Windows Phone 8: A different approach to smartphone UI

First of all let me tell you: I am a hardcore Apple fan since I picked my first iPod and I go on length defending why iPhones are the greatest products in smartphone arena. This is because of the ease of use, look and feel and the simplicity of design and operatibility of Apple products.

And now Microsoft has come up (finally) with a full fledged, and functional as intended, mobile OS Windows Phone 8. I have been using the Windows 8 Operating System (OS) on desktop since the developer preview and have found it to be pleasing to eyes.

Presently, if you have observed, the Apple (OSX, iOS for iPhone and iPad) and Microsoft (Windows 8, WP8 for mobile and tablet) both are trying to make an uniform looking OS throughout their devices. The software or the app-selling methodology is changing from CDs to digital downloads. The interface is almost the same across the devices.

Anyway, moving on to the Windows Phone 8, I would like to say that in appearance it is definitely pleasing and has come of age from the slide-out or drop-down menus on it’s earlier versions. Neither it has followed the iPhone like ‘icons on screen’ interface, which Android has vehemently copied (though their icons don’t have any uniformity in appearance) nor the widgets and icon spread of Android, rather it has worked out its own way since Windows Phone 7- the metro interface or colourful tiles.

When we thought icons were the best interface and notifications were the best ways to know instantly what’s happening in online world, Microsoft brings out the live tiles. Tiles which can have your friends tweet feed, or Facebook feed just showing his images, mailbox giving you instant preview of a mail received, latest photos in which you were tagged… and so on.

All on a eye-soothing multi-coulour tiled screen which is not uniform but the non-uniformity of which creates a nice feel.

Rectangles and squares, tiny as thumbnails and bigger ones, in bright and dull hues, flipping and rotating horizontally and vertically, with images of your friends and that dog… it’s highly personal and customised for your needs and taste.

It may appear to have to learn a totally new way to interact with the smartphone but no, it isn’t. It’s all the touch. You will know what to touch when a tile wants you to.

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