From the Forums: Organising Live Tiles, designing and building your own smartphone

It's time for another From the Forums where we bring you the hottest threads  from the Windows Phone Central community. The boards are the number one destination for Windows Phone fans and developers to engage in relevant conversation. A growing number of registrations is present with a strong accumulation of threads and posts.

Kicking off this edition is a thread created by aubreyq, who asks a very important question in the life of a Windows Phone owner - how will one arrange Live Tiles in Apollo? While the topic itself is fairly old and was started earlier in the year, we figured we'd give it some coverage with the imminent Windows Phone 8 launch.

Forum member jimski added his thoughts on how he'll be setting up shop in Microsoft's next version of its mobile operating system:

"With about 52 now (26 rows), hoping to consolidate a bit. Non-live tiles will get shrunk down, and maybe something like messaging will grow. If I have 5 new emails and can only see the most recent (can't scroll the tile-or maybe that's a secret for 10/29), no use using a double wide. Hope to get down to about 15-16 rows. My left thumb will thank me."

With Apollo (and Windows Phone 7.8) sporting multiple sizing of Live Tiles on the home screen, owners will be able to pick and mix tiles to personal tastes, enabling to further customisation compared to Mango. How will you be arranging apps on the home screen? Be sure to head on over to the "So how will YOU organize your new Start screen?" thread to add your formations.

Smartphone Configuration

Smartphone configuration much like PC building?

Forum member ebsn has formed an interesting thread that looks at a possibility of smartphone configuration, much like what's presently available with personal computers and laptops.

"How far in the future do you think we are from building our own smartphones? Probably not until some visionary makes a claim that they see everyone with a smartphone in their hand. But, I am willing to stake that the first company to have an online smartphone building site during this time will make it big."

With this level of customisation, consumers would be able to construct a smartphone to match requirements and needs. Beefing up any part of the specifications and design can lead to exciting possibilities. Should a potential buyer need 32GB storage as well as wireless charging, this could be achieved without the restrictions of what a particular OEM has created with choice of how to create the smartphone.

Consumers have complained about specifications in Windows Phones. Some devices have lacked SD Card expansion, others have sported too much advanced elements that bump up the price beyond that what is deemed "affordable." Generally, smartphones just aren't tailored for consumers. But this could change with the possibility of customisation.

Head on over to the "Design your own smartphone, like your computer" thread to add input to the immense amount of possibilities.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • The problem I see with customized smartphones is the price. Phones are built in factories with assembly lines. To take a phone off of that to build it would cost way too much. Computers are a bit easier to do this with because parts are now in stores or online. Its easier to build because you have bigger parts to assemble and more room to assemble them in.
  • Also, computers have interchangable parts - smartphones don't (yet), when that comes, then it'll be a lot easier to customize phones, and then this would be available. However, that's just my guess, and I've been thinking about this a lot lately heh.
  • It might not be far off when one considers the existence of SoCs. The only issue is coming up with a form factor for phones that is anaglous to the ATX form factor we see in PCs. Then it comes to what designs you are looking at, how to simplify connectors to the display and other parts that are still strong enough to withstand drops (something PCs don't exactly encounter), the OS and of course, the battery.
  • My point has already been alluded to but one of the reasons PCs are customisable is because a lot of things are modular i.e memory, optical drives, WiFi, mobile broadband, had etc whereas mobile phones are usually all baked in and doing it any other way will significantly drive costs up. However, who knows what is around the corner.
  • I'm sure if this becomes a possibility, carriers will find a way to make it a "breach of contract."
  • Carriers would love it if they no longer had a reason to subsidize phones.
  • Carriers wouldn't "love this" because there would be no way to lock users in for two years. It will never happen.
  • They still provide service don't they? 2 year contract to use their towers. Either way no subsidized phones equals a higher profit margin for them.
  • They must "give" you something in order to get you under contract. Forcing a two-year contract in exchange for using the towers is like double charging. I'm paying for the use of the towers, why do I need to commit?
  • I had to LOL at "Should a potential buyer need 32GB storage..." When the day comes that we can custom-build our own phones, 32GB won't even be a memory for a large percentage of potential customers.
  • It would be nice to design your own personal smartphone but I can't see it being a reality we still haven't seen smartphones with bendable LCD because there is no battery that could support that & I still think that manufactures will push for a phone like that plus I don't see manufactures pushing a make your personal smartphone unless you are willing to bring out the big bucks & the other stuff mentioned by joeDizzle33
  • Would it even be possible to build your own? To make the parts exchangeable they'd probably need to be made with special connectors, probably resulting in bigger devices overall. Then there's the testing & certifications required for communication devices... I don't see it ever happening
  • All things can happen just have flexible brain & think . Every thing is easy if we think it's easy conversly is right too.