WPCentral iconic tile
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Official WPCentral app updated, bringing transparent live tiles for everybody

We're excited to announce another patch to our official Windows Phone app today, which you can download right now here in the marketplace (Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 7). Whilst this version 4.4.18 is not the biggest update we've ever announced we suspect a fair few people will be quite happy.

Following a flood of e-mails and messages complaining about our live tile's compatibility with the developer preview of Windows Phone 8.1 we've made sure that tile transparency now works correctly for both of our live tiles. The other headline change is that we've now made all features of the app available to all users.

Full change list

  • Changed method of rendering live tile to add transparency to our custom live tile
  • Fixed a bug with the iconic live tile that caused transparency to fail after launching the app
  • Unlocked all features of the app to trial users
  • Switched to Microsoft Advertising SDK for monetised adverts
  • Upgraded the AdDuplex controls used for backup adverts

It’s worth just saying a quick thanks to Telerik whose controls made it possible for us to render our custom tile with a transparent background!

Free apps and the future

Yes, the “trial” version of our app now effectively becomes the totally free version. Every feature, including our custom live tiles and notifications, is available to those using the trial version of the app – supported by the advertising banner at the bottom of the screen. If you wish to remove the in-app advertising you simply need to purchase the app, and obviously, we hope you do.

As for the future, it is very difficult to transition our monetisation strategy to Microsoft’s new universal app strategy but this is the start. We have to be as fair as we can to the many wonderful people who have already purchased the app (seriously, thank you to every single person for the support!) we will be updating the existing app to take advantage of a few features in Windows Phone 8.1 in the coming months, to continue our commitment to those users. We are discussing how universal apps will work for us in the future, but for now the two will be separate in their current state.

QR: WPCentral app

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Reader comments

Official WPCentral app updated, bringing transparent live tiles for everybody

339 Comments

Is the 'custom live tile' still unreliable as the live tile configuration says ? Is there no way to have it as reliable as the stock one and yet make it look good ? The stock one looks bad due to the small icon.

Also if you pick a different accent color you can't go back to transparent. You have to uninstall and reinstall.

Jay, how about an option for choosing the theme (dark/light) independent of the system settings? I'd love to see that!

I get action center notifications for wpc there is a setting for notification in the settings page swipe right

Posted via the WPC App for Android!

The only option available is toast notifications. But the thing is I don't want to hear an alert when a new article is posted, I don't want my phone to do anything but show it in the action center.

In that case you switch off banners, sound and vibration in notifications+action centre settings for WPCentral app, simple...

Thanks for the suggestion! Just tried it however wpc does not show up in notification centre for me :( not even aftn enabling toast notifications

For it to appear in notification centre setting, you have to first receive atleast one notification, and it is same for all other apps too. So, wait until you get first notification from WPC app.

Jay, you rock man.. This app is awesome..I've purchased recently and a update has come today.Happy to see the way you are improving the app . I've recommended this app to my friend today. He has tried the app and will purchase it soon.

Here are few suggestions that i have

 

1) Custom font size for text on live tile - This will be really useful for the people with small screen devices and who turn on show more tiles in start+theme. Once they selected the option the font size is becoming very low even on large tile which is quite uncomfortable to read the text on the live tile. ( with two column tiles, font is very clear..No issues)

2) Custom background image for live tile

3) Number of articles to display on the tile

4) Text color selection on live tile

The above all mentioned features are already available in an app called super calender.

Please add these feautures which will make the app even better.

Thanks once again Jay for developing such a great app.

One question, Jay. Do you earn more with the advertising in the free version, or with the money from the paid version?

Oh thats good ! Btw JAY Can you give a round about guess of the kind of money ads give ? I'm planning to make an app soon and I'd like to know what are the financial prospects with ads. You may not want to give details about this app, that's a different thing, but could you just give a small 2 line idea about how it goes ?

I guess you saw all those comments about your app the other day with them bitching about .99

Posted via the WPC App for Android!

Unpin old tile first, go to app and setting, set up tile you want and then pin again to start screen.

