Windows Phone 8 GDR3 update may add an extra column of live tiles to Start screen, says Mary Jo Foley

Note: This is a mockup.

A couple of days ago we learned that Windows Phone 8′s GDR3 update would more likely than not introduce devices with 1080p displays and quad-core processors, to combat Android’s popular ‘phablet’ category of devices with screens upwards of five inches. But the new higher-resolution may present a challenge to the Windows Phone start screen — just ask any HTC Titan owner how goofy live tiles can look at times on a massive display. Mary Jo Foley of All About Microsoft has heard from sources that the Windows Phone team has a solution: add more tiles!

Building on the previous GDR3 update report, Foley checked in with her own well-connected sources and learned that the Start screen may soon hold even more tiles. She specifically said that Windows Phone 8 may add a “a third column of apps in the start screen” — which implies that you’d be able to fit three medium-sized square tiles in one row as opposed to the limit of two today. What’s unclear is if this additional column will be for 1080p devices or devices with a certain display size, or whether it will be pushed down to the current WXGA and 720p displays.

Foley also offered another morsel of GDR3 gossip, saying that Windows Phone 8′s core apps may be updated in the release. While that does not seem like a big deal at face value, it does imply to us that GDR3 will be the ‘big’ update for Windows Phone this year instead of Blue (which looks increasingly less likely to even be released this year).

At first we weren’t too enthused by such a possibility of even more live tiles on the Start screen. However once we completed photoshopping the mockup you see above, we started to like the idea more than we thought (though it’s really close to the edge of ‘information overload’ status). How would you feel about more live tiles on new Windows Phone 8 devices with 5-inch or higher screens?

Source: All About Microsoft

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Author Description

Saad Hashmi

Founder of Windows Phone Daily. Currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Marketing and Information Systems. While procrastinating on that goal I write, play games a little too often, and watch exorbitant amounts of mediocre half-hour comedies because I lack the patience to watch hour-long dramas that are probably better. Follow me on Twitter: @Saad073

  • Juckles

    They should also move the Tiles up the screen a little. On my 820 i can get a whole row showing visibly that’s cut off by default because of the Tiles initial placement.

    There’s no need for such a large blank space under the clock and battery gauge, it can still be accessed with the Tiles set up closer to them.

    • Saad Hashmi

      I recall a UX designer at Microsoft explaining that the reason they did it was to make sure the tiles were cut off on the bottom of the screen. Since they were cut off on the bottom, it’s a visual indicator that implies there’s more content to be seen if you scroll. It’s the same logic they use for panorama apps with the cut off headers.

  • David Wilson

    That’s way too many. Looks too busy.

    • Adam

      Busy interface for busy businessmen. =P

      I frankly like it, hope to get a lumia soon.

      • David Wilson

        Everyone has there preference. Hopefully this make this optional if they do it. Options are good.

    • CyberAngel

      Why complain? Just use the large tiles!

      • David Wilson

        Oh, excuse me for voicing my opinion. I’ll keep it to myself next time.

        • CyberAngel


          • David Wilson

            I’m assuming you think you’re funny?

  • Kari Hanninen

    Livetiles and extra columns, nam!

  • t8ntlikly

    I don’t care for it. On my 8x, it would make the tiles just way too small. Leave well enough alone. Now if they come out with a larger display, then maybe.

  • Chucklebrothers


  • CyberAngel

    with a FHD 6.75″ Phablet six columns looks ok, but it really should be configurable.

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  • DavidK

    So amazing to see how far Windows Phone has come in the past few years it went from the old and dated WP7 to the upcoming Windows 10 for Phones. Keep it up Microsoft!