My Windows Phone Start Screen

Earlier today, Paul Thurrott (@thurrott) tweeted a picture of his Windows Phone Start Screen ( As I like to share, I thought I’d show off mine too.

My Windows Phone Start Screen Top

So here’s the top half of my screen. In the top left corner, we’ve got my tiles associated with calling: Phone and Lync. Our company isn’t yet using Lync externally but we should be sometime soon so I wanted to get the icon in early. On the right side, I’ve got the People hub. Strangely, as I took the screenshot, Paul managed to work his way into the picture.

Back over on the left, I’ve got Rowi. I paid for the full version of the app because frankly, it’s worth supporting the guys at Hidden Pineapple because the app is great. To the right of this, I’ve got my SMS/MMS message box and my Linked Mailbox tile for my personal domain account and my work account. I love linked mailboxes as it means I see all of my mail and manage all my unread and flagged items from one view. Rowi and People Hub earn themselves large tiles as they have notifications and animations which deserve the size.

On the row below this, I’ve got four of my most used apps on the phone. These only deserve small tiles as they don’t give anything useful in terms of tile feedback and notification. From left to right, we’ve got Facebook, eBay, YouTube and the Music Hub. The new YouTube app is brilliant and so much better than the mobile site redirect which is what the old version amounted to.

One of the first things that I think is striking about my screen is how the People Hub and Rowi tiles are offset. This was my way of stopping the screen looking too uniform; a little bit of structured chaos.

The row below has my calendar exclusively. My calendar is heavily used with meetings for work and personal events such as kids lessons, appointments and birthdays, so I like to have this large as it means I get the subject and location of the meeting on the tile to save me having to crack into the full calendar app. It’s important for me to have the calendar here also as it means that I don’t have to scroll to see it; it’s there all the time on the first view of the start screen.

My Windows Phone Start Screen Bottom

Here we have the bottom half of my screen. I’m a simple to please person, with not too many apps installed on my phone and as such my start screen is pretty short – So much that you can see the top half of the screen on the bottom half.

At the top of the bottom (like that makes sense) we have the Internet Explorer tile on the left as a large tile. I use the mobile browser lots so I like to have the icon large to make it easy to just smash at anywhere on the screen. To the right of the IE tile, I’ve got four small tiles in a block. These are lesser used but still often enough to warrant a spot on the screen. In order, we’ve got the Unit Converter, OneNote, MediaHub and IMDB.

Unit Converter is simple yet effective. OneNote speaks for itself. I use SkyDrive to store all my notes so that they are available across all my devices. MediaHub is a great little app that I’ll leave you to discover for yourself and finally IMDB speaks for itself – I’m a bit of a film lover but I’m not very good at recognising actors and actresses so I like to be able to easily look them up to see what other films they’ve been in.

Photos is last on my screen and gets a full tile. I’ve got quite a lot of pictures of the kids on the phone so I like to see them from time to time.