Microsoft recently released the first significant update for Windows 8.1 to enhance the user experience for those using the keyboard and mouse. During the Build developer conference the company also announced that the Start menu will return to the Windows 8.1 as an update later this year. And today the Microsoft Research team published some interesting new tweaks coming in future updates of Windows 8, which will make the Live Tiles in the Start screen more interactive.
Currently Live Tiles provide basic information and notification for certain apps in Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows RT, Windows Phone, and Xbox. For example, in Windows you’ll see when a new email has arrived, breaking news from the News app, finance alerts from the Finance app, Facebook notifications, and so on. These Live Tiles in the Start screen creates a unique experience that allows to know what’s going on around your digital life in a glance.
But now it seems that Microsoft is planning to enhance the Start screen with something that is currently known as “Interactive Tiles”. The interactive live view makes a lot easier to engage with specific notification. For example, now users will be able to make each Live Tile a lot bigger (about three times larger than the current “wide” view), and users will be able to interact with the notifications or elements inside the Live Tiles too.
In the mail app, users can scroll and have a better view of each new email, and clicking a specific email will launch the Mail in that specific email. The Desktop interactive Live Tile now shows a scrolling list of all the current running apps, and clicking or tapping an app will launch that specific app. And this particular interactive Live Tile will also show time and date.
The video even shows that in a near future users will be able to use apps in the Start screen without having to open them. In the video you’ll see a calculator app ready to use from the Start screen.
However it seems that Microsoft isn’t going to stop there as the “Interactive Tile” project is being tested on Windows 8.x, Windows Phone, and Xbox. And this is just the beginning, just imaging what could be next as Live Tiles become even more interactive, capable, and smarter.