We’ve seen some pictures of Windows Phone 8’s start screen (yeah WP7.8 for us pre-existing owners) but that’s not the same as taking it for a spin. A new free app called W Phone 8 lets you play around with a simulated Windows Phone 8 start screen and you can add apps, move them and even hit up the marketplace and ‘install’ new apps. Now WP limits the ability to launch apps so all they can do is be a shortcut to Marketplace and some of the preinstalled icons do functions like open contacts or bring you to the app in Marketplace (yeah the devs apps are there by default but that’s more than fair). But if you want to play around with all of your apps and see how you’ll want to size/orient them, you can do that and since it goes to the real marketplace to draw apps you can get all the icons you want. it’s pretty neat. And it saves your changes in memory so you can exit the app without losing your settings. Here’s the description:
Do you like the new Windows Phone 8 start screen? If you do, then wait no more! This app is a very realistic simulation of the new start screen. You can resize into the new small and large tiles, "install" apps and change theme colour! Design your favourite layout and show off to your friends before Windows Phone 8 is here! Impt note: this app is a simulation and its just for fun. It is not created by Microsoft and is in no way related to the company.
– Resize tiles (just hold on to the tile until it pops out)
– Install new app by tapping on the marketplace tile
– Change theme colour through the settings tile