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Microsoft gives us a closer look at the Windows Phone 7.8 start screen

Posted: , by Charlene S.

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Microsoft gives us a closer look at the Windows Phone 7.8 start screen
For you Windows Phone owners it’s definitely a bummer that not all the current devices will see Windows Phone 8. The good news is it’s not as bad as being stuck in Gingerbread limbo like many of your Android counterparts. You do have some upgrades to look forward to with Windows Phone 7.8.

One of the biggest changes will be the addition of the Windows Phone 8 style start screen. Ben Rudolph with the Windows Phone Blog got a hold of a Nokia Lumia 900 that’s running an early build of Windows Phone 7.8 to give everyone a closer look at the start screen and how it behaves.

As you can see in the video, Ben shows us that in Windows Phone 7.8, when you hold down on a tile you get a toggle that allows you to switch between tile sizes in addition to the ability to pin and unpin tiles. Like we said, it is an early build, so hopefully there will be more features to come in the near future, but at least those with current Windows Phone 7 devices will have a bit more customization on their devices, even if they won’t get the entire Windows Phone 8 experience.



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posted on 25 Jun 2012, 22:10 14

1. pongkie (Posts: 492; Member since: 20 Aug 2011)


They should also add lock tile so the most important tiles don't go away while you scroll

posted on 25 Jun 2012, 22:43 2

5. cepcamba (Posts: 717; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)


You know what? That's actually a great idea. +1

posted on 25 Jun 2012, 23:18

7. Captain_Doug (Posts: 734; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)


An amazing idea. kudos.

posted on 26 Jun 2012, 00:05

8. jove39 (Posts: 1204; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


Write to MS about it...hope they include this feature in future update!

posted on 26 Jun 2012, 08:57

20. pongkie (Posts: 492; Member since: 20 Aug 2011)


is there a suggestion site for wp8 like the forums for w8 coz i cant find it in thier site?

posted on 26 Jun 2012, 11:37

22. chipotsky (Posts: 9; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


Yes.
just do search for "windows phone feature suggestions". Sory phonearena wont allow me to use the URL. :(

It has been discussed already on their boards and is a great idea.

posted on 26 Jun 2012, 14:57

23. cepcamba (Posts: 717; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)


Man come on! Don't just suggest it! Patent it, then suggest it! Filing for a patent is free! And they award patents even for concepts like yours.

posted on 26 Jun 2012, 01:08 2

9. kartik4u98 (Posts: 511; Member since: 19 May 2012)


yes..write to microsoft about this great idea..good LucK !!

posted on 26 Jun 2012, 03:20 2

10. AppleConspiracy (Posts: 627; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


You mean something like docked icons on iOS? How would you solve this in Windows Phone LiveTile concept and configuration? I don't see the other way except introducing something like fixed dock, and that would be killing the basic idea of Metro Style in the first place...

posted on 26 Jun 2012, 08:36

19. pongkie (Posts: 492; Member since: 20 Aug 2011)


not really there are other ways. like you can lock them on top, sides, or even in the middle. you dont have to sacrifice an entire row or column. if you lock a tile on a certian spot other tiles "give way" by resizing temporarilly or skip as you scroll. I wish I could explain better what i see in my mind but im poor in writing this visual stuff

posted on 26 Jun 2012, 09:04

21. poddey (Posts: 75; Member since: 22 Mar 2012)


I don't know... that sounds kind of messy and confusing if you have tiles resizing themselves when scrolling. :p

If you are having to scroll a lot then I'd say you've put way too many tiles on, or at least a lot more than you would typically use day to day.

MS should have just implemented folders that opens up a larger tile above or below the folder tile when you tap it.

posted on 25 Jun 2012, 22:27 1

2. -box- (Posts: 3564; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)


Dunno what more personalization there needs to be, unless each tile or tile group got its own color. Any background image would mess with some Live Tiles' functionality (esp People Hub).

posted on 25 Jun 2012, 22:36

3. bansidhar (Posts: 16; Member since: 28 Apr 2012)


is it for 800

posted on 25 Jun 2012, 22:36

4. akmaintu (Posts: 42; Member since: 08 Jan 2012)


cool :)

posted on 25 Jun 2012, 22:52 1

6. Birds (Posts: 927; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)


I still wonder what the keyboard looks like. lol

posted on 26 Jun 2012, 03:31 1

11. mobilefuture (Posts: 206; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)


probably the same :P

posted on 26 Jun 2012, 04:45

12. kanagadeepan (Posts: 589; Member since: 24 Jan 2012)


