Windows 8 Internet Explorer 10 Start Screen App and Switch List Episode 3

Episode 3 Using Start Screen Apps and Switch List

The Start Button and Start Menu have been replaced by a full screen listing of applications simply referred to as the Start Screen.  The Start Screen is far more than a replacement for the Start Button. Start Screen is an entirely new user interface designed to work well with touchscreen devices.  Without doubt, the Windows 8 change in user experience is the most controversial feature of the new Windows 8 distribution. 

Icons have been replaced by square and rectangular blocks referred to as Tiles.  Users are able to discriminate between various applications and programs using symbols, color, shape, size and labeling.  Users can change the position and size of tiles is well as place them in groups meaningful to each user. We will cover Tile clustering and labeling in a future screencast. 

To start an application, click on the desired Tile.  Clicking the Explorer Tile launches the Start Screen or Metro version of Internet Explorer 10.  Start Screen Apps are designed to be displayed full screen.  The familiar tabs and search bar normally displayed at the top of most browsers has been removed.  To enter an Internet search or address of a specific website, text is typed in the address box at the bottom of the screen.  If the address box is not displayed, right click your mouse to reveal previously visited sites at the top of the screen and the address entry block at the bottom of the screen. Your right click button along with keyboard shortcuts will become your best friends when navigating Windows 8. 

After typing a search query and either clicking the right arrow button or hitting the Enter key, Explorer immediately takes me to the default search engine results.  Once a website is displayed,  navigate as usual by clicking website tabs or using the back and forward symbols. Clear the current entry by clicking the X or by typing new entries. 

The iNetSynch website has a web page designed to display a flash video. This video cannot be viewed using the Start Screen version of Internet Explorer 10.  The Start Screen Internet explorer supports relatively few flash enabled websites. One such site is YouTube.  It’s obvious, the iNetSynch site is not one Microsoft supports in the Start Screen Explorer. Fortunately, Microsoft offers a second desktop version of Internet Explorer which supports flash on most websites.  To switch to the desktop, click the tool symbol followed by clicking the ‘View on the desktop menu option.’ If the search box and browser options are not displayed right click your mouse or hold down the Windows key as you type the Z key. The right mouse button or Windows + Z combo will always display options for apps designed to be run as a Start Screen only app. 

The desktop version of Internet Explorer 10 supports the familiar tabbed interface and that the video plays as expected. You can return to the Start Screen version by moving your mouse to the upper left corner of the screen and then down to display what Microsoft refers to as the Switch List.  Mouse movements needed to display the Switch List are similar to those needed to display Charms on the right side of the screen.  Move up to the far left and then down until open programs and apps are displayed against a vertical dark bar.  Move your mouse to Internet Explorer and left click to return to the Start Screen version.  To quickly switch to the desktop version, again move your mouse to the upper left hand corner of the screen and slide down.  Once the desktop thumbnail is displayed click to switch back to the desktop version. 

You may also use the switch list to close open apps or programs.  Move your mouse over the desired program or app and right click to display the close option. 

 Windows + Z  Key: Access Start Screen (Metro) App Options 

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