We just caught up with Greg Sullivan, senior product manager for Windows Phone, who was showing off a Lumia 900 running a non-final Windows Phone 7.8 build. The WP7.8 build brings the new WP8 home start screen to existing WP7.5 devices, and possibly some other unannounced features depending on the device. Microsoft is being relatively tight-lipped with any of the other details about features that might be coming with WP7.8. 

Anyhow, the new WP7.8/WP8 home screen replaces the previous single wide and double wide tiles with a more dynamic resize option. There are now three sizes, the single wide, double wide, and a much smaller square shortcut. Long pressing brings up the familiar hover and rearrange menu, and tapping on the resize button cycles through available tile sizes. It's shocking how much more dynamic having the smaller tile size makes the start screen appear. 

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  • Iketh - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    nice change, can't wait
  • DarkUltra - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    Doesn't it? I don't know if id use so small tiles, faster to scroll a bit and hit a big tile? I'll be trying it out, nonetheless.

    I aslo hope they fix/add Text wrap in IE, PNG support in pictures, larger UI text size option, Find on page in IE9, Mail sync drafts over IMAP, Combined alarm, timer and stopwatch with support of mp3 or custom ringtone as alarm, Unread state for moved/deleted emails, Re: and Fwd: email subject abbreviations for international users (messes up the subject line and threading with re: sv: re: sv: ), Deleting email from Gmail account archives instead of deletes, Read status, move and delete operations are not pushed immediately (have to do it all over again when I sit down infront of my desktop pc).

    Thats all :-D
  • B3an - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    What i would do is fill the top area of the Start Screen with small tiles so i have lots of stuff to access quickly. Then make all the tiles below it larger so they're easy to hit when scrolling down fast.

    I think it this will make WP8 even quicker at getting things done. I already think WP7 is faster than Android or iOS in this regard.
  • ctodd - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    I just don't understand how they can go around demoing petty crap like the start screen when there are dozens of missing features! How about adding support for multiple volume controls, maybe a software volume control, better notification, etc. There are tons of stuff missing that are more meaningful than the ability to resize tiles.
  • damianrobertjones - Thursday, June 21, 2012 - link

    In a way it already has multiple volume controls. One for the main audio, one for when on a call etc.

    Other than that... ?
  • ctodd - Thursday, June 21, 2012 - link

    So if you want to be smart about it, technically yes there are two volume controls; one for phone calls and one for everything else. If I adjust the volume for the ringer, it also adjusts the volume for music/videos as well as bluetooth and headphone jack. So yes, I am expecting more than two volume controls.
  • Zstream - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - link

    GAH I'm gonna have a heart attack!
  • N4g4rok - Friday, June 22, 2012 - link

    I think there may be something in the marketplace now that will do that.
  • Belard - Thursday, June 21, 2012 - link

    Launcher 7 for Android does the following:
    - tile rotation to match the orientation of the phone. (Looks cool)
    - User color over-ride on individual tiles, including transparency

    So I can have a nice rich blue base, dial tile = green, group Internet related tiles another color.
  • B3an - Thursday, June 21, 2012 - link

    Launcher 7 is a low quality gimmick and nowhere near as good as the real thing. Being as it's Android it also don't run as smooth, typical laggy animations. And the tiles don't even update, which is the main feature of Live Tiles in the first place.

    I'm sick on Android. I just wish Samsung would make something like my Galaxy S3 but with WP8 on it and i'm sold. Only thing thats stopped me from getting Win Phone is the mid-range hardware. WP8 should change this though.

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