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DeathByVisualStudio DeathBy​VisualStudio If we all believed in unicorns and fairies the world would be a better place.
  • Win Phone 8.1 beef.

    @LaBar: LOL. I see what you did there.

  • Win Phone 8.1 beef.

    , Sven Groot wrote


    Which can be automatically activated by detecting the Bluetooth connection to your car. So it doesn't technically know you're driving, it does know you're in your car with the ignition on. :)

    Also, my car Bluetooth thingy has prev/next buttons, I prefer to use that to skip songs. I thought that was fairly standard? If your car has built-in Bluetooth the controls are probably on the steering wheel too.

    Bluetooth? What's that? I use headphones when driving in the car. :)

  • Win Phone 8.1 beef.

    , blowdart wrote


    It can do. There's driving mode :D

    LOL. And we've come full circle.


  • Win Phone 8.1 beef.

    , spivonious wrote

    @DeathByVisualStudio: Distracted driving is a big deal to me, since I regularly bicycle to and from work. If the phone is mounted in a place where it can be easily swiped to skip songs, that's fine. If the driver needs to pick it up off of the passenger seat, press the unlock button, swipe up, enter their password, and then swipe to skip the song, they've already run me over.

    That's all well and good but I doubt that's the reason this feature was left out. The phone doesn't know you're driving.

  • Win Phone 8.1 beef.

    , spivonious wrote


    You shouldn't be using your phone while driving anyway. What about voice control?

    , bondsbw wrote


    Those things can be distracting too.  Studies (for example this one) suggest that such influences can cause crashes more often than phone use, particularly calling (but perhaps not more than texting).  In any case, it isn't fair to assume that operating equipment inside your vehicle is safe.

    Why don't you guys just say "You're holding it wrong?"

  • The Future of the Start Screen

    , magicalclick wrote

    the feature is optional. My problem with it is, the feature shouldn't be supported at all. Because live tile is supposed to be an equivalent of an desktop icon, just having rich information when it is larger, but, the behavior remains the same. I do not want it to break that ICON consistency. Imagine you change the window explore to ultra large icons, and suddenly some of the icons are interactive program now. The icon size introduced an icon state, and such state triggers entirely different behavior. That breaks the ICON consistency.

    The problem is that the idea of a "start screen", "home screen", or otherwise has already been "broken" by Android. People are used to the flexibility of having either a static icon or a lightweight widget to start or interact with their apps. I'm glad Microsoft if following in Android's footsteps on this as it removes one more barrier for me (and folks with similar requirements) in being able to look at WP.

    And like in Android I hope they provide both static tiles and "widget" tiles so everyone wins -- iPhone/iPad converts included.

    Of course we can upgrade that ICON behavior, but, I do not believe that's a good idea. Now, should they make another slow OS Startup Gadget after they removed it? Maybe, if it has a CPU meter interactive tile. The big problem for me is, a tile is a tile. It is easy to distinguish between an ICON and a Gadget. But, when a tile has three states, static, live, and interactive, it will be harder to people to understand the difference.

    I share your concerns about performance. In Android if you load your home screen up with too many widgets it bogs the whole OS down. As a user you learn pretty quickly that:

    1. The law of diminishing returns applies to having too many home screen pages with too many widgets. Having every app represented as a widget just isn't as useful as you'd think. This is also a nod towards you're desire to still have static tiles to which I totally agree.
    2. Some widgets are built pretty poorly and by themselves bog the device down. Those widgets end up in the trash pretty quickly.

    And really, if people don't want to launch the slow app, A) fix the app with new native compiler, B) fix the app, C) metro app is supposed to be suspended anyway, so just don't terminate it and don't shutdown the device.

    Why not do all of the above and have interactive tiles? It's not always about how quickly you can get into a app and get to the data. Sometimes the lightweight app is all you need to sip the bit of data you're interested in. Live tiles was a nice start but it requires you to wait and watch for information to bubble to the screen. Interactive tiles puts you back in the driver's seat by allow you to see more of the information that is important to you and in some cases allows you to more immediately react. Do you really need to load the whole Twitter app interface to reply to a tweet? It's more context change than you need; very much like the whole experience of full screen Windows Store apps run from the desktop -- very jarring and disruptive.

    Above and beyond the interactive tiles I hope they port the WP alert(?) center to Windows. With the tiles (interactive or not) all of the notifications are spread out across the start screen. I personally find a semi-flat list much easier to read than scanning tiles. That's probably why I still read Neowin first before checking Re/code or The Verge; the latter two's layouts are just harder to skim for me.

  • The Future of the Start Screen

    @magicalclick: For cases like yours I hope Microsoft has learned from past mistakes and makes the features optional.

    I think this solves two current problems:

    1. Clicking on a tile with a specific notification doesn't take you to that thing the notification represents. Instead it launches the app and you have to dig around the app to find the thing you were notified about (Facebook is a prime example).  I find that very frustrating as that's what I'm used to on my Android phone.
    2. Some apps take too long to start up. This provides a lightweight way to interact with the app without committing to a full launch of the app (kind of like peeking into your inbox). 
  • The Future of the Start Screen

    What do you think about these potential changes to the start screen that Microsoft Research has come up with?

    Here's the first video from the linked Neowin article.

    To me it looks like they've widgetized the start screen by turning tiles into widgets. The examples shown are better by far that Android's (and OEM's) implementations, IMO. It's almost as if they're building a new "desktop" from the start screen -- or at list an interactive EIS. The interactive desktop tile was a nice nod in the direction of "the desktop is not dead". I really hope this makes it into Windows 9 and is as useful, fluid, and beautiful as they show in the demo. A lot of that will depend on third part developers embracing the new widget capabilities of the tiles.

    In any case kudos Microsoft!

  • Xamarin and MSDN

    @wkempf: What I find funny too is coming from the other direction: we had SL which died on the table. Gotta wonder if anyone will ever be king of cross-platform...

  • Xamarin and MSDN

    , AndyC wrote

    Personally, I doubt it. Xamarin and Mono in general has traditionally lacked traction in the FOSS world because of the likes of RMS decrying it as some sort of evil Microsoft plot to ruin the world. If Microsoft actually bought it out, support would probably dwindle even further still.

    IMO, that's an old argument that doesn't carry much weight with the popularity of Android and iOS. I think you're going to find companies and even indie developers are looking more for a cohesive development environment that provides the best reuse of code and assets. Visual Studio, .Net, and Xamarin is the best combo for that IMO. It would even be better if Microsoft had more of a desktop story for LOB apps in the Universal App stack.

    The old argument of FOSS devs hating on Microsoft is one that needs to be retired just like the idea that Microsoft's products are not secure.