Windows 10’s tiles are abysmal. Not the ones that comes from pure apps pinned to the start page or menu (mostly at least) but the ones coming from pinning URL’s or folder locations. Since Microsoft Edge was introduced most pinned URL’s simply shows the Edge icon and grabs the, often way too long, page title from the site. To make matters worse you cannot change the icon nor the title as you can do with a normal desktop shortcut.
This is really crappy. I cannot believe how Microsoft can simply leave this in this state. Despite several updates, often with useless new features that I for one do not really care about, nothing has happened concerning this. If you have a tablet with lots of URLs pinned to the start page you effectively have lots of tiles with the same (Edge) icon on them. How fun or practical is that?
Luckily someone has developed an app that does what Microsoft should have done long ago. A while ago I discovered the Pin More app. With it you can create custom tiles for games from Steam, Orange, Battle.net and Uplay as well tiles for URL shortcuts, folders and documents. The app comes with a trial version which is limited in the number of tiles you can create. After trying the trial version I rather quickly forked up the 2.99 Euros (or whatever your currency is) for the full version.
I have only tried it on URL shortcuts since this is what I wanted it for and for this purpose it works great. Not only can you create tiles with your own titles and images (the app lets you set different images for different tile sizes if you want to) but it also allows you to connect a RSS or Atom feed to the tile so you can make real live tiles for URL shortcuts. You can also set the background color if you use images with transparent areas.
So far the app has worked great. The start page of my Surface 3 Pro is no longer a dull mess of Edge tiles and I no longer have to remember which tile is which. Edge now has a proper and easy to identify image and some of them are also displaying the latest news from the site.
The app do not create “real” individual tiles but the tiles are all belonging to the app and clicking on a tile calls the app to open whatever the tile represents. This is not as bad as it sounds. The opening is fast and quite transparent. If you look sharply you might see the Pin More app icon flash briefly in the taskbar but that is the only sign that the tile is not a “real” tile. It also means that the app do not screw around in the registry in order to actually change the behavior of Windows which is a very good thing to me.
Although it is sad that 3rd party developers should have to add functionality that Microsoft should have provided from the start this app really fills that particular gap in Windows 10 as far as I am concerned. I have only used it for a couple of days but it has not let me down yet.