Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 has live tiles and live apps

Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 has live tiles and live apps

Summary: At the Windows Phone 8 launch, Microsoft officials are talking up not just live tiles, but also live apps.


One of the key differentiators of Microsoft Windows Phone has been its updating "Live Tiles" on the home screen. But Microsoft is attempting to go Live Tiles one better with "Live Apps."


On October 29 at the Windows Phone 8 launch in San Francisco, Microsoft execs talked up Live Apps. Live Apps are the official name for Windows Phone apps that can be pinned as Live Tiles.

There's been speculation for the past few weeks over what Live Apps were and how they'd fit into the Windows Phone 8 ecosystem.

Live Apps also can be pinned to users' lock screens. Out of the box, Windows Phone 8 will include several Live Apps -- email, messaging, calendar and the Windows Phone Store. The new and improved Microsoft Skype app for Windows 8 also can be put on the lock screen.

Microsoft will be allowing third-party developers to build Live Apps. These Live Apps can integrate with the lock screen, and also integrate into the new Windows Phone 8 Wallet and other hubs on the phone. The ability to choose among three different sizes of tiles as part of Windows Phone 8 OS.

An updated version of the Microsoft-developed Facebook app is one of the new Live Apps. 

At the launch, Corporate Vice President Joe Belfiore said there are now 120,000 Windows Phone apps in the store. Not all of these apps are Live Apps, however. 

Microsoft released to manufacturing the Windows Phone 8 operating system in mid-September. The first Windows Phone 8 devices are not expected to start coming to market until November 2012.

The long-awaited public version of the Windows Phone 8 software development kit (SDK) will be available for download by developers on October 30, officials said today.

Topics: Smartphones, Microsoft, Software Development, Windows


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Windows 8 ?! phone or computer it's bad!


    Why haven't you done a post about how bad Windows 8 is???

    look around... here's one random example found on Google...

    • Mainly because

      Despite your hopes and wishes, it isn't bad. It works well on the desk top, laptop and tablet. I would expect and will find out soon about the phone as well. If it don't work well for you don't use it, but for me there is no going back I dread having to get on a Win 7 box anymore and worse an XP box.
      • ....

        Your one of the few. i myself as an IT guy and self techy have used windows 8 since first dev release and it is bad. It is horrid on desktops and laptops a huge mess. On the phones and tablets the metro live tiles just make it repulsive. Sales are showing the public has almost no interest in the poor windows 8 UI.I d like to say something good about it but just can't find anything. For a microsoft os its just crap.You can moddify it via 3rd party programs and make it usable but you shouldnt have to do so much on your own to a new os just to make it work. I do find apple users like it since its more apple like and lacks any windows feeling to it.I am waiting to see if someone figures out how to put windows 7 on the actual surface tablet so then the actual tablet might be a good device, but not at the current bloated price but maybe I pickup a used one for like $150 and try to make it a good strong windows device. Windows 8 is just a huge fail in every aspect that it could fail.
    • RE: Windows 8 ?! phone or computer it's bad!

      The video in that blog post is from the beta. The start clicking issue was fixed months ago. The kid opened Facebook right away.

      As far as finding shutdown, I haven't shut down my computer in years (except for auto updates) and is putting under Settings any worse than putting it under Start?

      Give Windows 8 a few days and you'll come to prefer it to the old way, even on a desktop.
      • shutdown under settings?

        I mean how much inept than that? shutdown IS NOT a setting!
        • Shortcuts! easy as pie

          If it really bothers you, create a shortcut on your desktop

          Shutdown: "cmd.exe shutdown /s /t 0"
          Restart: "cmd.exe shutdown /r /t 0"

          and pin to your start menu!

          Quite easy really
          Tom Simeone
        • Push the button on your PC

          There, was that so hard?
      • .......

        Windows 8 is still bad and it is made bad by the tile ui. Those live tiles are annoying and then the idiotic change to scrolling across rather then up and down which makes so much more sense just makes it not good to use...PS why would you not shut your computer down after use as leaving it up or in sleep mode are the 2 worse things you can do to any desktop or laptop. The extra heat and wear on the cooling system just beat the machine to death. Maybe your just not familar with electronics but as a IT reapir refurb person your just absuing your machines by leaving them on.
    • @Hasam

      It is hilarious how far you go to say how bad Windows 8 is.....You have obviously never used it for more than a day. I am a heavy iPad user and have never been particular impressed with the Microsoft UI's. However, the live tiles and UI on Windows 8 are much more revolutionary than the static iPad or Mac applications. All of this Microsoft hate in these blogs just makes people want to check out what Microsoft has even more. Bottom line is that the hate that you spew makes you seem immature and uniformed. I know you are upset that people will decide for themselves versus you trying to steer them to the way you think.
      • ...

