Live Tile Browser (Update)

I have just finished an update to the Windows Phone 7 version of LTB that picks up on some of the enhancements made for the Windows 8 metro version (see here).

The latest version, as well as including many more live tiles (on average we are seeing around 15-20 new Live Tiles a week) now includes a useful filtering utility:

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As you touch one of the filters and swipe to the tile pages you only see relevant Live tiles matching your filter selection.  In addition a small filter icon appears at the bottom left of the screen to indicate that a filter is in effect (tapping this icon will also take you to the filter screen)

I’m not sure yet about the UI implementation of the filtering page and may well switch it out to utilise the Windows Phone Menu system instead – Please let me know if you have any thoughts on that.

The categories are dynamic such that as new tiles become available, relevant  filter options are picked up automagically.  As you might expects the categories are the same as those in the Windows 8 App and in the Silverlight version of the App at http://liveTiles.co.uk.

 

Some of the latest Live Tiles

BILLGATESCLINTEASTWOOD_REARDATINGAGENCIESDIVORCEYOURWIFE_REARDRAWING_REARDRWHO_REAROILSEANCONNERY

The update is currently undergoing testing and should be available through the marketplace soon.


In the meantime you can download the current (and free) version ‘Live Tile Browser’ HERE.

Installing the Windows 8 Consumer Preview on an Asus EP21 Slate / Tablet

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I’m not going to labour the point but the installation of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview is a lot easier than my earlier post relating to the Dell Duo!  That said, the steps are essentially the same:

  • Back up the supplied Windows 7 installation if desired*
  • Install Windows 8
  • Run Windows Update
  • Download Windows 7 drivers from the ASUS Site
  • Install the drivers

* I say if desired as unlike the Dell Duo the Asus comes with a Windows 7 restoration disk.

Here are the steps I took in a little more detail:

Installing Windows 8

NB I used a USB Keyboard which I left connected throughout the process in order to make any text entry (WiFi passwords etc) easier, I also copied the Windows 8 key onto the same USB stick I used for the update process so that all I had to do was copy and paste it when requested.

  1. Download the Windows 8 image (DOWNLOAD)
  2. Mount the downloaded iso file (I used MagicISO)
  3. Run the setup program and follow the installation instructions given

NB I chose the 64bit O/S over the 32bit owing to the generous memory available on the device (4GB) and the fact that ASUS supplied the 64bit version of Win7 with the machine, rather than the 32bit  in the first place).

An alternative methodology might be to burn the downloaded image to a DVD Drive then utilize an External DVD Drive instead of using MagicISO.

 

Running Windows Update

This is essentially the same process as for Windows 7 – from the Win8 menu choose Control Panel and walk through the following screens before finally running Windows update:

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NB You can also simply type ‘control’ when in the Metro desktop interface to switch to the Metro control panel, and from there select ‘windows update’

Downloading Windows 7 drivers from ASUS

The consumer build of Windows 8 does a pretty good job of managing the drivers and software from the previous Windows 7 installation.  However it is worth keeping an eye on the 64bit downloads from ASUS in case there is a firmware upgrade or some updated device drivers that don’t make it through the default Windows update process.  The download page is located here:  ASUS support page

 

Performance Rating:Untitled

(Noticeably superior to the Duo as you might expect.)

Notes

Now that this device appears to be available at reasonable rates on eBay I have to say that it is probably the best choice in terms of value and performance for a slate type device at the time of writing (March 2012).  If you can afford it the Samsung series 7 Slate is probably top  dog, with the EP21 a close second and a definite winner in price terms.  The dell Duo remains a great choice for testing the waters and is certainly more than capable of running the majority of Metro apps currently available.

ASUS App Compatibility

DNLA

imageI was particularly pleased to note that the ASUS DLNA server (Mediacontroller.exe) still continued to work after the upgrade – this is a useful utility to have on any slate device that allows pictures and videos to play to any DLNA equipped TV.

Art Rage

Art Rage is bundled with the Windows 7 install of the EP21 and is a great way to show off the tablet oriented features of the device.  It loads fine but I found the functionality to be questionable under Windows 8.

(All the other apps supplied by ASUS appeared to work OK under Windows 8).

Tips:

ASUS Applications

If you intend to use any of the Asus applications that came with the Windows 7 software it is a good idea to pin them to the new Metro desktop.  This can be achieved by holding down on the relevant exe file until the in place menu appears that has the option to pin. Most of these apps can be found under c:program filesAsus

Bluetooth Keyboard

If you find that Blutooth isn’t working properly try downloading the ‘Wireless Lan’ Drivers from the Asus Site:

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Extract them and run setup – it will fail saying that this is the wrong version of windows.

NB UNISTALL any previous version if you see this message:image

Go on to the install :

 

A few of seconds you should get a windows popup asking if it worked ok – click no- re-run in compatibility mode.
The install will now run OK – I deselected the WLAN driver (as Wireless is working fine anyway) and let it install the Bluetooth stuff:

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The Bluetooth icon appeared on the system tray – open the settings from here once the installer has finished and click the ‘allow devices to see this PC’ option (not sure if this is absolutely necessary ).
Then held down the Bluetooth button on the keyboard , went into the ‘add device’ option in the control panel and the devices showed up, connected first time and just worked.

(With thanks to Mark Blackburn)


There is also a great thread detailing driver issues etc. here:

http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/windowsdeveloperpreviewgeneral/thread/747de215-f319-4aea-8762-2480573456e2

“Live Tile” Browser for Windows 8

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A quick interim post to show progress on porting this app to Windows 8. Still much to do but have made good progress in a couple of days.  Plan on adding filters for Live Tile types which will re-arrange the screen accordingly.  UI is very responsive so am pleased thus far.

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I have added filters using the App menu bar which makes things a bit more manageable.

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I have also added a ‘shrink’ option that takes tiles down to just a basic text description.  I am looking to have this follow the functionality of the ‘semantic zoom’ control but my first attempt to do this resulted in a spectacular fail!

NB This App forms the basis for my continued support of “App Aid” and will be followed by a WinRT / Metro version of “Live Tile News”.

Ian.

UPDATE

Stay tuned for an update on this post when I highlight how applying some of the common Windows 8 metro design guidelines has an impact on the next iteration of this app!

Announcing “ART” for Windows Phone 7

Ever wanted to know how to do any of the following?

"Oil Painting"
"Watercolours"
"Pencil Drawing"
"Charcoal Drawing"
"Origami"
"Sand Sculptures"
"Chalk Drawings"
"Screen Printing"

Well, now is your chance!

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Watch, Rewind, Replay & Pause a constantly refreshed catalogue of some of the most talented artists explaining in detail how they do what they do.

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5Pin any of the 8 artist types to your phones home screen – as a new clip is published you will see it appear here, clicking through will take you to the clip section within the app!

★★★★★ "What a great app!"

★★★★★ "Just watching these people is art in itself!"

★★★★★ "Thank You!"

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WATERCOLOURSCHALKDRAWINGSCHARCOALDRAWINGORIGAMIPENCILDRAWINGSANDSCULPTURESSCREENPRINTING_REAROILPAINTING_REAR


Try the free demo today!

http://windowsphone.com/s?appid=f0e90985-dc7a-4ae8-a057-e45db2c92ea3