Shop Cyber Monday deals at:Amazon | Walmart | Best Buy | Microsoft | Dell

  1. jhoff80's Avatar
    So, I just finished getting all of my tiles into a layout that looked nice, but also had a lot of information on the screen at the same time; I used small tiles for a lot of the WP7 stuff, since most WP7 tiles look bad blown up at high resolutions.

    However, a little while later, I finally discovered the flaw in my plan. Any small tile that you use can't flip, apparently. That means in my case I'm only getting an app icon and not any of the information (which is usually on the back of the tile).

    In effect, the fact that the small tiles don't flip makes those nearly useless for WP7 stuff, which is very disappointing for me.
    11-10-2012 12:40 AM
  2. mase123987's Avatar
    They may not flip but they do still provide information such as new messages or updated weather information.
    11-10-2012 12:54 AM
  3. jhoff80's Avatar
    They may not flip but they do still provide information such as new messages or updated weather information.
    Yes, but a lot of applications use the front of the tile for an app icon, and the back of the tile for more information. So, LinkedIn, for example, won't show any counters as a small tile, because they're on the back. It just stays on the LinkedIn logo the whole time. CNN and ESPN do the same thing, you get zero information if they're small tiles.

    WonderReader shows the small counter on the front of the tile, but not the most recent headline and image on the back.

    There's a bunch of others too, that are just a whole lot less useful without the ability to flip.
    11-10-2012 12:59 AM
  4. budney's Avatar
    I think it's up to the app developers as to how the small tiles work. Amazing Weather small tile flips to reveal more info. So hopefully we see more developers take advantage of the small tile. You may want to contact the developer to drop them a hint. :)

    Edit: Nevermind, I must have been seeing things. lol


    Sent from my RM-824_nam_att_101 using Board Express
    Last edited by budney76; 11-10-2012 at 01:12 AM.
    11-10-2012 01:07 AM
  5. mase123987's Avatar
    With small tiles, it doesn't make sense to show anything but a counter. Apps will be different on what they provide. All the apps that I have small icons for are ones that either don't provide info on tiles anyways or where simple counters do the job. I was actually surprised with the weather channel small tile.
    11-10-2012 01:52 AM
  6. manicottiK's Avatar
    Any small tile that you use can't flip, apparently.
    Yes, this is by the design of the Windows Phone team. The API docs describe three "types" of tiles with three sizes. Small tiles have no room for backside text (they don't even have text on the front!).

    You can find some nice graphical samples of the various types and sizes at What's new in Windows Phone 8 - Nokia Developer Wiki (search for "New sizes and new templates" to see the samples).
    11-10-2012 03:06 AM
  7. jhoff80's Avatar
    Yes, this is by the design of the Windows Phone team. The API docs describe three "types" of tiles with three sizes. Small tiles have no room for backside text (they don't even have text on the front!).

    You can find some nice graphical samples of the various types and sizes at What's new in Windows Phone 8 - Nokia Developer Wiki (search for "New sizes and new templates" to see the samples).
    They might say that there's no room for text on the front, but that's an arbitrary limitation, as far as I'm concerned. Anything that looked good as a regular tile in WP7 still looks good as a small tile in WP8. In fact, it'll look better as a small tile, since otherwise it's blown up and all pixelated. Example, Amazing Weather's tile is perfectly readable even if you make it small. The only problem is that it won't flip to show the other half of the information.

    I mean, really, shouldn't the developer him or her self be able to best decide what looks best on their small tile, whether it's just an icon and number, or a little bit more information when it flips to the back?

    On top of that, like I said, apps like CNN and ESPN don't even work as a small tile; you don't even get a counter, because any information that they show is only on the back of the tile. Making them a small tile basically turns off the "live" portion of the tile, making them completely static, even though the app is still then uselessly checking the server for more information.
    11-10-2012 10:54 AM
  8. rockstarzzz's Avatar
    In fact, it'll look better as a small tile, since otherwise it's blown up and all pixelated. Example, Amazing Weather's tile is perfectly readable even if you make it small. The only problem is that it won't flip to show the other half of the information.

