Windows Phone 7 Live Tiles

News 15:54, 20 Oct 2010

We take a look at Windows Phone 7’s phone tiles, which is Microsoft’s new and highly innovative way of storing, organising and using information within Windows Phone 7 devices

 

Ever since smartphones went supernova, multiple homescreens, folders, apps and widgets have become mainstream. Every platform under the sun now follows the same customisation rules and this, if we’re honest, is getting pretty boring.

Fortunately, Windows Phone 7 has come up with a new and innovative way to store, organise and use information on your phone. They’re called Live Tiles – and it’ll change the way you perceive smartphone presentation.

Live Tiles allow you to see all the information you need from the Start Screen. For example, if you have a Train app installed on your device, you can see which platform you need to head to for your preferred train and if it’s delayed, you can see how long for, right from the Start Screen.

Start Screen
Once you boot up your Windows Phone 7 device there’ll be some pre-loaded Tiles, such as messaging, making calls, people, Marketplace, Xbox Live etc. These are your stable Tiles – the ones the network thinks you’ll use most.

If you flick across to the Apps / Menu window you’ll see a list of apps, programmes, widgets and the like. You can move any of these to the Start Screen simply by pressing and holding down on them and, when prompted, selecting the ‘pin to start’ option.

Have a look at what you’ve got in the Apps / Menu window and move across what you think you’ll use most. We’d suggest: settings, email, sound enhancer, camera and Twitter to get you started.

Web Tiles
Got a favourite website you frequent everyday? Well, now you can pin it the homescreen. When you’re on the site in question, select options, then ‘pin to start’. Now you’ve got a dedicated tile for your website on the home page.

Contact Tiles
How about your favourite contacts? Again, it’s very simple: go into people, find the contact you want, press and hold down, select ‘pin to start’.

You can pretty much pin anything you like to the Start Screen, which means you can turn it into a custom built landing page that has all your most important contacts, websites and applications all in one place.

Re-arranging Tiles
Keeping your Start Screen organised shouldn’t be an issue, no matter how many apps you eventually download, as arranging and editing the Start Screen on Windows Phone 7 is simple.

To re-arrange your Start Screen Tiles simply hold down on a Tile and after a moment or two all the other Tiles we begin floating. You are now free to either remove Tiles or simply re-arrange them.

To remove them, tap on the pin symbol that should appear directly above the Tile in edit mode. To re-arrange, simple drag-and-drop the Tile where you want it to be – the other tiles will simply move out of the way. Simple.

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