Regular Pocketables readers have no doubt noticed that, by and large, I’m a proponent of Windows 8. I think the OS does a lot of things right. Of course, it isn’t perfect. I’ve written about some of the flaws before (for example, “Windows 8 should let you delete apps from your Windows Store account”). This is another one of those strange cases.
Windows 8′s biggest – and often most controversial – feature is the replacement of the old Start menu with the Start screen. While you can still access the “all apps” list from the app bar, I’ve only found myself doing so once or twice a month. If an app isn’t on my Start screen, I just start typing and wait for it to appear in the search results. So when I was recently setting up the Acer Iconia W510, I was surprised to discover that my Pinned Sites weren’t named correctly in the app list. This issue certainly occurs in the search results as well, but it’s not nearly as noticeable.
When you pin a website to your Start screen, Windows 8 will let you choose a name for the live tile. This is set to the page name by default, which can often be too long or convoluted. But for some reason, the pinned site’s name in the “all apps” list is always set to the default, no matter what the live tile actually says. This is confusing for users and only serves to make the list more cluttered. Would you rather have “Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more” or just “Amazon?” Hulu is even worse (“Watch TV. Watch Movies. | Online | Free | Hulu”), since the developers chose to put the description before the site name. Who would ever think to look under “W” for Hulu?
Thankfully, like most of my quibbles with Windows 8, this is an easy fix. Simply change the OS to recognize the custom name of the pinned site’s live tile, rather than the default one. Doing so will make things much more consistent and user-friendly.