One of the best things about being a writer on Conversations is that playing with my Nokia Lumia is part of my job so, by necessity, the Start screen is always a work in progress.
I am constantly trying out new apps and moving things around. Plus, with the ability to resize tiles in Windows Phone 8 (coming soon on Windows 7.8) experimenting with different layouts is really good fun.
As a general rule, I like to keep the start screen looking simple and only pin apps there when they’re needed for a particular occasion, for example the Live Tile of Flight Status is currently pinned because I went away for Christmas.
With the transient nature of my start screen in mind, here’s how it looked on my beloved Nokia Lumia 820 in late December 2012/early January 2013.
Tell us the apps you’ve prioritised and why?
The only wide tile I currently have on my start screen is the weather app from the UK Met Office. I’ll concede that it is not the prettiest weather app out there but it’s perfect for my needs, not to mention my parochial nature.
I have two other apps with big tiles, my Calendar app and my wife’s contact details. Both are great examples of Live Tiles where you can see the latest updates with a quick glance.
Another aspect of the Start screen that I think is worth a mention is the separate email inboxes. I think the ability to have different inboxes and to be able to link and unlink them is one of the best features about Windows Phone. I have a lot of email addresses and this works great for me. I like the fact they all have different icons too.
What apps do you use to pass the time?
To be perfectly blunt, I pass the time by installing random apps from the Windows Phone Store! If I have a few minutes spare and I’m feeling bored, I’ll always have a look in there to see if anything catches my eye.
Other than that, I really like Nokia Trailers because those short two or three-minute clips are a great way to pass the time. I just watched the trailer for World War Z and I can’t wait to see that when it hits the cinemas in 2013.
A final mention must go to eBay, which is one of my favourite and most used apps. I’m fairly active when it comes to buying and selling stuff and I think their Windows Phone app offers an experience that is more than comparable to their website. The notifications are excellent.
What is the last app you paid for, and what does it do?
I wrote a post about lock screens apps recently and one of the apps that I liked the most was called Hello Friends, which creates a dynamic and ever-changing mosaic of your contacts’ photos as your lock screen.
I liked it so much that I paid for it (£0.79p) after the trial ran out.
Which app(s) is your guilty pleasure?
Jewel3 is a very, very guilty pleasure indeed. I think it’s a combination of the bright colours and silly sound effects that makes me embarrassed about enjoying this game. That and the fact that I mocked my wife when I saw her play it for the first time. Well, she can’t play it anymore because I’m always on it.