01-30-2014 09:43 AM
72 123
tools
  1. nickdu's Avatar
    Question for you, why the 520 and not the 920 as a starting place?
    I could pick up the 520 new for $60 at the Microsoft Store. I put it on a cheap carrier which runs on at&t's network. That seemed the cheapest way to test out a decent nokia windows phone.

    Thanks,
    Nick
    01-24-2014 07:18 PM
  2. Mr Lebowski's Avatar

    I'm a Verizon customer but purchased a 520 from the Microsoft site since it was so cheap. I put it on a cheap carrier that runs over at&t's network. I figured this was a cheap way to give it a try. It all works.

    I could pick up the 520 new for $60 at the Microsoft Store. I put it on a cheap carrier which runs on at&t's network. That seemed the cheapest way to test out a decent nokia windows phone.

    Thanks,
    Nick
    You did or you could ?
    01-26-2014 12:42 AM
  3. nickdu's Avatar
    You did or you could ?
    I did.
    01-26-2014 07:48 AM
  4. badcat's Avatar
    If I knew how to take a screen shot on a windows phone I might. I'm sure with just a little searching I can figure that out. However, the screen I was describing in my original post can be easily visualized. Three full width tiles, phone, email and messaging. That's it. However, after reading all the useful posts I've decided to change things around a bit and see what usefulness I can stumble upon.
    worldspy99 provided a link in their post.
    Take a screenshot | Windows Phone How-to (United States)
    01-26-2014 08:42 AM
  5. teddystiles's Avatar
    I think I would use my live tiles more if they would update. They never update unless I start that app - then they update with the information I just saw, making them largely useless. They USED to work, and I don't remember having this problem way back in Windows Phone 7. I'm sure it's a settings issue, but trying to figure out the whole "background tasks" settings page is a nightmare.
    01-29-2014 01:37 PM
  6. parez81's Avatar
    The way i have step is i have all my messaging apps (whatsapp,text,istangram,groupme,linked mailbox,facebook message pinned from app,snapchat) as small tiles on the top. I dont want to see details. Just the notifications.
    Along with those apps i also have add new note pinned from one note, xbox music and pandora small tile

    Then i have full wide tile of True calendar 8. It shows next 4 meetings from all my calendars. The next one is full wide weather tile with current temp and the back tile is next 5 days (Amazing Weather HD)

    After that i have Gtasks plus full wide tile that shows my pending gmail tasks.

    After that all frequently used apps.
    01-29-2014 01:55 PM
  7. parez81's Avatar
    I think I would use my live tiles more if they would update. They never update unless I start that app - then they update with the information I just saw, making them largely useless. They USED to work, and I don't remember having this problem way back in Windows Phone 7. I'm sure it's a settings issue, but trying to figure out the whole "background tasks" settings page is a nightmare.
    I have had the problem before. Factory reset definitely fixes it.
    01-29-2014 01:56 PM
  8. supervoid's Avatar
    So I'll be honest, I didn't read through the entire thread, just the original post and a couple of random replies as I worked my way to the "Reply" button. But, my mind was blown that this is even a discussion. I guess it's probably similar to a discussion that was had a hundred years ago when someone first decided to put doors on a car! "What's the point when I can get into the car and drive it either way?" I can probably come up with a number of better analogies, but I shudder at the thought that live tiles are perceived as pointless just because many developers are too lazy to implement them properly and many users don't understand how to be more efficient.

    When I look at e-mail, calendar, and weather apps between my Windows Phone and an iPhone, it's a no-brainer that live tiles are the superior way to deliver data to the user. Why should I have to touch my phone more than once to see some basic information like the sender and subject of that work e-mail that just came in while I was on my lunch break? Certainly, there are poor implementations of the live tile, but the idea that the feature is the same or inferior to having simple icons really doesn't make any at all.

