WordPress Jetpack gets some Tiled Metro WP Inspiration (+Day 2 of #SwitchAwaytoN9 and Why I miss tiles)

| May 26, 2013 | 19 Replies

Screen Shot 2013-05-25 at 23.10.31From one WP to another WP, the tiles found in Metro (now called ‘Modern UI’) can also be found in the latest update to Jetpack.

To help you discover all the great things you could be doing with Jetpack, we’ll be highlighting the most-overlooked modules and the modules we get asked the most about. First up: Tiled Galleries!

Are you tired of plain old thumbnail galleries? Are the row and row of tiny squares getting you down? Do you spend tons of time using photo editing software to create more interesting layouts for your images? Well have no fear, Tiled Galleries are here! Jetpack lets you display images in a variety of bold, elegant layouts with just a few clicks.

Great pictures, aren’t they? And they look smashing in the Tiled Galleries. Jetpack takes care of all the cropping and arrangement, and your site visitors can click any tile to pull up the full image.

I hope this inspires you to turn your regular Thumbnail Galleries into stylish Jetpack-powered Tiled Galleries!

The tiles UI, or the organisation of these rectangles and squares is quite pretty as well as functional. It’s moved on a lot from the art of Piet Mondrian to the glimpses and snapshots of tiled Windows. HTC’s latest sense UI is another such in a long line of examples adapting this style (You know, HTCopypasta has Nokia’s mic’s in their phone whilst dissing 808 PureView and still being a million times worse? No?). Tiles in Xbox, Tiles in Windows, Tiles in Windows Phone, tiles outside of the Microsoft/Nokia ecosystem – slowly there’s a growing acceptance to tiles that many said would never happen.

Screen Shot 2013-05-26 at 10.06.17

Beautiful and Functional

Whilst some like to make fun and resort to 5 year old name calling/trolling ‘bathroom tiles’ it’s quite a powerful set up with a lot of options. Over the next few days I’ve stopped using Windows Phone and switched to my Nokia N9. I’m loving the swipe [once you get used to it again] and that always on clock is super, but oh damn heck am I missing tiles. Yes I’d love a background and all those other things our readers suggested here (and other locations):


The tiles are very different to the static icons. All at a glance, I miss my weather tile that would indicate whether I might need a rain coat, my countdown tile to tell me how many days remaining for each exam, my to do list, upcoming train journeys, latest news headlines, the smily faces for new mail/messages, my scrolling gallery and so forth. Yes they’re like widgets but I like this organisation so much more than widgets. There’s other things I’m missing as well from WP/920, they keyboard, the apps (lol, yes funnily enough I can now say Instagram too), the camera, the browser, the HD+ screen, the wireless charging – all things I had taken for granted.

Other directions


But then I look back at the Nokia N9 and realise, heck, this was from 2011. It might be juddery now at places I’m used to exquisite streamlined lag free WP8 (which makes even quadcore Droids look laggy so N9 is by no way doing a bad job) but what Nokia achieved with it in 2011 is still quite remarkable. I know we’ve said it many times and it’ll never end, but I do wonder how far Nokia could have pushed the N9’s successors. Hopefully much quicker than the pace Nokia decided to go with Symbian. It could have been quite something.

Getting things done

For what it’s worth, for all the rants we have over WP (and nothing to do with Ali’s latest post, just coincidental timing) it made me appreciate just how usable it actually has been for me.

It just gets things done. Now this doesn’t excuse Microsoft’s time-lord reverse snail pace and the fact there is still a LOT for them to do in order to 1) gain missing features 2) implement new attractive innovative features 3) expand WP/Windows so that their partners aren’t hindered from delivering on the hardware side 4) more that I can’t quite think about.

Road ahead

Surprise us Microsoft. You’ve shown potential, but that’s not enough. You’ve got to keep delivering, you have to keep astonishing. You have to keep improving at least at the same rate as everyone else, if not ideally faster. You’ve got the world available to you to see what’s hot and what’s not and where you need to go. You’re not under a rock. People, your consumers, potential customers, fans, loyalists, media, critics and haters are screaming out to you what they want in order for you to settle expectations. Can you ever deliver it?



Category: Nokia, Windows Phone

About the Author ()

Hey, thanks for reading my post. My name is Jay and I'm a medical student at the University of Manchester. When I can, I blog here at and tweet now and again @jaymontano. We also have a twitter and facebook accounts @mynokiablog and Check out the tips, guides and rules for commenting >>click<< Contact us at tips(@) or email me directly on jay[at]
  • incognito

    All at a glance, I miss my weather tile that would indicate whether I might need a rain coat, my countdown tile to tell me how many days remaining for each exam, my to do list, upcoming train journeys, latest news headlines, the smily faces for new mail/messages, my scrolling gallery and so forth.

