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How useful are your Windows Phone Live Tiles?

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Full HD Lumia
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Reader Concept: Adding more Live Tiles to your Windows Phone

Earlier today we shared with you guys news about Microsoft looking to add more live tiles to Windows Phone. It would allow the interface to look better on displays with larger and higher resolutions, something that Windows Phone 8 currently might not excel at. A reader sent a quick mockup of what that would look like. We figured we’d share it with you all.

Full HD on Large Device

RafK decided to play around with Photoshop and see what more tiles would look like on larger devices. It put it on his Galaxy Note to see what it would look like. If you aren’t familiar with the Note, it’s a 5.5-inch device from Samsung running Android that, believe it or not, was received enthusiastically by a large portion of consumers. It would be a shame for Microsoft to lose out on customers wanting ‘phablets’, devices that straddle the line between phones and tablets. Up above is what more tiles would look like on a device that large, it looks better on the larger display than on my Lumia 920 in the lead image. This is what he has to say on it:

“My guess is that Microsoft could use the same tile size as on 1280x720 screens, and this could allow us to get the third 'big' column (as 3 * 720 / 2 is simply 1080). I made a quick concept”

What do you guys think? Even if larger phones aren’t for you, it’s hard to argue that giving potential consumers more options is a bad thing. If you want to try it out on your device check the link here.

Thanks for sharing RafK!

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Reader comments

Reader Concept: Adding more Live Tiles to your Windows Phone

241 Comments

Don't you guys feel NOW would be a good time for MS to give Windows Phone the tile grouping feature like Windows 8? I mean LOOK AT THAT MESS!

You can do that already with the group apps in the store, Group Tiles has some customization available.
They are just fake tiles though but it lets you group the StartScreen kinda like on Win8

I use GroupTlles too to organize the 30+ tiles I have on my screen.  Nice.  I'd still like to see user creatable hubs that would allow us to group apps.  Also, give us a "Favorites" feature for the app list on the right swipe so we could list commonly used apps at the top without having to scroll down the list. 
 
I know a few people on here that might throw spears at me for saying this, but I'm a function over form guy.  Speed, productivity are my focus on something like this device because it is, after all, a tool.

I am hoping Nokia makes a high end phone with a smaller display as well, some of us want the great features of a 4.5" phones on something that actually looks like a phone and not a tablet, if I want a huge screen I will bring my Surface.
 

I feel you, but I think 5" its just on that perfect edge between phone and phablet, I played with my friends DNA and I love the screen, that with WP8 and Nokia's technology, would be amazing phone.

Its really not to different at a glance. I mean if it was just some random image I wouldn't even notice.. Well, at least on larger devices.

The only way that WP looks "ugly mess" is that the user made it look like a mess. Remember WP revolves around you and not the the app. Therefore you make your home screen beautiful the way YOU want it. If you don't like all those tiles, just place one or two big ones. Simple as pie. You understand bro?

You are correct friend. Go buy yourself both a wp8 and Android phone and compare. And I'm sorry I did not bring Android into the conversation. Many like to compare the two, I usually try not too as WP is something totally new and awesome beyond the same stale android.

This does look bad... It would be difficult to make this not look like a headache if using small live tiles.

Agree. I know this is a to each his own sort if thing, but I keep a pretty limited set of tiles pinned. If I had a ton, it is almost no different than the iPhone. Its too easy to get to an app in the default list, and since it is alphabetically ordered, its easy to find.

Same sentiment here. But this looks to be a bit too much of an overkill, doesn't it?

I mean, the Metro UI was supposed to look simple, elegant and functional. And this looks horrible. Yuck.

Grouping seems like an obvious omission. I'd rather have a week view calendar before that though.

Ahhhh, one more column of small tiles is actually a bit less cluttered, I must admit, rather than two as shown in the above article. I was about to ask what the difference was but, I decided to actually think this time loool. But I agree

I would love that. I find the current big live tile so conveniant and an even bigger option with even more information on it would be great. Plus a lot of them are really beautifull.

There are a few apps that let you name/group your tiles on your start screen right now with WP7 and WP8

Have to agree. I like the concept of more space on the startscreen for more tiles, but all those colors and they'll have the potential to give you a headache

Each to their own I think. Some people here hate it, but personally if the option was available I think I would use it even on my L920. Especially if we can group them like on Windows 8, preferably with titles like on Blue.

Hmmm...allow the tiles to rotate in panorama mode and ya got yourself a " mini Surface". Not a fan of really big phones but this might actually be pretty cool.

Put in groups so it'll look less crowded. Other then that I like it. I think Windows blue' will follow this design. But hopefully will take a more organized path.

