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Windows Phone Live Tiles. A Killer Feature.

Windows Phone Live Tiles. A Killer Feature.

Windows Phone Is Different…

The flat, Metro New Windows UI is often awe-inspiring to those who see and experience it for the first time. I even referred to this revelatory experience in a recent post.

No one can deny that the unique UX sets Windows Phone apart from the other Smartphone platforms.

The Awesomeness of Live Tiles…

One of the things that plagued Windows Mobile the predecessor to Windows Phone was the failure to comprehend that you cannot port desktop UX onto a Smartphone screen (however big they are getting) and expect it to work. It was possibly the biggest reason why Windows Phone came late to market compared to Android or iPhone. Microsoft took a long hard look at what Smartphone UX should be.

One of the first things that someone notices is Live Tiles. The Start Screen of any Windows Phone is populated with Live Tiles, akin to animated, resizable icons both allowing the user to customize their phone desktop and receive information from the App via the Live Tile. For some like Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn the Live Tile shows a count of new messages. Others may display actual content such as local temperature or a stock quote.

Windows Phone - Live Tiles

The Missing Link?

Whilst using my laptop recently I was using The Windows Phone Dev Center and decided it would be convenient to pin the shortcut to the Windows taskbar. The rationale for this feature is sound, web applications or sites that behave as applications make sense to have pinned alongside local applications in the taskbar.

I asked myself, wouldn’t it make sense for Windows Phone to allow a similar feature? The fact is they do.

Windows Phone - Pin To Start

With it, the pinned site becomes a Live Tile. In fact this feature can be used for most things on the Windows Phone including Contacts, favorite Songs, Documents and more. The official Windows Phone site explains it nicely here. In a nutshell the Live Tile created will display any update to the entity pinned and it becomes a speed-dial for whatever you pin.

The Warptest POV

This is both an incredibly useful and killer feature for Windows Phone that increases the ROI on selecting this phone platform over the competition. This is one step nearer to feature and UX convergence between Windows desktop and phone OS.

So, next time you meet me for coffee feel free to ask for a demo of my Windows Phone and prepare to be wowed. Who knows it might convince you that your next phone should be a Windows Phone.