App Folder Windows Phone
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App Folder for Nokia Lumia phones now available, here’s how it works

Earlier we detailed Nokia’s new features that would become available with the Lumia Black firmware update. One of those surprise features was the ability to create app folders on your Start screen. At the time no details were on the blog post saying how to get app folders worked. Daniel suggested that it would come in the form of an app, which it just has. That’s right, you can now download App Folder from Nokia to create your own.

Surprise! It doesn’t actually need Lumia Black to work. We we’re able to install and use the app on a device with the Amber firmware update installed.

There’s not much to this. This app helps you tidy up your Start screen by allowing you to group apps together into a folder. Not only apps, but some popular settings can also be added for relatively quick access. The folder solution isn’t as elegant as it is on competing mobile operating systems. For example, the folder you create is basically an Live tile with the icons of the various apps inside. Once you tap it you jump into the App Folder app where you’ll then tap the app you want to go to. But it’s a nice way to clean up your Start screen.

App Folder

You can create folders, name them, and drop the various apps and settings into it. Pin it to your Start screen and you can cycle through the various tile sizes. But if you’re a power user that actively uses a bazillion apps, App Folder may be a nice way to clean up your Start screen and find a bit more zen.

Grab it for your Lumia device in the Windows Phone Store for free.

Thanks for the tips everybody! 

QR: App Folder

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Reader comments

App Folder for Nokia Lumia phones now available, here’s how it works

197 Comments

Installing..... Glad it doesn't need Black although i have that already. Today was a good day. Thanks Nokia.

Now only gta can put icing on cake.

Of all the Settings they leave out, they leave out brightness? Seems I'll have to keep waiting for an App Folder app to include it.

This is the one setting I've been waiting for to have a shortcut! I had one on my WP7 pre mango. But after that it hasn't been available as a shortcut. No idea why.

<p>Right? I mean he could want quick access to his top four played games, in which case pin them to the start screen in a 2x2 grid... And we're back where we started... Sigh.

That's been my point all along.  We already have the Music & Video Hub (folder), the Pictures Hub (folder) and the Me tile (folder-like).  Oh, and Office.  And this new folder app you create...does...NOTHING.  It's just a tile.  I can keep all my live tiles on the screen, organized how I want, and they FEED info to me.  If I need something that's not available there I can either jump into the appropriate hub or immediately bring up the jumplist and get to the app I need.  So what flipping good is this?  None.  10 minutes of playing with it, and I'm now deleting it.  Big flipping whoop.

Why don't you quit crying about it?
Obviously, many people will use this. Many people with Nokia's even used a proxy to get the Samsung app folder months ago.

I see the App Folder being like a filter for the App List. The Alphabetical listing doesn't work very well when you have a ton of apps installed. It will be better when we can organize the App list the way we want it. That is coming with WP8.1, hopefully. If I install an app to try, I may forget about it if I don't pin it to the Start Screen, or I may have to comb through the app list because I forgot the name. If it is a photo app and I add it to a Photo App folder, I just have to remember it was a photo app. I like it. I hope it gets better, it's not great, but it is useful to me.

You nailed it. That is a much better way to do things, and I hope WP8.1 takes a cue from how W8.1 does it.

Exactly. How many times have I downloaded an App and then forgotten what it's called. That Iron Man flashlight one and Tucan reader being two. These are none-hubbed, dumb tiles that can be pinned together with other stuff in a folder.

But the other platforms have so be default WP "MUST" have it or be left behind. What most fail to realize is that WP and Metro are different and act differently and do some things better. Some don't get it but then again some do. It would be nice if we didn't have to compare WP to iOS and Android feature by feature by feature by feature.

Just a sample of a "non-existent problem" improved on my phone:

Utilities folder = Calculator, ConnectivityShortcuts, Compass, Counter+, Decibel Meter, Flashlight XT, Jack of Tool Pro, etc.

Music folder = Nokia MixRadio, Slacker Radio, TuneIn Radio, Songza

TV folder = Xbox One SmartGlass, BraviaControl Xfinity TV remote, Play To, Global TV

Photo Editing folder = Blink, Photoroom, Fotor, Nokia Cinemagraph, Creative Studio, Glam Me, Panorama, Refocus, Smart Cam, PhotoGrid, PhotoSynth, etc.

Angry Birds folder = well duh

Entertainment = Cocktail Flow, Cracked, Flixster, Fresh Paint, IMDB, Redbox, Recipes by Ingredients, etc.

