Join Doug Winnie for an in-depth discussion in this video Adjusting apps on the Start screen, part of Up and Running with Windows 8.1 Phones.
- In addition to changing colors and themes for your device, you can adjust the apps that are pinned to the Start Screen as well. In this video, we'll go over the various ways you can adjust your Start Screen with live tile pins and customize the layout of your Start Screen to suit your tastes. The Start Screen contains live tiles to let you quickly launch apps and other items on your device. To pin an app, you need to find the app you wish to pin and use a long press interaction to select the Pin to Start option, and then add the app to your Start Screen. To get started, we need to go to the list of all of our apps by swiping left on the Start Screen.
Let's pin the Maps app to the Start Screen. Let's first bring up the Map app. To start the pinning process, we need to press and hold the Map app title. Hold until you see Menu slide open and appear. Take your finger off the screen and then tap Pin to Start. You'll automatically be taken to the Start Screen and the pin will be added to the bottom at the medium size. More on pin sizes later. But what if you want to pin something from within an app? Most apps support some sort of pinning of certain topics, items, or lists onto the Start Screen.
For example, the People app, which displays all of your contacts, can have individual contacts added to the Start Screen. The Weather app can pin specific cities to the Start Screen as well. Let's go through how to do that. I'm going to go first to the Weather app, and we'll go ahead and open that up. When I open the app you'll see a Pin icon in the menu bar at the bottom. This means that this screen can be pinned to the Start Screen. If I tap that, you'll see the Carpenteria, California, pin is now added, and the live tile's filled with helpful information about the weather at this location.
This makes it easier to get a quick glance of important information without having to open the app each time. Going back to the Weather app, I also have a favorite location saved of New York City. Just like with the Map examples before, I can press and hold, and select Pin to Start. So within your apps, look for the Pin button, or try and press and hold icons or items to pin them to the Start Screen. In Internet Explorer you can also pin websites to your Start Screen as well.
So let's go ahead and go to Internet Explorer, and we'll go to Lynda.com. I can tap the three buttons at the bottom to open up the menus, and then select Pin to Start. You'll either have a site icon, or a snapshot of the website appear at the bottom of your Start Screen. When you need to take away a live tile from your Start Screen, just long press on the tile. The tile will appear to pop up, and then gray out the other tiles. Tap on the Pin icon with the slash on it to remove it from the Start Screen.
Tap back on a blank area to return the focus back to the Start Screen. For example, I just removed the Maps tile from the Start Screen, but if I slide over to the All Apps list and search for Maps, you'll see that it's still installed. The Weather tiles I added are something that I might want to see pretty quickly. So if I want to move them up to the top of the Start Screen, I need to be able to drag them up there. Let's go back down to the bottom, and to do this I'm going to use a long press on the live tile. It pops out and makes it available for us to move.
To move it, drag your finger to where you want the tile to go. When you place it near another tile, it'll shift the tile over to make room for the new tile. When you have it positioned where you want it, tap outside of the tile, and it will drop into place. You may need to adjust the location of a few tiles to get the arrangement just the way you want it. Let's go ahead and move the other tile up to the top as well. The weather tiles we have are for two different locations. But if I want to have more information for one versus the other, I can adjust the size of the tile on the screen.
Tiles have three sizes, wide, medium, and small. Small tiles, like the phone or messaging tiles at the top, are the smallest you can have on a phone. Medium tiles, like the Cortana or Store tile, take up the space of four small tiles. The largest tile, the wide tile, takes up the space of two medium tiles, like the Photos tile I have hear near the bottom. When you adjust the size of a tile, you'll flip between the wide, medium, and small version of the tile to get the one that you want.
If I want the Carpenteria Weather tile to be larger, first I need to long press it, to make it active to change. Then there's an arrow button at the lower right-hand corner of the tile. I would tap this to switch between the three tile sizes, to get the size that I want to use for my Start Screen. When I'm happy with the tile size, I just tap outside of it. New with Update 1 of Windows Phone 8.1 are Live Tile folders. With folders, you can merge multiple tiles into a single tile, and open them to access the tiles within them.
In addition, live tile folders still flip between tiles to show you live tile information from the tiles within the folder group. Let's make a Weather folder to group all of my Weather tiles together. To create a group, simply long press on one of the tiles and move it on top of the other. You'll see the tile change and merge the two together. If I let go, you'll now have a live tile folder. I'm going to tap back outside to close the folder. Now if you tap the live tile folder, it expands to show the two tiles.
You can rearrange and resize tiles within the group. If you long press the name of the folder, you can give your folder a name, which displays when the folder's collapsed. Let's call ours Weather. A folder is just like any other tile. I can move it around and even resize it if I wish. As you can see, there are tons of different ways to customize the live tiles in your device. Try to add your own and customize your Start Screen to fit your personality.
- Adding an Outlook.com, Gmail, or Exchange email account
- Personalizing your phone
- Getting apps from the Windows Phone Store
- Working with contacts, calendars, and the Camera app
- Working with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files