My Very Own Windows Phone 8 Start Screen

Start Screen

I’m so thrilled to announce that I’m part of Team Windows Phone! For the next few months I’ll be sharing my experiences with my new Windows Phone 8, the HTC 8X, which has been given to me to review and explore.

That’s my new start screen there, to the left (of course, you can’t see the whole thing on the phone at one time, you have to scroll through it). I’ve been playing with the start screen for two days, getting it just right for how I use my phone.

And it is just right…for now. One of the things I love most about my phone is how easy it is to pin just about anything to the start screen. So if we travel somewhere, I can put a map of that city right on the start screen. When I’m in Disney World I always have a ride wait-time app handy. If I’m working on a special project I can pin the relevant documents to my start screen, for super quick access without having to open an app first. And it’s just as easy to “un-pin” them when you’re done with them.

And now, with Windows Phone 8, you can resize the tiles. See those four small tiles at the top? I want those to be easy to get to, but I don’t need them to take up a lot of real estate, so I made them small.

The Twitter and Facebook apps right below them? Those I want to be big so that I can see what’s on the live tiles. Besides showing me how many mentions or messages I have, they flip over and show me the latest posts. And the calendar app shows me my next appointment.

And while the XBox app probably doesn’t have to be that big, I like watching my avatar play around on the screen. :-)

I’ve mostly grouped my apps according to what they’re used for. That row under the XBox tile? Those all have to do with going somewhere.

The two handsome guys in the big tiles are the two people I call, email, and text the most. Instead of opening the phone app or text app and then having to search for them in my contacts, I just click on their tiles and all of the choices are right there.

My grocery list has to be easy to get to because I use it all day, both on my phone and computers (and thanks to SkyDrive, the list stays synced on all of my devices).

All of my favorite picture-related apps are grouped around my photo gallery. Tools are all grouped together, like calculator, flashlight, stopwatch – the kinds of things I would shove in a drawer together.

I post a lot of pictures right from my phone, so my WordPress app for my Pictures and Videos blog is right there, next to a shortcut that opens the Pictures and Videos dashboard in Explorer (any web page can be “pinned” for easy access).

And down there at the bottom, taunting me, is my favorite exercise app, Runtastic.

I have tons more apps than these, which are easily accessible by flicking my start screen to the left, but these are the ones that I use the most and want the easiest access to.

I’m so thrilled with this start screen. I can’t wait to try out more apps and see if they deserve a place there!

Originally posted on Selfish Mom. All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted. This post has a Compensation Level of 1. Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information.

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  1. says

    Like you, I am a longtime windows phone devotee. But this new phone – I just LOVE it. I’ve had mine for a few days, and I can’t stop playing with it. I didn’t even know I could put four small tiles across the top! I thought they had to be two and two on top of each other. I can’t wait to read more from you and find out what else I’m missing.

    • says

      @JuanCabrera: Thanks so much for your comment! It’s funny you mention that, because a couple days after I posted this I was in a restaurant trying to show a friend a video, and it wouldn’t play. I had totally forgotten when I was setting up my new phone that google wasn’t playing nice anymore. So I did get MetroTube, which has been wonderful. I also downloaded Nokia Drive beta which was recently released for non-Nokia phones, and a few more apps I’ll be talking about soon.

      • Chris Weber says

        Nokia Drive is an amazing program. It has its quirks, but…it is free! And…it gets better and better with each iteration. Be sure to download your state maps so that you can navigate without using your data plan.

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