We've previously looked at a Live Tile issue on Windows Phone 7.8, but it seems as though the issue with the feature could be worse than we originally thought. Owners have complained that tiles are not updating correctly or are "bugging out" with massive amounts of data being utilised with consequences on the battery charge. This isn't good, especially when the Live Tiles are a major selling point of the OS.
According to Heathcliff, a well-known name in the Windows Phone homebrew community, the cause is on an OS level, not by resident developers. Three methods are available for apps to update Live Tiles, but two of the three options have been found to be bug-ridden or broken. Shell Tile Update was the only process found to be working correctly.
The first faulty method is known as a Shell Tile Scheduler, which is when an app retrieves an URL and displays the images on the tile. The second method is known as HTTP Notification Channel. This follows a similar path as the scheduler, but goes through Microsoft's notification servers.
Heathcliff notes that the second method listed is completely useless and is even shocked to learn it even passed quality assurance testing. We'll be looking at developers to take bug reports from users seriously when it comes to issues such as faulty Live Tiles. There's another problem with these rogue tiles - not all apps using the above methods will break, making it difficult to locate affected apps.
Heathcliff recommends consumers to be aware of any Live Tiles that may 'flicker' when pinned to the start screen, stating that it's a symptom of the app repeatedly attempting to updated and refresh the tile itself. Should an app be experiencing such behaviour, the best course of action is to un-pin it to prevent high data usage and battery drain.
Results from our recent poll
We've noticed (along with other developers) that there's something wrong with Live Tiles on Windows Phone 7.8. Here's hoping that Microsoft follows these reports closely and takes a good look at issues highlighted by Heathcliff.
Have you experienced glitching Live Tiles and high data usage?