That is hurting my eyes. What I would like to see is more than one 'screen' of live tiles ... So there is some sort of organizing between apps (websites, games, files, etc)

Hi! I like your idea, Catlasers.
I have been using Kid's Corner as my Entertainment Center... for music, games, tv, and movies.

It's unaesthetic and makes the screen look cluttered. Awful idea, even for people who want a dinner tray as a phone.

Thank you DJCBS for being honest, I totally agree with you 100%. This is trash all these fanboys are brain washed. How many damn squares can you fit on to the home screen? Can you imagine all those damn live tiles of all sizes going on at the same time? It's enough to give someone a seizure.

I agree. People keep trying to say "it would only be optional!" Having too many options, especially one that's unaesthetic, goes against the design principles that they set out with WP. It'd be a "wild west" scenario not unlike Android. Additionally, quarter-tiles are essentially just icons as it is. This many quarter-tiles just look like a STATIC GRID OF ICONS.

That's what you all said about the current start screen, too. Not to mention the much-needed notification area. I'm beginning to wonder if you and your compatriots even know what "aesthetic" means, or what Windows Phone design principles actually are...

^^this^^^
is just incorrect.
 
When did I say I disliked the current start screen? Aesthetic means it's generally beautiful or pleasing to look at. Windows Phone's beauty was more on the "less is more" side than the "more is better" side. That screen up there looks too crammed and busy. Additionally, you talk as though I agree with the notification area being needed; I still don't. Trying to dismiss someone's opinion by saying they don't know or understand something... classic trolling.

No offense but believe it or not I don't follow your comments specifically. I was just lumping you in with the same kind of people who hated on the wp8 start screen when it was first revealed. And no, I think I pretty clearly implied that you would be *against* a notification center. Turns out my hunch was right. You people seem to think that WP is perfect and has no faults and no room for improvement, customization, or even a bit of depth and complexity. The interface needs to evolve to meet the realities of changing hardware and people's changing needs. I agree that that screen is too cluttered-- on a 4.x inch screen. But on a 5 inch screen or higher it might work out pretty well.

If you don't follow me, then you shouldn't assume things about me and automatically lump me in with whatever you feel like when I gave no implication of my opinion on subjects I didn't mention.
 
When you say, "That's what you all said about...", that implies a change of opinion on whatever subject that follows. In this case, you were saying people were against the WP8 screen, but have now changed their tunes, and the same with the notification center we're rumored to be getting, which I still believe is redundant with live tiles.
 
Lastly, just because I disagree with these two ideas, it neither means that I think WP is perfect nor that I don't have ideas for additions and improvements of my own for WP. They show this idea on a Note and I still think it's too much (ironically, I also think the Note is too much). The link somewhere above with only a half-tile wide addition is exponentially more tolerable.

Absolutely agree with you.

The Metro UI on Windows Phone is first designed based on the principle of simple, elegant, yet functional. And this is why WP doesn't look like a mess as Android's home screen does.

The Surface Pro have a even bigger screen estate with 1080p resolution, and did Microsoft go with an even smaller live tile? Nope. And that's because it just doesn't look elegant like that anymore.

When thinking bout having wp phablet I was gonna be all in....but going by that PhotoShop to me just looks like to much is going on :/

I would really like a flagship Lumia with a 3.7 or 4" screen size, as I really find stuff on my 920, just too big . (I had a 4" Samsung Focus before and didn't had that feeling) . 

I was really expecting Microsoft to use better the extra pixels and size on the 920's screen, like more text lines, or icons on the start screen.

It looks gorgeous actually! I know the screen is filled up with so much information but because the user knows and understands how the home screen is set up, it would work flawlessly. I'd be in but I think I still want to hold on to my 4.5-4.7" devices.

Put the image from the source up on my 920 and zoomed it to fit the screen and can tell that the tiles would be way to small, at least at the small tile size. But on a 5 or 5.5in screen I could see this working. But at that point, I agree with some of the other comments here that we'll need some of the Windows 8 tile organization features.

Not for some people. I want a 10.1 inch phone!! Lol.. No seriously, the larger sizes are appealing to me because I use my phone all day, and I'm not allowed to have a tablet, or laptop, at work.. I use my phone 7 out of the 8 hours I'm here so personally I can't wait.. Don't ask what I do.. Lol... I guess it depends on how the user uses there phone. Don't worry, they will still make the smaller sizes..

Did the math and drew it out on my L920. WORKS! I would hope that they release this as a later update. Will seeeeeeeeell phones like crazy.

I went from the Note to the 920 and I do miss the large screen, among other things ;). I do like bigger screens. 5.5" please!

No real reason to do this for the current or even future larger 5" phones. I mean c'mon, you really need every single application you have on your phone pasted to your home screen? No, you don't. Listen to me, I know what I'm saying. But more options the better. I figure I would contradict myself.

