It was big news when folders were introduced in iOS, but Windows Phone 7 is a platform that (some might argue) has a better alternative to folders in the form of live tiles. The whole search by alphabet at one touch concept, especially in Mango, makes accessing any app or icon fast and efficient. Still, having folders on your WP7 would sure be a fancy way to keep your data more organized, and for categorizing stuff easily. For now, instead of making your decision based on this discussion, you can give folders on WP7 a try yourself, if you have an unlocked Mango device, that is.
The method looks like something of a work in progress for now, not because of the end result (which looks neat), but because of the method you have to employ to get folders in your phone. There is no “drag icons to create a folder” for now; you can only make a folder (or even edit it) when your device is connected to a desktop computer. Here’s how you can get this homebrew on your unlocked Mango phone.
- Download the XAP file from the source link at the end of this post.
- The XAP file will show up as a zipped folder on your system. Extract its contents.
- Run the FoldersConfig.exe file present among the extracted contents.
- This will bring up all the options in the .exe file. From here, you can add apps to a folder.
- Search using the search box provided in the exe, and keep adding as many apps as you want.
- When you are done, deploy the folder to your device after connecting it with Zune.
Now you will see your newly-created folders at your Start screen. Each folder can be pinned as a tile, too, but make sure you customize the folder before you deploy it, as there is no way to edit it on the phone. We are sure many people would have appreciated if there was a way to create folders like in iOS, i.e, through simple drag and drop, but as this is the only method available for now, one can only hope that things will improve in the future.
Update: Things really have become much simpler now, and the latest iteration of the tool does not require any desktop connection. So, instead of using this, it is better if you head to our review of the new Folders for WP7 XAP and give that one a try.