Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
wellofsouls

win8 Is it just me or those Metro apps really sucks so bad?

315 posts in this topic

I wonder if all the Surface RT buyers know that they are stuck with Metro Apps only and Office RT (without Outlook, stuck with Metro Mail)....

Microsoft did not do a good marketing job at telling people that Surface RT is not x86 compatible with all Windows applications....

Lets just guess the return rate of the RT tablets...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mail is a good solution for tablet users but I don't see why people would choose to use it on a desktop system, just like I don't see why anybody would even consider using Music on a desktop system. Metro apps run on desktop systems but they weren't designed for them, despite all the protestations to the contrary - they are a backwards step from the software already available on the desktop.

May be inclined to agree with Music, but for Mail my use of it is based on three factors: a) Live Mail tends to be slow with large mailboxes, b) using your Live/Hotmail/Outlook account with other clients, you can't get push notifications for new incoming emails (maybe you can with the Office Outlook client?), and c) can get notifications while the app is in the background, or right after I resume my computer from sleep and I see mail notifications on the lock screen.

That said, its feature set really needs to be up to parity with at least the Outlook web client.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Staying on topic (we can talk about the problems with the Start screen elsewhere)...

The problem with Metro apps as I see it is as follows.

1. One size fits all. What works on a 11 inch screen is ridiculous on a 24 inch monitor.

2. The charms bar is a terrible design. It's vertical which makes it harder to work with -- there is a wealth of research available on vertical vs. horizontal UI's.)

3. The charms bar has poor choices as its universals: Search (encourages app makers to make searching take an extra step), Share (very app specific), Devices (rarely used), Start screen (shouldn't be here, should be an always present element of the app), Options (THIS one is good).

4. Metro apps lack any sort of consistent set of guidelines. Each app has to be learned as if it were a DOS app. Some usage standard will likely get cobbled together but Microsoft's included apps should have provided an example. They don't.

The included apps include:

a. The stock app

b. The mail app

c. The Photos app

d. The people app

e. The maps app

They are all almost unusable. The maps app in particular might as well as an ActiveX control of the Bing home page. All of them require more effort to use than the apps they replaced.

In each case, the problem isn't just the matter that people have to learn a new way to use these apps. It's that even once you know, you realize that it is a vastly inferior way of working.

The default Metro apps are the worst of both words. For new users, they're confusing and obtuse to use because it lacks discoverability. For experts, they're tedious and inefficient. It's like Microsoft decided the gadgets from Vista were such a great idea that they decided to make an OS around it.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Each app has to be learned as if it were a DOS app.

I'm not sure what you mean. The UI controls are the same app to app. There is no difference. Search, Share, and Settings are all in one spot. How is learning this a chore?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your point 4 is plain BS, as I already told you in a previous reply. Metro apps have very specific guidelines, and they are very consistent in how you use them. You're a developer you should know this, or are you just to stuck in the old desktop metaphor to be able to adapt ? And Metro apps are the most universally consistent UI and UX paradigm so far. iOS was what was most lauded for being universally consistent before, just behind OSX. Metro apps so far are far more consistent than any of them, and I have yet to see any metro apps on the store that don't fit in with the Metro UI/UX. There's variety of how good apps are made with regards to them, but they are consistent.

If you know how to use one Metro app, you know how to use them all. and this is the best part, you don't need to learn to use Metro, they're just intuitive and straight forward.

You sound mostly like a developer who don't want to change and clings on to the old.

The photo apps didn't really replace anything, well in fact it replaced the old photo viewer. and is far more versatile and usable than that, there was no stock app, so what exactly did it replace ? Windows 7 didn't have a mail app included. so again, what did it replace ? the people app replaces contacts, just as easy to use, far more powerful and feature rich. again, there was no mail app before either. also mail app isn't really usable or serve a purpose on desktops anyway.

as for point 2, how is it terrible design, you mention research, but fail to mention any specific examples, and the fact that it is the best design for the purpose. would you have the charms bar at the bottom ? now THAT would be terrible, it's only supposed to have a few options there, so instead of using some of the wealth of horizontal space, you'd waste a significant portion of the limited vertical space. Bottom placement would interfere with the start button hot corner, also it'd be impossible to slide out with your thumbs. I'm guessing you don't do much of the UI design and UX work at Stardock ?

and for point 3, Nope, as I said before, the search makes perfect sense there. I know where search is at any point in metro apps, I can search any metro app from anywhere, want to look up a Netflix movie while surfing the web, bring up search, write terms and pick netflix, BAM there it is!. Share is there because it's supposed to be universal, hmm weren't you just complaining that Metro wasn't universal enough, yet you want to change what makes it universal :facepalm:. Devices may be rarely used for you, and for now, but it's there for future proofing as well, and definitely has a place there. what would you have there in it's place.

your complaints about the charms bar indicate you don't adapt very well to the metro UX, and don't understand the purpose. it's not supposed to change with apps, it's supposed to be consistent and universal. Start has a very natural place there, for desktop users it may not make much sense since you have the hot corner, but on a tablet, it's exactly where your thumb is. and again, consistency.

