How useful are your Windows Phone Live Tiles?

One of the key features of the Windows Phone platform are Live Tiles, which provide a snapshot of information on your Start Screen. We have Live Tiles that will deliver weather information, appointments, TV shows, and even gaming progress.

But how often do you rely on the Live Tile information, or do you overlook it and just use the Tile to jump into the app or game?  Personally, I like how I can glance at the weather and appointment Tiles to see what the current temperature is or how long I have until the next meeting.  Other than that, I generally use the Live Tiles as a shortcut to the many apps I have pinned to my Start Screen.

What about you?  We have a discussion going on here in the WPCentral forums that was started by a new Windows Phone user trying to determine the practicality of Live Tiles.  The original poster has a minimal collection of tiles on his Start Screen and opts to rely on swiping to the right and launching apps from the App Menu. So are these glorified widgets or something more?

Do you have a tip for best using your Tiles? What apps do you find have the most valuable content to display? More over, what would you change? Join in on the conversation in the forums.

George Ponder

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.

  • Useful
  • They are indeed, but would be even better if they were more like W8.1 live tiles, rather than flipping imo.
  • When they work.
    But that's more of an isolated app problem than an is issue.
  • No, when they do not work it is an OS issue with background tasks, in almost all case.
  • so true, the live tile concept is great but the implementation is pointless. Live tiles are not "Live" if they only update every 30 minutes I love Awesome lock screen that shows me way more info than my live tiles. I am a BIG MS fan but for me live tiles are not there yet
  • Totally agree! The name is a lie! There is nothing LIVE about them, yea it is great to see the battery percentage, weather details or facebook updates on your start screen but the values and info displayed are inaccurate because of OS limitations, it updates waaaay too slowly and sometimes it doesn't update at all until you open that specific app. Good concept and I must admit they have made strides from the WP7 days, lets hope they keep it up until we have real live tiles.
  • You are totally wrong about not being live. There are some sports apps with tiles that update as soon as there is a score change. Can't get any more "live" than that. The one I use the most are made by Luno Software and they work great. Their baseball app shows runners on base, pitch count, score right on the tile. Maybe you're not a sports fan and would never use their apps but it CAN be done..
  • Not sure i can get that here in NZ anyway but I might try is just to see this as that sounds awesome but totally doesnt match my experience. As i said on here the email live tile seems instant so maybe it can be done but i'vr not seen any app that does and I'd really like too. What is that app called?
  • Those are push notifications and not the info I guess and if it is then why not on the battery apps?
  • It's because you cannot receive battery status via push notification from some server. No one can know status of your battery but the device itself. And device can update every 30 minutes.
  • Apps that don't update the tile until you open it; blame the dev. He didn't code a background agent. Lazy :P but the limit of 15 background tasks bugs me. Only 15 live tiles allowed? Come on Microsoft! And devs, stop coding your apps so they bug me every time saying "too many background agents". That isn't an MS thing, its a dev thing. I know coz my app doesn't do that.
  • Wow this is such nonsense words fail me.
  • Except that its not :P
  • I agree.  I don't think we need to have every app be capable of a truely live tile, but maybe MS could allow up to 5 apps to update virtually live, while the rest update less often.  Nonetheless, I do like the Live Tiles and I use them all the time.
  • Good point I meant to add that. I often think why not let us choose some apps even 3 would help. I want active info on Facebook, Twitter and FitBit perhaps. I think email and calendar (build in apps or hubs) dont have the constraint but i dont know for sure - anyone else know? Email always seems upto date to me. Actually i'd like to have it update them when i unlock that would be a great first step, I am about to view can you update now please....That said as i type i realise i want more than 3 as I want  WPCentral and Nextgen to update too - screw it for me I am near a wirelsss charger all day so how about if its mains connected it updates even more often for everything?
  • WPC I have as Live, but NextGen I don't. Too many articles for NextGen to make the Live Tile useful. For email and messages, I like having groups pinned to my Start Screen so the tile is updated if I received a message from someone in the group.
  • Dude, live tiles show a few lines & /or # of unread articles, emails, texts etc... Amongst many things. How Are they not helpful?
  • They are totally useful but if you read what we are saying, they dont update often enough, I love live tiles in concept but they 30 minute update makes them less useful. We only want the perfect phone, hence the comments
  • Do u realize that would drain the battery in an instant? Same reason true multitasking is also not supported by WP
  • clearly not in an instant or iPhones would be worse than they are but yes there will always be a trade off. I did also suggest it coudl be more often when on mains but yes it would chew some battery. Batteries get better features need to improve, if we dont move forward we go backwards when the competition is moving forwards. We only say for a select number of apps that would be controlled by the user. Plus when battery saver kicks in it can slow down again too there's lots of ways to mitigate the issues. But ultimately a major point of WP is that we get Live Tiles. If the data is too old then they are not really Live are they  
  • iPhones don't have that sort of update at all, they can only increment a counter (the number in the circle) which WP also does in live.
  • My experience tells me that it is actually the individual apps to blame for problems, not the OS.
  • This is actually 100% true. But as usual, to the cry babies everything is MS fault. Bad live tiles, horrible battery, the holocaust, 911, famine in Africa, etc.
  • You forgot H1NOne and Microsoft Ebola. Oh, and the muliple destructions of the Enterprise.
  • Ahh, yes. I believe the Nazi swastika symbol was originally the wavy windows logo, but it was deemed to be too cheerful looking for world domination. 
  • Wow, what it is the average age of users on this forum, 14? I read comments like this, and assume it is people taking a break from watching Fineus and Ferb. ;-)
  • I'd like to see the evidence that backs up your statement. The OS should not allow one task to perform a denial of service on others. Microsoft learned that back in the days of Windows 3.x. If Microsoft is enabling dead tile syndrome via poor implementation then they should certainly share the blame.    
  • What you wrote! Absolutely true.. I have installed/uninstalled/reinstalled apps that caused live tiles to stop updating. That sounds like OS to me.
  • Microsoft have been chasing this and other background task problems for ages, I can tell you with 100% certainty. As for evidence, have you not read about these symptoms enought yet? "I installed XYZ app and suddenly all my live tiles stopped working" where XYZ is a lot of different apps. There was a huge thread on WeatherFlow doing exactly this some time ago, which I defended but people dont get it. It is the individual app that cannot interfere with other app background tasks - it is absolutely the OS that can, and does.
  • Are you 100% sure, Im pretty sure ive seen multiple devs including jay say that there is an OS limit of every 30 minutes. I know quiet hours says it cant change the volume at the time you choose because they can only run in the background every 30 minutes. I watched some MS tech vis a while back (so it may have changed)  that explain that they save battery by only allowing back ground threads to run on a scheduled basis. maybe they could run more often on mains for those of us with wirelss charging stands and car kits etc
  • I grant you, that MS have made the background task implementation tough enough on developers for live tile updating to be error prone (like going back to the DOS 640K days), but the background task ecosystem is so flawed that what you get is the frustrations of people like portrayed on this thread about tiles "not updating" and breaking "all my live tiles" and "i need to open my app before 2 weeks" and i "dont trust the tiles so open the app anyway", and "if I have too many background tasks things seem to stop working randomly". Extrapolate the few geeks on here to the rest of the world and you get a lot of frustrated users. No app has the power to mess with the background task of another app, only the OS can do this because it is the OS that is scheduling them all.
  • Amen
  • Background tasks should not be relied on for tiles in my opinion. That's what push notifications are for. I don't want my battery life and background tasks slots being taken up by apps polling for new data, that's very inefficient. I understand that there is a server-side requirement for push, but Azure is very cheap.
  • Push still requires an active listener on the target device. My guess is that there is one in the OS that receives all pushes and then distributes them to the background tasks. But again that requires some kind of push to background listeners. Really, there needs to be a new kind of notification that does not rely on an external system. Why does something like a battery app need to rely on a push to trigger its own update? Regarding the cost of Azure. Yes it is very inexpensive, if the app does not have many users. But if the app becomes popular, the dev is left holding the bag covering what could become a significant expense. Of course the option there is to start charging, adding ads, or pulling the app altogether.
  • Yes, there's one listener for the whole OS, meaning that adding extra apps with push notifications requires no additional resources when there are no notifications waiting (as opposed to background tasks which don't scale well at all, especially for casual apps). There are no background tasks activated for push notifications; the OS updates all tiles and creates all toast messages on the app's behalf. A battery app is an example of one that couldn't use push because everything is local. Notifications as a trigger don't make sense there. However most apps that use background tasks are using them for polling web services, when they could be using push instead. Azure is inexpensive enough that you can easily recoup the costs as your app becomes popular via smart use of advertising alone. Even more so if you charge a nominal 99c for it (99c is nothing for most purchasers).
  • Well put
  • It is certainly not very cheap. I have been that route - Azure is not cheap if you need to support a certain amount of transactions. I could not foot the bill for that, and still charge a small app price. Raising the app price to cover the costs does not fly either. The whole Push instrastructure is a headache, and not econimic for sole developers. The assumption is that background tasks are good enough and only real companines with money to spend will bother with Push. The latter is correct.
  • I disagree on the latter, as a user I want an app that uses less battery and is more reliable in updating. As a dev I want as much code in the cloud as possible so my app doesn't have performance issues.
  • Yes, agree that both sides want this. But it is not being delivered in general is it?
  • Nick, users dont care about background tasks or Push notifications. Since Live Tiles are a big plus for Windows Phone, user expect them to be live and to be stable of course and it is a shame to read so many people on here complain about how insufficient they are, but not surprising when the only sure way for them to work proplery is f*cking Windows Azure!, whereas 99% of tiles are implemented with background tasks, not Push. I also find it odd that MS provide would be devs with the AppStudio route to get more apps into the Store, that is totally the other extreme, where you will not get anything live at all. I guess they are happy with Hello World and Tic Tac Toe apps, as long as the app count increases. :-)
  • Azure is most certainly not the only solution. You can use AWS, or even any VPS or server you like. You're also not limited to .NET; you can push them from PHP, Ruby, even from other phone apps. Push notifications also do not need a lot of incoming resources. You only need to handle requests when a user installs your app or pins a tile (by far the least frequent of interactions). The rest is your server churning out the notifications at whatever speed it wants to. Users may not care or know the difference between the two. But they do care about battery life, reliability, speed, and removal of limitations. Background tasks use more battery, are less reliable (because of the resource limits and because you can't update their code as quickly as a web service), are not as instant, and are restricted in number (which is annoying for users with large screens and more tiles).
  • Live Tiles have to get live! Wake up lazy live tiles; you're always half an hour behind!
  • I know. Isn't that so ironic and lovely! /s
  • I actually wrote a post about Live Tiles in perticular and how and why they differ from Widgets
  • I hope the tiles become interactive, like Android widgets.
  • That's funny because I think Windows 8.x live tiles are a joke. They look to me more like carousel tiles instead of live. Don't even get me started with the way you resize a tile or unpin it in Win8.x
  • wpcentral: useful and in general reliable.
    Bing weather: I glance at the tile but I'm never satisfied unless I open up the app to be certain just incase.
    Bing finance & Musixmatch: I use shortcut on live tile and I love it.
    Bing finance for Nokia stock and Musixmatch for music recognition. Netflix & Hulu: not very useful. Overall I'm satisfied with the live tiles but I do wish it was updated up to the minute but I understand that there's oS limitations and it would kill my battery if it wasn't setup that way.
  • - I just got a live tile of my network provider (Fuel for Mobile Vikings - Belgium) which shows me how much MB/SMS/MINUTES I have which is god damn awesome!
    - I also have cal, a cool live calender app pinned (wide tile) which show me all the birth days and events.
    - All my other apps are just simple icons with notification numbers on it, which is still usefull.
  • Third party live tiles flip too slowly. Pisses me off
  • So friggin true. I try to check my data on datasense sometimes. The whole time I wait I think to myself 'I would've known already if I just opened the app instead.'