    In conclusion...duh, of course live tiles are useful if they're implemented properly. And the idea of switching back to a phone that doesn't have that option all seems like a major step backwards to me.
    HaibaneReki likes this.
    01-29-2014 01:59 PM
  9. jojoe42's Avatar
    I actually find my live tiles useful, but not super handy. I have my start screen setup so that all the things that I use/check the most are closest to the top i.e. my calendar, People Hub, and social networking apps. I do agree with others that the updating of tiles is rather hit and miss sometimes, and that developers could make greater use of the live tiles; some apps like Bing Weather and Budget Buddy really offer the 'live tile' experience; that is, you can quickly glance at the widgets and go. I do have a lot of apps pinned to start, as I often find it is quicker to organise the start screen into "sections" rather than hunt and peck through the app list. I think if developers were allowed more consistent and instantaneous notifications, and users were allowed to manually refresh or clear live tiles (as sometimes after you open the app the live tile doesn't update), then there would be more of a reason for both users and developers to use live tiles. As I've said with some of my previous posts, WP8 and Windows 8/8.1 is just the start, and things will get radically better as they find out better ways of doing things
    01-29-2014 02:09 PM
  10. danj210's Avatar
    -Nick, if you don't see any real differences between the UI's then you should probably use a flip phone, will save you some money on devices and possibly even a very cheap plan as you probably won't notice any UI differences either.

    I can't really give any good advice for ya because that one sentence right there is pretty outrageous and it wouldn't be worth my time if that's the actual truth unless you are a fanboy, as what your saying sounds very fanboy'ish unless you have a hard time with vision, not an insult but if a person can't see then a person can't see like a blind person who I mean no disrespect against. But you can't be blind if you're typing unless someone is typing for you. Either way if you see no real differences then this thread is over after that one sentence and should be closed.

    Only thing I can suggest is don't waste money on expensive phones as you'll probably not see any differences... And the Lumia 520 is the cheapest possible windows phone you can get, if the over priced iPhone doesn't have better call quality than the 520, I'm about to blog on every smartphone war site I can find.

    Last thing I'll say is do some research, you can very easily answer your questions from online but if you see no UI differences, I just have no idea how to help you.

    Good Luck!
    01-29-2014 02:17 PM
  11. Lloyd_S's Avatar
    I'm sure someone has said this, but....The 520 is a low to mid-range device. If you go with a 1020, 925 or 928 then you'll have no issues at all with call quality. If you take pictures with your phone then these are the best you can get with a device that fits in your pocket (1520 too damn big) and you'll see they are much sharper than the iPhone.

    Now as for tiles....you're like me I think in that you don't stare at your homescreen just to watch the tiles flip. I'm not sure what the benefit is here. I just have small tiles for phone, message and email at the top and a large tile for calendar under them. I don't want to read email or messages on a tile and when I see the count I open the app.

    I also have a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and it's just as boring....no widgets and only one screen. I get fantastic battery life because nothing is running non-stop and like my 1020 I just go into the apps section to get what I want.
    01-29-2014 02:22 PM
  12. EchoOne30's Avatar
    WP8 and Windows 8/8.1 is just the start, and things will get radically better as they find out better ways of doing things
    This makes me chuckle. This has been said since 2010.

    I've been a fan and supporter since then, and I don't mean anything negative by that! It's just funny that that phrase has been uttered about every single iteration of windows phone.
    Lloyd_S and HaibaneReki like this.
    01-29-2014 02:31 PM
  13. Plazma1's Avatar
    Don't forget live tiles also act as a pin. I have tiles for my specific podcasts so I can jump right into them. Also, I have my favourite tags and people as 6tag pins so I can jump to specific people when I need. Same goes for the three busses I take regularly throughout the week - I don't need to launch my Toronto transit app, instead I just hit the bus tile for my route and up pops the app with that schedule!

