Posted on 01-10-14 07:59 pm
An interesting surprise came today when I discovered that Nokia was releasing a new app called "App Folders", that creates a quick launch tile for applications stored in "folders". Sound at all familiar?
If not, here's a refresher. In the WP7 days, I came up with an app idea for sideload enabled devices called "Folders", which essentially pulled together applications on the device (or from the store if your device lacked root permissions :P), created an entry for them, and made a tile on the start screen to quickly access the "folder" of your apps. It looks like this, and is still available here (skip to 2:35 to see some similarities).
Needless to say, it was wildly popular, and the app itself was extremely simple. It's literally one call to the OS API to launch the application's GUID path. In fact, the code is available on GitHub under an open source license, for all to see how it works.
Back to the Nokia app. It's basically the same thing, with an improved UI and probably more stable. The concept is the same, the interface is basically the same, the list reorders the same way, etc. It even works the same way, and thus has the same limitations (no live tile in folders, pins can't be launched, etc).
Simply put, I'm thinking there's a very low chance that Nokia did not see WPH Folders while crafting this application. And I think that's a good thing. I've always wanted Folders to be publicly available to everyone, and now all Nokia users have it.
So even if I don't get a shoutout from them, I'll accept this as a pat on the back, and my mission here has been accomplished.
If you're curious, this isn't the first homebrew or even WPH app idea to make it into WP8; A notification center and orientation lock are on the way, Nokia made a cache clearing app, Microsoft added lock screen widgets, etc. I'm glad the community has been able to leverage these as evidence for their desire and usability.
Round of applause to Nokia for this. And if anyone from Nokia knows anything about the project, I'd love to chat ;)
1) I actually contacted Nokia at one point and offered to port WPH Folders for them, using the Nokia drivers, and explained it could be a Nokia exclusive. I didn't hear back, but at least the users got what they wanted ;) 2) Yes, I know Samsung made a Folders app. It's the same idea, but their interface is not nearly as similar. It also is cumbersome, just like the idea of a non-Nokia Windows Phone.
Image credit and good read: WPCentral: App Folder for Nokia Lumia phones – Hands on demo of the new app