I'm not sure what you mean. The UI controls are the same app to app. There is no difference. Search, Share, and Settings are all in one spot. How is learning this a chore?

The problem is that he complains about consistency and yet doesn't seem to have ever used a single metro app since he thinks they're so inconsistent, and doesn't understand how the charms bar is a key part in UX consistency.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The default Metro apps are the worst of both words. For new users, they're confusing and obtuse to use because it lacks discoverability. For experts, they're tedious and inefficient. It's like Microsoft decided the gadgets from Vista were such a great idea that they decided to make an OS around it.

I expect they'll be upgraded as time goes on as they'll likely take over for the Windows Live suite entirely. Yes, they lack, but they're new (as is the OS they run on) so there is that.

I love Reader and the pics app because they cut out the chrome and get me full screen stuff, which is exactly what I want. The pics app when I used it was disappointing in its lack of sorting options though.

I can't really get into this discussion though, it'll have to wait until I actually have the OS.

(Also yes, I'm on a 24" monitor.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Frogboy has some valid points and opinions. How much it will bother the average person remains to be seen, however should be no doubt that MS will evolve this Metro 1.0 and developers will find interesting ways to do more things over time as the number of apps grow.

This is a growing pain and should be expected from a company that is quite a few years behind in the mobile space trying to play catchup while still trying to differentiate themselves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure what you mean. The UI controls are the same app to app. There is no difference. Search, Share, and Settings are all in one spot. How is learning this a chore?

If those were the only settings a typical app had, that would be fine.

As for the rest, I think history will decide.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If those were the only settings a typical app had, that would be fine.

As for the rest, I think history will decide.

Still not sure what you mean. Other settings and options are available via a right click.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Frogboy has some valid points and opinions. How much it will bother the average person remains to be seen, however should be no doubt that MS will evolve this Metro 1.0 and developers will find interesting ways to do more things over time as the number of apps grow.

This is a growing pain and should be expected from a company that is quite a few years behind in the mobile space trying to play catchup while still trying to differentiate themselves.

Might sit mom down and do a video as well.... will see how she picks up "windows 8" (really server 2012 but same difference)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How incredibly convenient you have to switch between Desktop and Metro apps.

Metro Commander is your friend. ;) No need to switch to Desktop for file management. I am still not sure about the big issue with switching between Desktop and Metro, what the **** is "jarring" in that? Most of you are not using Windows 8 on a tablet - so using desktop+metro shouldn't be such a big deal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Metro Commander is your friend. ;) No need to switch to Desktop for file management.

In which case you're using something that pretty much works (and looks) like a modern version of Norton Commander to manage your music...not sure why you would want do that to yourself :cry:

To be fair, I'm not a huge fan of the iPad music app either (even though it seems miles beyond the WinRT Music app). On a Desktop system though, it seems to me there are solutions(as part of the desktop environment) that are far more preferable to the Metro Music app.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First thing I did when I installed Windows 8 on my desktop was remove all the metro apps, it is now an improved version of Windows 7 with a start screen (which very rarely gets used). Everyone hating on Windows 8 is retarded, if you don't like it, fix it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just installed the latest Music update. Guess what you see when you scroll through a list of songs?

post-17075-0-03828200-1351005287_thumb.j

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just installed the latest Music update. Guess what you see when you scroll through a list of songs?

It's a shame because even I've written a music player that can more or less scroll through your tracks properly - though I understand why it's happening and why they've coded it like that. Well, that's what they get for forcing themselves to do the UI with HTML & JS :p

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you don't get a palette changing, full screen transition can be quite jarring to some, then you are simply being stubborn.

I also don't get the disconnect that the user must learn that some options are on the Charm, yet others are via right-click. Both hidden.

More updates today to several apps, fingers crossed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a shame because even I've written a music player that can more or less scroll through your tracks properly - though I understand why it's happening and why they've coded it like that. Well, that's what they get for forcing themselves to do the UI with HTML & JS :p

Sorry if I'm not up to date on these things anymore, but the entire Rest of the Internet is coded with HTML and JS, and my browser isn't blanking out when scrolling rapidly through a webpage. I'm not seeing the rationale for this "feature".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry if I'm not up to date on these things anymore, but the entire Rest of the Internet is coded with HTML and JS, and my browser isn't blanking out when scrolling rapidly through a webpage. I'm not seeing the rationale for this "feature".

From what I can tell, they've virtualised the contents of the list, so they use JS to create the HTML / layout for each item in the list as it scrolls into view (and get rid of it when it scrolls out of view) - with the intention of reducing the overall RAM consumption when there's a lot of items in the list, and to possibly reduce upfront page render / creation times. It's not something you typically see web developers doing, but it's a common technique in desktop development. It also means they can delay calls to load the album artwork until that items scrolls into view, which is more of a concern on when your accessing content on a local machine than on a server.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From what I can tell, they've virtualised the contents of the list, so they use JS to create the HTML / layout for each item in the list as it scrolls into view (and get rid of it when it scrolls out of view) - with the intention of reducing the overall RAM consumption when there's a lot of items in the list, and to possibly reduce upfront page render / creation times. It's not something you typically see web developers doing, but it's a common technique in desktop development. It also means they can delay calls to load the album artwork until that items scrolls into view, which is more of a concern on when your accessing content on a local machine than on a server.

