When I first fired up my Samsung Focus with Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango”, I had the usual selection of tiles on my start screen–the phone, people (contacts), messaging, email, Internet Explorer, and a selection of AT&T-specific apps hawking over-priced services from my wireless provider. One tile that caught my eye, though, is the “Me” tile.
I appreciate the ability to pin basically anything to the start screen as a live tile, and I have used that ability to create a live tile for my wife so I can just tap to call her, text her, email her, or even post to her Facebook wall. But, I am me, so I was a little curious about what value there is for having a “Me” tile taking up real estate as a start screen tile.
It turns out that it is not quite as narcissistic as it seems at face value. The same way having a live tile for my wife lets me have quick, one-tap access to communicate with her through whatever means are available, the “Me” tile gives me quick, one-tap access to post messages, check in to locations, or review notifications from my various services and social networks.
Currently, my “Me” tile is only connected to Windows Live and Facebook because I am using a final beta, pre-release version of “Mango”. But, with the official release of Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” Twitter and LinkedIn connectivity will also be included.
Right now, I have the Facebook app and the Twitter app installed on my “Mango” smartphone. I haven’t found an official LinkedIn app for Windows Phone 7, and I have yet to venture into installing one of the third-party LinkedIn apps available–but they’re out there. There also isn’t a Google+ app for Windows Phone 7 just yet.
If push comes to shove, I can always just use the Internet Explorer browser app and actually go to the Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google+ websites. Using full websites is often a pain, though, and the mobile versions of the sites are never as good as what the mobile apps have to offer.
But, I digress. Let’s get back to me, and the “Me” tile on Windows Phone 7 start screen. What is nice about the concept of the “Me” tile is that it makes it much easier for me to share information or check in with my social networks. I don’t need to go to each individual app, and I don’t need to wade through the websites on this little smartphone display.
I can tap the “Me” tile, tap “post a message”, and type a quick thought or two. Under the text entry field I can tap on the “Post to” box and choose which services to share the thought with, then send it off. Simple.
It is another example of Microsoft integrating messaging together in a way that reduces the complexity of just trying to communicate and enables me to focus on the message rather than worrying so much about which service or tool to send it with. Hopefully, Microsoft will continue to roll other services into the “Me” tile as well–like Google+.