- 11-12-2013, 10:39 PM #1
This article is meant to explain the Live Tiles concept to new WP8 comers or people outside of the platform who think you can get Live Tiles via a launcher !
Live Tiles are not widgets; they don't serve the same purpose, nor are they the same.
Live Tiles are not meant for interactions with apps, they're instead highly sophisticated links that provide custom made data at a glance (visual/text/numerical).
Some People would argue that Widgets do that too with the added benefit of interacting with them, however Live Tiles have many advantages that Widgets just can't match at its current form.
For starters Live Tiles do not break the UI in any way unless the developer wants to do so and even then the breakage will be minimal; they adopt to our color of choice and fit well within our homescreen.
Live Tiles bring to life old ideas! (no pun intended)
Remember when you used to modify Half Life's shortcut to get to Counter Strike directly instead of loading it in Half Life? Legacy Windows apps always had some sort of options you can activate by using preset commands (Generals.exe -quickstart = no long story lines you can't skip)
Live Tiles are meant to replicate this effect but in an easy and strict manner, not only can they take you to specific sections in their respective apps buy they can also load a small part of the apps in question, the part that is relevant to you! (faster launch times of the apps and less RAM usage, more time spent on context rather than UI navigation)
Live Tiles are your own notification center that is infinitely more customizable than any other platform, but comes at the price of scheduled update instead of the instantly updated notification.
You can get the latest Instagram pics from your favorite Instagrammer or get the latest tweets on a hot subject you're following, you can follow your Xbox games, you wordaments highscore or your AlphaJax current score and next move.
Live Tiles are not perfect they're still a work in progress but you can bet they're here to stay and I wouldn't trade them off for any visual effect or gimmicky looking widgets.
Share your thoughts down in the comments and be sure to hit me up on Twitter too @nabkawe5
Thanks for reading.
- 11-13-2013, 06:45 AM #6
- 11-13-2013, 08:06 AM #9
I sometimes wonder what people do with their phones and their Start screens. There seems to be lots of complaints about little things.
11-13-2013, 10:30 AM #10
- 638 Posts
Small tiles absolutely can be live. If you take a look at the last preview picture for our app (http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/st...e-77c4766109b0) you'll see that the "All courses" tile is small and is showing a count of 2 to show the student that two of his or her courses have updated content in Blackboard Learn. Small tiles can't show the app name, can't show several lines of text, and can't flip, but they can be updated and thus are "live."
And while WP does not offer a UI for changing the background color of tiles, nothing prevents an app developer from providing such a feature.
- 11-13-2013, 10:35 AM #11
My only gripe with the tiles is that, even though they serve great purposes, they look dull and look monotonic most of the time, which makes my Windows Phone experience rather boring and unexciting. They could at least give me the option to add more personality to my tiles.
11-13-2013, 12:37 PM #13
- 585 Posts
- 11-13-2013, 09:50 PM #14
Its about customizing DATA from the app you like, this article didn't claim that every app utilize the full potentials of Live Tiles, it explains said potential and almost every main stream app on the WP store has an amazing set of live tiles.
- 11-14-2013, 10:59 PM #17
PureMotion HD really shines when you try low FPS phones, blur everywhere and scrolling becomes a chore.
However I don't see a better competitor in terms of utilizing space or even UI ease of use.
- 11-15-2013, 02:55 AM #18
I love that my tiles gives me updates on my groups of contacts I make without having to open them, even if they aren't "up to date". Whenever I open up any social media app, I find it damn near impossible to catch up on everyone's day, so my selected few that I put in groups make it that much easier to filter from those that I don't particularly care to be constantly updated about. I have my family members, my co-workers, and my close friends. Some might not like it because it doesn't give you an up to the second notification, but I think it gets the job done. Moreso than anything, I think Live Tiles does the job of a widget without having to sacrifice battery life
- 11-15-2013, 10:45 PM #20
I dont know why these things are called live tiles. nothing "live" about these tiles except the stock phone, sms, and email tiles.
battery live tile? useless.
I usually have my weather refreshed every 15 min on my android smartphone.. some other widgets are less than that during the day. on my note i have a dialer, calculator, calendar, sms, google keep, music player, notes.. all widgets, all interactive. most of the time I dont even need to go into separate apps.
i really wish devs had more control and flexibility. and please dont tell me about how shorter refresh times for live tiles will kill my battery. of course it will. so will using your phone. i also have an optimus l9. 2150 mah battery. i average 3 1/2-4 hours of screen-on time. Im pretty sure wp8 can manage with its limited multitasking.
11-16-2013, 10:17 AM #21
- 638 Posts
If you're arguing that someone who's actually dedicated to understanding how his or her Android device works can achieve a higher level of information density and functional utility without sacrificing substantial battery life, I won't argue with you -- I agree. However, you've described a very small minority of buyers; they're called system administrators.
On of the knocks that I've heard about Windows Phone from iPhone users is that WP has two app lists (the Start screen and the alphabetical list to the right) and that it's confusing. Explaining that they're different lists for different purposes doesn't work with some of them because they are used to the static grid that can be swiped back and forth. They aren't accepting of a new (or, apparently, conflicting) concept isn't going to get into their heads. They certainly aren't going to pay attention to which widgets or apps are sucking up the battery -- they're going to complain that the phone is no good because it won't last all day.
In the end, Microsoft has been trying to walk a line between the total lock-down of iOS and the wild west of Android. Almost every decision has been a compromise between these two. (Don't bring up a notification center since they're already said yes, but haven't yet delivered. When they do, we can see if their implementation takes this same iOS/Android compromise.)
Tiles are greater than the static icons of iOS while less functional and frequent than the widgets of Android -- yet they bring a visual consistency if the developer uses the standard templates and don't threaten battery life. The user gets part of the benefits of widgets (the glance-and-go/read-only part) without the risk of a badly programmed widget killing the phone by 4pm.
Could a dedicated user have the best of both worlds? Sure. But most consumers aren't dedicated. Hell, the "VCR blinking 12:00" was a joke for almost 20 years because so many people couldn't bother to learn how to set the time on a device that they stared at all evening. (We were saved from the joke by the elimination of VCRs and their clocks, not because users learned something.)
- 12-26-2013, 06:11 AM #24
3rd party live tiles takes longer to flip than 1st party live tiles like groups, and Me. I hate staaring at the tile to flip just to see the new notification. Also I wish Microsoft would update how fast me tile gets new notification. For once I wish my me tile flips instantly after I got new Facebook notification.
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