Pay/Spend = Chase, 7-11, Amazon, ATT

Thought = TED, Daily History, Discovery, Today's Word, Amazon Kindle

I don't want to have to pin every single app and game just to organise it. Some apps activate a live tile with no setting to turn it off - you can disable the background task but the tile can be stuck showing the same lame info instead of a nice simple icon. Some tiles flip with no option to turn it off. Jumping into hubs doesn't help when you've got dozens of apps in each one. Maybe I want to organise my games by category (puzzle, shoot'em'up etc) or my photo apps (editors, filters, panorama etc). Having said all that, I don't think this is an elegant solution. I'd much rather be able to add tags (like categories) to my app and game lists and be able to filter on those tags.

You are right! These are not hubs! They do not offer consolidated services like hubs. Is mainly for keeping the start screen neat and easier access to pinned tiles that are so way down the start screen. Android and iOS also have folder for their shortcuts. Why are you whinning?

His point is that to add a games folder causes you to actually do more tapping, by opening up the games hub instead of directly opening the game from within the folder. So in turn it actually makes it more difficult to use for games. Nothing major, just what he was pointing out.

I don't understand why people keep on complaining on this. If you think this is not useful for you then don't install. If you have tons of apps (esp. Similar apps) you will appreciate the purpose of this.

Well said, dude. We should all be happy with all these improvements. But, if you don't need it, don't install it. And stop whining, jeez!

A good start. I would like to see an update that would allow adding individual tiles to a folder (not different apps necessarily). For instance, I have a few FB pages and IG profiles pinned to my start screen that I'd like to group in folders.

Why would you want different tiles in a folder? It just seems to defeat the purpose. But I kinda get what you're saying, just seems pointless IMO

It would be nice if you could add contacts to a folder. I have a few contacts on my Start screen and it would be nice to put them all in a folder.

They're already in a folder... All you have to do is group them and pin that group (folder). I'm not getting it cause you can already do that.

That's what "Groups" are for. So go to the People Hub, create a group, ads contacts to it, then pin the Group to the Start Screen. I use Work, Family, and Friends Groups. The nice thing is its a live tile that will indicate if you have calls, emails or messages from anyone in that Group. :-)

But if the App folder tile behaved like a tile, that might be something. I'm hesitant to make a folder for "news" or apps that flip with info or have notifications because I'd lose out on live tiles. Related to what aaa6112 is saying, you could have the different tiles in a single tile (via App Folder) and it'd cycle through the various information, app by app (or tile by tile).

Regardless, I still find it useful because I have a few games lacking notifications and tiny tiles I could lump together.

Put your primary News, e.g. NBC News" as a Live Tile with a folder "News" next to your secondary news apps, "CNN", "WPCentral", etc. for diffrent types of news, etc. 

Angry Birds folder for all the Angry Bird variants

Quicker access without cluttering the start screen.  Imagine if you have a dozen map locations pinned that you want faster access to... pop them in a folder.

This! lots of map locations and IE pages. Why let them take a lot of room when they can all be hidden in one folder.

I've got all of my favorite sports teams pinned from out of the ESPN Hub app. Would be nice to put those in a folder.

Can't say I really need it, but good to have for some. That was quick publishing on Nokia's part

WP isn't as restricted OOTB compared to iOS, where you need to jailbreak it to get some of the things WP has anyway.

Anyway, why are you even commenting on here. Surely iMore is the best place for you!!

And what are some of things iOS needs to jailbreak that WP already has? I'll wait for your answer. And I'm on here cause I own a 920, 1520, and 2520. How bout you?

You're whinning about WP being restrictive and yet you went out and bought those anyway?!! And it's not as if those models came out all at the same time too! I really don't get it!!!

Cause you too stupid to understand that every OS has something that people don't like. Are you that ignorant and stupid to not understand that even though WP has flaws that people might actually still like the OS? Why am I even talking to you.

Problem is, this being MS you migh be waiting for years.It's not like installing this apps takes moe than couple of seconds, if you have Lumia like most of us. 

Thank God it doesn't need Black! Time to clean up my L920 and put all the bloody photo editing apps into just one tile.

Also, it would be nice if they open the app funtionality to all the tiles pinned to the screen and not just Apps (for example custom tiles created by a third party app or webpages)

Dope!  Thanks!
 

Excellent start but I'd like to be able to have a folder with anything I pin to the Start.  I often Pin Websites that I want to remember or read later.  Great start though.
 