Could they give us an extended long small tile for tile grouping?  double wide would give too much of a gap between rows.

If the small tiles don't actually give live tile functionality, then aren't they basically the same as a grid of icons, like the competition?

I think it's perfect for 5" screens, but I also think it should be a choice go choose the number of columns and depending on the number of columns you choose, the tile width will adjust.

How rediculous!! The fact that no manufacturer has come to the table with a WP8 "Phablet" as of yet is mind boggling! Y E S of course it would look, act and be awesome to have (3) rows of tiles on a 5.5" screen! Anyone who has spent any amount of time with a SG Note or Note II knows how beneficial having a larger screen is.... But Android is not the business! So I hope SOMEBODY brings us a WP8 phablet soon....

So, you're saying you would by a WP8 phablet? I'm not following you, do you want them to make one or do you think its a bad idea?

The most likely thing for this is likely Samsung and HTC. Not sure about Nokia but it'll probably be just 5 inch.

Too busy for my taste, but I like the direction...i just wish WP would follow w8 in regard to icon colors...the sea of cobalt blue hurts my eyes.

I hope wp team brings out a proper notification panel for this (also for current phones). Searching for recent notifications in this would be one hell of a task i feel . .

that start screen looks even more cluttered than an android home screen full of widgets.
don't get me wrong. i like windows phone. and it's good to add functionality.
this is just my opinion though. depends on how everyone perceives it.

Yeah. And the start screen is beginning to look like the app list!

The start screen is supposed to be the place where we pin the apps that matter to us most, not the entire list of apps that we own.

I love it! I really want a 5.5" WP8. I keep hopping back between my Note 2 and my Lumia 920. I love the giant screen on the Note 2 but I like the OS on the 920 more.
I'd probably use less of the tiny tile size if I had that much room though. I'd probably fill it up with more medium sized tiles so that I can see more live info.

I think a Zune Twist interface with live tiles would be much better. Think Xbox interface turned vertical.

The Samsung ATIV S never made it to our shores, and thats as close as we could have come to a phablet. So unless the reported Lumia 928 gets some steroids, we are still awaiting a SG Note II WP8 fighter! The 3 lines of tiles would only be a bonus.... Lets start by getting above board with a phablet first

I like it...if it becomes an option then great...if it it becomes a must then I'm not so sure. If you've ever owned an android and played around with one of the custom launchers they all gave you the ability to set up a custom grid. 5 across 6 down or 5 and 5...4 and 5 whatever you wanted.

There is no universe where that looks anything other than horrific.  Who'd have thought I could go from saying the live tiles are the most unique and refreshing approach to a UI to saying that, with the look of that mockup, is the worst looking UI on all platforms.  Nothing but a sea of icons.  Bad, bad, bad.

Microsoft will need to make 4 tile sizes.  I will want a tile that goes from the left edte to the right edge, or a triple wide tile.
Without an edge to edge tile, the start screen will look too messy.
 

Imagine having the capability to have a tile the size of two small tiles similar to that large tile. I like the fact that the large tile does not go across the whole screen. And if it did it should be called an extra large tile.

The Ascend Mate 6.1" is getting the Windows treatment according to CNET. They are waiting on the GDR3. Samsung announced 2 Mega phones for Russia. 5.8" and 6.2". The Note gets refreshed with at least a 5.8" in August. The Convergence piece is in.

I don't like it, guys. Live tiles look good when they are reasonably sized with enough "air" between them and right image. The current format (one row = four small ones, 2 medium ones or one large) is simple enough not to hurt the eyes. But extending it that far as two extra small icons would cause our eyes to itch. Too many colours, to many squares...too MUCH for my eyes.

Keep it simple

Too busy. ibwould say it would only add an extra 1x column. so 5 potential 1x1 adding 6 would be a lot a stuff, unless there was a phablet 5.5+ incher

I believe less is more. I think Microsoft needs to go  bigger with  tiles. A nice one would be a square tile just like the desktop tile on the upcoming windows blue. More tiles is a step back for windows phone. The added value is the live tile function. This as added value fir the starts screen functionally. Smaller tiles don't do this and only adds more tile overkill, thus more clutter. The tiles will also become too small for a good touchexperience.we already have smaller tiles in the apps list. I don't need ut fir the start screen...it defeats the point.
 
The advantage of a bigger rule is that it is more clearly visible, touchable and there is more room to add info.

That looks amazing please bring this to WP Microsoft. It would be nice if this could also support 720p screens though!

@SamSabri why you stocking my girl. That's her FB profile on your phone at the top right.
I love the look of this from the link on my 8X so I'm for it. The more info in my face the quicker I get what I need. May not be for everyone but it would be for me.

