Windows is one of the major OS in every platform; phone, PC or tablet. We have seen it evolving into many forms over the years. Some for the good, some for bad and some for the worst. A good example of the last one would be Windows ‘Tiles’ or ‘Live Tiles’.
Windows first introduced it way back in 2010 with the launching of their Windows phone 7. The idea was to simplify the operating process. It showed all the frequently used apps on the home screen. And that’s not even the best part; it changed continuously based on the use. It was so much fluid or as Microsoft described, ‘Live’.
But since then our ways of using cell phones have been changed dramatically. Our priorities have been changed as well. We focus more on ‘functionality’ rather than looks. So, Android brought tablet UI with Honey Comb, Nokia and Blackberry used heavy swipe, iOS brought app drawers; but Windows still stuck at their old ‘tiles’. What was once considered ‘different’, now became ‘rigid’ and ‘boring’; and that’s actually the case here.
While the tiles put all the app on the start screen, it constantly changes its looks. So, sometimes it’s really hard to find what you are looking for when in a hurry. It also makes the home screen ‘crowded’. To get the best look and use of it, users have to try out different ways to rearrange grids before finding the right one. Though it takes only a minute or two, nobody prefers that when android has swipe down notification panels and various customizable widgets and iOS has its app drawer.
Even PC Live Tiles weren’t that much welcomed. The most hated feature on Windows 8 and 8.1 was the tiles. An app that brings back the old Win 7 look became really popular at this time. When using Windows we used taskbars, Mac OS had its ‘deck’. When we wanted to launch an app, we just went there and clicked on it, we didn’t want to put much thought to it. So, the addition of live tiles didn’t make any impact at all. It rather took away a familiar approach to computing that we were used to.
Live tiles also take up a certain amount of processing power and energy as it’s constantly changing, flipping; which might make for a rather nice home screen but eventually slows us down a bit.
Microsoft realizes their mistake and brought back Windows 7’s start button and incorporated tiles into it. But it’s still redundant. Maybe it’s time for them to let it go and find a new way to make our lives easy again.