Windows Mobile 5 Reminders: Minor Improvements, Frustrations Still Remain

By Jason Dunn on Thursday, June 23, 2005

I really wish I could say that using a WM5 Smartphone was a radically improved experience over using my previous phone, but so far my experience (admittedly, only a week long so far) is that almost every single one of my frustrations about the operating system and built-in applications are still there. Confused

For instance, let's take reminders. One thing they did fix is that you can now snooze alarms for five or 15 minutes, one hour or one day. You can also select "Remind me 5 minutes before", which is a great option. This is a big improvement over the previous implementation - they've also added a View Item option, which opens the item - another good decision.

While those changes are appreciated, two of the worst limitations are still limiting the usefulness of reminders from my point of view: first, if there's a phone number in the reminder, you can't dial it! This would seem to be something so painfully obvious and natural to do with a Smartphone, but it's still not possible. What you can do is click Menu > View Item, which opens up the reminder, and from there you can select and dial the phone number. But why not integrate this functionality right on the reminder? Why force the user to jump through hoops to access a phone number that's right on the screen?

Almost as frustrating is the fact that notes still aren't displayed on the reminder. I routinely put driving directions in the notes field so I can figure out where I'm going, and I would love to see those notes pop up with a reminder. No dice. What's worse is that there's no icon indicating that the reminder has notes associated with it. A workaround is that by selecting View Item you can get at the notes, but then then you're working with the smaller font size and it's not as easy to read (especially while driving). GPS maps still suck for my home town, so I'm not going to use my Smartphone to GPS navigate.

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