aplication is good but could be much better with small improvements.

    Newsbreak should:

    -> save pictures when getting news so we can view them offline
    -> have better handling of the connection because sometimes it hangs tring to get news and data, add one time out to it.
    -> have a option to exit the aplication
    -> get improved user interface because it can get hang for a couple of seconds when we exit a channel to the list of channels
    -> have diferent letter colors for the channels name to let the user know when there was a problem connecting to the feed (red color when error occurs)
    -> have some kind of statistics so we can know what channels we read the most, put the more important channels on top of the others, let us know those channels no longer useful or dead so we can delete them
    -> have extra function with a text log with the progress so we can know what errors it finds and where it hangs, just for advanced users ;)
    -> be able to get news simultaneous from 2 or more channels so it can update faster

    Please don’t forget us Windows Mobile users, thanks

  8. Eugene

    Well, I’ve had a few requests over time… most of them had to do with functionality that’s already built into the program but takes too many steps to access, making LP work slower than it should.

    Here are some requests:

    - Give us back the toolbar option. This would save lots of time vs 2 buttons.
    - Saved custom views (filters / sorting). It’s a very powerful feature yet having to redefine views from scratch every time sucks.
    - Make Windows app follow basic hotkey convention (e.g. CTRL+B for bold).
    - Ability to specify different font size on desktop and PDA.
    - Word wrap in Item field.
    - Option to specify user prefix for newly created hyperlinks in Note field. 99% of mine are “file://”, not “http://”.
    - Fix a bug with non-English characters display in desktop version – worked in v4, broken in v5.
    - Fix a bug with non-wrapping bulleted note display in PDA version.
    - Fix a bug with some Calligrapher gestures (e.g. upstroke to change letter case) not working in Notes field (yet working fine in other fields).
    - Fix flags. In some, esp. the Checkbox, the checked (completed) items visually stand out more than incomplete (bright red checkmark), shoud be the other way around. In others, e.g. the Flag field, flagged icon looks very similar to unflagged (light blue vs grey), hard to see the difference on PDA.

    I hope that’s enough, for now ;)

  9. Frank McPherson

    I’ll second the request for an over the air sync for eWallet. The current server sync option is dependant on the Windows client, but since I use my WM device with Exchange I have little need to connect to a desktop PC.

    My current work around is to use Live Mesh to sync the eWallet file between my WM device and PCs, and it works great, but I still think a direct OTA sync in eWallet would be the best solution.

  10. Frank McPherson

    I am going to add another, more “out there” idea for eWallet. What about enhancing the search function to support voice search? I am thinking of something like the Windows Live Search but restrict to eWallet.

  11. Jay

    Morning Marc
    I am an eWallet user since inseption of the product “centuries”-ago. The product has come a long way since then and it is the most used application on my PDA (Windows Mobile 6.1) and a well used one on my PC also. Now, when I am on an Internet page, I would like a button which asks me: “do you want to add the user/password to your eWallet?” that would be FANTASTIC……..

  12. Joel

    Love eWallet, and I am grateful for the communication the devs seem to want to have with the people who buy their products.

    I don’t have much to add other than to echo comments others have made: over-the-air sync is something I would *really* like to see. I almost never connect my device to my PC since I have MS Exchange for PIM data, and being able to sync eWallet over-the-air would basically eliminate my having to deal witht the unstable horror that is WMDC. I hope to see this feature soon!

  13. Patrick

    Over the air sync for eWallet and ListPro, preferably both via a Web Companion.
    Since every mobile worker is gearing more and more towards constant wireless connection (being it via WIFI or a cellular network connection), this is in my opinion the real future for applications like these.

  14. Miguel

    Marc, I would like see an option to select pictures from anywhere in the device (sdcard). that way everytime I do a hard reset, I don’t have to move the pixs to the device.

    thanks for all your hard work.

  15. Charles Ferland

    For Ewallet, I would be really happy to have a Firefox plugin to Auto Complete into web sites. A lot more templates.

    Thank you

  16. Marc

    A+ on the assignment! As always I can’t thank you enough for the amazing comments. This sort of thoughtful advice is hugely helpful for us. I’m compiling it all now. Feel free to continue posting as I will keep reading the comments here. Also, ALWAYS feel free to email us ideas. I see every email that contains a suggestion and read each one.

  17. Mark

    I would be lost without ewallet. Finger friendly would be great as I see more devices going in that direction. The ability to copy data items without going into edit mode would be a huge advantage. Seems like i always am copying user names and passwords but it is a pain to do it currently as you are pretty much forced to use the stylus.

    Make sure print can be read easily. Am finding that the font is way too small.

    mobile browsers have a difficult time with ewallet. Seems like I always have to input my un and pwd.

    keep up the great work.

