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Windows Phone 8 SDK reveals new Tile counter, cycles image feature

Looks like that Windows Phone 8 SDK preview (leaked on the web a few days ago) is still coughing up many little changes. The latest deals with the Live Tiles of Windows Phone 8 and yes, there are some subtle but welcome changes.

  • New Live Tile counter – instead of a black circle we now have a square which more closely matches the Metro UI
  • Tiles can cycle through images – we’re not sure what this is called but evidently a Live Tile can have multiple images within it, allowing it to run through them.

The first one is well overdue in our opinion as the circle counter really never fit in with the Tiles not to mention they sometimes were jaggy. Going to Square looks much better to us and we bet you’ll agree too...

WP Central

Square2 in Windows Phone 8

The cycle-image feature is unique as it makes those Live Tiles even more “alive” now. We’re not sure how this feature works just yet but we’re thinking if on the Windows Phone Central app, it could run through the latest images form our top stories. Just a guess on our part but that would spice up the Start screen even more.

What are you thoughts on these changes? Sound off in comments!

Source: .NET App; Thanks, Jey Si, for the link

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Comments

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jmerrey says:

Yes the square looks better, but I wish more devs used the large number like the messaging tile.  I understand the need for the small number on some tiles, but it reminds me of ios too much...

Jay Bennett says:

The problem is, the large number is not an API, Microsoft haven't provided that as an option. For our app for example, there are 20 different images for the front tile which each have different numbers

Agent-P says:

What about the way Carbon implements their notifications on their live tile? Would it be possible to do something like that while still having a picture behind it? It's not exactly the same as the large count tile, but it is big enough.

erichon99 says:

The cycle image sounds like what's already happening in Windows 8 tiles.  It's probably also similar to the current  Photos hub.  As for the square tile count, yes that's nice and better than the round one of today, but I also prefer the large count format.

That's what it sound like to me also. It just sounds like they're opening up the API to devs.

x I'm tc says:

Not that an App can have its name and its data and still have room for more, I sense ads coming to the start screen.

Jf.Vigor says:

I see that happening too once devs become savvy enough with windows phone development

jgservices says:

They should put the same square notifications next to the app in the app list so you know you received a notification without pinning the tile!

jgservices says:

You can also then sort by apps with Notifications as well instead of scrolling through the whole list

jtshorns says:

Great idea...i like it

vThylacine says:

You sir, are a genius.

Agent-P says:

I'm loving the sound of this idea. Put it at the Windows Phone feature suggestion site and I'll vote for it.

MastrMeatWad says:

great idea! I am in love with live tiles and notifications. The people hub is a nice type of tile that would be neat to see available for news apps

eyesoreM says:

+1. Me likey very much. Sorting by notifications pending would be a great UI nicety. Take heed MS.

mjrtoo says:

A notification hub would be more appropriate...imo.

wheelerk says:

Is the SDK still out there to download?

xmarklive says:

O no ........a list of tiles all with notifications.

kunwar_91 says:

i posted this on some other blog some days ago , actually this feature was there in the official preview and in the commercial that was released after the event which showed the new start screen .
 
the tiles had these cycling of ANY kind of data like the large messeging tile will cycle through messeges(maybe unread?), the large email tile will cycle through messeges(maybe unread?), and *wait for it* the large calender tile will cycle through various appointments in the day ....

xpxp2002 says:

Agreed. I don't understand why Microsoft doesn't just provide an API to push a large number count to the tile, as they do themselves with Messaging, Marketplace, and Mail.

kunwar_91 says:

i think they do provide that as power planner, nextgen reader and the WPCENTRAL app has that ... i dont know why many apps use it

nizzon says:

Finally!
I have been bitching about the round notification ball since early screenshots of WP7. One can wonder why it took MS this long to make it square, how much work could it really have been?
 
Notificationcounter on the applist sounds like a good idea too, would love it!
 
Another thing... does anyone else but me think that menues like settings is messed up since its not sorted by letter? I always end upp scrolling up and down to find certain settings.

I'm still hoping for folders. Or "custom hubs"... that act exactly the same as folders. :-)

jfa1 says:

I would have appreciated a longer video and one with sound.

mjrtoo says:

What kind of sound, birds...maybe a relaxing ocean? :-)

This is great. I've also thought that it would be nice to be able to flip through the live tiles. Maybe with a left to right flick you could flip through the messages/calendar events/images etc.

jchapman01 says:

+1 for this! That's a great idea. I also think the Pictures hub should cycle through photos that you want to display instead of all photos randomly. Maybe the photos in your favorites list.

Jf.Vigor says:

That's actually exactly what it does now jchapman. If you put a photo in favorites, it cycles only through them

peterjr1boom says:

Square looks much better :)

LightBulbIT says:

I think these additions are o.k. As long as they provide USABLE INFORMATION. We don't want our other OS "friends" redubbing it the "blinky lights" OS.

snowmutt says:

Loving the "cycle images" idea. That would be a huge hit among crowd that likes their phones to have personality.

MattLFC says:

That square is far too small and subtle though...

markiz says:

Circle and square work perfectly. I hope they reconsider.