Windows 8 app blog talks about Metro live tiles

Windows 8 uses the Metro tile interface design extensively and indeed Microsoft has been using the tile UI for other products like Windows Phone and the Xbox 360 dashboard. In the latest post on the official Windows 8 app developer blog, Microsoft's Kevin Michael Woley gives some advice to Metro app makers on how to design their app's live tiles.

Woley uses the Contoso Food Trucks app for Windows 8 as his example. The app lets users keep track of all the food trucks in their city, post reviews of specific food trucks and more. As far as the live tile for the app, Woley says the main goals are for the tile to find and display nearby food trucks and track them as well.

App makers can choose to have a square or a wide design for their default live tile. The Contoso Food Trucks app was given the wide tile as the default because Woley says the app is updated at least once a day so the app needs the bigger space to get all of the content in that spot. As you can see, the live tile shows the names of the foot trucks nearest the person with the Windows 8 device. The square title is also used but the names of the restaurants are shortened in that version.

You can also include images into the live tile when appropriate. In the food truck app, a favorite food truck can be represented with an image of (what else) the food they are offering to customers. The blog gives some programming code examples of how to create these tile images and graphics.

Woley will talk about how app programmers can set up their Windows 8 app to update their live titles in a future blog post.

Images via Microsoft

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I am a huge Apple fan and I will never use Windows on a personal device again... that said, who knows how this will go. I think that if I was still a Windows fan and user then I would be pretty excited. Now that is out of the way...

I am concerned that this new way of working wont catch on, if it does it will take a long time because we are all so used to jumping into our apps to see what is happening. For example if I want to know what is happening on Twitter I go to my twitter app and have a read, likewise for facebook, I either go to the facebook site or use the facebook app on my mobile device.

Will this tiled and constantly updating Metro Home screen/Start Screen be any more useful to people than a fancy screen saver that shows the time?

In the example above about the foot trucks (sic) how can I rely on my tile being up to date when I flip open my laptop lid? How will I find the foot truck tile I want in a sea of other tiles?

Time only will tell and this is very interesting to follow.

derekaw said,
I am a huge Apple fan and I will never use Windows on a personal device again... that said, who knows how this will go. I think that if I was still a Windows fan and user then I would be pretty excited. Now that is out of the way...

I am concerned that this new way of working wont catch on, if it does it will take a long time because we are all so used to jumping into our apps to see what is happening. For example if I want to know what is happening on Twitter I go to my twitter app and have a read, likewise for facebook, I either go to the facebook site or use the facebook app on my mobile device.

Will this tiled and constantly updating Metro Home screen/Start Screen be any more useful to people than a fancy screen saver that shows the time?

In the example above about the foot trucks (sic) how can I rely on my tile being up to date when I flip open my laptop lid? How will I find the foot truck tile I want in a sea of other tiles?

Time only will tell and this is very interesting to follow.

And what's stopping you from going to your Twitter and Facebook apps on Windows 8? Nothing.

Also, Live Tiles update themselves in the background. A few issues at the moment in Beta, but the general idea is that they'll be up to date the moment you log on... depending how the app is written of course... I imagine the check-in interval for updates can be varied by the developer.

derekaw said,
I am a huge Apple fan and I will never use Windows on a personal device again... that said, who knows how this will go. I think that if I was still a Windows fan and user then I would be pretty excited. Now that is out of the way...


I am concerned that this new way of working wont catch on, if it does it will take a long time because we are all so used to jumping into our apps to see what is happening. For example if I want to know what is happening on Twitter I go to my twitter app and have a read, likewise for facebook, I either go to the facebook site or use the facebook app on my mobile device.

Will this tiled and constantly updating Metro Home screen/Start Screen be any more useful to people than a fancy screen saver that shows the time?

In the example above about the foot trucks (sic) how can I rely on my tile being up to date when I flip open my laptop lid? How will I find the foot truck tile I want in a sea of other tiles?

Time only will tell and this is very interesting to follow.

