Interactive Live Tiles for Windows are in the works at Microsoft – see them in action

Interactive Live Tiles for Windows are in the works at Microsoft – see them in action
The “one experience” thrust that Microsoft is leading will make Live Tiles more than just a pretty face. Love them or hate them, Live Tiles are here to stay, and even with the revisions that Microsoft has made to Windows 8.1 for desktop users, the Live Tiles will have a presence even in the upcoming new start menu.

Like the widgets we find for Android devices, Live Tiles are the keystone to Microsoft’s strategy to unify the experience between smartphones, tablets and PCs.

Build 2014 showed us much of the progress being made, but based on these videos from Microsoft Research in Asia, we have a lot more to look forward to.  As they exist now, Live Tiles provide real-time content, but they are not interactive. They provide information to the user without the need to open the app, but the notifications are not actionable. Microsoft is working on some pretty neat enhancements to Live Tiles, and how they integrate to Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox.

Live Tiles will begin to have interactive shortcuts that allow almost instantaneous action without the need to dig into an app. Whether it is a modern app, or desktop application, the two environments will be even more interactive, and the Live Tiles will become more like dashboards.

Seeing the video demonstrations below, you can see some elements of the Windows Phone experience working its way up through the tablet and PC experience. The multitasking and integration will bring a number of enhancements as well.

While we have no indication if these features are set to arrive in the form of an update, or if it will be implemented as part of Windows 9 or Windows Phone 9.  The environment is being referred to as "Windows Next," which is a common practice to coin the next version of the OS in general.  We would not mind seeing these features arrive sooner rather than later.

source: WindowsBlogItalia (YouTube) via Microsoft News



1. MR-H-

Posts: 116; Member since: Apr 10, 2014

"Hate them" those fuzzy confusing tiles,,,,!

11. dome888

Posts: 86; Member since: Oct 10, 2012


25. dorian827

Posts: 161; Member since: Jul 28, 2012

Metro UI is alot more appealing. Its flat, its fast and its fun. I hated the icons all over the place on my Android with a variety of widgets everywhere. Metro UI with Windows Phone 8. Simplifies this. I had (4) OS so im not being biased.

35. sgodsell

Posts: 7365; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

But you can make Android look and feel like WP if you so choose to. But Androids widgets can be interactive if you want them to be. You can make toggles and/or switches as well as launch into an app. You can only view or launch into the live tiles app. Making Androids widgets better then live tiles.

45. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

look and feel, with a custom launcher (I would argue over 50% of droid users wouldn't know what you are talking about). Androids widgets can be interactive. But the word can, and like live tiles currently are half interactive with its flipping information that is normally integrated for a great number of their apps, is two different things. What you are comparing is two different things. Of all the devices I deal with on a daily basis over 2/3's of android people don't use their widgets, nor use the 'power' of the droid. Nor use roms, or boot loaders or custom launchers etc.

53. Whodaboss

Posts: 176; Member since: Nov 18, 2011

"Hate them"? Isn't that what little girls say before hitting puberty?

2. dre786

Posts: 46; Member since: Nov 10, 2012

i think wp has come a long way and its hear in the spotlight shining like it intended to MR-H- dont hate its better than your android

4. Awalker

Posts: 1977; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

The tiles were just a dumbed down version of Android widgets anyway and now Microsoft wants to turn them into complete Android widgets.

16. NokiaFTW

Posts: 2072; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

^this is the limit of what a fandroid can stoop to. Live tiles are completely different than your stupid widgets and icons.

30. Awalker

Posts: 1977; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

How so?

28. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Awalker, you should know that most anything android does or has done is thanks in great part to Symbian and its advancements, and despite its lack of development due to the shift to WP by its biggest supporter Nokia, in its native raw existence it is technically more capable than android. If anything we are seeing more and more SYMBIAN features being added to WP8.1 and Win8.1, qmd that's q good thing.

29. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Should read "and that's a good thing"^. Also, Windows had widgets and interactive items back with the Sidebar on 7, maybe also Vista(?), so this is adding them back in but new, improved, and upfront.

31. wolfsaviorzx unregistered

Agreed but Widgets were laggy and ugly. Live Tiles don't hog resources like a lot of widgets do. Still if Microsoft wants to go serious against Android, they only need to look at their own Desktop OS as to what to do. Let people run their own programs without going through Windows Store.

