Ideas for the WP App List
***Just to clarify so there's no confusion: I'm talking about the Windows Phone App List in this post, not the Start Screen.
So, someone on here was complaining about the app screen in WP7 being boring and plain, and this is a feeling I've often felt since WP launched. Even though the app screen is really functional and great at what it does, it looks empty and uninteresting in a purely aesthetic sense, even with the jump lists.
So I had a couple of ideas (all originating in the Metro family) for how MS can improve the appearance of the app screen while (hopefully) retaining the same great functionality that it has today. Neither concept is an original idea by me, but they're elements of existing software that I think could be taken and applied to the main app screen. (I also didn't take either of the photos here, they're just images I found online.)
The first idea comes from the old Zune HD album art screen.
I've always loved this UI and found it to be a simple, beautiful way to display the album art in the Zune software. If the app screen looked like this (replace the album art with app icons obviously), and I think it would look a million times better. Add jump lists in there and hopefully a similar functionality would remain.
A notable advantage of this is that you would have to scroll less to see more apps. A disadvantage or obstacle to this would be fitting in text for the names of apps. Also, it would be a bit reminiscent of the old Android app drawer, but I don't think that's a bad thing. It would look distinctly Metro anyway, and I think it would improve on the current appearance and maybe even the usability.
The second idea comes from the WP7 Zune album menu (see a pattern here?)
(only pay attention to the left side)
If they made each icon the same size (or closer to the same size) as the Live Tiles, scrolling would increase a ton, BUT it would be much prettier and leave room for more information. Also, with jump lists, scrolling is often less of an issue so I'm not sure that would even matter, especially considering the potential benefits of displaying more info. For example, beneath the app name could be more info like how much memory it takes up (since this is the screen from which you uninstall apps), or other info.
Also, there could be a similar play button on the icon, so that when you click the icon it takes you directly into the app. But, if you click the text, it brings up a menu (similar to how playing music works from the Artists menu in Zune HD), which could include a "play" option as well as options to uninstall or info about the app.
Anyway, I'm sure there will be plenty of valid complaints regarding these ideas, but they just crossed my mind the other day as I thought about the current app screen (or list or whatever it's called). What do you guys think? If you have other ideas, I'd love to see them.