Tiles everywhere


Friday, June 03, 2011

Yesterday, Microsoft showed a preview of the new HTML5/JS based tile UI that is presumably going to be integrated in Windows 8:

Somehow this is not surprising, except for the fact Microsoft chose for HTML5/JS as underlying technology. At Microsoft tiles were also already a big theme in the Windows Phone 7 UI:

Tiles have equally been part in various places in the Apple iOS, for example in the iPad App Store here:

in iTunes App Store and more recently also in the new Mac Store:

Especially in galleries, be it a gallery of applications, documents, information etc... a tile UI is a sort of richer list control that goes beyond the capabilities of a ListView or ListBox for example. Not only can each tile display its information in a richer way than some text and image that appears in a ListView item or ListBox item, a tile list offers paging, in many cases support for multiple rows or columns and preferably also touch support. At TMS software, coincidentally, we just released this week a new control: TAdvSmoothTileList with the intent to deliver tile list capabilities in an easy way for Delphi developers:

TAdvSmoothTileList is based on a collection of tiles where each tile has content for a normal state and a maximized state. As each tile in the collection has subtiles collection, hierarchical tile lists can be build. The TAdvSmoothTileList is fully extensible in many ways. Descendent tile lists can be created that hold tiles that are in turn descending from the base tile class. The TAdvSmoothTileList works with pluggable visualizers. It comes standard with a visualizer for text, one for images & text combined and one for HTML formatted text. Custom visualizers can be created to present content in any way desired. The tile list can be put in edit mode from where tiles can be moved around or deleted (desktops similar to the iPad or iPhone desktop can be created with this for example) and each tile has an optional status indicator (red balloon indicator).
The TAdvSmoothTileList has full support for operation via mouse and keyboard but is also touch enabled, making easy sliding per page possible.
You can explore the capabilities in TAdvSmoothTileList now as part of the TMS Smooth Controls Pack and also with the next scheduled update of the TMS Component Pack and where appropriate integrate it in your applications. We're curious to see your exciting implementations!

Bruno Fierens


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