Windows Phone 8 start screen gets a facelift with free-moving, resizable tiles

Windows Phone 8 start screen gets a facelift with free-moving, resizable tiles
While dual-core, HD screens, microSD and NFC support was expected with Windows Phone 8, the actual ace up Microsoft's sleeve might turn out to be a brand new home screen.

Live Tiles are a great concept, but people were complaining that their positioning and size are too rigid, and Redmond listened! Gone are the days when you place a few of the limited choice of tiles, and they take up the whole homescreen.

A new tile size is introduced, that takes a quarter of the screen's width, and tile size to use is now up to the phone owner. By long-pressing a tile you can choose three different sizes - quarter, half and full width.

Now you can add, remove, replace, resize and basically do anything with the new Live Tiles that your heart desires. This is comparable with Android's resizable widgets, and makes Windows Phone the next mobile OS where you can completely customize your user experience on the homescreen, so you get to rarely even visit the app launcher menu.

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26 Comments

1. Synack

Posts: 688; Member since: Jul 05, 2011

That's my favorite part of Android, rarely visiting the App drawer. Can't wait to see what WP8 brings, hopefully it will come to Verizon in a Nokia package.

2. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

Not bad! It's getting better but I would like to see more customization and see the OS in action.

4. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Yes it not looking bad at all. Now what type of integration will it have with the new Xbox that is coming out in late 2013? This is all great but please show me the new phones already.

3. good2great

Posts: 1042; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

it would be cool if the tiles were individually colored like the tablet/pc version of windows 8... i love the UI enhancement though... windows phone 7 seemed a little "unfinished" with all that extra space to the right... so far so good WP8 impressed!!!

10. Synack

Posts: 688; Member since: Jul 05, 2011

I don't think so in my opinion. If you have every tile a different color then it will look like a frickin rainbow. I'm sure they will be going for a central colored theme. As long as they can make the icons and live tiles work WITH the mono-colored tiles then it will definitely work. They sort of dug themselves into a hole with colored tiles though. Better dig out or make it work for you.

16. good2great

Posts: 1042; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

i see your point. but i was speaking of for example: how the XBOX tile is "always" GREEN how the One Note tile is "always" PURPLE basically the standard apps have a default color email; messaging; phone; music; photos; etc the rest of the apps in the "Marketplace" could all be the same color how it is now. its still a WIN for me because i'm not to big on customization it takes up too much time to always want to change a background/widget/screen/ROM or whatever.

5. rsiders

Posts: 1899; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

I almost cried when I saw the demo! I can't wait!

7. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Link please!

11. kenobi8

Posts: 4; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

channel9.msdn.com/Events/Windows-Phone/Summit here.

12. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

You are the man! Thanks

14. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Wow, so much animosity/hate towards WP8. Why are people getting thumb downs? Looks like some people don't have anything better to do with their lives. lol I love Android & even I can say this is great news for all Windows Phone fans.

17. good2great

Posts: 1042; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

i agree with you SAE... it seems we all are WINDOWS Phone from the core but once the game changed we all went separate ways windows phone 8 seems like it'll put the flames out a bit and cause us to get along more on PA because of common interests.

22. Anthony_Gonzalves

Posts: 46; Member since: May 11, 2012

Because you are showing love to wp...the fandroids are considering you a traitor in android camp, thats why they are thumbing you down....NOW TAKE THAT !!!

15. stulla

Posts: 79; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

cnet.com...streaming live

24. thelegend6657 unregistered

Resizable widgets are cool but I find it on wp8 messy Look at their home screen ! But they should keep the app drawer and not forcing us to put tiny tiles on my home screen Added function are cool but still love wp7.5 more I wonder how 7.8 will look like ?

6. PhansMuneeb

Posts: 371; Member since: Jan 28, 2012

wp7.8 will be served to Current Generation.......I'm More than Impressed with wp8

8. Bluesky02

Posts: 1439; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

Wonderful...

9. snowgator

Posts: 3617; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Pumped up. Still hoping for allowing individual tile colors, though. Do not know what is so tough about that....

23. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

i thought those were present in 7.8/8.0. o:

13. ahhxd717

Posts: 332; Member since: Dec 08, 2011

This looks awesome. Can't wait to see a full demo of the OS

18. josephnero

Posts: 777; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

i know i ll get a lot of thumbdowns but i dont see anything ground breaking

19. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Wow, vastly different from Windows 5/6/6.5.

20. akita256

Posts: 98; Member since: Jan 26, 2012

I'm more interested in the flexibility of what you can "program" the tiles to do. That is the major problem with the existing Windows phones. They didn't say anything about their function that I heard.

21. matrix_neo

Posts: 334; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

This might be my next os. It's great that they overhauled the UI experience of windows phone. I hope MS will push hard their updated os to be able to compete with Android and iOS. I'm sure some iFans will be switching to wp8 coz their ui in iOS so boring.

25. 7thspaceman

Posts: 1597; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

this face lift does improve the look of the windows smart phone. hmm folks the Starship Enterprise of the 1966 to 1969 kirk/Spock era uses a computer interface that looks a lot like metro tiles check it out

26. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Well I will give this article credit for at least knowing resizable widgets were already available in Android. One site I wont name didnt even know about this and claimed its so great for WP and Android widgets are a cluster...ya know the rest...lol.

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