I share your concern partly. First off, funny typo you had, I don't think anyone wants "foot" trucks . Anyway I agree that in a sea of tiles it may take some getting used to in order to locate that one you are interested in. However, they are mainly meant as a quick glance. If you keep them in the same order all the time, you'll learn where they are each located.
As far as learning a new way to do thing, people do that all the time, as long as they are willing to put in the effort.
While I think there will be learning curve but Metro will be the new desktop. The "old" desktop will thrive for business and high-end users, but the everyday folks only need what Metro will provide. They often can't handle the desktop, Metro "dumbs" it down for them.

TCLN Ryster said,
I imagine the check-in interval for updates can be varied by the developer.

Using WP dev tools as an example, I would say OS controlled intervals varied by the developer.

......

Search this page for 'foot' (unless it has been corrected by now)
Look up the use of (sic), Although I may not have used it quite right in my post here.

warwagon said,
^ In the post, everything in the middle was spot on. First time I've agreeded with you.

In the middle he was being sarcastic...

Well, to get it all out of the way:

Metro will fail.
It has no future.
I don't want it on the desktop.
Doesn't work with a mouse.
It's ugly.
People will never use it.
Companies are wasting their time.
Windows is fail.
Microsoft doesn't know what they are doing.
Microsoft is fail.
Where's my Start Button/Menu?

Did I miss any?


With that said, I love the concept of live tiles, and hope to see the idea progress further. I'd love to have a Facebook and Twitter tiles on my screen to complete the setup.

Dot Matrix said,
Well, to get it all out of the way:

Metro will fail.
It has no future.
I don't want it on the desktop.
Doesn't work with a mouse.
It's ugly.
People will never use it.
Companies are wasting their time.
Windows is fail.
Microsoft doesn't know what they are doing.
Microsoft is fail.
Where's my Start Button/Menu?

Did I miss any?


With that said, I love the concept of live tiles, and hope to see the idea progress further. I'd love to have a Facebook and Twitter tiles on my screen to complete the setup.

Lol, love it

Dot Matrix said,
Well, to get it all out of the way:

Metro will fail.
It has no future.
I don't want it on the desktop.
Doesn't work with a mouse.
It's ugly.
People will never use it.
Companies are wasting their time.
Windows is fail.
Microsoft doesn't know what they are doing.
Microsoft is fail.
Where's my Start Button/Menu?

Did I miss any?


With that said, I love the concept of live tiles, and hope to see the idea progress further. I'd love to have a Facebook and Twitter tiles on my screen to complete the setup.

Lol! Took the words out of my mouth!

Enron said,
You forgot "Apple did it first"

Nah . Nobody in the forums have said anything about rip off. (Although I've seen animals stating that ) . Metro is a very unique UI.

Dot Matrix said,
Well, to get it all out of the way:

Metro will fail.
It has no future.
I don't want it on the desktop.
Doesn't work with a mouse.
It's ugly.
People will never use it.
Companies are wasting their time.
Windows is fail.
Microsoft doesn't know what they are doing.
Microsoft is fail.
Where's my Start Button/Menu?

Did I miss any?


With that said, I love the concept of live tiles, and hope to see the idea progress further. I'd love to have a Facebook and Twitter tiles on my screen to complete the setup.

I wish, I wish, for people to stop making facts without knowledge.

Why oh why for example doesn't Metro work with a mouse? It works no different to any other Windows element.

Why do you need a start button? It doesn't add anything, only to help show where to click, once you know you don't need it. You also still have a start menu, only a full screen one.

Your "facts" are poor. Try again.

SPARTdAN said,

I wish, I wish, for people to stop making facts without knowledge.

Why oh why for example doesn't Metro work with a mouse? It works no different to any other Windows element.

Why do you need a start button? It doesn't add anything, only to help show where to click, once you know you don't need it. You also still have a start menu, only a full screen one.

Your "facts" are poor. Try again.

My "facts" were also sarcasm, just so there would be no arguments later, I laid them out before anyone else.

Now obviously this Food Trucks thing is just a proof of concept of the technology, but I think it's quite cool. Plenty of potential there with a bit of imagination

TCLN Ryster said,
Now obviously this Food Trucks thing is just a proof of concept of the technology, but I think it's quite cool. Plenty of potential there with a bit of imagination

On that topic, hopefully the "Food Truck' fad will be over soon.

xendrome said,

On that topic, hopefully the "Food Truck' fad will be over soon.


Food truck fad? They've been around since post-Civil War. Called chuckwagons.