    It is true that sometimes the live tile bit doesn't always work - but I find the best part about the tiles are pinning them to jump into a specific part of an app - instead of launching the app and figuring it out from there.
    01-29-2014 02:52 PM
  14. joe_easton's Avatar
    This is an interesting topic. I often find that many of my live tiles are just for show as the don't all show relevant info. However, there are many that do. For example:

    - Simple Calendar shows my next appointments
    - Weatherflow shows current weather and the weeks' forecast
    - messaging shows the majority of a text that was just received. I can decide whether or not to even open the app to reply or not
    - WP Central - wide tile shows article titles while the medium shows how many new stories are there so I don't have to open to find out there are no new stories (next gen reader does the same)
    - Twitter and facebook will show recent notifications
    - Instagram shows a counter for notifications
    - Many sports apps will show up to the minute scores which is really convenient

    The list goes on and on. But there is also another advantage to pinning items to the start screen and that is the ability to jump deep into an app. For example, have a favorite artist or playlist? Pin that to the start screen to make it faster to get to it. Have a favorite album of pics? Kindle book? Facebook messages? Contact's tile? These can all be pinned. This makes the phone unique and functional.

    So not only can live tiles bring content to the screen but they making getting into apps faster because you can get to where you are going with one tap.
    01-29-2014 03:00 PM
  15. RCKniker's Avatar
    I love them and everything about windows phone 8.0. Used android for years most recently an HTC One but switched to the Samsung ATVI Neo. Love how fluid the operating system is and the info from the live tiles. Can't wait for 8.1
    01-29-2014 03:29 PM
  16. Joshua Jackson's Avatar
    many developers are too lazy to implement them properly
    While this is true, allow me to reply from a budding developer's standpoint...
    Now, I have two Windows Phone apps and two (one still in certification) Windows 8 apps.
    Both of my Windows Phone apps went months without live tiles (both do, now) and neither of my Windows 8 apps have live tiles.
    Why?
    I didn't know how to implement them (I still don't have Windows 8 live tiles down).
    Making apps isn't my business.
    I'm just playing around with a couple, very specific, apps to accomplish a couple, very specific, functions.
    I'm not a programmer (I do have a background in web development, though).
    I'm learning C#/XAML, as I'm making these apps.
    Now, you can make a "live tile" with just some static backside content, but that doesn't help anyone.
    I wanted quality, updating content.
    I was perfectly happy not having a live tile until I got to that point.
    Could I have spent more time and focus on the apps?
    Certainly.
    But, these are free apps and they get better with every release (which is quite often).
    The few people that actually download (and use) my apps would much rather have the app without a live tile than no app until a live tile is there.
    Of course, those same few people might not even realize that there's a live tile (you do have to pin it to the Start Screen before a live tile is even shown).
    JJ
    01-29-2014 03:37 PM
  17. allibone's Avatar
    Live Tiles are more useful in some cases than their iOS or Android counterparts, but for me they could be improved further by making large tiles actionable.

    Email Wide Tile - It's cool that my double wide email tile shows me the number of unread emails and the heading and first line of the most recent email but I'd like the option to cycle through each unread email without opening the app, say buy using a swipe from the left to the right to flick through the unread emails.

    Messagine Wide Tile - a double tap on it could bring up the full message with the option to reply without even opening the app, it would also have the swipe from left to cycle through unread messages.
    Last edited by allibone; 01-29-2014 at 04:44 PM.
    01-29-2014 04:16 PM
  18. jrdatrackstar1223's Avatar
    So I'm actually with the OP on this. I was adding a lot of stuff to my home screen, and found that it was cluttered and complicated to use. Instead, I keep my live tiles as an area for updates and information, and the apps on the other side. The only quick access functionality thing I have is OneNote. Other than that, having an alphabetical list of my apps is way quicker to just scroll to vs. having to scroll through a list of the start screen and have to remember (or search for) the app I want.

    To me, the alphabetically listed apps is really the equivalent of folders to me because they're categorized already, and being able to click a letter is quicker, more convenient and requires less thinking.

    To each his/her own though....
    01-29-2014 08:00 PM
  19. wizll's Avatar
    useful to me just that it's quick and easy to see all the apps I use that have some updates. news readers, messaging apps. bing weather I never open, it updates itself based on where I'm currently located all the time.

    the other usefulness of pinned that I've found is, oddly, for a location based game I've been playing. QONQR. I use it to pin the zones that I'm currently attacking and defending. all the zones attacking are lined up on the left and the ones I'm defending on the right. It's great to be able to easily hop to a zone from the pinned tiles. I also have this same game on my iPad, and it's impossible to organize in the same fashion as I do as on the windows phone. on the ipad, you have to load the game, then literally scroll around the map and have to remember where to go to get to the zones you're working on. The only benefit of the ios version is that it is easier to scan zones quickly while using the map (extra touches required on wp version).
    01-29-2014 08:15 PM
  20. EC Translating Services's Avatar
    My opinion on tiles is that they are as gorgeous as their usefulness is limited. I won't get into details about other aspects of user experience and will limit this post to TILES.

