There has been a bit of conflict lately over the new Windows Phone 8 Start screen that was announced last week along with a few other developer features. Some like the current Windows Phone 7.5 start screen because of its asymmetric aesthetics and uniform structure, while others are excited to have greater flexibility in the sizes and arrangement of live tiles in Windows Phone 8. The empty right edge of the old Windows Phone 7.5 actually had a few uses… it was a necessary area for deactivating or applying the tile customization mode, it housed the visual cue to access the app list, and it also left a nice black area for the clock to sit so that the time was readable no matter what part of your start screen you were looking at. All of those advantages are gone with the new start screen design in Windows Phone 8, and as you can see in the above photo from Wednesday’s announcement, the clock is no longer consistently visible or readable. You have to get the start screen scrolled all the way to the top so that it overlaps a black area in order to see it. Or you need to keep some dark-colored tiles on the right side. This may not be a huge problem since you’ll most likely still see the clock in a larger font on the lock screen, but still it feels like the genius design of the original Windows Phone 7 has been degraded. Hopefully this can be fixed before the final OS ships… perhaps in a different way.
Do you care about seeing the time on your start screen or is it really not that important?