  • Lol.
  • Flip tiles suck in general, I don't need to wait a 30 seconds for a tile to flip so I can see the info on the other side.
  • Indeed very,very,very,very,very,very,very, useful❕❕❕❕❕❕❕❕❕❕❕❕❕❕❕❕❕❕
  • Yes, agree. I got Calendar, Bing Weather, WhatsApp, Advance English Dictionary, Bing Translator, Wikipedia and Manga Blaze that always display useful live tile information. Btw, for WhatsApp it only become really useful to me when I am too lazy to open the app to see what is the latest message. Indeed, still waiting for WP 8.1 for notification center. :)
  • WhatsApp causes my live tiles to stop working. L928.
  • I love the live tiles very useful.
    I have do alot less soft resets to get them working with my 1020, with my 920 it was alot more often.
    But I really love them thanks MS.
  • I'd rather have two home screen,one with big live tiles,one with tiles that not show information,the one that with 3 columns,I think it would look better than now we have
  • Power guzzlers, but the now playing tile is v'nice
  • Loving it. In my opinion, it's the most important feature on the platform by far.
  • +520, +920, +1020
  • I wish I had another row on my 920 :P That's how useful they are :D
  • You sound like an iOS user, man, colomn....colomn, WP remember :P we kinda have infinate of what you mentioned :P. JK
  • I concur. I'd have pretty much every tile I want readily visible without having to scroll.
  • You mean, another column?
  • +1520
  • Exactly  
  • I concur.
  • I absolutely use live tiles every day. I check my calendar and check for email and messages.
  • Those Flipping Tiles are tha Bomb. Without doing anything I see a bunch of info at a glance. Love 'em.
  • ^^This ^^ when they work. Some do not seem to update correctly.
  • I don't have issues with my live tiles. The ones is use do work correctly and update every 30 minutes!
  • I have issues with 'any' weather app aka tile updating. I think its because I'm using a "unlocked" device on T-Mobile 'cause my daughter's 521 updates fine.
  • What if its the wrong side showing?
  • I like them but the tiles I actually want to update regularly never do. Or sports tiles update really late.
  • That's how I feel. Useful sometimes but I never rely on the info so I open up the app
  • Same here. I use 3 apps to push football scores through because then I know at least one will be working. The tiles can be very dodgy
  • Are the unreliable ones using background tasks or push notification? Sport happens so quick that 'around once every 30 minutes' isn't reliable enough, they should be using push.
  • Try the apps from Luno Software-best live tile sports apps. Scores update almost instantaneously on the tiles with other info on the tile depending on the sport. The football, hockey and baseball apps are excellent. 99% reliable. On the rare times they don't update right away there is a "reset push channel" button to bring scores up to date.
  • Yep, see these guys are using push notifications which is the best way to go for tile updates. Background tasks are battery hungry, slow, and you can only have a few active at a time. I don't want my phone to be doing processing, that's what the cloud is for.
  • Yippee, we found someone using Push! Sorry couldn't resist.
  • Same here Lumia 920, no tiles work except for system apps
  • +920
  • Had the same problem. I uninstalled a bunch of apps that I didn't really need and all my tiles update regularly now.
  • To be completely honest, I basically use it to jump to my favorite apps and to check if I have any notifications from whatsapp ,Facebook, etc;
    Live tiles aren't really my thing.
  • I'm in the same boat. They are just oversized shortcut icons (unless I shrink everything down - which just looks stupid imo). I think live tiles are a great idea, but I've found that I get significantly better battery life by disabling live tiles and other background apps. So, they literally do nothing for me. I sincerely want WP8 to succeed, but it is still a frustratingly immature platform. (Can you say - no navigation buttons for a web browser?!!! Stupidest and most unpractical idea ever!!)
  • You have a back button built into your phone there champ.
  • I've found that if I leave IE for a while and come back to it, it will often decide I want to use that back button for for task switching instead.  That's never what I want to use it for when I'm in the browser.
  • This. Funny thing is if you do the same thing with Whatsapp, you'll actually go back within the app and not exit out. A third-party does a better job than a native app. So typical of Microsoft.
  • Which no longer works as a previous page button if you happen to go into a different app. If I'm browsing the web, read a recieved sms, and go back to the web, it no longer works as previous page button which annoys the hell out of me. To be honest I find the back button to be confusing a lot of the time, as it will often take me somewhere other than I expect, despite having used WP8 for half a year now.
  • Think of the the entire phone as a 'web experience' and each program as a different web page. When using the phone as a phone and you are just looking up quick facts or information then it makes total sense and works quite well. When using the phone more like a computer where you are doing more in-depth research on something... well then it does not make as much sense. What they need to do is have an option to put an IE specific 'back' button on the URL bar. You can currently select between favorites, stop/refresh, and tabs (tabs being the most useful option in my case), but adding a 'back' option would prove useful as people start using their phones more and more.
  • I agree with the fact that the browser would be better with some extra options or buttons, but hey? Ever heard of the {BACK} button?
  • Single best differentiator from ios and Android and you don't use them? Strange..
  • No, its not like that. Its just the fact that it takes alot of space and doesn't give that much information. So I might as well minimize the tile and open the app whenever I want
  • live tile is useless when it stops updating and many attempts including reboot / reinstalling app / re-pin app do not solve the problem.
  • Have you tried simply turning your phone off and then back on?  Don't do a soft reset; that never works for me.  But I've found that just by powering the phone down and then back up usually fixes my live tile issues.
  • ive tried that, and its a hit and miss. sometimes it works for a few hours then stops other times it does absolutly nothing.
  • Tha'ts too bad.  I haven't really had any issues like this for a while.  I wonder if it's because I got the GDR3 preview...  I guess that's about the time I stopped having problems.  
  • I had that problem. Drove me nuts. Rebooted. Reset. It always came back. The problem was actually the USA Today app. I don't know how, but it broke live tiles on my phone. I could replicate the problem at will just by installing the app. As soon as I uninstalled it, my tiles would update as they should. USA Today may not be the app being your problem, but there may be others out there that can somehow break the tiles. It is sad that this appears to be possible. The simple way to troubleshoot it is to NOT install all of your apps at once. The offending app immediately breaks the live tile updates. EVEN if it had no live tile on my start screen, the app caused my tiles to stop updating. I have never installed that app again.
  • And why do think so many different apps are to blame for this same problem? Because its not the apps, its the OS. Its the awful implementation of background tasks that has been there since day 1.
  • I totally agree that the OS shouldn't allow an app to screw it up. I was just trying to help them find a potentially offending app. I've only had one app do that to my phone. I'm sure there are others. Microsoft absolutely needs to fix the problem and make it more stable. Without Live Tiles, Windows Phone is pretty pointless. Before I figured out what the problem was, I had switched back to my HTC One for a few weeks because the tiles not being updated made the phone worthless to me.
  • But its not an offending app, thats the point. It is an inocent app that when installed screws up the background tasks, affecting all apps, purely by nature of its registration of a new background task. It is the OS, GeekNextDoor :-)
  • The main problem would be the background task for USA Today, not the app itself. If you don't need any kind of notification from the app (any app that is) - toast, live tile, whatever, just go to the background tasks and block the corresponding bg task. I do that for all the apps that I don't need bg tasks to run and it helps HEAPS.
  • That's what I thought too. I disabled the background agent and rebooted. That didn't help. It wasn't until the offending app was gone that my problem went away. I'm sure the app is fine now, but I no longer need it. Bing News fills the need just fine.
  • totally agree. might be useful if it actually worked. i thought i was the only one with the problem. sometimes it works sometimes it doesnt. i'm close to given up till maybe wp9
  • Live tile issues are on the developed that make said apps...not Microsoft. All the live tiles I use ALWAYS instantly update....what apps are you having issues with?
  • Not true, sorry.
  • im honestly starting to think its MS's fault. MS own apps dont update live tile. my photo gallary app doesnt update, bing weather and a bunch of other native OS apps dont update. i think im going to reset the phone and install app by app and wait a few hours in between. this sucks that it has to come to being like this. i love wp, i tell everyone to get it about at the same time its like come on the main point of having WP doesnt even work.
  • Are you honsetly starting to think that...? Good.
  • Mine update as well. I have noticed that Live Tiles work better if you turn off unnecessary background tasks. Some apps have them, despite not needing them. Definitely the developer's fault in that case.
  • Microsoft's faulty implementation allows one app to break the feature for all apps. I consider that to be an OS issue.
  • At last, someone on here with common sense.It is 100% an OS issue.
  • Your obviously not using WP if your live tiles work flawlessly and update instantly.
  • I'm in the same boat -- live tiles are great until they stop working. I've just gone through several different forum topics explaining how to fix the issue, but not one tile updates any longer unless it receives push notifications. Overall, this indicates to me that the system is broken and should be one of the top priorities for Microsoft to address as I know I'm not the only person having the issue.
  • That's on the app developers not Microsoft...
  • I found that live tiles wouldn't update properly if there are too many of them. Above about eight of them and I start noticing problems. Not sure if that's just me, though.
  • No its not you, its the OS.
  • I notice it too. The OS may be to blame, but developers need to step up to the plate and not have unnecessary background tasks. For example, why does My Talking Tom need a background app? Or Pocket Sheep? IMDB? Wikipedia? Almost any app not pinned to the Start screen?
  • Beause the running of the background task is nothing to do with pinning to the start screen.
  • Did Barney tell you that?
  • I've found two main issues when live tiles stopped updating. 1. too many background tasks - especially holds true for low memory devices like my 620. If there are more than six they just may not run at the update interval. Happened to me after installing two apps that both had background agents that just blocked out my older background agents. 2. you didn't launch the app for more than two weeks - this is actually annoying as hell and I find it rather a stupid and counterintuitive limitation. E.g. if I have a weather app with live tile, I pin the live tile to be able to see the weather on the spot and not actually having to go into the app. But my weather tile just stops updating every two weeks and I have to launch the app to restart the background agent. So go and see if one of these is not the issue. Disclaimer: these are experience based conclusions. They have some rationale behind them like information on inner working of the background agents so they are my best assumptions. They may only be partially true or completely false but in my case they looked like the real cause.
  • totally agree with your 2nd point. if i pin a weather app why would i EVER need to go inside the app? as far as the broken live tiles goes, nothing helps. i block most apps that have background tasts except the ones i need (probably around 5-8 range). MS doesnt let you have more then 15 apps run in the background as it is. its just frustrating because the concept sounds amazing. instead of saying "i wonder what the weather is like" and having to unlock phone and click a weather app its right there for you (at least in theory). for me, that doesnt work so i have dont have the benifit of WP and also the lose of other key things (independent vol, notification center, etc) from other OSes. really hard to see the positive. going to uninstall and reinstall each app with a few hours/days between and go from there. if that doesnt work. so long WP until wp 8.1 or 9, but lets hope it works haha
  • +925 on this I had my weather, wpcentral, cal and other live tiles stopped working yesterday. Usually I learned it's caused by some recent app that got updated. I was prepared to uninstall FB app, but for some reason they work again today. Really frustrating when this happens. Live tile is the bread and butter of WP, and these kind of things really defeat the purpose.
  • I find my tile issues to be my carrier Att. They seem to stop updating when I have battery issues. My battery issues happen when Att becomes spotty or network speeds just drop out of the blue. So for me i blame Att fully.
  • Yes, and many users on here would then argue that it is your Weather app, WPCentral and Cal that are all broken. Anyone with a brain in their head can see that it is the OS doing this, but it is hard to drill through the wood on such a MS loving site as this.
  • Animated tiles would be neat.
  • If they can do an animated Games tile, animations of some sort have to be plausible for us if they would just allow it.
  • I love live tiles, one part about the Windows UI thats incredible
  • They update late.... Or don't update..>-<
  • This, I love them but they are high maintenance, keep having to make sure they work, opening the app every fews days
  • Some are useful some aren't. You mentioned weather, but unfortunately its never up to date on the tile, and can be up to 5-10 degrees off. Not a big deal, but almost defeats the purpose. I'm still hoping for better tiles. Like being able to open an app from the folders tile instead of going into an app to open an app, or music buttons on the music tile.
  • Bing Weather always updates for me as oppossed to the Weather Channel and Accuweather apps that I've used. For me it's the best weather app on WP without paying for a more feature filled app.
  • Could the temp be off because of where the service the app is using is getting its reading?
    Years ago our local temp wasn't always accurate because they took the reading from the local airport some kilometers away from the central city.
  • Weather Flow
  • I use the HTC tile to look at the temperature and I find that useful. For most other stuff I just go right into the app actually.
  • Same for me.  HTC Tile & Calendar tile...otherwise, they're glorified shortcut icons.
  • The "TV Show Tile" shows me all I need to know at a glance. The OS needs updating.
  • Truly useful! No need for a specific notification center because Live Tiles have all the info I need.
  • Exaaaactly. The home screen IS the notification center.
  • Exactly!!!...and the "notifications" section of the ME tile! I don't want a notification center with some special swipe or gesture...I don't want WP to be like Android... It will just be a battery hog most likely....
  • Totally agree I just want to be notified about the stuff I care about & not everything the phone is doing
  • I feel the same way.  I know others don't and that's cool - they will have a notification centre soon. I like being able to see the weather, news, how many email, top news story, etc all at once and decide what/if anything I need to tend to.  Having said that there are apps that I don't care about a live tile for.  Same goes with Windows 8.1 on the PC - some good live tiles, lots that just don't matter to me.
  • I show it off to friends but owning a WP I know first hand the tile info is out of date and useless half the time so I always end up opening the app for a refresh. I.e. temperature is always 2 hours old.
  • I never have this issue.
  • Never have this issue either.
  • Same problem here.. which makes them useless
  • Totally agree!  My WeatherBug tile NEVER has the correct temperature.
  • That's WeatherBugs fault...not the OS.
  • Get a different weather app... There are tons of them.  Many work properly.  Yours apparently is not  
  • That is an issue to take to the developer of the apps you have pinned...its not an OS issue
  • Chef, if you are not already working for Microsoft, then maybe you should be. You have replied the same point to some many different apps on here now, we can assume that either none of thos apps have live tiles that work, or that the OS has a bad background task implementation causing numerous problems.As a dev, I know the truth, but as a person it is pretty clear too...
  • Weather, battery life, appointments, and news app live tiles are all super helpful to me.  The NBC and USA Today news apps are especially usefull because all I need to do is glance at the tile and I know a big story is underway.  I also like looking at the Photo Hub live tile but I wish there were a way to specifiy a specify an album so the tile would only display certain pictures.  As of now I only see about the same 10 pics over and over again.    
  • Mark some favorites and it cycles he favorites
  • Yeah, I agree with ya. I usually just got into a habbit of adding new photos to my favorites album monthly. The favorites album is what pictures show on your live tile for photos hub.
  • Favorite some of them. It will then pull the tile photos from those.
  • Good to know.  I guess I really haven't marked too many favorites, those are the definitely the pictures is see on the tile.  Thanks!
  • There is. It cycled through your favourites. Just add pictures to your faves and they will cycle through your tile
  • They're the main reason this OS is great(and why I don't get whining about notifications). I use my "Favorites" group tile to see the latest updates from my top contacts, "Me" to see if anything worth checking on has come to me from social media, and Messaging obviously for txts. I almost never open Bing Weather, the tile tells me all I need to know, current conditions and three day forecast. Also only open calendar to add new events as the tile displays that. For the most part it does what Windows Phone 7 was originally billed for, getting off your phone and back to life.
  • Exactly...NO need to have a notification center...
  • and why I don't get whining about notifications
    For one example: certain apps like ESPN give an update alert (news, scores, etc.).  If you're not right there by the phone, you'll most likely miss it.  If you are there, the text is usually cut off.  You can't read the entire message since it doesn't scroll.  If you press it for more information, it goes to the app and then you have to search for the story... and sometimes the story isn't even there. If more companies actually cared about their app and live tiles, then it might not be an issue.  WPCentral does it pretty good with latest news and pic on one side, latest three stories on the other.  Popular apps like IMDb, Yelp, and Flixter don't even have double wide tiles.
  • The apps I use most either don't have live tiles, or have BROKEN live tiles...why can't ESPN have an amazing live tile? Jesus...
  • Useful. But I tend to make my tiles smaller so I have to scroll less. I would love to have 3 columns of tiles on my 925.
  • Same here. Looking forward to a 1080p display after 8.1 comes out. Too much scrolling on my 920.
  • I totally agree with you. That's why I just bought the 1520. Would have preferred a 5" phone, but the extra column is rather nice.
  • Use "Folders" App. That's all.
  • As someone who just switched to Android, they mean everything. They make the phone feel alive and fresh, and in the end the phone feels like "your" phone. My Nexus 5 still just feels like any phone even though I've customized every aspect of it. It's never once felt like "mine". That being said Windows Phone still has a lot to learn and I'm loving Android, but I can't wait to be able to go back to the live tiles. Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • This !!!!! +1320 +720
  • Totally know what you mean. I live between my Lumia 1020 and my HTC One. I love the functionality of the google apps (google+ auto awesome is one of my favs), but widgets just don't do it for me. If google would just support Windows Phone like they do iOS, I would be even more content with Windows Phone.
  • I love this. This is exactly how I feel about the OS. It really feels like it's MY phone, it reflects me and my interests and keeps things that are relevant to me close at hand. And like you said the phone really feels alive. I almost think of it as kind of a pet. And once it gets AI, hopefully that feeling will only improve!
  • I just love windows phone because of live tiles its just make it too easy to see what's the current whether or just check how many email are to read and its work really good.. I use fb what's app Skype wpcentral all apps with live tiles dally without opening,the app i can always check what's new there jus luv it :)
  • I use it all the time for fb skype what's app twitter ebay etc so yup there def useful and the windows phone 8.1 will def add to it
  • One of the reasons why I switched from Android to WP. Much more clean and tidy than widgets. I use it also to check notifications.
  • Live tiles are amazing on Windows phone but specially on the Lumia 1520 as most of your tiles get fitted into the giant screen and u dont need to scroll to view notifications from your live tiles. Iuse live tiles for fb watsapp,cricket and WP central on my Lumia 720.
  • I check the live tiles everyday and if interesting then open the app to read the detail, saves so much time to see updates and know if anything new at a glace.
  • The reason i switched from ios :-)
  • I like the live yiles but they are so glitchy and so few apps can update (at least the ones I use) as soon as you get a message so its like awesome when I know I have something but most times I check it anyway they have potential, but its so gltichy at the moment they are just glorified more beautiful widgets
  • If Microsoft can clean it up in 8.1 I'll be happy
  • Depends on how useful the app makes them. My weather apps of choice make it so I rarely need to open the app since I usually worry about the temperature now rather than future forecasts. Its essential to my calendar/email/messaging apps and they get the screen real estate to back that up (wide tiles). I have some apps as tiles because I use them often, but at smallest size since their live tiles aren't terribly useful or not implemented in any meaningful way.
  • Easily one of the top features by far
  • I wish they updated faster, or in real time. They're often out of date when you need them. I also wish they could offer application controls enabling functions without having to open the actual app.
  • Live Tiles are very useful. For me, it's the "at a glance" information that I love
  • I'm a big fan of live tiles! I don't think dev use it to it's fullest. WP Facebook Page Manager makes great use of live tiles!! Also so Package tracker and Stock Tiles also the Nokia Battery monitor app is very helpful.
  • Live tile is the reason i buy wp.. and all Notification stuff that people are rageing about, but i see all my notification on the tiles. and im happy with that acually... 
  • Outside of the weather and calendar tiles, I really only use them for customizing my home screen.
  • I use live tiles for calendar, weather, battery level, stocks info, news, Facebook, WhatsApp. For my email, they are just little counters. Not to mention photos of my little one flipping every so often. For those who are having trouble with live tiles not updating, it has to do with some stuck background process. I've had my share of these problems but thankfully I've been able to resolve it. MS should fix that issue.
  • I just found out this interesting topic through WPC app live tile...and they are very useful....i have pinned one for weather calendar news sports finance Wpc battery status ..people me and photos tiles look good...i love my live tiles on wp 8 as well as w 8.1...and they are the reason i bought 2 windows phone in 6 tiles are genius of an idea...still need some polishing though....but they are the heart of this OS...and again i just love them....
  • Calendar is very useful! Weather too, but only if its up to date. Like to see my avatar on my Xbox tile! Love the WPC tile too
  • Oh and battery and FB and many more!
  • Very
  • Come to think of it, I barely use them as anything more than a path to the app. Weird that the ios way of things is the way I've come to naturally (that the homescreen is just a door to applications, as opposed to a landing page).   The ones I need as "live" tiles are the phone app (I live in a border city, I need to know if my phone gets silly and tries to connect to US towers), and myfitnesspal. That's... pretty much it. Oh the alarm app I keep midsized so I can double check what time I've set the alarm for.   Some things I have as double-wide because I access them in the car (mollyplayer, maps, etc). But aside from that, email tiles are small, settings small, people tile, wifi/cell shortucts, etc all small.   Hmm... considering a homescreen revamp now that I'm talking about this.
  • Love them but still can't wait for the notification tile, center whatever!
  • It depends on the app. I find the live tiles for USA Today, Amazing Weather, Battery Sense are awesome. The HTC clock tile is great too.
  • I use them for weather, calendar, email and battery. I also enjoy having the Xbox games avatar move around and the music hub tile change with the artist, it's just cool to have little things like that.
  • I use the tiles as a notification system of it's own... Calls, Texts, Emails, and things of such nature all show you when there is stuff that needs your attention and I keep all of that on the top bar of my Phone in the smallest tile size... The only reason I would want a "Notification Center" is if I wanted quick access to Wi-fi settings, Bluetooth settings, and so on... Because I loath going into "Settings"
  • I absolutely use live tiles for weather, email, text/call. In fact, I have 4 tiles for GasBuddy to quickly compare rates for my local stations. The live tile system is so incredibly better than ios or android that it frustrates me how much its looked over by people and media.
  • Useful enough to replace a notification center.
  • With them not being updated instanstly and not updating when battery saving mode is on...I'd say they're pretty useless. They're fun at first but then they age badly and become boring visually. I can count by one hand how many Live Tiles I have that are actually useful: calendar, data sense. That's all. (I'm removing email, sms and calls from the equasion, obviously)
  • Turn off battery saving mode so the live tiles can finish off the battery a little faster for you. That is always an option. What does it mean for them to be updated instantly? Do you want your live tiles going out to a site every second to get updates? If the site does it right, they can push content "instantly" and not forcing the app into the 30 minute refresh max pool.  If by instant, you mean allow a certain class of tile to show things like timers and the like, then I'm partially in agreement with you. I think there is a way to implement tiles with "time" of some sort in them to allow them to display accurately while being viewed, but "stop" when not viewed...the same way a stopwatch app can keep tracking the time even when it isn't running in the foreground and doesn't actually use a background process. If you don't use tiles that have fresh content, then they would be useless. I use Weather, Engadget, WPCentral, Bing News, Facebook, and Neowin. I have the attention span of a flea, so looking at the screen for 5 seconds and seeing content from a handful of tiles feeds me all the info I'm suited to absorb at the time. I have a family tile setup so I can see what my kids are posting to social media without having to go into twitter and facebook and filter out everything/everyone else. I've got a friend that switched from iOS to WP because of his company. He kills me. His screen is just a full set of small tiles. It looks worse than the app drawer on android. No live tiles for him because he doesn't understand the power/beauty of the live tiles.
  • Yeah...either have less battery or less useful tiles. What a great and hard decision with today's awesome battery life. =P It means when connected to the internet I should be able to chose which apps I get instant updates pretty much like you can choose to download emails as they arrive. For some, Live Tiles are useful. I don't dismiss that they CAN be useful. To me, they aren't really that useful and I'm pretty sure I won't miss them. For example, I never ever use the Tiles menu on Windows 8. For the exact same reasons. I don't have use for the Live Tiles (well that and the fact that I spend all my time on desktop but still).
  • Why do you use Windows Phone? I like it, but without live tiles, what do you actually have? An operating system that is possibly a few years behind the others in terms of functionality...a horrible notification system...bad volume management...poor discrete control over various system features programatically...apps that are almost always late to market and/or missing key features of their android/iOS counterparts...or just the general lack of apps. I do perfer the style of the Windows Phone apps over most android apps, but that's not enough to make me use Windows Phone. Maybe you just don't want to use a google or apple product, and that is a valid reason to. A live tileless start screen on windows phone is a very sad screen me. Your mileage may vary. :)
  • Primarly for: Sport scores with MLB, ESPN Scorecenter and ESPN Hub. In social media: updates of Group of People, Facebook app and Twitter app. When I travel: Currency rates with XECurrency, itinerary with MyTrips, Weather with Bing Weather
  • For me, sports scores on the ESPN wide tile are laughably out-of-date.
  • With live tiles MS have shown their innovation. They have shown how to use your phone less instead of playing with your fingers all the time on other platforms to view small notifications
  • I don't understand when people often want a notification center in WP, why? At least for me with the live tiles is enough :)
  • Quite simple: there are people, like me for example, that do not like to have many tiles in the main screen. I was the same way with Windows: the only icon in the desktop screen was, and is, the waste basket.
  • love it. apart from checking the weather and calendar events...i just love the lively activeness of the home screen. it's what makes WP unique seeing the people hub and photo up with all those display pics and pics...and these tiles are basically just SHORTCUTS!
  • Very useful! There are apps that I rarely open, relying basically on the live tile, because all the information I need is on sight.
  • Live tiles are great. I do wish developers used them to the fullest but I'll take what I can get. That's the one thing about WindowsPhone. The home screen, in my opinion, isn't just a phone screen, it's your personal pin board you use at an office, with everything you specifically want to see and check on. Live tiles help you at a glance to get info on certain apps. Most of the time I just like the movement I receive when I look at my home screen because it gives it personality.
  • Semi-useful. HTC Hub is by far the most useful tile. Funny because they are the least invested in WP. Some of the ones I expected to be helpful are crap. Twitter, even as a double wide tile is just a black dot with a "1" regardless of how many or what kind of notifications you have. The battery apps only update every 20 minutes or so because of the OS limitation, so they aren't that accurate. I actually like the design of the tiles a lot and the customizable sizes are good, but if they took off the whole "Live" part, it wouldn't affect me either way.
  • Live tiles are GREAT! Two things are causing this stuff; Developers who don't really utilize the LT's to their capabilities is one issue. So many of the complaints I've run across can be attributed to the ways the developers made (screwed) the ways the LT's work. But beyond that, there is a new influx of cry babies who are taking it upon themselves to question (or cast FUD) upon everything unique to Windows Phone. Live Tiles accomplishes what MS originally set out to do. Making using mobile devices easier, and faster. You shouldn't have to puck up a phone and dig through it to find simple information.   If people would pull themselves away from the need to scroll, scroll, scroll, tap, wait for splash screen, to accomplish things they might appreciate WP more and stop questioning everything they do.
  • I love them. Breaking news, updates, notifications, cool art. Really makes my phone/tablet feel alive.
  • I like my live tiles especially with the windows phone Central app, and bing weather, some apps on the other hand are not as good with live tiles and they don't update as much as supposed to.
  • The entire WP ecosystem circles around live tiles. Thats what primarily differentiates it from other OS. Live tiles can be very useful if managed and used properly. Exploit the settings, size and location of the tiles and you have one amazing feature.
  • Useless to me - I can't trust them to update regularly and need to open the app anyway.
  • They should update more often 30mins is not enough :(
  • Everyone complaining about Live Tiles not updating fast enough, just read this: Sites can update your phone at will. Microsoft just doesn't want 15 apps on your phone waking up every minute and going out to the internet for data. That would kill the battery.
  • But that should not be their call, it should be the users, it is their phone, their battery. Microsoft were so scared of this resource drain problem, they went to an extreme with 30 minutes (sometimes 20). How live is that? I get so many remarks about my own app, wanting updates more frequently, and cannot do anything about it, short of going Push Notifications which is beyond the means of lone devs since it requires so much infrastructure. They can empower the user to choose an update frequency, to a certain lower threshold, and also allow apps to be monitored by the OS for resource consumption. There are dozens of implementations possible. What we have today, with specifically the background tasks, was designed by Andy Pandy and Lubey Lu.
  • Microsoft has all sorts of azure stuff to help out struggling developers. Join their BizSpark program and get 3 years of MSDN for free + 3 years of hosting for free through azure. If your apps aren't making enough money after 3 years, you probably shouldn't worry about your apps not being able to update faster than 30 minutes. Your users after all would be getting what they paid for. No matter what, people will want what they think they need. Trying to tell "normal" people how to allow one or two apps to have advanced priortity and battery sucking ability is just too cumbersome. You forget that it may be their phone and their battery, but it is Microsoft's Windows Phone reputation on the line. People will turn on you in a heartbeat if poor battery life stories get out. Even if it is the result of a 3rd party app. People aren't smart enough to differentiate. They then say that Microsoft should have protected them from an evil app doing something in the background every 3.2 minutes. It is a vicious circle.  You can never make everyone happy all of the time. Battery life in a phone is paramount. I would agree that if the phone is plugged into a power source, then let it run every two minutes. If it is data heavy, you may end up with complaints about data useage unless you also restrict crazy updates to wifi only as well...kind of like they already do with the auto-upload background process. I'm on your side here. Even android encourages devs to use pooled timers so you aren't waking up the phone every few minutes and draining the battery. Do they allow you to do things more often? Yes. Do people constantly complain about android battery life? Yes. Is there a happy medium somewhere out there? Yes. Does Microsoft have better things to do than worry about an app developer with no money not being able to update their live tile faster than every 30 minutes when they offer the ability for a developer with resources to update at will? Yes
  • I've been the Azure route. It is a pain and expensive, and not a replacement for a broken background task implementation. The bottom line with live tiles, as you can see from this thread, and I get from users all over, who just want their phone to work, is that they are flawed by the OS and background tasks were not thought out for this purpose at all. Yes, the arguments for battery drain are always presented here, and of course batery life is important. I dont see it as a vicous circle though, simply that they need to refine the background tasks (they already went from 29 mins down to 20 mins from WP7 to WP8) and open up options to the user. And of course stablize it, which they have done so (after 2 years) with Update 3.
  • The problem with that is that people would assume they could have as many live tiles as they like, then would blame the phone or the OS when the battery drained flat in a couple of hours.  To be honest, once I'd realized that eight was about the maximum, I could live with that.  I'd rather have the live tiles than not, limitations and all.   (Edit: sorry, I just noticed I covered a lot of the ground that TheGeekNextDoor did already.)
  • See this right here is knowledge, and facts. Most people who like to complain about dumb sh*t have very little use for knowledge and facts. You've posted this... hell, it's been said so many times before on this site alone. Yet it will still be ignored.
  • Live tile are awesome when they work...most of them dont update....wish they could be interactive live tiles
  • Absolutely indispensable after a long term exposure. It is a critical timesaver affecting my interactions with apps that are founded on content delivery...btw, notification center is a nice feat, but frankly there is nothing as robust as our live tile system ;). Cheers!
  • Live tiles are extremely useful for keeping me up to date (particularly the Bing news and sports apps for example). On the flip side, it is ironic that it makes me use my phone much less considering that I don't always have to dig into apps for updates. I only go in when I need to. There is a caveat to this. When a live tile isn't as reliable (some can suck), ADD kicks into overdrive and you are constantly checking thanks to false updates or you thinking there ought to be an update.
  • Live tiles are what makes windows phone, They give a glimpse of what's going on and if I want more info I open the app, simple innit
  • Mainly weather, scores, and on podcast lounge to know when I have new podcast. Then we have the exception when hack developers like the Weave people charge me for and app and six months later cant fix the live tile.
  • Live tiles are great, when they work.  In my experience, no matter the app, they tend to stop working, and only a phone reboot fixes the problem.  What use is a feature that doesn't consistently work?  I wonder how many more versions it will take to fix a problem that was said to be fixed as of WP 8?
  • I have found them useful for contacts/groups of friends pinned from the People hub, calendar, and messages -- all of these are the built-in OS level apps. I have not had great confidence in "live" info coming from apps, but Facebook Beta, and Weather Flow have been regularly reliable.
  • I love my live tiles I don't need a notification center just a place for quick toggles like wi-fi Bluetooth etc. My complaint is that when you touch a banner notification not every app takes you to the article like WP central..... ESPN can learn from Jay. Now I'm waiting for update 3 and Lumia black should be any day now.
  • Extremely useful for things like weather and calendar apps. But I have a big beef about the built in email tiles. When in a wide tile it is great to see the who, title and first line of text... but there is sooo much more space! Could easily fit 2-3 lines of text in there which would be much more useful. Other apps it is not as useful for... but that may just because I don't have a nice big 1520 yet, so there are a lot of things crammed into small and medium tiles. Whenever I get around to upgrading to a bigger screen then maybe I will be more apt to using more live tile features.
  • This. Add SMS to the list of apps with exact same isse... I use wide tile so I don't have to open the app and I only get one line of text. If SMS is longer you still have to open the live tile... Also, I'd really like to get ability to get that same text in medium tile. The way it is wide tile just takes too much space.
  • They're okay, I guess. My main Live Tiles are my Amazing Weather 2x2 Live Tile and my Simple Calendar wide appointment tile.  Both are updated ever hour, which is fine but for the Amazing Weather tile, something like every 15 minutes would be more appropriate.  Or maybe every hour and then also every time the device goes from asleep to awake. Further down my Start Menu, I have the USA Today wide tile.  I love how it updates images to reflect top/trending stories.  Also, the WPCentral wide live tile is great, showing number of unread stories since I last opened the app, along with an image and a description of the most recent story.  I find it very useful. One thing I don't find very useful is the flipside/back of tiles.  It seems like it takes too long for the tile to flip once you scroll to the tile... it feels like you have to conscioiusly wait to see what is on the back of the tile, instead of that information coming at a more natural/organic interval.  Something that needs to be refined, I think.  
  • It's too bad this commenting system doesn't have a "Report the troll" button.
  • :-)
  • +920
  • Don't use them. Don't they use data and lower battery to keep them updated? Or is there a way so they only update when connected to WiFi?
  • They are not at all resource hogger .....
  • Yes, they use data... but how much data does it take to say that you have 5 unread messages? Or to display part of a message that is already downloaded? A few MB per month extra maybe. These things are not going out and downloading huge pictures or videos to display on the live tile, it is a few facts and figures every 15-30 minutes. It is nothing in the long run. As for battery power: Yes, if you get a severely broken app then it can get stuck running a background task which can (and will) kill your battery. Thankfully these seem to be few and far between, and it is not an issue with most major apps. To diagnose it then unpin an app or two at a time until you have the problem, and then uninstall it. Outside of that it should not make a practical difference in the grand scheme of your daily power usage on the phone. But still, connecting to WiFi will help use less data and less power. Always a good opiton if you have it available. I am a pretty moderate to heavy phone user most days, but because I have WiFi almost everywhere I go I find that I am only using some 250MB of data per month on my plan. But I have WiFi at home, at work, at school, ATT hotspots at many local businesses, church, friend's homes, down town, etc. The only time I use WiFi is when on the roads... but as all of the maps are preloaded on my phone then even that does not use data. I know that not everybody has access to that many WiFi spots, but it really is amazing just how prevalent they are.
  • I find them useful, but i want more. I already use calendar/weather/people I know live tile, but i want a live tile that shows the transit stop times at my favorite bus stops. One Bus Away does this in their W8 app(bus stop pinning), but it'd be great if they could do this with their phone app.
  • I like many other use weather and calendar live tiles all the time. I like the live tiles for email and other message services, however one that I love is having people and groups pinned to the start screen. I am not a big Facebook or Twitter users, so have groups pinned allows me to see when certain friends or family have posted. In addition, I can see when I have messages specifically from them.   
  • I really like them, but I wish you could have the option for at least certain ones to update instantly.
  • Useful.
  • Not everybody will use every live tile, but everyone will find useful ones they rely on. The more apps use live tiles, there will be more people to use.
  • They serve both purposes for me; the ones that I want to pull more info from I size appropriately, and the ones I want to just have that shortcut to, I have smaller. I love the feature, and like that I have the versatility of choosing how to implement them.
  • Probably the best thing about wp
  • I use the calender to view current events, wifi and cellular tiles to quickly see what's on/off. Weather to get a quick review when i first wake up before getting ready for work, fb for notifications(i generally don't open fb unless i have a notification) and that's pretty much it. Oh and wpc for new news stories as i have the counter enabled. Everything else is a pretty shortcut
  • Live Tiles are the heart of the system - IMO.   Sans the Live Tiles Win Phone would look like Android - and that is so Windows Mobile circa 2007. I count on my live tiles to tell me: 1. Where I have to be next - and when, 2. What tasks I must check off my list today 3. How should I dress (what's the weather) 4. Whether someone has replied to a post I made somewhere 5. Whether I have emails, messages, missed calls or Skypes (and if they are from folks on a list of "faves"), 6. If I have a turn in any of the multiple Words with Friends games I am playing 7. Whether my daughter has posted something to our Family Room 8. If there are new posts or comments from Friends on F'Book 9. How long my commute will take (morning and afternoon).   So, for me, Live Tiles are the heart of the system and it is frustrating that more app authors don't fully utilize them (I think that Amazing Weather is the best Live Tile of all). I just wish that there was an API so someone could build a calendar app that would put my Outlook Tasks due today on the flip side of the tile.
  • this is almost exactly how I feel, I would forget about something if it weren't for the live tiles, those random updates at a glance are so useful versus having a bunch of crap populating in a notification window because of the fact u just may notice, or something catches ur eye
  • Now this is a person who (seemingly) appreciates, and uses WP the way's it's supposed to be.
    He's using the OS... not crying about why the OS isn't exactly like everything else out there. You deserve an upvote, kind sir.
  • Thank you, sir! I remember WinMob. I remember that it did absolutely everything - though not so good - and I remember spending hours with the various customizations. And, while I do miss the ability to quickly change profiles (BT, WiFi, RIng Volume...) I'd sooner buy a small mirror and gaze at my navel than work to come up with the ultimate home screen with the right weather icons, flip clock, frequent numbers and todo manager arrangement on top of a Hubble shot of the Crab Nebula ever again. I mean, really!  But, lots of people still do that - ergo Android's popularity.
  • Wow! I swear it's like I'm reading my own thoughts here. I too go back to WinMo, and was knee deep in ALL the cusomizations, and programs (before the were called "apps"). It was fun, but I don't miss it at all. 
    I was part of the group that thought one of the reasons WM was better than the iphone is because you could do that stuff... Holy crap was I wrong. Again, it was fun but I love stability, uniformity, and smoothness way more.   
  • Well put sir! Absolutely best feature of WP that iOS and android will never have. I really don't get what there is to like about those two's boring static home screens.
  • You are the user MS thought of when creating WP8.
  • Not quite as useful as Widgets on android but certainly more useful than a simple number indicating a new SMS email.
    I always keep my WPCentral app pinned specifically for the double-wide live Tile. Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • definitely not as useful as the widgets on android, but there is way more potential as we see some apps utilize them so well, like why isn't there a good calender widget that shows the current monthly calender or a nice clock or a lot more just for a quick glance
  • Only the double wide tile is useful. The small one only gives a counter, which is basically like an icon on an iPhone homescreen. 90% of the time the medium tile also gives just a counter as well. Tiles have a lot of potential, but it's not being utilised properly. For example, why does a double wide SMS tile only show the last unread message? It wastes a lot of space where it could easily fit in at least 3 messages.
  • or I figured its should scroll thru the current msgs, cuz as messages come in, they just flip to the next... I would love them to be utilized like the Xbox music app while playing music, staying animated
  • Useful - Yes, frequently updated enough for our instant gratificational nature - No. Think about the cell phone in general and what we expect from it. It reminds me of Veruca Salt telling her Dad, "I want an Oompa Loompa Now!". We won't be satisfied until we can select the frequency of the updates for live tiles, and even then, we will want each live tile to have different update frequencies.
  • I wish certain apps updated more frequently also... its crazy that a battery life app updates so infrequently, or the weather isn't current, the music app probably has the best tile of them all, Pandora is similar but not as animated
  • I find the live tiles to be extremely useful, especially for apps that update after I haven't used them in a while. I see something interesting when they flip, like the metrotube app, the me tile, Facebook, and I love all my news apps updating me with random news, like wpcentral, Engadget, CNN, imdb, and Bing news... words of the day on Bing translator (French) and show some interesting things, and I see an interesting movie every now and then on the flixster... extremely convenient
  • I love it  I love the ability to pin multiple live tiles from one app 
    I love the ability to organize and personalize them
    I love the look of the live tiles it makes every phone unique 
  • Love the live tiles, they are the heart of WP. One look and I see if there's anything new.
    Was 3 dreadful weeks on Android last fall when my 920 was in for repair...
    Just.. nothing... happened...
  • I absolutely love the live tiles until it stops updating.For instance,the windows store live tile.From the time I've been using WP it never shows app updates.Good thing i use WPcentral regularly.Also having issues with the oggl live tile.The way i see it,live tiles are one of the key features of windows phone.Microsoft should come up with new animations for live tiles.Although i love the flipping live tiles on my start screen :)
  • Very useful.  I typically forget to check scores for games that I wanted to know about.  Really great when I scroll down and see it (usually by accident... like I said, i forget).  Weather is great, and seeing a preview of a recent email is great.
  • Actually, almost every time I unlock my phone, after not looking at it for a while, is scroll over the start screen checking what's new, if there is nothing, click, locked. Hehe
  • This^
  • I use mine extensively.  Not only for weather and appointments, but also several news sources (including WPC).  I also have tiles pinned for all of the people that I interact with regularly so I can see at a glance when someone has emailed me or posted on Facebook or Twitter. I also have a tile that shows me my battery capacity, the latest xkcd comic, as well as a few App Folders as well. This is, by far, my favorite feature of Windows Phone.  It is the reason I prefer my 920 over my 5s and S4.
  • Always nice with fast info
  • I love glancing at my tiles and seeing what's new....especially news, of the time I don't even open the everything about wp8
  • I'll have to agree with the orginator in the forums. I never use LiveTiles and just swipe to the right. The refresh is so slow on Tiles that I can get to the full data just by swiping....that's one reason I wish I could add a personal background image. I also have a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and only have one screen with no widgets at all. I use the notifications center or go right into the Apps area.
  • Hope they make the notification center optional when they add it. For some people, such as yourself, it may be what they want to use. For others, like me, its not some we want or have need of because we use the live tiles and the notifications section of the ME tile
  • That makes perfect sense and is a great it probably means they won't build it that way. Those that don't want it will be stuck with it I bet.
  • I've been saying this since the notification center talk first started. But they do need a better way of handling toast notifications... once oyu lose those they stay lost. Otherwise, I get all the "notifications" I need.
  • Love to glance at the screen without having to open the app unless needed. Love this for my calendar app specially.
  • Very little considering it only refreshes every half hour. Most used live tile is ESPN Scorecenter for me.
  • What tiles do you have that only refresh every thirty minutes?
  • I think 30 minutes is the smallest interval that WP will allow Live Tiles to update.
  • I think that *MIGHT* be the latest unsubstaniated, BS that's being tossed around about Live Tiles. It depends on what the tile is associated with, and how the DEVELOPER built it.
  • Looks like you're right:
  • It depends, background tasks run about every 20-40 minutes (it varies quite a bit), but push notifications can update tiles faster than that.
  • I use the calendar and email apps' live tiles the most. As an airhead, I'm always wondering exactly when and what my next class is, especially at the start of the semester. And it's useful for that odd appointment or test here and there that I inevitably forget. I also have the weather, Bing news, fox news, Bing economics (more news, I don't follow stocks), and wpcentral tiles which I check the most frequently. I especially like to see a picture for featured bing news on the wide tile - it lets me know if I even want to bother with it at that moment. Otherwise, yeah, they're pretty useless - nothing more than eye candy. I would definitely not care if msft removed them.
  • Useful, but could be better (interactive).
  • +metroUI
  • One reason I moved to WP, or rather stuck with Windows Mobile. Weather is great, then for notifications on calls, messages, emails, Skype, Facebook messages (finally they made that work). Then I love using it to customize, flipping through favorite photos, seeing the latest news on the WPCentral app and Weave app, seeing my current balance on SBux, what my next appointment is, the next alarm I have on. Lastly I love using the pin aspect for deep links, like I have my favorite tea timer pinned, Facebook checkin, favorites (not to mention notification from my favorite contacts), then shortcuts to my favorite apps. I don't understand people who have windows phone and don't bother to leverage the start screen.
    I dont need a notification center because the start screen serves that purpose already, and the apps I use frequently are there, and the rest in the app list (categories like Windows 8 would be nice).
    I have think if you're not using the start screen similarly you are still trying to make WP work like Android or IOS.
  • Right there with you! No need for a notifications center! :-)
  • There needs to be more posts like this.
  • Ditto
  • Tiles is what sets it apart from just a list of stale icons you get on other os.
    When you get an app that can double sided tiles in all sizes it's amazing.
  • True dat!
  • If there were no live tiles, I'm not sure I would be on Windows Phone. What would be the reason? If all you are going to do is run apps, there are far better android phones out there to do the same thing with better app selection and notification systems.
  • I use a few of them: Dictionary for word of the day, To-do list on a large tile, Seiing if app updates are available on the store icon etc. The main problem is that tiles don't update frequently enough and I can't control the flipping.
  • The e-mail ones telling you number of unread and the built-in Calendar app showing you next appointment are all very helpful.  Other than those, meh. One big annoyance is that so many live tiles just don't update.  A particularly annoying case of this is third-party calendar apps.  Put any third party calendar app's live tile on your Start screen and then wait until tomorrow.  Notice that the date did not change.  The "live" tile still thinks it's yesterday.  I also have a flashlight app that is supposed to tell me the percent of battery life left.  It never updates until I run the flashlight app. Live files that flip through photos and whatnot mostly annoy me.  It makes it harder to know what the app is at a glance because the visual is constantly changing. So Live Tiles have their place but are a mixed blessing, IMHO.    
  • So you see this as an issue with live tiles, and not with the say the apps in question were built...??
  • Live tiles are actually one of the few things that keep me from switching to Android. They're extremely useful to me.
  • Yep...same here.
  • Generally useless as they hardly ever work properly except for core apps like email and messages. Yes i have checked background tasks but unreliable, and I shouldn't have to check that. They should just work as meant to.
  • Then contact the developers of the apps you would like to use with live tiles and tell them about the issues you are having...
  • They do work as they should. They can't do anything if the developers don't utilize them correctly.
  • Even Microsoft apps like bing weather and sports? Stop telling me they 'do' work, because they don't. I can see that on my phone.
  • Absolutely useful. My phone is setup in 2-3 sections depending upon my mmod.   From the beginning, my Photo Hub is right at the top. When I hear people moan and groan about not having wallpaper in WP I get a little irritated and realize they likely do not use this hub to its best use. I regularly update my Favorites and have outdoor shots, macros, cool moment's in my kids' lives all rotating through there. Beneath that, I have the tiles that mostly deal with my important communications. I do have Settings and important notes and an important web link in small tiles across the top just below the photos. I simiply use those so much, it matters. Then in the center, I have my wife's tile surrounded by smaller tiles for various email, Line, Messaging and phone. The numbers on the mail tiles are enough for me and I open them, but the tile for my wife constantly updates to show me Messages, Facebook posting including new photos she has updated, and telephone info. next slightly below the break, 4 weblinks I use, the People tile in Wide, then Calendar and Weather tiles. I use the Bing Weather app in 4 tiles, 3 small and 1 wide, to track the weather at home, GPS location, and locations for family.   Next comes media including the new Xbox Music Preview, several tiles Radio and Artist links. People and Xbox music are two I am hoping will receive a makeover in the next update. The original 7.5 Xbox Music tile kept the last artist played srolling even after stopping the music.   Next, my social media tiles: ME, Facebook, Cowlick!, followed by Bing News (a great wide tile), MSN in medium, various static shopping tiles (ebay, Amazon) WPCentral (Wide) ans Wikipedia. Rudy's Wiki tile is gorgeous and educational!   Finally, variuous news tiles, Phonly, Xbox Video and Story Teller. I view the Live tiles as more than just functional. They also lend to my personalization of the phone. I read the WPCentral tiles multiple times a day, which should mean it would be near the top, but I consider the aesthetics of tiles that show updated content and photos much like throwing some nice paintings on different walls in your home. I have what is important at the top - real phone activities, but framed in tiles that add color and functionality to the screen, like Cal with my latest Mt. Fuji photo to remind me of a great trip. My kids, colleagues and friends' pics cycle through various tiles, like Facebook, Story Teller and Me. I have static links to the important things such as One Note, IE, and my favorite music. The artists I have linked on my Start Screen also bring color and variety. No oen looking at my phone would have any trouble realizing I am a Beatles fan who also enjoys Fiona Apple and Cher.   Live Tiles are what differentiates WP from the oft noted lifelessness of Android and iOS. Yeah, I have tiles that show me only numbers or are only links to apps. But my Start Screen is alive and changing constantly. But from my old Windwos Mobile days I do not miss my constant changing of launchers overlaying the basic OS, which is what I consider of most Android phones I have seen. Instead, my screen is like a well worn sweater. Comfortable, colorful and useful
  • Useful, but the limited multitasking in WP prevents them from being really useful. Updating every 15 Minutes is often far from good enough.
  • Limited multitasking? What tiles do you have that have issues and only update occasionally?
  • It depends on how useful the information is being displayed on the Live Tiles. Most apps I just skip the Live Tile function. But a few apps, such as Bing Weather and WPCentral (one of the best) I use for the Live Tile function all the time!
  • I love them. And om 1520 you have lots of tiles. I haven't starter Using folders yet. Have ut installed and made some folders but tiles is more usfull for me.
  • Extremely useful and I use the Live tiles all the time.  Most important ones for me are Messaging, Email, Calendar, Battery Life, Store (for updates), Weather HD and the phone tile for when I miss a call. The Live Tiles and ease of use are what prompted me to get a WP and dump my battery eating unintuitive lagdroid.
  • Love my live tiles! I have my calendar, weather, battery info, my commute, and of course messaging gets a big ol' full sized tile! Plus many more!
  • Love them!
  • Mine are dead, but when alive they are Great!!
  • Very useful ... and great to prevent "notification overload" ... most important tiles on top ... stuff of lesser interest require a swipe down.
  • I love live tiles, but I don't bother making them medium or large, unless they'll actually prove useful to me. For instance, my People tile is small because I don't want photos flippin around of random people in my contact list, but my Weather tile is medium because it gives me just the right amount of info. I would say most of my tiles are small; even Mail and Whatsapp, because just the number of new notifications is enough for me to then tap into the app. Other tiles such as Settings, or Maps, I keep small because to my mind, the other two larger sizes only serve to provide more of a footprint for my, er, thumb. :^)
  • I say they can get better. But I rely on tiles everyday.
    How ever, I use ME tile, SMS, Mail, Calendar, WPC app, Group tile with 20 people, Bing News, TVShow, Weather-To-Go and Frost, Facebook. All live and displaying data.
  • It's very useful!! Helps alot specialy when taking a quick glance at the start screen, you can know almost every thing
  • Critical and killer feature. Since Amber/Black they are much more reliable, particularly for third party Calendar Apps that never worked reliably before.
    Flipping is also very important if implemented well by the Devs, especially for Calendar, email, news and weather Apps plus individual Contacts' tiles. I can answer most common queries in a couple of seconds, while the Roid & Fruit crowds in the room are still annoyingly tapping away trying to find the same information. Doing this consistently in business settings has induced several of my Colleagues to switch to WP. To be honest, its the most important feature of the OS.
  • That was the main reason I have a WP
  • Me too!
  • Very useful....infact I wish we could get more memory to run more than 15 background processes with live tiles
  • The usual stuff as everybody else (though chronos have the best calendar tile, including week number...yay) then its tiles for my home lighting to check if the lights are on/off. A lot of people groups, family, friends, coworkers. However the combination with pinned deep linked stuff is what makes it even better. One touch and I can trigger the garden lighting. Start my current playlists. Contact members of my family. It's so much nor efficient then opening apps and then do this stuff
  • They do not workkkkkkk
  • My live tiles never work, i fixed them loads of times and they stop again after a few hours i give up now lumia 920
  • Up to a point.  If I try to add more than about 4 or 5 then all my tiles stop working and wont update. (Lumia 925)  its been this way for me since my pre NoDo HTC Trophy on every Windows Phone 7 and 8 device I've had!
  • Haven't found a weather app that consistently shows the correct temperature...all live tiles should have a refresh setting: 30s, 15m, 30m, 1hr, etc
  • Very useful but there is a big problem. I have to block my apps from running when I am not using them, otherwise will drain my battery.
  • Live tiles are app shortcuts and widgets in one. There is room for further improvement but they are very useful. Like my train tile that says when there is a delay at my favorite stations. Or rudy's tvshow that tells me which shows I follow have new episodes out.
  • Very Useful.  I do want to see improvements in the Live Tiles, much like how the Bing weather app implements the Live Tile metaphor.
  • So far limited. Looking forward to the below research outcome. "Microsoft Research have set up an ambitious goal of developing a smartphone that can last up to 7 days on single charge.". Live tiles will have full potential after breakthrough in battery life.
  • Not useful at all.Dull,boring and i would prefer the option to use a wallpaper instead of a screen full of tiles and nothing else...
  • Sounds like you want a Droid
  • i used to had one.i returned to nokia for 41 mp camera and wont let go because of stupid tiles..
  • Very useful for me: news app (Nbc, Le monde and N24), appointments (Chronos or Cal), weather (weather flow)... They are informative, look splendid, and make icons look so useless... However I would like them to flip faster, and to be interactive (I.e. Ability to scroll directly the tile). Many apps don't offer a nice live tile though, which is a pity. Live tiles are a superb feature of WP8.
  • Not useful. Even the wpcentral live tile that I open 3times a day isn't as up-to-date on the live tile as I need it to be and the weather apps which are most useful are a hassle cuase you have to keep opening them. What is always updating and useful are the text and email apps
  • My Windows Phone without live tiles is an iPhone.
  • I like them for getting a quick snapshot with things like weather or calendar, or news (wpcentral, bing news). I don't think they are all that useful for things like text messages where you cannot see the whole message on the tile. They provide little extra function than a number on an icon for unread texts, emails, etc. This is why a notification centre combined with live tiles is the best solution. I also think developers need to put more work into making their live tiles unique. I get a little bored with a sea of blue icons at times, and it can make it difficult for an app to draw enough attention to get the user in.
  • Without my live tiles I would be completely lost about which apps have notifications. Especially whatsapp and my email.
  • Live tile are the single feature that sets it apart from other OS's. I use it for email, News, weather, calendar appointments, etc.
  • Live Tiles have been very Useful for me for previewing information.
    Examples below:
    Weather:Current and multiday forecast
    Email Preview
    Text Message Preview
    Miss Call Preview
    WPCentral Article Preview
    New App(CNN, Bing News , Abc news) preview
    Calender Spots
    Todo App Checklist
    Me Tile - Notifications
    MyTube - New Subscription Video Alerts
    Live tiles are great and can be used very effectively.
  • The "Live" aspect of them is sometimes useful. But one often overlooked aspect of the tiles in Windows Phone, and what I like the best about them, is the fact that many apps allow you to pin tiles that are deep links into the apps themselves to perform some action. For example, I have a tile that allows me to switch off my Philips Hue lights in one touch, some other tiles that turn those lights on with a certain color configuration, a tile to immediately make Soundhound start listening for music, a bunch of OneNote documents that are pinned as tiles to my start screen that I access a lot (a grocery list for example). That's something that is simply not possible on iOS and not very practical on Android.
  • Like you George, I use the weather and calendar live tiles. I also use the scorecenter live tile, though it doesnt work well. All others are the smallest size. They let me know if I need to open the app (wpcentral or messaging/email) or just provide shortcuts.
    but one thing I noticed is that I'm eating so much data.. What I'm doing now is restricting my data when I'm asleep,or driving..but over all what a great improvement!!
  • Love'em
  • Live tiles is the most important thing. This is windows phone!!! Ok some of them is not working but it is app's responsibility. For example the messenger apps and so is which I use mostly, are perfect
  • They are useful, but I hate the way they look when not on the information and flipped back to the other icon side. They can be ugly if u ask me.
  • Very useful to check new posts in the wpc app for example. Way more useful than those android app shortcuts. Besides that, they look pretty cool in my start screen.
  • The concept is good, but apparently, the way WP8 manages memory and background apps is kind of dissapointing. Some days ago, all my live tiles simply were not updating at all, and I had to do some clean up and a couple of restarts to make them work again. Also, the limitation of 30 minutes between updates makes some of the tiles useless.  
  • Don't forget live tiles also act as a pin. I have tiles for my specific podcasts so I can jump right into them. Also, I have my favourite tags and people as 6tag pins so I can jump to specific people when I need. It is true that sometimes the live tile bit doesn't always work - but I find the best part about the tiles are pinning them to jump into a specific part of an app - instead of launching the app and figuring it out from there.
  • Useful just wish I could receive notifications from apps like whatsapp, wechat etc.
  • Inconsistently. Shame but they do appear to be unreliable across brands & versions of code. A great feature poorly realized.
  • Would be much better if apps could use push notifications, to help the live tiles, etc. Like IOS has this, and it doesn't drain battery, on my iPad at least.
  • Apps can use push, it's just that most devs choose to use background agents instead. Lazy and cheap.
  • It's useful to an extent but I'm never quite sure how up to date the information on the live tile is, so I end up opening the app anyways.
  • prior to my use of LockMix I used live tiles for temperature and appointments. Now they're simply used as shortcuts.
  • Live tiles are awesomely made beautiful *Smiles* and one feature that made me switch to WP8 from BB..I use them for shortcut and notification(incase I missed the popup) and also as a showoff to my blackberry, android and ios lover friends...
  • Would like all apps to be required to have a theme based tile and regular that reflect the companies logo and brand. Sometimes all of mine blend together due to the theme and style. Also the ability to have a name would be huge for some apps when on the smallest size.
  • love them on my 1520 with the extra row. really helpful. i like the music tile.
  • Use it all the time with weather, Me tile and Nokia Drive+ (and WPCentral of course). Check Drive+ tile every morning before I leave for work and every evening before heading home to see how traffic is.
  • A lot of ppl confuse the the general liking of live tiles as an idea and then updating timely to get the most use out of them. Of course I love live tiles and what they could be but the fact that a lot only update every 30 minutes is not helpful! I have to constantly with some apps like 6snap open because I want to reply timely. Don't get me wrong they are super helpful. And was probably one of the driving motivators in not including a notification center in the first place but if we could choose which live tiles updated instantly and which updated every 30 min that would be wonderful!
  • Very useful would like them to display more content but I like tiles
  • I personally find certain live tiles that need to flip first not as useful or not even that practical. Having to wait for them to flip to show info isn't really glancable information.
  • Utterly useless. They don't update real time, they are often delayed to the point that I always open up the app to see the latest. They don't have scrolling text feature if you have an email or other text that spans beyond the tile size. They are not clickable like Android widgets; I can touch specific area of the widget to refresh or do certain action - can't do that in WP. Honestly Android is much better phone overall; only if I had some love for Google.
  • WPCentral..useful Breeze..useful if it works Weave News Reader...useful Facebook Beta...useful ESPN...useful for live scores 6Tag(individual tiles are awesome) Battery (always my bottom tile) Me Tile...useful People Tile....I don't know I love watching the pics flip in full tile Email..very useful
  • My favorite apps with live tiles: Bing Weather TileCam (Webcam on your Start)    
  • If they actually updated without my interaction, they would be very useful - but as they are on my 920, it is an extreme rarity that they update on their own, and thus fall to being mere shortcuts.
  • Instead of describing my homescreen - going to link it -:P. .   Custom tiles for nokia music, here maps, here transit, cellular data settings. Weave, Phone App, People Hub, Data Sense Wi Fi settings shortcut app, metrotube, amazing weather hd, office hub Custom internet explorer tile, nokia reading (linked to wpcentral rss), tvcatchup, games hub Whatsapp, work email inbox, text message app, bbc iplayer web wrapper Simple calender, battery, nimbuzz, stop+clear (for clearing the now playing bar). There are alot of things I would change but first and foremost, Microsoft  needs to stop trying to be a parent that listens to whinging tots and be a device + services company that listens to customer feedback. Yeah they do but some of basics should have been there from day 1, i.e A stop button (it is laughable that we have to have a dedicated app to stop and clear the now playing bar). On pc it is fine, but on a phone the battery drain is pretty noticeable with a song paused The alphabetical jump list shouldnot appear after installing 40+ apps, they should be there by default. I have seen countless people get put off in the store by scrolling the app list since they are used to a grid of icons - even some reviewers think that is not possible.. extremely misleading. Ability to manually end background tasks, you go into background tasks then advanced everything is greyed out.. they might aswell just remove the advanced button - it is totally redudant lol. Coming from windows mobile 6.x one would think they would have nailed background task management... As opposed to giving us a set of colours to choose from they have given us a colour picker with the colour white auto disabled white text is selected. Surely they got this request when during the WP7 era? Persistent cellular radio indicator - I'm now always tapping it before making a call - getting abit of a nuisance now as my O2 reception has been beyond worse than subpar for the past month or so. Unread notifications should not clear off, should be an option to enable this (off by default) - if i have 8 unread emails and answer 2, it should say 6 not display nothing - same applies to all apps like weave, whatsapp etc I could go on forever but I won't as it is younger than the other platforms (given they totally ditched Windows CE) but these are the basics which should have been there from day one of WP 8.
  • WPCentral..useful Breeze..useful if it works Weave News Reader...useful Facebook Beta...useful ESPN...useful for live scores 6Tag(individual tiles are awesome) Battery (always my bottom tile) Me Tile...useful People Tile....I don't know I love watching the pics flip in full tile Email..very useful
  • They would be all awesome if they all weren't the same color... WP should emphasize aesthetics as well.
  • I just love LiveTiles! I use them to notifications (Emails, Facebook, calendar, games, news, etc.) and as a shortcuts to my favorite apps.
    I can't live without them! :D
  • Actually half of my live tiles I almoust never open because they show all of the needed info on it's tile. I got 31 tile on my screen.
  • Sadly not useful for me as the 3rd party tiles never bloody update. And I've seen no consensus on how to fix that.
  • When they work there great. When they dont or have a stuck notification they are just an icon
  • The data sense tile is the embodiment of all that is wrong with live tiles and MS's view on how good they are
  • How right you are. And how about *gasp* letting the user decide how often the tiles should update.
  • Very useful! Better than Android and iOS.
  • Prime TV for upcoming tv shows on in other countries, and weather, whatsapp, skype, a few games and live bitcoin exchange prices
  • I love the idea of tiles, but in practice very few are useful. The tiles I consider useful:
    Battery, weather flow, week view 8, skymap's sunrise/sunset, interval's alarm tile, effectual or telerik tasks. Depending on the time of year I might use the here drive commute tile. Some other useful tiles are deep links to specific pages in apps- which are very useful. The rest of the tiles I use are just unread counters. But for a platform that has been out for quite a while, you would think I'd have more than 6-7 live tiles that aren't just glorified shortcuts. At the very least, I never have problems with tiles updating, and all my tiles print a "updated at hh:mm", so I know at a glance how recent the information is. For my uses, 30minute old information is never inaccurate, but limiting background tasks to 30m is supposed to conserve battery life and my battery life is still shit. So yeah might as well let tiles update willy nilly if battery life sucks anyway. Because IE has a small limit on number of tabs, I just never use tabs. I pin pages to start.
  • They not only useful, but very SEXY. :-P
  • I love the in-app pin features for contacts and special features. But the live tile notifications are so far an unreliable. For example. When I receive an update from your app is 15 minutes after tweeter. Need a lot of job.
  • Agreed. I hate being on Twitter and see a post from sites like WPCentral and realize, my damn Live Tile hasn't let me know yet. Kind of defeats the purpose.
  • Somewhat yes....but can do more
  • very useful, besides the size of the 1020 one of the reasons I left Apple was because I didn't need to open a app to check for information.  Now I am hooked and everyone wants to see my phone
  • Never had a problem with Live Tiles. WP is a beautifully realised OS. It works well on my Lumia 920.
  • My favorite part of this phone.
  • Very useful. But in Facebook beta i dont like 'cause it shows my last PRIVATED MESSAGE in the homescreen and it's not privated at all.
  • While I agree that it shouldn't show your private messages on the tile, if someone's seeing your message on your tile then they could also just touch the tile and open the app and see everything. I do agree though, putting something like that on the tile is pretty stupid. Like the messaging tile that displays your new message or the notification that announces and displays the message to the world.
  • I like and live by the Live Tiles and find them essential for the key Apps that I use such as Amazing Weather HD, SkyMotion, Weather Channel, WP Central, Engadget, Newser, and a few Currency and Stock Market Apps that update regularly. For the nonessential ones, nice to have the option when I need constant updates such as a Travel Apps...
  • I don't know if I just have a less heavy duty load of tiles or what, but all the ones I use seem to work fine. Twitter updates constantly, while 6Tag update every half hour, but is reliable. Facebook has been working better recently, but I still don't trust it. I'm learning to trust the Bing Weather App, which is the most reliable one I've used. I have a better meter app with a live tile, but it's sort of pointless if its reading is only accurate every half hour. The WPCentral app is always updating, which is nice. The calendar app is good too, except at the medium size it only displays one event for the day, which can be annoying. Moreover, I live the apps with tiles that move. Alot, even if they don't give information. In particular, I love the picture gallery tile, because it just showcases my favorite pictures in a dynamic way. Same with the people app, which I rarely use, but the tile makes my phone seem alive and perky when I unlock it. In the end, I'd like to see tiles update more frequently, have more apps which have reliable, working tiles, and I think I may go for a phone with a third column next. This is all on my 920.
  • I agree on the tiles just being animated rather than not. If more people made tiles, like the Pictures and People tiles, animated, it would truly set WP apart and be more eye appealing to look at.
  • I like the idea of Live Tiles but, as been mentioned, the time limitations for tile updates is a bit of annoyance. My favs are the messaging tile, weather tile and WPCentral tile (thanks to new post count). I wished tiles updated as good as notifications (which I have turned off because they are annoying for some apps). If we were given a swipe-to-left notification page that list all notifications, I would honestly use the live tiles less.
  • Another Idea to add: Instead of the thirty minute restriction in app, why not a setting in the phone itself that lets the owner set their own time for updating from a minute to an hour or off completely.
  • Nice. But just nice. MS needs to turn over some rocks because half my live tiles... No wait, MOST of my live tiles barely work. The problem is the 30min refresh. Thats no good. MS needs to obviously create a better system...
  • I use them for notifications of the number of messages or emails, or for weather information, but primarily I use the small tiles as quick access website shortcutes or pandora/nokia music stations. Also quick settings. That being said, the live tiles could have much more functionality if they had buttons on the corners that allowed the tile to expand or something, showing more information regarding a text message or missed call or something. You could take a quick peek and then back out of it to register it as read, or tap again to respond quickly. Just a thought.
  • Your last three sentences should be on Microsoft's Idea Board for the Windows Phone Team to use.
  • Hardly use them, except for email. My weather live tile never updates properly so it's pretty pointless.
  • Really, I like live titles,I use them to see battery, WiFi and Bluetooth shortcut ,and make my phone colorfull and very beautiful,but the bad thing that wp8.1 Will not all phones support 6 columns in the update,the phone how have less than 4.5 inche will stay with the 4columes like Lumia 620 (mine) or Lumia 520,lumia720,820,but the important that all windows phone have wp8 will upgrade to wp8.1.
  • They aren't really useful to me. I'm running WP 7.8 on a Lumia 900 and hardly ANY of the live tiles even work. Some work sporadically when they want to, others not at all. It is very annoying. Live tiles are useless to me as of right now. Also, there is so much more they could do with them! For example, I often use the messages live tile on wide. If a message is too long though it cuts it off and doesn't display the whole message! Also if you have two messages it doesn't display both or them on the tile, only one. Total waste of space considering how big the tile actually is. I'm always amazed at how much potential WP has, but how much Microsoft fails to utilize its potential.
  • Not really useful. Stop limiting live tiles at 30 minutes!!
  • I like them and think they are useful. However I am very selective about the ones I use. Only a few. Any more is distracting and too busy for me.
  • Honestly... Live tiles are nice, but unreliable in my experience
  • Microsoft should add an option for power users to remove the 15 app live tile update limit. That way you eliminate those dodgy updates, where sometimes the live tiles don't update. Then, remove that 30 minute limit for updates. Handle update timing like you do for email - as they come in, hourly, every 4 hours, daily, or manually. Thus way, I choose my energy budget (how often I need to recharge the battery). I like the live tiles and use them extensively. With the aforementioned adjustments, they would be even more useful.
  • My live tiles are my notification center. I am one against the upcoming notification cause I find the start screen with live tiles is enough. Some comments are slightly wrong about the 30 minute update. Live tiles are updated every 30 minutes with new info if the dev wants it to. But the dev can use push notifications to update the live tile if they like and therefore they are truly live. But not all devs have resources to do this and therefore most use the 30 minute background task.
  • I like live tiles, but sometimes they are unnecessary or confusing. I can't say how many times I look at the weather app and do, "It's snowing?!?!" only to realize that that's tomorrow's forecast flashing at me. Some apps could have more useful live tiles, like news apps that only have one headline, when I'd rather see it flash between several. Mostly, the tiles are just shortcuts to other apps for me. The ones I rely on are the little notes I get for new emails or messages, Facebook's live app, and my calendar. The rest I can live quite easily without.
  • Some are better than others I like windows phone central's tile, most weather tiles and so on. I wish 6tag had a notification plus picture tile you can only do one or the other
  • I'm the same as you, George. I keep a few relevant tiles-- weather, calendar, and TVShow-- but keep others as launchers only. I heavily rely on my lockscreen notifications though.
  • They are useful when they work. It is frustrating, however, when they suddenly decide to stop updating, even when you have unused background task slots. It seems the only way to fix this is to uninstall and reinstall all background-task-consuming apps.
  • Love them. Use them. Wouldn't be happy at all if I'd have to revert back to iOS.
  • Not useful if it drains battery. Maybe they should give more options like update on glance or on-demand. Since internet speed is pretty fast nowadays I think it's possible. Each app should have a background option to let us choose how we want to receive notification. 1.) Live 2.) On glance 3.) On Interval 4.) On demand (by double tapping the tile for example)
  • I absolutely love them and it was the single motivating factor behind my switch to windows phone. I use my phone for business, so I have my email, calendar, and messaging live tiles set to wide so that I can quickly glance at entries between meetings or when I am interrupted during a meeting (with a text message). I also tend to pin addresses so that I can later use Nokia Here to get there, I also pin flixster movie recommendations coworkers suggest, or URLs I need to read up on.
  • Ditto!
  • I make use of those that can be suited best for my needs.
    For example, I pin Weather Flow (large) so I can see the next 5 days forecast, while I set the hourly option to display on my lockscreen - both updating hourly with cellular data connection.
    Another example for best use at glance are News apps, such as WPCentral, Bing News/Sports, myTube - not to mention social networking apps.
    Hope it helped a bit =)
  • None of my live work! They only update when I go into the app. I have location services and background task turned on. Weather still won't update. Annoying! What is the point.
  • They are a great idea but they are rendered basically useless by the fact that they have such a large delay in updating.  You have to open the app everytime to get updated info on the tile so they become pointless.
  • i find them somewhat useless.  There's a lot of apps i will scroll through and see what's on the Tile.  I just don't think they update enough.  BING sports and news should update more often.  I always see the same headline all for several hours.  The stock app i have updates quite often which is awesome.   Overall the tiles are good but they could definitely improve.
  • The Live Tiles are Awesome on the 1520!!    
  • It needs a rethink, with few apps it works well but when you have loads of apps on screen the size of 1020 the information gets lost.  How many times have you completely ignored an app simply because you didn't notice it.  I then used app live tiles a redundant but my screens tidier. Must be a better about complete autonomy over the size of the live tile, make it as small or large as you like, and custom colours so we can group similar apps next to each other?
  • Does Microsoft actually have an in-house push notifications system?
  • They would be great if they actually worked consistently. I thought after they were unreliable on wp7 they would be perfected on wp8. But nope, most of my live tiles are pretty much useless because they always get stuck on outdated info. I gave up on them months ago
  • It depends on the app. If it's a news app then i don't particularly care because if I want an update on the news, i will open the app. Weather is good as i social media (tumblr etc) also my manga reader manga blaze). Anything else i just don't care. However i like being able to customise my main menu how i want it to look, so the tiles work for me (live or otherwise)
  • My weather tiles are indispensable.
  • Live tiles rock! And is a main reason, if not THE reason I love WP. I'm a huge fan...
  • Not so useful,PS.i want 3 columns on my Lumia 925
  • Very useful.
  • Live tiles which we can interact directly from start screen would be awesome.
  • Unreliable... At least in my experience
  • I think, instead of updating live tile while on the screen is locked it not a good idea, but I would like to see tiles uptating everytime when I unlock the screen. I think that will achieve everything what we want, Battery issue and perfect live tile. Hope to see MS to implimpent it soon.  
  • live tile is the reason of windows phone OS
  • What calendar app is pictured?
  • Mostly useless as a notification center. The other day I got a toast, didn't grab my phone in time (just missed it!) and the notification was gone forever. And yes, I do have my "important" apps on the start screen.
  • Live tiles are the best ! Better than any notification system. No wonder I don't miss a unified notification system. Although its not that I'd not want one but as of right now Live tiles work just perfect for me.
  • Never pay any attention to them....they never update. Have 3 calender apps....none update date unless you boot them up.  None are blocked in the system.   Have to boot them up and then they update....never while just running.
  • Another pane should be added to left side of home screen that will contain all the notifications....and the bing search should be converted to Google search
  • If they would update more automatically, not just every 30 minutes, they would be one of the most useful features I've ever seen. On my Dell Venue 8 Pro, the tiles are so much more useful.
  • I love Live Tiles, but I understand and can live with their limitations. They really shine in a periodic glance and go role:
    -Quick look at temperature or forecast before heading to work, again at lunch, maybe again at night. Almost never need to open the weather app.
    -I'll peek at the WP Central wide tile a few times a day between calls to see latest headlines and decide if I need to jump in.
    -A medium calendar tile shows me upcoming appointments; quick check of that in the morning, before bed and when out on the road.
    -2 mid-size tiles show me Facebook updates just from close friends and from family. Again, a few glances throughout the day and I see most of what's important.
    -Tile for Winsupersite shows me when Paul's added a new article. If I have a minute I'll read it; otherwise I know I can come back later.
  • I love using my live tiles to pin specific web sites to my home screen for easy access..Live tiles are the shit!!
  • They are indeed very useful. But they should remove OS limitation that restricts tiles from being updated only every 20 min.
  • One doubt. Too many live tiles, too much battery drain?
  • Could use a little less animation, and a little more functionality, but they are ok.
  • Honestly not very. I like the weather one but that's pretty much it. I want a notification center, it's much better.
  • All apps should be pertinent to live tiles ws!
  • When left swipe organizer ws.?
  • Postings suck now, geez it just keeps getting better, creeps!
  • I'd have to say not much. I do love the randomness of "People" live tile though... Facebook would probably be great if it was updated somehow (the entire app) - there's potential there. It's mostly frustration though... there are lots of apps that could make great use of live tiles with simple stuff, yet they don't. Some live tiles are implemented, but they don't seem to update correctly. Some tiles seems weirdly broken... for instance, my "photos" tiles are oftenly showing a date instead of an image (if anyone knows how to fix this, do tell). Anyways, I don't really have much to compare with (still rocking Windows 7 on my PC), it works just fine as shortcuts, and I still think it has potential to be great. But you know, we've been waiting long enough I think. And this could be a selling point for WP8, yet nothing. The ideal scenario is for all tiles that can use, to use them somehow. Give you the most basic piece of information from the app. The latest received e-mail title. Last call made/received/unanswered. Latest Whatsapp message. Next alarm set. Last message iteration. Last destination used for GPS.  Favicon of the tab opened on browser. Last music played with album image or something. Latest RSS entry. Etc etc. I could go on and on. Perhaps some apps already do some of what I said, not shure.
  • I love the Live tile idea especially when implemented well by the Dev. The built in Calendar for example shows me my next meeting and the time, simple but effective. WPCentral is another good example but mostly i use them as shortcuts to apps and music
  • I love the Qantas app. It updates my flight and notifies me of any delays on the live tile before they even email me!
  • The current implementation of live tiles sucks! Maybe every 30 minutes the tiles will update if you're lucky. It's too hit n miss and the restriction on background tasks makes them pretty useless unless you are pulling content in from the web and displaying.
  • Very. I have some groups pinned so I don't miss when they email, post, tweet, etc. The live tile alerts me.
    The weather channel app shows current conditions and a three day forecast at a glance (works MUCH) better after the update.
    I have picked up breaking news from the live tile for both CNN and Fox News.
    The calendar is at the top and full sized so I can see my next appointment.
    All four of my email icons are lined up small sized so I can see which has something new.
    Facebook and Twitter don't have the most responsive tiles in the world, but it's still nice to see a number representing new alerts.
    The me tile, of course, alerts me to new things. Doesn't seem to be connected to LinkedIn. Wish there was SnapChat integration.
    I was about to say 6snap isn't that responsive, but I see a notification that wasn't there two minutes ago, so gonna go check that. Bye.
  • I love the Live Tiles. Much nicer than the boring static icon's of the other two Phone Operating systems. also the Widgets of Android are not as usefull than the Live Tiles. One thing about is they are usefull for Phones but not for my Desktop. Or just place them as a Widget on the Desktop. No more Start screen in Windows Desktops please.
  • Of course we all love live tiles!! It's the main reason I switched to windows phone at the first place.. But there's the 30 minutes update issue, cuz that won't give you the real time thing!! And it gets even worst when you restrict background data using "Data Sense" because the live tile won't update at all.. Don't get me wrong, I adore live tiles, and I'm using lots of them on my 8x, but sometimes it just gets confusing
  • For me as they are, are almost useless. If you don't have internet connection, you can't have even batery status uptodate.
  • I love the live tiles - one of my main reasons for choosing windows phone. I just wish they'd use them more especially wide tiles that display summary info for email, calendar, Facebook, etc like Symbian did
  • I think the live tiles are very useful and is used too little by developers. Issues I've come across: 1. limitations of the refresh rate. 7.x has I believe poorer refresh rates than 8.x. 2. counters for item counts disappear after the app is opened, even though not all items have been seleted (e.g. new emails). Would be nice if increasingly there would be 2 counters: "new" and "unread" as an example for the email liv tile). Or counters for specific folders would be nice. 3. soms basic app make little use of tile functionality (e.g. phone app, sms app, email app (only one email headline per tile, not more. 4. no possibility for in-tile functionality. E.g. would love the wifi and 3g live tile to actually be the switch instead of it being a link to the page for the switch. 5. more tile designs. Currently windows 8.x has very large square tiles. These offer more room and in my opinion more useful way of providing info. Especillay in the likes of e.g. the weather app and Hyptertube as a good example. And why is there no large tile til (the rectangle one) flipped 90 degrees to verticle. Handy for those app such as portrait foto apps, weather apps, geolocation, etc.? Maybe an idea for a microsoft update to windows 9(phone) 8.2? 6.
  • I find the following live tiles very useful:
    Simple Calendar
    Amazing Weather
    People Groups - shows social status updates for friends and family.
    My Stocks
    USA Today
    Bing News
    MSN News
  • There's also Runtastic with updated stats.
  • i find live tiles especially useful for my work email account to glance whether it's an important email or just a notification from either the firewall or my server.  i also like to use it for the 'top story' on the cnn app to see if something interests me or not.  i also like it for the calendar to show me what i need to get done soon.  usually when i add things to my calendar and it's right there, i get the task done before it is due and have nothing to worry about.  it keeps me productive yet with minimal application launches.
  • useful of course, but only in middle and big size,another thing , the tiles have to flipping more frequently and fast than now.
  • They are practical, I like alot more that a little number in an annoying red circle.
  • Completely broken and useless. I absolutely do not trust live tiles to show me up to date info. I frequently see my weather tiles with days old info, sports tiles with scores from 2 games ago, and "new" notification counts hours after I saw them on computer/android. Every day I see notifications immdediately on my android tablet, but they don't show up for a few hours on windows phone.
  • Live Tiles do need some fine tunning, but they are what makes Windows Phone differentiate themselves from the competition. Devs need to do a better job of embrasing Live Tiles and what it represents for the platform.
  • Absolutely useless for me.    I have hundreds of Apps in my home screes randomly placed here and there. They all give live message and I am so confused.   WP apps need to be better organized, clearer and simpler.     I kind of like the idea of App folder but it has other limitations too.   
  • Absolutely useless for me.    I have hundreds of Apps in my home screes randomly placed here and there. They all give live message and I am so confused.   WP apps need to be better organized, clearer and simpler.     I kind of like the idea of App folder but it has other limitations too.   
  • Here's what I do. If an app has a USEFUL Live Tile... Meaning it gives me vital info like the INRIX "Follow Me" Live Tile, it gets pinned to my start screen. If it's just an icon, it gets put into a Nokia folder by function.
  • When they're actually updating, I love'm, but I find they delay a LOT.