Folders

Folders is a new third-party Windows Phone app currently in beta. It's rather special and worth noting because it's a file manager for the platform (Windows Phone 8.1), and a very good one at that. There are already some decent file manager apps on the Windows Phone Store, but Folders sports a clean and beautiful user interface that fits in well with design guidelines from Microsoft.

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If you're anything like most of us here at Windows Phone Central, your phone is probably loaded with pictures from all over the place. Wouldn't it be nice to organize them better, so you don't have to scroll through all of them to find what you are looking for?

Reddit user, DashThePunk, posted a way to do just that by using your computer.  It turns out to be shockingly easy. Take a gander after the jump for step-by-step instructions.

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It’s been awhile since we’ve talked about WPH Folders, the homebrew app from Windows Phone Hacker that allows you organize apps into Tile-folders on your phone. Of course homebrew here means only those with developer unlocked phones who can sideload XAP files need apply, meaning for many of you, this is out.

It’s hard to believe that Folders has been out for nearly 10 months already so it makes sense that it’s up to version 5, which is now available.

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Windows Phone Hacker has published an announcement on the blog detailing the version 1.0 release of Folders for Windows Phone, a homebrew app that enables users to create folders for apps, and more. We previously looked at the app while it was in development, starting off as a concept that took off with community interest.

Some notable changes in version 1.0:

  • Bug fixes / UI changes
  • One application for all - enable root privileges for application selection, otherwise Marketplace searching will be used
  • Added tilt effect in folders
  • Pin folders to your start menu (root only - experimental)

Check out the video below for a quick introduction. You can download Folder for Windows Phone from the Windows Phone Hacker website.

Source: Windows Phone Hacker

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Windows Phone Folders concept

As we reported a few days ago, Nokia was asking for feedback on the AT&T Nokia Lumia 900 via a user survey. Those who participated even qualified for a $50 Amazon gift-card for their trouble.

While user surveys are nothing new (and AT&T has done them in the past) one interesting question was noticed by reader Jonathan W regarding folders: "I would like to be able to arrange apps into folders on the apps screen" was asked with a rating system ranging from "Disagree strongly" to "Agree strongly".

That's an interesting item to raise in a survey only because Windows Phone does not have a folder system at all for apps on the Start screen. There is, however, a homebrew folder solution which works very well by Windows Phone Hacker and we know users in the past have asked for such a system (especially with all the apps we now have).

Is Nokia watching the homebrew community? They would be silly to ignore it. Are folders on the table for a Windows Phone OS update? Possibly. We know that Nokia can modify the Start screen and aspects of the UI much deeper than other OEMs.

So far, Nokia have not exercised that option but with the proof-of-concept homebrew folders working out, they could easily (and more elegantly) instantiate such a concept in the OS, should they choose to do so. Alternatively, they could also lean on Microsoft for such a feature for everyone including competing OEMs, much like the 4G LTE experience.

We'll certainly be watching Nokia closely to see what they do with this survey information. Oh and Nokia, yes, folders are a very good option and we'd like to see native support for such a feature in Windows Phone..

Thanks, Jonathan, for the image; Windows Phone Folder concept by WPCentral member Sebastien "ArtSooby" Bruneau

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We've covered "Folders" before, the app from Windows Phone hacker which allows you to add folders to the Start screen. The first release involved using an editor on your desktop to make the folders and was a bit tedious.

Now, a new branch of development has occurred and it has become infinitely more useful in our opinion. Starting today, you can load a XAP file (and an optional secondary one) and just create folders on-the-go without the need for a desktop. The task is simple: create and name a folder, add apps by using a Marketplace-lookup or System apps (e.g. Zune) then pin to the Start screen.

The trick does not require interop access meaning anyone with a developer unlocked device can do this and due to its simplicity, we have to give a big thumbs up to this homebrew tool. Read more at Windows Phone Hacker where you can download the XAP files right now.

Thanks, Maximilian, for the tip!

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We previously covered the homebrew Folders for Windows Phone app, which allows users to create live tile folders to store multiple tiles within. It's become fairly popular in the homebrew community and Windows Phone Hacker have updated the app to version 3. What's included in the update:

  • Support for custom accents (have to enter the colour code manually)
  • Optimization and bug fixes
  • Easier to pin applications
  • Able to use applications from other markets (e.g France)
  • Able to save the XAP to deploy manually (makes things easier)

You can download Folders for Windows Phone from Windows Phone Hacker. Remember that you require an unlocked handset and need to be running Mango.

Source: Windows Phone Hacker

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The team over at Windows Phone Hacker has reached a point in the development of Folders where the app is ready for its first release. We recently covered a quick demonstration on how the app works, as well as earlier announcements. The project was started with the single aim in cleaning up "ugly" homebrew applications in the start menu and placing them in configurable folders. Now, the public is demanding a try.

Before we begin with the steps to install and use the app, there are some requirements you need to be aware of:

  • Developer/ChevronWP7 unlocked phone.
  • Windows Phone 7.5 Mango

Limitations are present as the Folders Config desktop application is required to alter folders and insert apps. These are:

  • You need a desktop every time you want to adjust your folders
  • You need to either manually add the applications (homebrew, for example) or search for them in the Marketplace.

