Start screen folders are coming natively to Windows Phone 8.1

New images have shown that you will soon be able to create folders of tiles, similar to folders of apps in Android and iOS, in Windows Phone 8.1 by simply dropping a tile on top of another. The feature will finally make it possible to tidy up your Start screen a bit by simply grouping similar apps together in a folder rather than having them all as individual tiles.

The pictures, unearthed today by Nokia Power User, look as though they have been taken directly from a Microsoft source and show instructions on creating, naming, using and removing tile folders. Although no timeframe has been given for implementation, Windows Phone 8.1 is now expected to begin widespread roll-out over the next couple of weeks.

Interestingly, this now means that the Windows Phone Start screen can be organised more efficiently than the Windows 8.1 version. Perhaps this change is indicative that folders may appear on the Start screen of Windows in 8.1 Update 2, 9 or Threshold, whenever they may appear.

Source: Nokia Power User

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36 Comments

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Robert Wade said,
Oh, good grief. Yet another way they are RUINING the UI. I hate you all.

I'd imagine it will be optional. Its not like they can force you to make folders. And, really, I'll bet its being done via popular request, so thank/blame users.

Thought this was coming to Windows Phone 8.1 update 1, as WP 8.1 is feature locked and I can't see a new feature being added so late in development.

Actually WP 8.1 is in fact an update, if the article said WP 8.1 update 1 then the confusion would have been eliminated but it did not hence the reason for the question.

No Windows Phone 8.1 is a new version. Windows Phone 8.1 Update is the update (note the capital U). And remember that the recent update to Windows 8.1 was called "Windows 8.1 Update" by Microsoft.

Windows Phone 8.1 is an update to Windows Phone 8 just like Windows 8.1 is an update to Windows 8, not an new version but an update hence the wording UPDATE!!!

It's an update (lower-case u). But "Windows Phone 8.1 Update" is something that hasn't shipped yet (internally called GDR1). Note the upper case u.

Windows Phone 8.1 was a whole new version. Windows Phone 8.1 Update is just an update to that 8.1 release.

This is EXACTLY the same as the nomenclature they used for Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 was a major new version. Windows 8.1 Update added a few new cool features.

It's confusing, but not THAT confusing.

The upper-case "Update" means it's part of the name.

If it were a new version, it'd be called Windows Phone 8.2 or Windows Phone 9. The version number didn't change.

Nah,, the app list just needs the sorting options in Windows 8.1 --- sort by most recently used, by date installed, by name, or by category

I sure hope folders appear as part of Windows 8.1 Update 2 this summer/fall!

I also wish that Windows Phone 8.1's "all apps" screen would get the ability to be sorted just like on Windows 8.1 (by date installed, by most used, by name, and by category)

I note that there wasn't a limit listed for the number of tiles you can put in a folder... I hope there isn't one, and I hope they have a clever and intuitive UI for dealing with that. :-)

derekaw said,
It works exactly the same as iOS. This is a good catch feature for MS.

As far as I know android introduced this before apple.

Well, Operating System n may have had this long before all 3. The point is iOS is a bad example to claim that Microsoft is copying from them since there are examples in the mainstream operating systems who had this functionality long before iOS.

I agree that windows phone should be able to group tiles like in windows 8. I like my desktop clean and organized so adding this option to windows phone would be a great addition.

xchaser said,
I agree that windows phone should be able to group tiles like in windows 8. I like my desktop clean and organized so adding this option to windows phone would be a great addition.

Might as well have both folders and tile groups, let users pick what they want.

I have been using the Nokia/Microsoft 'App Folder' app for a while now to create folders on my start screen, so this should not be new to most users.

I'm surprised it was not mentioned in this article.

So Microsoft already offers a way to make folders, they might just be integrating the app into the OS, which is a good idea. Adding the ability to drop one tile on another to build the folder is different then how the current app behaves though. I would hope that is just one option for adding tiles and that they keep the other option that the app currently uses, which is offering a check box next your list of apps for adding to a folder.

One more thing people have wanted that they're going to be adding soon. This and the rumored new 3D hover tile group effect could be interesting when put together.

The pictures, unearthed today by Nokia Power User, look as though they have been taken directly from a Microsoft source and show instructions on creating, naming, using and removing tile folders.
Probably because this IS from a Microsoft source, windowsphone.com to be exact, the manual mentioned this feature for a short amount of time, but it has been removed shortly shortly after.

mumumumu said,
Notice that the word "Update" in the last sentence has a big U so I expect it shipped in one of the first GDRs.

Yeah, but we've already heard about 1 or 2 updates to WP8.1 on the way, this one could be out in the fall.

Update 1 is expected this summer, in fact, the most recent rumors claimed July. Which is possible. Portico followed a little bit more then a month after WP8. We're now already 2 months after the WP8.1 release and Microsoft probably had already a bunch of features almost ready which are now finished for a push in WP8.1U1.

Studio384 said,
Update 1 is expected this summer, in fact, the most recent rumors claimed July. Which is possible. Portico followed a little bit more then a month after WP8. We're now already 2 months after the WP8.1 release and Microsoft probably had already a bunch of features almost ready which are now finished for a push in WP8.1U1.

We'll see, maybe more phones on the way will ship right with WP8.1 Update 1 and not vanilla 8.1 if that's the case.

Dot Matrix said,
Great, but when will we have the capability to group tiles like we do in Windows 8?

This is a much better solution.

I'm more interested in when we'll be able to FREELY position tiles in Windows 8.1, like we can with Windows Phone 8.x (instead of the weird, unintuitive two-column shift-and-play-whack-a-mole every time you try to move things around)

pmbAustin said,
I'm more interested in when we'll be able to FREELY position tiles in Windows 8.1, like we can with Windows Phone 8.x (instead of the weird, unintuitive two-column shift-and-play-whack-a-mole every time you try to move things around)

I would imagine any update to the tile layout would also bring the two more in line with each other, so wp and windows tiles would have a lot of similar traits.