View Poll Results: Should Microsoft Differentiate the App Experience With Interactive Live Tiles?

22. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes, they use Interactive Live Tiles to create unique app interactions for users.

    20 90.91%
  • No, they shouldn't use Interactive Live Tiles to create unique app interactions for users.

    0 0%
  • I don't know.

    1 4.55%
  • I don't care either way.

    1 4.55%
  1. Jason Ward's Avatar
    [I]“While [Windows 10] will give developers the unprecedented ability to develop apps that work on PCs, tablets, and smartphones with a single application development effort, it does not show enough potential for a differentiated mobile experience that will draw developers and consumers away from iOS and Android,” Gillett said.

    Yep. Windows 10‘s unified front may indeed draw developers in to cater to Microsoft’s tremendous PC user base in time. But if the only achievement is that now the slow moving underdog finally has the app selection the entrenched rivals with committed and locked in users has then there may be little appeal for iOS and Android users to switch given that they can already do on their devices what Microsoft will be finally be making available for them to do on theirs.

    See here’s the thing. Most people are not really that invested in their OS. You know the general public. Not we tech folks who can rattle off specs and features at a drop of a hat. You know people like your mom, grandmother, pastor, kid, spouse – frankly anyone who is not a tech head. What the regular smartphone user cares about, is can this device do what I want it to do? That normally then translates into does it have the apps that perform the functions I need it to perform to help me accomplish the tasks I need to accomplish? The answer for about 97% of the smartphone market, about 90% android users and 17% iOS users is yes, my Android device and iPhone does exactly what I need it to do.

    Add to that Apple’s proclivity for locking users in via proprietary hardware, accessories and software snares. And androids ubiquity which engenders support from a myriad of third party accessory OEMs and developers, that 97% of the market has a significant portion of that audience significantly locked in.

    Ouch. That’s painful news for Microsoft and Windows fans who want to see life flow into the Live Tile adorned OS. Hmmmmm. And that may actually be the key. Live Tiles that is.

    Live Tiles

    You see, at this point in the mobile era we have all become quite accustomed to apps. You download them to your device, tap the icon and voila the app opens and away you go using and interacting with the app and the content or people it gives you access to. Yaaaaawwwnnn. That’s so 2009. Microsoft in 2010 took another approach when it introduced Windows 7. Live Tiles.

    Live Tiles take the best of an icon (unobtrusive) and widget (alive and able to be interacted with) to create a User Interface that provides users with access to content within the app without having to tap, open and use the app. The information you desire is right there on the Start screen in many cases. “Glance and Go” was Microsoft’s early Windows 7 tagline.

    So what does this have to do with Windows 10 and the potential to grab some of those 97% iOS and android users? Live Tiles have been flipping and displaying information since 2010 and few consumers have barely even glanced.

    Well the market in many developed countries is saturated with smartphones. That is to say, virtually everyone has one, is accustomed to them and is used to the, uh, archaic way we interact with apps. Download an app, place a “dead” icon on the start screen, tap it , it opens, we use it. Yes that model, anyone with a smidgeon of imagination knows must eventually change. I submit Microsoft’s Next Chapter is a good time.

    Interactive Live Tiles

    Before I proceed I’d like to acknowledge what some of you may have already considered. Android’s widgets. Yes android has interactive widgets, but not every app can be a widget and widgets don’t present the seamless unobtrusive flow of apps across a Start screen like Live Tiles do.

    Now imagine a model where users can see and interact with content, data and people without launching an app. Sounds nice doesn’t it? Progressive even. Maybe even the next evolution in mobile computing. Microsoft Live Tiles, more than iOS’s static icons and androids widgets are positioned for this next step in the mobile user experience.

    We have been introduced to this concept which Microsoft has apparently been tinkering with, that was to launch in the now defunct (or delayed) McLaren. Exploding tiles, where a user hovers their finger over a tile to initiate an “explosion” of smaller tiles from the main tile, each of which contains some content or means to interact with the app without launching it. Phenomenal! Alas, the McLaren did not launch accompanied with Microsoft’s claim that it was not prepared. The exploding tile implementation too was delayed. Delayed not canceled.

    Reports emerged that that concept may still see the light of day, howbeit not in the “touchless” iteration that was planned for the McLaren. If implemented now at this stage in the mobile war, it may not be groundbreaking in the planned ways touchless interaction would have introduced but it could be the groundbreaking game changer Microsoft needs to differentiate a user app experience on its platform.


    Why switch to Windows if my iOS or Android device has the apps that allow me to do what I want it to do. Answer: Microsoft’s Interactive Live Tiles does it better. In developed nations we (right or wrong) often subscribe to the notion that bigger and faster and newer is better. It’s true. That’s why two years after the fulfillment of a carrier contract we are dumping perfectly good devices for the bigger, faster and newer device. We’ve been convinced it’s better. Now with ATT’s Next, Verizon’s Edge and T-Mobile’s Jump programs our desire for the newer and fresher iterations of our mobile computing devices is satiated even sooner. What am I saying? We like new. And if sold to us properly – we buy it.