Apple brings 250 Features in a year.... Microsoft gives 10 features in 4-5 months :/ still lacks basic features :( I think microsoft guys are on Pretty Long vacation, whereas, Nokia is working real hard on Hardware part! Microsoft, you're behind! it's time to get serious!!
 

Lets hope with Nokia device going to MS this is so. But its hard to believe true. Iono. I'm gonna ride with MS on this and hope its fuitful. I think 8.1 will open up great thinks for the OS but they got stop moving at snail pace.

I agree with you. Apple gets far more done than Microsoft does. I love Windows Phone and I'm using it in an effort to get proper support. But lets be honest, Microsoft is SLOW to update their crap.

Kind of what Samsung already has for about half a year .... But nobody cares til Nokia comes up with that :D

Considering the market share, this is natural. And no one ever forgot Samsung already had it, WP Central repeatedly stated it.

I had it (Samsung) and this one is much better. For one reasons at least.. If I open app From folder then go back (close app) folder would close as well, but Nokias doesn't. But the icon arrangement in Samsungs is easier I think

I'm the consumer. If I'm not happy, I have every right to say what's not good about it. Its crappy. It half assed. Its a fix, a band aid, and something that falls far short of my expectations. I won't use it because it sucks. I don't need to use it or be grateful for it.

I can only see this being useful if you have a load of apps, know what the one you want does, but can't remember what its called or what letter it starts with, otherwise the normal app draw is quicker

Why would I need an app that adds another icon to my start screen? Why make a games folder when I can tap on my games icon? Why make a folder with setting "shortcuts" when I can tap on my setting icon?

To group apps conveniently and logically?  This was an obvious and sorely needed addition to the OS, I can now dispense with 7 music app icons - pandora, spotify, xbox music, songza, nokia mix, rhapsody, tunein and place them in a single convenient folder, no longer need to scroll through miles of screen space to find my groups of apps. I have 20 photo icons that are now in a single folder.  The usefulness is obvious and it was a glaring hole in the OS, something that every other OS has. 

You every stop to think you have too many apps? What do you need 10+ of any app type? Anyway enjoy your clean start screen.

one obvious example for me is the news apps. Some apps give good coverage for world news while someone else would be better at sports and a third app for the entertainent news. For the best coverage of local news, you'll need another app. Another set I can think of would be the tiles for mulitple email accounts.

BTW, I'm an HTC user and badly missing this app, however crude it is!

Don't all of those music apps also appear in the Music+Video hub? 20 photo icons? Why not make an album instead? Or do you mean photo editing apps? Don't those just appear together in a list when you edit a photo?

If I have a group of apps that have static tiles (or tiles I don't care about and I just want quick access to the app) I can now group four of them into one space. I've done this for my maps/navigation apps, music apps (lyrics, nokia mixradio, xbox music, pandora), and social apps. They use to take up an entire 2x2 square, now they take 1 tile for four apps. If you can't see the utility then boo-hoo, now I have the flexibility. 

They have this cool thing where you can swipe right to left and all of your apps appear. Maybe you don't have the version yet its ok.

There's also this cool thing called choice, preference and flexibility. Maybe you haven't experienced this before and it can be a bit scary the first time, but it's ok.

Yes, but it doesn't group them. Apparently it's coming in 8.1 though. For example, I have a few apps that I only use when travelling - translators, mapping, compass etc. but because I use the infrequently I rarely remember the names, so I have to scroll through dozens and dozens of apps to find them. The same again for music apps, photo apps, games, utilities etc. Pinning them all just to organise them is illogical and creates a huge mess on the home screen.

Yep that's right. I tested it out and no more tile notifications. Still get the push ribbon up top. Hopefully it can be done to show notifications in an update.

BTW, I noticed a number of the apps are NOT visible to be added to a folder.  No matter, I deleted the app. Wasted.

This is just a workaround from Nokia. Nothing that is OS worthy. It works slow. A folder should not slowly open a full screen window with shortcuts at a different position than where your finger was at when you opened the folder. MS should make it so that the folder tile simply expands and pushes the other tiles away. Than you can even keep the folder expanded if you want.

Because that's what consumers do to get the products they want. Otherwise you get half baked crap like this and Microsoft says "Oh they have that and are happy." I'm not happy with it. No live tile support, no badge support, load times aren't good enough. Its just a band aid. Don't let Microsoft think you're okay with crap or that's all you'll get.

