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