  18. Dave Beauvais

    My suggestions:

    eWallet
    - Over-the-air sync with no dependence on ActiveSync/Windows Mobile Device Center. Ideally, sync would be to a secure online service, but also to file shares, FTP/FTPS/SFTP, etc.
    - FTPS (FTP over TLS/SSL) support for SyncPro (Different than currently supported SFTP (FTP over SSH)
    - Make Search more readily accessible in the Windows Mobile interface. Search is almost always the first thing I do after unlocking my wallet on the handheld. While I can easily press Ctrl-F on the PC, it’s irritating that Find is buried three taps away. Since all the results are returned, I’m not sure there’s a need for the ‘Find Next’ option. Perhaps Find could be moved right to the root Menu, or even a search box added to the main display.

    ListPro
    - Add over-the-air syncing similar to the eWallet suggestion.
    - Custom label colors. The pre-defined pastel colors are ugly and dated. (Sorry!)
    - Option to use the 5-way “action” button to open an list item rather than marking it. Even though I’ve used ListPro for years, this behavior seems very unintuitive and is extremely inconsistent with the behavior of Windows Mobile apps. It should definitely be an option, though, as I’m sure many users prefer the current behavior.
    - Item-level, rather than file-level syncing. If I change an item on a handheld and a different item on the PC, I shouldn’t lose one or the other when syncing.
    - Refine the search interface and make it more accessible.

    Screen Capture
    - Allow user to specify a custom screenshot save location instead of the default My Documents or Documents folder.
    - Separate hotkey binding for normal and timed captures.
    - Save screenshots as PNG files rather than bitmaps.

    Tip Calculator
    - Remember last used tip percentage.

    Overall Updates
    - Interface overhauls. ListPro looks and feels very dated. Yes, the interface works, but there are several elements that just don’t work the way things normally do in Windows and Windows Mobile UI conventions.

    I use my Treo Pro exclusively as a stand-alone device with an Exchange server. None of my PCs even have ActiveSync or WMDC installed. As a result, my use of both eWallet and ListPro on the phone is much more inconvenient than I’d like, as I have to manually copy the wallet and list files to the device on occasion. Shortly after the Live Mesh beta for Windows Mobile came out, I tried the same Live Mesh method that Frank McPherson described above, but found it to be more awkward than I wanted to mess with. Native OTA syncing would be an awesome addition to eWallet.

    Thanks for asking for your users’ input! That’s very cool!

  19. Bago

    I have to say that RSS hub & newsbreak are probably the best Windows Mobile feed readers I have come across. I use RSS hub that came with my HTC Touch Pro. What I like best about it is that it has extremely decent support for RSS, ATOM, and OPML. It also has a intuitive and responsive interface for navigating feeds. Ilium’s feed readers are perfect for power users who like to host their own planets instead of using hosted services like Newsgator Go, Google Reader, Avantgo, etc. For that reason, I am a huge fan of RSS hub.

    If you want to do something to make someone who is already a fan of RSS hub fork over $20 for newsbreak, then I would add the feature to mark an item as a favorite. Often, I mark an article as unread to come back to it later, but I lose my place when the feed is refreshed.

    Other than that, as long as you keep rendering most feeds well and support the most popular formats, then Ilium will have a superior feed reader product. Thanks for the good work, and please implement this so I can switch to newsbreak for good!

  20. David

    Marc, the more I think about it, if you could make Listpro finger friendly, that would be huge. Now that companies keep previewing their phones coming out in the next year, they are all focused on the “touch” aspect. Pocket Informant and other PIMs are now touch friendly, so it would be a great feature to have that ability. Have a great week!

  21. FirstSalvo

    I use and love Newbreak. It suits my needs and I like the interface save one thing. I use a Treo 800w so most of my navigating is done one-handed. Even though it has a touch screen I rarely use the stylus. It would be nice if I could navigate through my categories without using the stylus. My right soft key is MENU and my left is REFRESH. Its nice having the REFRESH key handy but I use that function WAY less than I switch categories (automatic scheduled updates handle it for me). So I would suggest dropping the refresh function on the MENU key and change the REFRESH key to drop down (select) my categories. That single change would make this app perfect for me.

  22. Jim Dantin

    Your new iPills app is nice. It looks like the user interface of the iPhone is the best thing about that toy! Since other developers are offering the same finger-friendly design for Windows mobile devices, I’d suggest you use iPills as a test for our operating system.

  23. Pingback: Sachin's Blog

  24. Sachin Palewar

    I think the most basic app on every phone, which is phonebook or contacts should be revisited and should be given a complete overhaul. It will be nice if it can display current location and time of every contact. Integration with other social networking sites right from your phonebook is a great idea as well and many companies are already trying it. I have written a detailed post on my blog titled PhoneBook 3G.

Comments are closed.