    You miss those on the N9, or in general? Because the N9 got you covered quite well regarding those features:

    1) You always have the weather on the Feed pane + with MeeCast you have it on the LPM stand-by screen as well, no need to even unlock the phone to see the weather.
    2) Organiser Feed pretty much covers the rest with its brilliant integration of the Calendar to the Feed pane – it will show your To-do list, upcoming events (granted you’ll have to subtract the date to have the number of days til your exam) and in combination with Fahrplan also your train/transition journeys.
    3) The Feed pane by its very definition will show you as many news feeds as you care to have.

    Don’t know what you mean by the rest, but you certainly have far better presentation of new messages and emails on the N9 than what you can display on a Live Tile, and while you don’t have flipping gallery tile on the main screen I actually find that a good thing – would be too distracting otherwise.

    • noki

      Some of the points Jay point out make sense, the N9 was mostly widget free, but included most of those features in the notification page.

      I get that Jay likes the tiles, but we collected need to wonder if Mondrian work is a good starting point for a design paradigm (I know it was the French metro but…), it would seams to me that there are allot more well loved historical artists in this planet. In the end the purpose it to please most people and not juts a few.

      • jiipee

        Agree what you say there. Looking at the picture on the blog post, tiles looks almost as a grid of apps.

        N9 is probably missing some applications, which could publish data to the feed screen. And use the feed behing contats filtered by the contact. It would then beat the WP contact hub.

        Btw. what do you guys think of the boot to Qt?

        • noki

          Think its interesting for people looking at the android stack as an option for embedded devices deployment, It’s AFAICT not a way to make apps for the android store, for that there is necessitas.

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  • prashant

    For them also it would had been a really very complex decision to adapt their platform in smartphones as nokia was also going dip at that time.
    But for a company like microsoft this kinda pace is nt acceptible in such fierce competition.

  • j

    give me a n9 sucessor with todays specs. bigger screen, higher screen resolution and i will buy it. for apps i will use my tablet. (or a cheapo android)

    • Adriano

      +1. After playing around with my mom’s and g/f’s Lumia 820 (and helping set it up, which was a massive pain in the arse) I still feel I’m not really missing out much with my 2 yr old N9. Btw… just curious – I tried syncing contacts through the transfer app on the Lumia. It connected to my N9 and transferred the contacts, but didn’t show up. Tried it with the 808 just to check, and nothing. Nada… Is it going to some secret location on the phone (god I miss having a file manager)? Actually, it was the same with a picture downloaded from my Flickr page via the website. The image downloaded, but was nowhere to be found. Still wondering where those contacts and image are.

      • Chris_Skylock

        did you check/activate Hotmail in the contacts hub alongside Facebook and Nokia? transfered contacts are automatically converted to Hotmail contacts.

        • Adriano

          Yes I did and realised exactly why I will continue to stick with my trusty N9 or 808. The back-end on the outlook/hotmail/whatever the s*&t they want to call it, is so terrible it makes me want to rip my hair out. Every time the contacts were ‘transferred’ using the app, I expected it to show up in ‘People’. Instead it was just getting dumped into ‘People’ on Live. And the duplicates were getting linked! MS screwed the proverbial pooch on this one. Never, never, ever had any trouble transferring contacts and messages to and from other Nokias, running Symbian (or even the N9). Tried exporting to .csv and importing to gmail. That works quite flawlessly. But then again, if I’m going to pull stuff off of Google, then why in blue blistering barnacles would I buy a WP8 device? Wouldn’t I be better off with better integration with an android device? Bring back Symbian or make Meltemi high end. Enough with the MS experiment. MS might be shining in the limelight, but Nokia is surely taking a beating… sad times… Still, glad I have my N9 😉

  • nn

    I wonder why you keep posting this Modrian’s painting. Yes, it looks nice, but it has nothing in common with the Metro apart the rectangular shapes. The colours, the details like alignment, line thickness, the fact it is without texts, images or animations, and so on. If you put them side by side like you did here, the ugliness of Metro is only more obvious.

    Not to mention that that nice/ugly painting doesn’t make good/bad UI should be obvious.

    Another thing is if promoting Metro is such slow process requiring gigantic resources, why then is Nokia doing it when it even isn’t theirs, so in the best case they will establish UI for MS while themselves ending up with nothing? It seems pretty pointless, why not just built upon UI that already works? BTW, is Nokia permitted to use this massive investment and put it in future products unrelated to MS?

    That’s actually quite interesting question. Why exactly Nokia doesn’t have such great UI in their dumbphones? If the theory is people just needs to learn the wonders of Metro, high volume devices that are often people’s first encounter with smartphones should be perfect fit for promoting Metro. Yet they don’t use it. Seems like even at Nokia the adoption of Metro isn’t so fast.

  • Ruben

    Hi Jay, nice to hear you still have your N9 =)

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