So M$ has cheated their early adopters with just one eye-candy instead of many more useful features in WP8...

posted on 26 Jun 2012, 07:41

16. Santi_Santi (unregistered)


Not necesarilly. in fact, they are looking for a more looking reaction so at the end, features can be solved by mere apps or updates.

posted on 26 Jun 2012, 05:24 1

13. AppleConspiracy (Posts: 627; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


Generally, I think Microsoft is making a mistake with enabling more customization options to the users.

Those users that actually need customization and freedom are very rare in comparison to users that only THINK they need it. Apple and iOS proves that - they are based on strong restrictions, and they won't let users mess with the carefully designed UI just to give "freedom" to make UI look the way we want.

Good product is based on strong visual and functional identity that comes served before the end user and stay that way. The "product" that don't have strong identity and is fully customizable, is not actually a product, but tool. And users generally don't want tools, they want products, something that has a design.

By abandoning the perfectly designed Metro UI in WP7/7.5 with two columns asymmetrically placed in relation to the screen surface, Microsoft is introducing mess and visually downgrades the best feature WP has - superiorly designed UI.

As a product designer, I must mention this, despite apparent illogic - beacuse we allways thin that good products means great freedom for user that gets what it wants, but this is only a Grand Fairy Tale of consumersim. Products actually must tell users how to use it and how to accept it, and that's the real and only true wish of the consumer, that he won't admit of course. But industrial designer musnt' fall in this trap and listen to the users. And Apple knows it very well.

posted on 26 Jun 2012, 07:07 1

14. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 4588; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


"And users generally don't want tools, they want products, something that has a design."

Not all.

posted on 26 Jun 2012, 08:29

18. poddey (Posts: 75; Member since: 22 Mar 2012)


Although you could say a lack of customisation options in IOS hasn't hurt iPhone sales, the availability of a tonne of customisation options on Android hasn't hurt Android sales either. In fact, customisation is a differenting factor that Android has used to its advantage and very successfully at that.

Besides that though, all Microsoft has done with WP8 is widened the live tile grid an extra 2 spaces across and allowed the tiles to be resized. That's not a whole lot more than before on WP7 & 7.5. They haven't gone whole hog like Android. You still can't have wallpapers (not that they would be visible behind the tightly packed tiles) and any colour you choose will be rendered solidly all around with no option for even any gradients. I'd say WP8 retains the strong identity established by WP7.

Having said that, I do think the new wide grid is a bit too much. There is not enough "white space", which is a fundamental part of the Metro DNA if I'm not wrong. It's the white space that gave the original UI in WP7 it's elegance. Yet I always thought it looked slightly awkward being offset to the left just to include an arrow on the right. For my money, the dimensions the MS designers went for when zoomed out on the live tiles in customisation mode is what they should have gone with as the default.

posted on 26 Jun 2012, 07:31

15. AppleConspiracy (Posts: 627; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


@PhoneArenaUser

Well, I said "generally" for a reason. Furthermore, the "real" users (those who want maximum functionality and "openess") are very illusive, because you cannot pinpoint what exaclty they need in opposition to what they desire, and you certainly cannot reduce them to one homogenous mass because they are fundamentaly differentiated by what they want their smartphone to do.

Most users - and this "most" is the key word - are what makes all important stuff to smartphone manufacturers. Most users want to be told what they want. They want product for sure, not a tool. The real "user" in everyone of us is latent, hidden, neutral and transparent toward this "visible" dimension that is a true product. Making products invisible is therefore only an illusion, and leads to poor marketing.
Consumers are defined by their desire, but their desire is NOT defined by their actual needs. They need something else - an object of their desire, but with a catch - to look like they need something, becuse admiting that we are consumers and not "true users" is unacceptable for us.

Android user is a "true user", but doesn't look that way. iPhone is not a true user, but he looks that way. And this other scenario sells products, first - not so much.

posted on 26 Jun 2012, 07:45

17. Santi_Santi (unregistered)


Looks great! but i have to share many things said here like lack of features and closed ecosystem. But i have to say MS is trying hard to get in the market. So lets wait. I guess this will be a hard battle

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