    They are better than icons in non WP devices and worse than full fledged widgets. I have about 3 screen of tiles on my Nokia 1520 and not even one of them grants the efficiency a proper widget does. I love the phone but i find the way tiles work very limiting. Amongs other limits i find are:
    Negative sides for me:
    - Some news tiles (Weave to mention one for all) show a given article on screen, beautiful, appealing...but when i click on it i get the main page of Weaver, not the article i want. If i do the same with a Taptu/Pulse/Feedly widget in Android i get the article i need.
    - They are limited in customization and this in turn affects the UI. I have 3 sizes and that may not be what i want. I also have many tiles forcing me to one colour which can make the pages pretty dull.
    - I don't know if it's my phone (screen oversensitivity despite being on Black update) or the UI but often can't manage to make tiles do what i want. I happen to have to long-click on them 20 times before getting the menu to resize, move or unpin. They open straight away and i have to close and redo the whole thing till i manage to get the result wanted. This may be due to oversensitiveness but it affects the way i use tiles too.
    - If widgets are actually interactive (if you click on a section of a weather widget you get, say, temperatures, while clicking on another section you get, say, weather forecasts for the next 5 days; calendar widget will allow you to fully interact with the app it is associated to), tiles are things that once you pin them move, seem alive but don't allow you for any interaction.
    - Honestly, the space they take on my screen could be better used if they were fully customizable and groupable in folders (they can be grouped and i do but again, low interactivity).
    - MS not opening APIs limits them even more in my opinion and some developers made it clear.

    Positive sides:
    - they are big and easy to use. To the point i can use a few of them with one hand (rightly positioned on the screen) and i have very small hands.
    - They are a fresh take on UIs that Android and Iphone lack as they seem dinosaurs compared to WP (despite their UIs being functional IMHO).

    So the conclusion is i have mixed feelings about tiles: On the ones side i think they are a really innovative, fresh take on how people interact with UIs (And i like it); on the other side i am frustrated by the shortcomings and limitations MS put on its OS. The day tiles will have the same flexibility Android widgets have there will be no way back to old, childish, icons.

    That is my 2c on Tiles after about one month of constant use, attempts to customize tiles with any software around, testing good combinations of colors VS functions etc.
    I hope this post is read as that of a user with mixed feelings rather than that of an OS basher. My purpose is to make this constructive rather than affirming the superiority of an OS over another (especially when one is basically a beta under development with a market that is still not up to level).
    01-29-2014 11:50 PM
  21. svknet's Avatar
    I like Live Tiles on my Windows Phone. I earlier used Samsung Omnia W, and now use Lumia 620.

    I only wish Live Tiles consistently update information which they are supposed to. I have tried several Weather and Battery apps, both free and paid. Yet most of them won't update information on Live Time until I open app and close it. After closing app, Weather Tile will display current temperature, and Battery tile will display battery percentage. Same was case with some of news Tile which I used earlier.

    No issues with System apps like Phone, Messaging, Email, Calendar as they update information automatically. But now I mostly use Tiles as shortcut with small tiles all over :)
    01-30-2014 03:55 AM
  22. Mac Morrison's Avatar
    I think if tiles are done well they are wonderfull. sadly most are nothing more than an image or only update once in a blue moon.

    I made an app that is basically nothing more than a live tile. I wanted to play with what a live tile is.
    (its called 5 a day - and its there on your home screen to passively nag you to eat better)

    Even microsoft apps like xbox one smart glass don't update - and dev centre does very very rarely.
    Its pretty easy to update them - but im not sure users like the background tasks running
    even though they do very little very rarely.
    01-30-2014 09:43 AM
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