A look at Mango's overhauled Live Tile system [MIX11]

Wow, so we were just schooled by Windows Phone Program Manager Thomas Fennel on the updated Live Tile andn Push Notification system coming with the May developer tools and to Mango for consumers. Needless to say, we're impressed and if you watch the above video you'll see why.

Some cool features:

  • Local notifications: these aren't push, but instead are purely local--great for alarms, reminders, "note tiles", etc.
  • Deep Toast: Say 'Weather Bug' gives you a flood toast notification, when you click it, it can now take you directly to the flood alert, instead of just opening the app. This is very cool.
  • Multi-tiles: One app, 'X' amount of tiles. For example, you have a news app with World, Local and Political news, you can now create individual Live Tiles for each category, or whatever the dev allows
  • Live Tile limit bumped: Currently, you can only have 15 Live Tiles on your phone. Starting with Mango, that goes to 30.
  • Tile flip: When a notification comes in, the Tile can "flip" with a back image (see video)
  • Improvements: Reliability, performance and efficiency (15 min polling, down from 60) have all been adjusted and made better

What can we say, we're totally excited about the new Live Tile and Push Notification system. Microsoft is keen on making it easier, more robust, "smarter" and more than just a simple alert system. Oh and we did ask Fennel about the "issues" many of you are experiencing with Live Tiles e.g. they go completely dead. In short, we're contacting him with more info and will be working with him to get to the root of this ongoing problem.

Check after the break for a few slides...


Reader comments

A look at Mango's overhauled Live Tile system [MIX11]


Weather Channel-sometimes. Pro Sports Scores-nope-"failed to open channel". Stock Alert Live-nope-"could not open channel". Don't want to do a hard reset-shouldn't have to.Does NoDo address this issue?

WeatherChannel is a "pull" live tile so it will keep working even though all your others do not. It uses a different method to get updated. Had the same problem with ProSports Scores, Eventually did a hard reset and that "will" fix all your live tile issues, for now. But once the problem registry key gets filled again, you will have the same problem. NoDo does nothing to correct this issue. But to avoid the need for hard resetting, if you are dev unlocked or use some homebrew method to unlock (like Chevron), AND you have an HTC or Samsung device you are in luck. Go to XDA-Developers and find yourself a Registry Editor, like Julien Schapman's Registry Editor (for HTC only), and side load it onto your device. Next navigate to HKLM\Software\Microsoft\PushClient\Endpoints and delete the Endpoints key. I have done it half a dozen times but if you are uncomfortable deleting a parent key, then waste your time deleting all the subkeys behind it (should be 20-30, based on your issues). Soft reset your phone and simply open/close each of your live tile apps. Occasionally, you may need to toggle the live tile feature off/on for a non-working app. Preto, everything is working again. Of course, no guarantees are expressed or implied, but as noted I have done this a half dozen times with 0 ill effect. As soon as you open a live tile app, the Endpoint key gets recreated and a new subkey is loaded inside it. I currently have 15 active live tile apps working (just added 4 more last night as a text). I also have 24 Endpoint keys which usually indicates things should stop working but surprisingly all the tiles still appear to be updating. But as soon as one stops, I will be deleting the Endpoints key and continue with my testing. For future reference stay away from WeatherBug & Messenger. Both those apps occasionally disconnect then reconnect when you open them, adding additional Endpoints, and causing the backup issue. Still testing other apps for the same behavior.

The new live tiles look awesome....I'm very excited about mango :)Hopefully, it come very soon =)

I found a registry key with entries labeled Alert1 to Alert10, but was unable to add an Alert11 for example. I then went into the Windows folder using TouchXplorer and tried to rename/replace an existing alert but the files are read only. Boy do I miss Total Commander.

I had a similar idea about the tiles that would actually flip when another similar app was added on top of the existing tile. Example : You've got a game installed on one tile, now instead of having multiple tiles taking up space of your favorite games, you can now simply pin the other game-tile on top of the existing one. When another app is pinned on top of the other, a number is registered in one of the corners, indicating that there is another app underneath. Say the number is 3, meaning 3 apps are available on that particular tile. Now in order to access the apps underneath, you simply swipe with the tip of your finger from the left side of the tile, to the right. This, in-turn, produces an animation of that tile flipping and revealing what app is on the next side......sort of like turning a block on it's side. I specify the "left-to-right" swiping because the phone is already setup to do something else if you swiped in any other direction on the main menu. :)