        Your who they are targeting. microsoft dumped all of its consumer base to run this retarded live tile crap in order to try and take ipad and iphone users. Apple folks seem to like this crappy kiddie tiled ui but the longtime windows users who demand more efficiency all seem to just hate it. Im a microsoft guy but since beta testing win 8 since day one and trying the surface tablet its just a nasty horrid mess of an os. If someone ports windows 7 to the pro tablet then I will be interested but with those ugly live tiles and left to right swipe garbage I have no use for it.
    • ...

      You simply have no idea what you are talking about. You have to understand that there are people who use their computers for more than watching videos, blogging, etc.
      Do you know how many friends I have that use Mac? About 7-8. Do you know how many of them run Windows on their Mac? All!
      That tells me enough.
    • Seriously?

      Come on people. Get real. Is Windows 8 different? Of course! Is the Start button gone? Yes! Are there new things to learn and new ways of doing things? Yes again. Is it TERRIBLE? No! Will the world come to a grinding halt? Of course not!

      Every new OS has changes. Every new iteration has new things to learn. Windows 3.0 sure did... as did Windows 95... and Windows XP. Give me a break with all the crybaby stuff.
    • Look, I know your a hater but..

      For every bad review by someone who clearly hates Windows and usually Microsoft from the get go, people can show you 3 or 4 great reviews from people who have no axe to grind with MS.

      I dont listen to any reviews anymore from people who CLEARLY do not like the product or company to begin with. ITs the purest kind of misleading nonsnse that exists.

      Your post is both sad and useless.

      Litening to drivel like what you just said is like looking toward a movie review on a romantic comedy movie from someone who detests romantic comedies.

      Its pointless, misleading and rediculous.

      Please, dont do this any more. It makes you sound like people who do not like WIndows are out of their minds. Completely.

      Your not doing yourself or your hardware/OS of choice any favors, unless they like being associated with morons.
  • Do you, or have you...

    used Windows 8?
  • Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 has live tiles and live apps

    Live tiles, live apps, they all sound good in Microsoft Windows Phone 8. Now if we can just get the manufacturers to release their phones and get Verizon on board. I want my Windows Phone 8!
    Loverock Davidson-
  • Touchwiz

    on my Galaxy S3 has something similar to live apps for the lockscreen. It is a very handy feature.

    The kid zone feature is pure awesome.
  • Great reporting Mary Jo!

    Wow, that was super quick! Impressive job Mary Jo on your fast and complete reporting. Also, I like the way Microsoft focused this conference not on the details we've already known for months but instead focused on the new items and the broad direction of both WP8 and it's place in the Windows ecosystem. The kept it to the point, short, and sweet.

    Can't wait to get my Lumia 920! Friend of mine is dying to buy the Samsung ATIV S. Fun times!
  • I gotta admit...

    I'd use Kid's Corner just when I'm giving WP8 demos to my coworkers... stay out of my texts and social media!!! ;) But seriously, I have several nieces and nephews that I can hand my phone (or my family members' phones) to them and let them play games without fear now.

    I'm surprised by the Pandora announcement and how little attention was given to lenses and Nokia. They're supposed to be the premiere partner, but Jessica gave more time talking about the camera than Joe or Steve did. It was weird.

    Disappointed about lack of Instagram announcement... not for my use but for others. Would have made a lot more sense than overlapping news about music services. And that's still a sticking point for a lot of users, although I suppose lenses can compensate for it to a degree. Gives you the function without the Instagram social aspect... but can still upload to services that matter with Facebook and Twitter.

    I'm excited about the Rooms feature. I have coworkers that I can use this with often for work calendars and such. I'm interested in to try it out as well. That and the Skype announcement about always-on without the battery drain is pretty awesome!
    • My feelings are same.

      In my case, I give my phone to my son, who just plays XBox games and loves music and occassionally some YouTube videos. He messed up my start screen good number of times in a positve way though. I think I can give my WP8 more and more to him just for the kicks.
      Ram U
  • Undewhelming

    What is the single killer feature that will make people choose WP over an iPHone or Android?