While this is great from a resource consumption standpoint, it's a poor showing of usability. I find it frustratingly difficult to skim through my library in search of something to listen to, since I can't see the content that I'm trying to look at while scrolling. I think it more or less defeats the purpose of being able to scroll through the list in the first place, seeing as how it won't display what you've scrolled to unless you stop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While this is great from a resource consumption standpoint, it's a poor showing of usability. I find it frustratingly difficult to skim through my library in search of something to listen to, since I can't see the content that I'm trying to look at while scrolling. I think it more or less defeats the purpose of being able to scroll through the list in the first place, seeing as how it won't display what you've scrolled to unless you stop.

That is true - and why I think it's silly they went with HTML & JS for the UI. They've tried to hack in this kind of virtualistion into a framework that wasn't designed for it, rather than using a XAML based layout who's list controls are specially designed for it, and virtualise so fast that in this kind of situation you wouldn't even be able to tell they're doing it (Which, I know, because that's what my application does).

(Technically it doesn't wait for you to stop scrolling, but the way they've designed it it will attempt to render everything you scroll past and then, even if you scroll past vast sections of list you don't care about and never see that list item - everything gets rendered in order. So when you stop scrolling, it's still busy trying to render everything you've scrolled past - then getting ridding of them and rendering the next bits of data in the list until it finally reaches where you've stopped - largely wasteful but there are reasons why they don't do otherwise. On a faster processor it's likely it'll catch up with you whilst you're scrolling, but I hold out no hope for WinRT tablets being able to keep up, nor lower powered Intel Atom tablets. It doesn't help that whilst scrolling, the rendering part of it becomes a lower priority process, because keeping the scrolling smooth is more important from a usability point of view so more CPU power is spent keeping the scrolling animations smooth.)

They do need to do it for RAM and disk access reasons, but I really don't see why they forced themselves to use HTML & JS for all internal Microsoft applications, when there are times where XAML is clearly a better and more performant fit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem I'm having with Metro apps (besides not knowing what to call them ["Moddern"?]) is the UI guidelines for them are terrible.

The Wikipedia app is a perfect example. Every time you want to search, you have to go to the charms bar. Even on a tablet that would be obnoxious.

No you don't it's exactly the same as the start screen. Just start typing and it'll bring search up for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(Technically it doesn't wait for you to stop scrolling, but the way they've designed it it will attempt to render everything you scroll past and then, even if you scroll past vast sections of list you don't care about and never see that list item - everything gets rendered in order. So when you stop scrolling, it's still busy trying to render everything you've scrolled past - then getting ridding of them and rendering the next bits of data in the list until it finally reaches where you've stopped - largely wasteful but there are reasons why they don't do otherwise. On a faster processor it's likely it'll catch up with you whilst you're scrolling, but I hold out no hope for WinRT tablets being able to keep up, nor lower powered Intel Atom tablets. It doesn't help that whilst scrolling, the rendering part of it becomes a lower priority process, because keeping the scrolling smooth is more important from a usability point of view so more CPU power is spent keeping the scrolling animations smooth.)

They do need to do it for RAM and disk access reasons, but I really don't see why they forced themselves to use HTML & JS for all internal Microsoft applications, when there are times where XAML is clearly a better and more performant fit.

The performance is roughly the same on my antiquated laptop (T7500 with an Nvidia 8600M GT) as it is on my home machine (X3 435, Nvidia GTX 560Ti). Neither are top of the line machines, but they're also solid performers. Both fail to load content as fast as the mouse scrolls; it's really pretty sad.

In its current state, Windows 8 feels like it's about 90% there. I like a lot of the new features, and overall performance is pretty nice. You still bump into glaring failures though, on a daily basis; from the App store not being able to count updates (the Live Tile and text at the top corner say 7, the app only lists 5), to scrolling content that disappears, to the Mail app that always announces that it has failed to access my IMAP account, even though it still syncs messages... It's like knowing the world's fastest 100 m dasher who falls one out of every ten sprints and doesn't know how to tie his shoelaces.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since the latest update to Solitaire it is now regularly locking up, forcing me to restart the app. The Challenge Of The Day system is also incredibly slow, as it seems to check online every time you try to load the challenges from a previous day. Given how much Solitaire is used by the average user Microsoft needs to ensure that it's rock solid, as there simply isn't any excuse for it to be so unstable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not a single useful app yet besides eBay. It still takes longer to load than just opening it with Chrome. Makes checking my email and using eBay way too complicated. Haven't really used it a lot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not a single useful app yet besides eBay. It still takes longer to load than just opening it with Chrome. Makes checking my email and using eBay way too complicated. Haven't really used it a lot.

Yeah, I don't understand the load times. Conventional apps load in a fraction of the time and have much greater functionality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.