    I mean, really, shouldn't the developer him or her self be able to best decide what looks best on their small tile, whether it's just an icon and number, or a little bit more information when it flips to the back?

    On top of that, like I said, apps like CNN and ESPN don't even work as a small tile; you don't even get a counter, because any information that they show is only on the back of the tile. Making them a small tile basically turns off the "live" portion of the tile, making them completely static, even though the app is still then uselessly checking the server for more information.
    Pixelated? None of them really look that way on any phones. Not WP!

    The small tiles are not designed to flip or anything. They are there for stuff that you don't want excess info on, but a counter is enough. If you need your app to flip around and stuff, you go for medium. If you want more to be seen, then a large one. Simple.

    If you know that the app has something that will be displayed on the flip, then you should pin it as medium. That's why "live" tiles essentially are medium and large ones.
    Small ones consider them more like icons on other OS.
    11-10-2012 11:02 AM
  9. jhoff80's Avatar
    Pixelated? None of them really look that way on any phones. Not WP!
    Damn, I just lost the long(er) post I had typed out. Anyway you're wrong on this, text is generally crisp on the live tiles, but images and icons are not. Any number of live tiles look pretty bad in their present state on higher resolution displays: Amazing Weather, WonderReader, MyStocks Portfolio, MyTrips, DealFlux, and others, just have aspects that are pixelated or blurry because they're not optimized for the higher resolution.

    Anyway, I understand that as it is now, developers are locked into a icon and counter for small tiles. As I said above though, that's a pretty arbitrary restriction, and it would be better for the developer to decide which is better for their application: just a counter, or maybe a tiny bit more information on the back of the tile.

    I mean, as an example, wouldn't it be MUCH more useful if Twitter clients could be in a small tile, and show a counter for mentions on one side of the tile, and one for direct messages on the other side?

    And as I already stated, there's a lot of tiles like CNN and ESPN that are actually completely broken when they're made small, because they only show an icon (and not even a counter) on the front; any information they show is only ever on the back.
    11-10-2012 11:22 AM
  10. rockstarzzz's Avatar
    And as I already stated, there's a lot of tiles like CNN and ESPN that are actually completely broken when they're made small, because they only show an icon (and not even a counter) on the front; any information they show is only ever on the back.
    They aren't broken then! IF any information they show is only ever on the back, that means you need it to flip and that means they aren't designed to be just counters. Whereas whatsapp is only good enough as a counter in its current state. It's not broken but designed to bring info to you in different ways and hence different tiles based on what app you want to really pin.
    11-10-2012 11:28 AM
  11. jhoff80's Avatar
    They aren't broken then! IF any information they show is only ever on the back, that means you need it to flip and that means they aren't designed to be just counters. Whereas whatsapp is only good enough as a counter in its current state. It's not broken but designed to bring info to you in different ways and hence different tiles based on what app you want to really pin.
    Another example. LinkedIn. It IS only a counter. The developer decided to put the LinkedIn logo on the front, and it flips over to show a counter. If you make that small, then you never see the counter.

    As I already said, it's an arbitrary restriction they're putting on developers, which also means that until apps get updated for WP8 (if they ever even do, because let's face it, a ton of apps have been abandoned), some of them are not usable as a small tile.
    11-10-2012 11:33 AM
  12. Mpm277's Avatar
    Another example. LinkedIn. It IS only a counter. The developer decided to put the LinkedIn logo on the front, and it flips over to show a counter. If you make that small, then you never see the counter.

    As I already said, it's an arbitrary restriction they're putting on developers, which also means that until apps get updated for WP8 (if they ever even do, because let's face it, a ton of apps have been abandoned), some of them are not usable as a small tile.
    Even at the max size, the ESPN tile is just an icon isn't it?
    11-10-2012 07:50 PM
  13. jhoff80's Avatar
    Even at the max size, the ESPN tile is just an icon isn't it?
    Not in the newest version.
    11-10-2012 08:31 PM
  14. AngryNil's Avatar
    Small tiles are meant to be simple, an icon and a numeric counter. Even if they could flip, you'll probably be able to see three words.
    11-10-2012 10:13 PM
LINK TO POST COPIED TO CLIPBOARD