With the success of the Windows Insider program, Microsoft now lets anyone give them formal feedback through the Windows Feedback app. In our new series we’re breaking down some of the most intriguing feedback and suggestions. We’ll do our best to dive into the lists of feedback rather than just have “dark theme everywhere.” This week we look at messaging in Windows 10.
Microsoft is mid transition when it comes to their vision of messaging. They’ve tested integrating Skype messages with the main messaging app, will soon let users SMS text through their PC, and are working on making their messaging app a big feature in Windows 10. There have been some solid improvements of the app and some controversial decisions but overall feedback does seem to play a factor in how Microsoft shapes messaging. Here’s some of the best or most intriguing feedback for messaging on Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile. I’ve left out Skype integration because that’s already a hot debate that most people know about but it’s worth mentioning briefly.
“GIF support in Messaging, please” (from mobile feedback app)
Being able to send various forms of media is what makes a modern messaging app great. Any messaging app can share text messages but photos, videos, audio files, and other ways to communicate add a depth to conversations. Just yesterday I got into a sticker conversation with one of my best friends (okay maybe that’s too far for some but they can be fun). Adding GIF support directly within the messaging app would prevent people from having to jump through a link or anything else to see their short videos. It also helps the Windows messaging app compete with other popular apps including Facebook Messenger which just launched a Windows 10 app with GIF support and more.
“Circle pictures do not fit with modern UI” (from mobile feedback app)
They absolutely don’t fit in, valued feedback sharer. Windows 10’s UI has improved over time (though there are still a million different dropdown menus) but some things just don’t seem to fit in. Look at icons for example. People kicked off about them and after being updated, they look much more native in the OS. The circle profile icons used in the messaging app and other apps for that matter don’t fit the design language in many people’s opinions and at minimum waste space by cutting off the corners.
“Delete text message by swipe like emails” (from mobile feedback app)
At the moment swiping on a message or conversation in the messaging app does nothing. Microsoft could use that already familiar gesture of swiping to add a nice feature. It’s not a huge change since you can multi select messages or entire conversations but it would make it a bit faster.
“Enter key should send message in the quick response for SMS responses and not add a new line to the message” Windows 10 Feedback app
This piece of feedback is pretty self explanatory. If this isn’t wanted by everyone Microsoft could make it a setting similar to what Facebook does. Hitting enter to send message is pretty normal regardless of what app you’re using so it’s no surprise that people are asking for it here.
In my opinion the messaging app is an untapped resource from Microsoft. It’s felt a bit like spot filler because of its low feature list and basic design. That may be because they are unveiling one of its most important features this summer in messaging through PCs. I think a little more polish and a consistent upgrade in features could make messaging in Windows 10 a selling point, not just a spot filler. Another big factor is how the upcoming UWP Skype app turns out. Microsoft is spending a lot of man hours on messaging so we’ll have to see how it improves over the next few months.Further reading: Messaging, Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile