Try out the new Windows Phone home screen with W Phone 8

A fairly lightweight Windows Phone emulator has made its way onto the Marketplace, which enables the user to see how the upcoming UI refresh would look on their handset. By lightweight we mean that no tiles launch any apps (links to Marketplace listings instead), but it certainly gives you a feel for what's to come with live tiles showing data, flipping around and having fun.

That's pretty much W Phone 8 in a nutshell, and while it may not seem a lot it's very well presented.

Tiles displayed cover all available sizes in the announced UI refresh. Tapping the "Settings" tile will open up the accent selection screen where different themes can be chosen and applied. The email tile simply composes a new email using integrated accounts - likewise with the messages tile. 

You can download W Phone 8 from the Marketplace for free. Should you wish to check out more apps from the developer (SYM), be sure to hit the IE tile to be taken to a web Marketplace search.

Thanks, Kunal, for the heads up!

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

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

  • just registered to wpcentral for say this app is awesome
  • Welcome my freind, this is my most uded app and its addictive lol.
  • Pretty cool, does what it says, flawlessly!!!
  • Do you think will have one like on WP7 so other OS users can try it out from the webbrowser?
  • Gives a good little taste, can't wait for the real deal.
  • If only i can change the calendar date and the default pic on the Me tile then its great!!
  • wanna feel original.....
  • Very nice appetizer! I really like the full screen of tiles and the multiple tile sizes are great. Can't wait for 7.8 for my Titan.
  • Great app but misses that all tiles should have all three sizes. Running the simulator lets you change some tiles to only the medium and small sizes.
  • You can change to large tiles also. I changed my calendar to large.
  • You can't change all the tiles to the large tile.
  • Very cool! Can't wait for the update. Already found one of my favorite default colors, I will use, dark navy blue!
  • +1 Agreed!
  • Surprised that you can even change the shape and move them around!
  • Huh? Yes you can...
  • Deum... Getting it now... Thanks
  • Wow, now I'm really excited for the new stuff to get here! Looks great on my phone :D
  • Damn now i cant wait for 7.8 on my lumia 710 >.
  • How many people stopped reading half way through and went to download this immediately?
  • I did....then I went back to finish reading it lol
  • Played with this last night. Can't wait to get the update. It'll keep me satisfied until I can upgrade.
  • I did't even finish the article...saw...downloaded...commented!
  • WTF Were you spying me!!!?
  • Its the bloomin' onion before the medium well filet mignon..
  • Gotta say, I prefer the old look better. Maybe takes some getting used to.
  • Sweet
  • Pretty cool app. The mini tiles are much bigger than I expected. No issues here. I can't wait for the actual roll out! I have 20 tiles on my start screen now and its a lot of scrolling. With the WP7.8 setup, I confortably fit 18 tiles on the screen in a way that fits all my needs AND NO SCROLLING. Pretty cool.
  • i tried it now and i gotta say now the metro style is perfect. The windows phone 7 tiles are little offset to the buttons at the bottom. Now (7.8 & 8) the space between two middle tiles goes directly to the start button. And with the new start logo of windows ist gonna be the BIG DEAL of the year!
  • Awesome.. Now my actual start screen started looking lame :)
  • The same for me
  • Me too! :-(
  • Seriously, makes the original look so boring
  • I still hope for a classic option that lets you keep the traditional startscreen
  • you will be able to.  Just keep everything on a medium tile and it will be the same...
  • come on. you know they willcomplain about the black space not present and they will retardly say "hope we can enable it and have it back" just like stupid people with the new start screen in windows 8.
    if people dont want these changes, dont upgrade or buy a wp8. because im sure the will say it wont look the same bla bla.
  • Why is it retarded to want to customise the home screen? Some people like the right gutter, some people don't. I don't care either way, but I think it's better to give people the choice. Saying "don't buy WP8 if you don't like it" is retarded, as WP8 is MUCH more than the home screen. We'll all have to migrate eventually as WP7 is a burning platform and WP8 will have apps & functionality that WP7 can only dream of.
  • Commonblob, try to replicate the classic startscreen and tell me what you think
  • So cool!! ^_^ love it.
  • Pretty neat. Definitely a different look though.
  • Looks waaayyy to large (and kinda $#ite on my titan ):
    Maybe it takes alot of getting used to...
  • Spoke too soon. Haha
  • Yeah, on my HD7 (4.3" screen) they are quite huge. I'm actually starting to prefer having the gutter on the side to reduce the size of them!
  • I guess you made a wrong turn trolling around. Waaaahaaaaa
  • Amazing!
  • Lumia uber alles
  • Pretty sweet if this is exactly how the tiles will work
  • Its cool but still wish there was more options for background besides black and white...and why cant we have some transparent colors as well?...u can change the size but some people want to be able to have other options besides black and white...js...
  • Just wondering how the animations will look like when u open an app. The app misses showing that. I'm loving the new start screen however. was a bit doubtful at the start if it would actually look nice and not too chaotic but after trying it out, i can only say that this is simply awesome!
  • It looks gud......
  • For me its looks like step from windows 98 to xp.
  • Great! Even shows my scoccer match that I have at 5pm! Impressive!
  • Got to say, I dont like it. If its a true reflection of the 7.8 homscreen, I won't be updating my 710. The problem is, the tiles become too large. It looks awful on my 710, I can't even imagine how bad it looks on a 900 or a titan etc... I guess the WP7 devices just weren't built with WP8 in mind. :-(
  • I second that. I'm also considering not updating, as I just can't get warm with it. It's a matter of taste so it's useless to discuss it, but those enormous tiles combined with tiny ones don't please my eyes
  • Yeah, It's actually not so much the small tiles (I've arranged mine so I have a row of 4 small, extra-large SMS, another row of 4 small, 2 medium and another row of 4), I don't think it looks too bad. It's when you want to have just large tiles somewhere, it begins to look awful, and there is less information on the screen. However, I've also notice that there is no gutter at the top, unlike the screenshots we have seen thus far from Microsoft. If the final release has a top gutter, it will make things even worse, meaning even the setup I've managed to get that looks decent, would look a bit lame. I've always thought the top gutter was a bit pointless, and wastes some space, so maybe Microsoft are intending to get rid of it (fingers crossed). Without the top gutter, I could probably just about live with it if there was other reasons to upgrade to 7.8. As to whether I'd be prepared to upgrade still however, is another thing altogether.
  • the current start screen looks so outdated after playing with this for a few minutes.