Actually, the screen wastes much less real estate. On other phones you see oceans blank space between their buttons/icons. The problem of course is developer's and their tools when they layout those icons they MUST create a MUCH larger touch area then the small icon. So the tools in general force placement of icons to be wide part (you cannot move them close to each other - ALL PHONES force this grid layout.
The result of this touch requirement is that MUCH BLANK SPACE is required around the icon. The result is about 50% or more of the screen is simply you staring at some silly background wall paper.
The result is wide spaces between each icon are NOT used. You MUST keep that spacing to make the icons useable for your fingers which are far fatter than a mouse.
Since all that space is required for touch, the live tiles are brilliant since they now are butted against each other without oceans of blank space (which you can't use on other phones). This result then opens up the doors for live tiles that display messages, your next appointment, how many emails, current water etc., and do so without you having to open up each individual application. And to save some trolls - those applications are running and updating and receiving messages in the background anyway ??? the cost of battery to update a tile is insignificant.
It is laughable to stand here and tell me this setup wastes screen space when EVERY other phone allows you to darn near see 50% of the desktop wall paper behind the icons.
On wp7 you cannot see some desktop background. There is no wall paper and you can ONLY see icons because they are large and cover up and use all of the screen.
Contrast above to tiny silly little icons with huge amounts of UNUSDED BLANK space between them. Now how stupid is it now to stand here and waste all that blank space between icons?
For what reason should not the tile you touch be the same size as the touch area for that icon that is reserved? All of the other phones FORCE such a large touch area for the icon, but thy ALL waste the space!
Larger tiles and "live" tiles = more information in same screen space.
One glance at my phone, and number of personal emails, business emails, text messages, voice mails and outside temp (including raining, sunny, cloudy etc.) and my next appointment can be seen without even opening any application at all.
In a word:
Live tiles scooped the marketplace. For those standing here telling me about larger tiles when other phones are restriced to the SAME number of icons is oh so funny.
Looking at other phones, it seems so silly to see a bunch of tiny icons that have huge oceans of WASTED space between those icons. WORSE those tiny icons cannot display anything of use compared to a live tiles!
And the real kick in the pants? The icons and live tiles HAVE to take up the same spacing and distance apart for the touch UI, it just one of them is brain dead and only shows some silly icons where we have a set of tiles that displays information in real time.
The ones lamenting live tiles are either users who never used a smartphone (can't afford one), or they prefer the SAME NUMBER of icons in the same spacing and grid layout with huge gaps of space between that remains un-used and does zero for increased phone usability.
Albert D. Kallal (Access MVP)
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
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