I love the Windows 8 live tiles, I love the current Windows Phone 8 live tiles but adding more tiles to WP just makes it look very aike to the Windows 8 start screen it may all be part off make both the platforms similar etc but I think it looks great as it is now. 

They should give us the ability to have a background image and blank tiles as an option to completely rid the screen of tiles if one wants.
This would give everyone that complains of the tiles a good reason not to complain and adopt the os.
It's a nice, unique feature, but give the option. Some like it, some are ok with it, most don't. If this is done, more will come.

You know I am really torn about this idea.   My typical setup on my computer or when I ran an android phone was a very sparse desktop with my shortcuts in just a few folders.   That is my idea of beauty.   So running an OS (WP) that insisted on having my desktop cluttered with "crap", went against my standard protocol.   So I am certainly interested in this idea.   I also think that giving people the option to setup their phone or computer as they wish is usually a good idea.
 
Given MS seems to be consolidating their design language around live tiles, both on WP, and Windows 8, and to some degree the Xbox, to move from that would be potentially problematic for them.   I think to some degree this has similarities to the idea of setting Windows 8 to boot straight to the desktop if desired, something I am not adverse to...
 
my two cents...

More tiles is good, however, I wish to have more than 1 screen of tiles.  My start screen is getting longer and longer and harder to manage.  Perhaps some way of paging through sets of tiles even if it means still scrolling vertically?

I love the idea. But, then again, what is the point of more static icons. I've gone through two 920's since launch, and 80% of that time period, including now, none of the live tiles update....

I think it would be a great option to have on my Lumia 920. But again, I think it will have to be an option that you can turn on and off.

This looks cumbersome.
Instead wp8 should have PAGE views aswell, like android does. An endless stream of a SINGLE page is super annoying and it a mess to sort out.
Have say 5 different pages you can scroll through, enabling you to GROUP your live tiles. So one for Notes, One for MSGing, one for multimedia etc..

I thought the same thing. Sprint has only confirmed HTC and Samsung phones. The models being thrown around in the "news and blogs" are mere speculation. A Note-like phone with the Ativ brand would be hot. We are talking about Sprint, though, so I won't be holding my breath. I'm picturing HTC Touch Pro Reimagined and maybe a Samsung Retro Ace from Sprint, lol.

I think the concept should be dependent on resolution, and that resolution (such as 720P on the HTC 8X) should be the MAX resolution. So let's use the Nokia Lumia 920. WXGA, 6 tiles wide, WVGA, 4 tiles wide. It can go between those 2 resolutions. Perhaps this could then also be used to allow for more space in web browsers, etc. On the HTC 8X it would be 720P and perhaps 480P? So on a 1080P phone, it would be 1080P (8 tiles), 720P (6 tiles), and 480P? (4 tiles).

A terrible idea.  Resolution fixing the tile size completely negelcts screen size.  A 1080p phone with a screen size under 4.3" translates to (1x1) tiles SMALLER than the keyboard keys.  Might as well go back to BlackBerry for that.

Windows Phone is becoming too messy this way. The basic concept is lost but I understand the need to put more information in one view.
 
I do think a solution is at hand. The blue update for Windows 8 had 'huge' 'tiles. Put one of these huge tiles on Windows Phone and you have something to focus your eyes on. This would make it easier to look at the screen. Because in my opinion there is just too much going on with soo many small tiles on the screen.

I like the tile expansion concept.  I would also add some variant tile dimensions such as vertical sized tiles.  

+1
too messy if this is mandatory to have another column.
If its optional i can see this being good for the platofrm - it gives people more choice and that can only be good...but doesnt it begin to look like a row of icons??
 

Only problem I have with more live tiles or smaller tiles is they aren't live. They don't move or give you information once they are small.

Small tiles are also Live Tiles, just less alive, but they do show you a notification number!

IMO, any future WP phablets would benefit if portrait mode could have the default WP8 start screen and landscape mode can have a Windows 8-like start screen.

Well, I'm hoping that it comes at WP9/10/11/12/etc.

Too busy.  Add in live tiles with flipping and animations and whatnot and they'll be giving people seizures.
If home screens say anything about the person using the phone (which is kind of a big thing with WP) then the concept screen shown says "Hi...I like to eat at buffets and have ADHD!"
Anyhoo, live tile support is still hit-and-miss even now with most apps so why should I get excited about adding another row of static shortcuts when they're all a flick-to-the-left away?
Maybe that's what MS needs to have a look at...a new way of displaying the "all apps" screen.  Instead of a vertical laundry list maybe have options to show app icons only in a grid.  Or be able to sort by most popular/most used to least used...or by category with a click-dial that tabs through the apps within each category...  I mean they're already all categorized within the store anyways.

What is that large Metro tile app that has the time in large font and the temperature in small font?

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