The app is pretty much "what you saw is what you'll get" should you have viewed the quick demo, but feedback in the homebrew community has been positive and the app is still in early stages. Ready to begin organising tiles, etc.? Good stuff, head on past the break for the steps and video.

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We previously looked at the upcoming homebrew hack for folder tiles on the homescreen. Today, Windows Phone Hacker has published a video demonstrating what we should expect to see from the hack, which will require a developer unlocked handset.

While the app needs to be polished and optimized, the demand for such a feature has proved to be apparent so the team will work on the tweaks and look to release the app soon. They also note that more features are already planned for future updates. Keep an eye out for more updates here when the app is released. Should you be a fan of the folders concept by WPCentral member Sebastien "ArtSooby" Bruneau, then this will be right up your street.

Source: Windows Phone Hacker

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This should be pretty exciting once it's finalized. The chaps at Windows Phone Hacker (site) have been working on a "Folders" solution to Windows Phone, analogous to the fan concept we ran back in July.

The image you see above is purportedly the real deal and not a mockup--those tiles are "dynamically generated". The only issue we're told is that it's a little "clunky" on the setup which is to be expected with this level of homebrew activity. The good news is the device only needs to be unlocked and not the deeper, more difficult interop-unlock, which is a bit tricky to instantiate.

Windows Phone Hacker is looking to release this and was gauging the desire/want for this type of hack. Basically they don't want to invest time in cleaning it up, making it more streamlined if there's no one to use it, which is understandable. We suspect demand will be quite high for this feature, so let them know in comments and via Twitter @wphonehacker.

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Yesterday we ran a story on a fan concept that gave the ability to shrink down the program tiles on the Windows Phone Start screen. The post turned out to be wildly popular, with over 80 comments from you folks where you actively (and cordially) debated and discussed the merits of such a proposed UI. Very impressive and some great ideas too.

Today, we have a follow up to that, asking the question "What if Windows Phone had folders?'. This was the route taken by Apple and their iOS as a means to organize programs. While Windows Phone has a "jump list", it's the Start menu where users can customize and organize. It's that latter part where we've seen users create iconic separators to help better tidy up.

WPCentral member Sebastien "ArtSooby" Bruneau has posted up a few shots of what he thinks would work, namely those folders. His idea is take off of the current People Tile, where you have little photos flashing around of your contacts. But instead he envisions having a "Folder tile" with the apps inside flashing in the same manner. Once again, an elegant idea as it is keeping within the bounds of Metro's design principles. We could imagine that tapping on a folder tile will expand to show it's contents, allowing a quick selection (we'll leave the mechanics to Microsoft, ahem).

In the image above and to the left, you can see a tile called "News". In the second image, how a second menu option can be added called "Pin to folder' from the jump menu and finally in the third shot (the right), we can see how they would populate the "News folder". Looks good to us.

So like yesterday...sound off in comments on why/why not this would be a good solution!

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App Folders to WP7? Not any time soon.

We've been tipped off about an interesting bit of polling going on at the monsmartphone.net (they're a lot like us, but French!) regarding something that all Windows users are all too familiar with.  Folders!

The question raised, "Would you like to be able to categorize your applications?", has caught some attention from their more organized readers. Users who've downloaded a lot of Apps were quick to remark that they don't like having to scroll so much to find the ones at the bottom of the pile.

Pinning the most frequently used apps to the Start Menu solves the problem easily but not at all if you're the kind of person to keep a lot of frequent contacts up there. Even more so if you're the type to collect applications - the Markteplace reached 7,000 apps not too long ago and like we said, there's no end in sight.  The reasoning is there for some users, certainly. Other users, like myself, don't see the need. Not yet anyway.

Monsmartphone.net's writer, Detsch, had apparently submitted this quandary to Microsoft and from what we've gathered from throwing their site through the make-it-english machine (No, not just google translate! I made a real-live French person read it to me in English!) was that Microsoft does not currently think that this functionality is a priority in the evolution of their OS.

Read more after the break.

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There was a pretty cool announcement yesterday over at the Windows Team Blog by Microsoft's GPM, Dick Craddock, on how to set up any existing e-mail account from any service to work in tandem with Hotmail.

Just as the suite of free software packed in the set of Windows Live Essentials has become better and better over time, so too has the feature set of the Windows Live service. The social life of Messenger has become extensively robust - even including a free HD video service that rivals Skype and puts Google's video chat to shame. Mesh and Skydrive leave you with nearly no excuse to not have the files you need or having the Office applications to run or edit them. Finally, Hotmail brings it all together by syncing your Calender and Contacts from multiple accounts and services and keeping you up to date on external services like Flickr, YouTube, Facebook and more - and sorting it for you.

There are plenty of reasons why someone would want to condense their e-mail services. From Microsoft's standpoint, this can get people who are too set on using their current e-mail provider to give Hotmail a try without feeling a jolt of e-mail culture shock. Secondly, it could get people who stopped using Hotmail to come back.
 
We're going to take a quick look at why you should give it a try, or for a lot more of you, why you should try it again. Keep reading after the break as we show you everything you need to know!
 

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