    The 97% of smartphone (android and iOS) users have been using a particular model of app interaction for almost eight (8) years now since the launch of the first iPhone in 2007, then the first android device shortly thereafter. That’s an eternity in computer years! Yes iOS refreshed its UI ridding the OS of those skeuomorphic designs. Android Lollipop has moved things along with Material Design making an aesthetically pleasing UI. But the way a user interacts with the data, content and connections via apps has remained unchanged for iOS and Android users. They’re still using a 2007 model!

    Microsoft has an opportunity to evolve its Live Tile implementation to the next level of app interaction. Imagine pinning a Contact to the Start screen and via multiple exploding tiles choose to view either Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn updates. Or select a call option that presents itself as an exploding tile. Or having the ability to filter what is displayed on their main tile. Suppose you want to see all of their Facebook photos, or Twitter posts, or Linked Updates, or maybe just their text messages or WhatsApp messages to you. Live Tiles.

    Imagine being able to swipe through messages on your message tile, or your photos on your photo tile. Imagine a photos hub that is reconnected to social networks. If there is someone you care about whose photo updates on Facebook, Flickr, Tumbler etc. you’d love to see cycle through your Photos tile, Live Tiles can be enhanced to provide this option.

    Imagine controlling Music via exploding controls on the music tile or advancing tracks with a gesture on the tile. Imaging viewing or previewing video on the video tile. Or imagine cycling through YouTube videos of your YouTube subscriptions and preview selected videos on your YouTube (third party I know) tile. Imagine liking a Facebook post or retweeting a Tweet from a Live Tile. The possibilities of app interaction via interactive Live Tiles is vast. Extraordinarily vast.

    Microsoft is establishing the necessary foundation with Windows 10 to get developers on board with a unified code and a single Store. Live Tiles is their unique weapon in this mobile war that will allow them to differentiate how users experience apps on mobile devices. No one has done that since 2007. If Microsoft embraces this challenge they will be giving developers a new and vast landscape to pioneer new app user experiences. Users can then be courted with new, faster and bigger ways to experience apps on their mobile devices. Microsoft’s job will be to show them how it is better. If they’re successful – we will buy it.
    Last edited by rockstarzzz; 01-23-2015 at 06:31 AM.
    01-23-2015 06:03 AM
  2. dKp1977's Avatar
    If they can manage to provide a clean and consistent experience, I say yes. Not sure if they should open such functionality up to devs through APIs though. It could become an ugly mess rather quickly.
    01-23-2015 07:05 AM
  3. Kronus24's Avatar
    They already been working on Interactive Live Tiles for windows and have demos of it. Its coming just don't know when, Let me try to find the video for you. But Interactive Live Tiles will be the next step which is already being work on and sure to be seen in windows 10.

    01-23-2015 12:55 PM
  4. Jason Ward's Avatar
    �� THANKS KRONUS24 for you tell and the video! I know my post was very long and a lot to read but I did mention above that Microsoft is working with Interactive Tiles and that we were expecting it to debut in the now defunct(or delayed McLaren)��So yeah, I know its in the cards. I was just happen that it would have been a card played at the Windows 10 presentation on Jan 21! I'm not sure where they are with there progress toward a final product, nor where the concept falls in there list of priorities, but without repeating the case that I made above in a nutshell I think it imperative that they really implement this sooner than later to create a unique app experience for users as an incentive to win iOS and Android faithful. Please read above for further clarity. But thanks again for the video, it will help everyone visualize the concept!��
    Kevin Rush and Pranshul Sood like this.
    01-23-2015 01:31 PM
  5. Kevin Rush's Avatar
    Thank you! Very good explanation and video. I agree, this needs to be implemented right away (before Apple claims they invented it).
    01-23-2015 02:08 PM
  6. Wevenhuis's Avatar

    Here are the other two videos in line wth a more tangible idea of what live tiles could be for windows 10 for mobile, tablet and desktop!!! (...even windows 8.1!!! ;))

    I think introducing live tiles would only be a logical step for windows 10. Many are expecting this and it also has a large cumulative following on the wishlist of the windows (phone) 8 uservoice.

    It makes sense because it's information and functionality at your fingerstips. No more searching in indexed search bars behind hidden windows and folder. It's their, available, intuitive, interactive, far from boring. It's functionality coming to you, not you searching for the functionality.

    I can image a bit of regulation is needed to prevent developers overlfowing the start screen with only interactivity, but I think that what the videos show, could be a first glimpse in which direction developers could go, to keep interactive live tile manageable.

    Let them come, the interactive live tiles!
    01-23-2015 02:28 PM
  7. luke_f's Avatar
    I did now know these videos. This is exactly what I was hoping for in the Windows 10 event. But nothing like that was shown.

    Let's vote for it,maybe they will still add it!
    01-23-2015 05:56 PM
  8. pedmar007's Avatar
    W10 gone mad!! When this is the finished article honestly how will IOS or Android compare? If this is what's on the desktop will I be walking around with future tech in my pocket or on hip from just an upgrade in software for my L920 or whatever I upgrade to.
    Jason Ward likes this.
    01-23-2015 06:19 PM
  9. luke_f's Avatar
    Yeah this would totally smash iOS and Andriod!! Go Microsoft!! :D
    Jason Ward likes this.
    01-24-2015 12:02 PM

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