37. sgodsell

Posts: 7365; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

You just proved to the world how ignorant you really are. Androids widgets are apps. You can make them as seem less as you want. You can make them as interactive as you want (something that cannot be done with live tiles currently). Try making a live tile any size (oh that's right you are restricted to 3 sizes), Android has no limit. Try making making a widget have 3 toggle switches display information and be able to launch an app. That's right Android can do that, but all Windows cannot.

52. Pdubb

Posts: 249; Member since: Aug 08, 2011

I have an android and I cannot resize widgets to any size. Please explain to me how to resize. I put the Google Now widget on one screen and it will not let me put anything else on the screen.( I have the Note3.)

39. Awalker

Posts: 1977; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

Android in general was laggy and not as polished as other OS up until a few years ago but that doesn't negate what I said. Right now on my Nexus 5 I'm using several widget (time, weather, sound search, Google search, Flip Board and Pandora). None are hogging system resources.

43. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

and even if it was why do you kick of with the phone, why not ask those guys who stingy it was not using 4gb ram instead of 2gb ram, ram is cheap to buy

6. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

Wow the WP8.1 is not even rolled out and you WP fanboys are already acting like douchbags. Going by MS's pace, this feature might not come until Q3, 2015 on WP(and I am being generous) judging by the trend/history that WP 8.1 will release almost a year later than full 8.1. And you really think by then Google will offer no improvements to Android and wait for MS to catch-up ?

7. iguano

Posts: 101; Member since: May 10, 2012

uh? this videos are about FULL Windows 8, not wp, so do you believe that android its better than windows 8?...

19. NokiaFTW

Posts: 2072; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Android maybe the top mobile OS, but it certainly can't top a desktop OS like Windows 8 in features and functionality. At least not yet.

23. sbw44

Posts: 433; Member since: Dec 04, 2012

The way I see it is Android Trolls who are the Douchbags! I mean you don't see anyone on android news commenting about how WP are better! You guys are the douchs buddy.

26. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

So you are saying is android fans can't comment on WP news and vice versa ? Who made that rule and why wasn't I told about it ? lol The reason why I wrote what I wrote only applies to him because HE WAS INSULTING ANDROID, smarty pants. I've no problem with WP or their fans (I actually own a 520 as a secondary device) but I despise the ones who insult other OSes for no reason (especially based on a rumour which may or may not become true and certainly not in the near future). Also, by your logic, what were do doing complaining about Lumia 1020 on a Z2 article ?

42. NokiaFTW

Posts: 2072; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Androids can COMMENT anywhere and everywhere they want. However, some don't understand the difference between a comment and HATING or TROLLING. And also, the DxO marks isn't credible at all. The Lumia 1020 tops each and every website in camera comparisons. That comparison was just biased. The Lumia 1020 has the best camera in the market. If you don't like the OS it runs, its fine, but NO phone can beat its camera. It can only be beaten by its own successor.

38. sgodsell

Posts: 7365; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Liars. You get WP douchbags as you call them on Android articles all the time now.

32. wolfsaviorzx unregistered

Um Windows Desktop not Windows Phone. It's not Linux vs Windows. It's X86 vs Arm. I like Windows 8 and Ubuntu. Find Android and Windows phone/RT a complete joke.

3. Liveitup

Posts: 1798; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

Microsoft is redefining the user interface and UI design in general.

5. vincelongman

Posts: 5693; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

IMO Start screen is better than old start menu, much quicker and less ulgy Also for PC gamers get Steam Tile and/or OblyTile, then you can turn it into a beautiful game lanucher

33. wolfsaviorzx unregistered

I think if they can figure out how to do both, why not. I like Start Screen for Laptops/Tablets but still prefer start menu if I'm at a desk.

48. vincelongman

Posts: 5693; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

I still prefer the start screen for desktops, I think its much faster and better looking than the old start menu I'm all for the option of the choosing old start menu vs the start screen or even using both of them together I respect that others have different opinions, options are great so people can chose what they like

9. alterecho

Posts: 1106; Member since: Feb 23, 2012

Its not suitable for mouse and keyboard.

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