Does it propagate notifications to the main tile when they occur in the apps inside, or are notifications even more hidden if you use this?

I don't think dragging an icon over another and it intelligently naming the folder was in Windows Mobile. Or being able to open the folder instantly without a load time. Its lacking and Nokia trying make up for Microsoft's lacking OS. I love Windows Phone, but it is lacking in many ways.

I am vondering in the screen shots of the app(in the store), that theme colour (red) is not avaible on my L920. Ive just got 2 red options one is light one and the other is less light. Why I dont have a red like in the screen shots? :)

How come Internet Explorer is not in the App list you can choose for folders, strange. Otherwise brilliant for a first release

OS apps ... This app can't touch them, but that's cool, still very cool...eliminates search the app list by alphabetical.

Yeah this is cool and helpful...making things tidy right now! It would be awesome if the tiles within the folder were live.

i didn't like it at all i hope windowsphone 8.1 will come with something well designed and faster than this

I was really jealous of this first but now I see it's implementation, I'm not bothered. It might be useful for quick settings, but for apps it efectively removes the ability for live tiles and notifications. I'm hoping MS will come out with a solution where the app folder just opens up a new 'start screen' with the live tiles in the folder. That would be a lot more useful.

I'd like to see an indicator (blinking light) on the edge folder that apps inside the folder have notifications or a numerical counter of how many notifications total from all apps inside there are.

I have four issues with this app:

1. Slow to open. It is an app after all, not an actual folder, so it has some launch overhead. I'd rather sacrifice my space than my time!

2. You can't add content (like playlists, documents etc.) like you can do with pins. Imagine having a folder with music albums you're currently listening to. My homescreen is full of those!

3. You can't add some OS apps (like Office, OneNote, Data Sense etc.).

4. Say goodbye to your live tiles. Imagine if it could sum up the notification counts or flip between the content of all the apps inside (as someone else mentioned).

 

I have one set up with some social apps I use, but now very frequently, where I don't care about receiving notification counts, and another for some quick settings.

 

What I see is Nokia addressing a way for a Windows Phone owner to be able make his/her phone more the way they want it if they choose. These folders on the start screen, with apps in them, are alot like other OS's having this very same capability. I will go out on a limb here and say that an overall majority of WP owners had the Android/IOS phones before having a Windows Phone and therefore wish that their new phone could do what their old phone could.

This app is pretty awful, really.  For all the press it is getting.  I have seen some mockups that made a lot more sense.  This just provides a link to another screen with a filtered view of your apps in a row...not really that helpful.

I prefer to just sort my start screen HeaderTiles and Spacer Tile.

           

Something closer to the folders in iOS would be more helpful.

Edit: I tried to embed a few photos.  They show up in editing mode but when I hit submit comment they disappear...oh well.

I tried the Samsung folder app when there was a work around to get it on all phones.
It got pretty useless to me cause it just didn't seem to fit in.

Im just waiting for them to implement something into the OS. That gives us a live folder updating on the basis of apps in it and something that doesn't open as an app but as a part of the home screen.

Why doesn't a folder indicate a notification when there is one for an app contained in it? It is just a tile. It would be lovely if App Folder had a live tile or something that would indicate a notification for my Facebook app that I have put inside it. Like the iOS folders on the home screen.

Hmm, how do the notifications from the live tiles get affected? Will the folder tile change numbers when you get a notification?

It's funny because you can add the App Folder inside and then you'll see it again, and again, and again.

It's fine to have an app to do such basic thing coz I get used to on WP already. Are we going to have another app to do call forward and another app to shut down phone?

I tried both of them and Samsung one is alot better then Nokia one. The Nokia App folder makes ugly tiles and it takes 5 second longer to open the app then Samsung one.

I wanna see someone create one tile for all their homscreen apps and have a homescreen with one single tile.

 

LOL.

I don't think I would ever use this.  I would rather have the ability to categorize the app list on my phone like you can with Windows 8.1.

Was quite keen to use the app folder, but the list of apps is so restricted (I don't use too many) there is almost no point in me using it. Can't add in the Messaging app, or any of my e-mail accounts. Not a major problem but would have been a nice group for me to have. Think I was being a bit over ambitious! Initially thought it would essentially be a mini live tile for each app you have within the folder tile (for those that can have a live tile), but clearly not. Not disappointed with it, but think there is room for improvement. I shall live in hope of an update.