Uninstall and reinstall. Also you have to keep it on accent color. If you change the accent color you lose transparent tile.

Oh great I didn't know you fixed it! :D you should get rid of the little text in the settings where it says that the tile doesn't always render probably :P

Looks like we need an article on enabling notifications in action center

Posted via the WPC App for Android!

The price for the app is so tiny compared to the great value and service. I have used this app everyday and its a awesome. Buy it, so worth it.

Your app is quite easily the one app that I ended up using every time I unlock my phone. :D
Just wondering if it would be fine to ask for a UI update.?

Yup, an UI update to reduce the clutter would be appreciated. Also support for swiping between articles.

Thanks!

Hi Jay, when you click and view article from notification centre, does the tile not supposed to clear article counts? I think it used to work before this update and now it does not. :(

Thanks Jay for the quick response and giving us the best app for the WP news on the move. No problem about the tile, I just wanted to be sure that you were aware of the problem, Keep up the good work and looking forward to the next update :)

I love this transparent live tile thing but I wouldn't like having them all transparent. I love how it looks half transparent & half solid.

I don't get this request. Notifications for this app and all my app come to the notification centre for me already, yet people keep asking for it.

It is because you see an app's name under notification settings only after you get at least one notification.... Simple....:)

The last few days I've had a lot of error in the app telling me it can't connect, also that it's told me I'm not logged I in when trying to post even when it says I am logged in. Were these issues related to WP8.1?

It shows app's name under notification settings only after getting at least one toast notification..... So don't panic....:)

It's already ON and a receive toast notifications, but it has not been appeared in the action settings so far.. So odd! Thanks anyway

I turned off and on toast notifications in the app settings several times and bingo.. it is here finally :-). It was a bug indeed. Thanks..

Paid for it ages ago and would pay for it again without hesitation! WPC is my first and last app I check everyday, keep up the great work!

And we really do appreciate it, you will get the same great experience you paid for with no adverts taking up space. We'll also gradually be introducing new advert types but you'll never have to view those :)

The "everybody" refers to the fact the live tile is now part of the free version. I can only do what the OS allows, and technically the tile on 8 is transparent, just behind it is the accent colour the OS paints

No worries, 8.1 is coming. You should talk to the devs of simple calendar though. They have mastered the transparent tile on 8.

Paying 1-2 € for the effort of making a nice app has never been a problem for me. I can't understand people saying, oh it's so expensive when some app costs 1,99. Compared to the price of the phone it's peanuts and still so important part of the overall experience.

You right 2$ it's nothing for us people who work 5 five days or more a week, but for peoples under 17 especially under 14 it can be a pain, now everyone got a phone !!

I agree.

 

When I go to Starbucks it is easily 4-5 bucks for a drink.

 

So I'll skip one of my Starbucks days and get some apps. :D :P

 

Besides, with Bing rewards I haven't actually paid for an app in a while.

Well sadly the Bing reward doesn't work in Canada !!! I don't know if they will put the rewards to Canada or other country.... Btw what is it funny about "Us people" ?? I know my english is not perfect but at least i try.... Or maybe i just forget the comma.... For us, peoples....

Well this is interesting. I only just turned on the live tile for the first time ever and now the transparency is gone. It was already transparent before I enabled live tile.

I already did that. Like I said, the tile was transparent before I turned on live tile. Now the tile is just the accent color like it normally would be without a background image.

I bought it too, but I would pay for it anyway because I don't like ads and I think that support for developers is important. That way we have quality apps.

Agree. Consider that I have to use this app everyday, I don't mind buy the app to support the developer and to eliminate the ads. ;)

You should maybe create a subscription service like for whatsapp. E.g £0.99 or £1.49 per year... I paid for your app 18months ago, free since then... That's crazy ppl economics... Plus if Microsoft makes these £20 gift certificates for new phones regularly.. Then lots of your readers will have 'free' money sloshing about

So? That doesnt take money from them, they still get their profit, its microsoft who pays for those free gift cards, no reason to add unnecesary inflation to the platform <.<

I think you misunderstand. I was pointing out that it is unviable really for WPC to have a one off app purchase cost. We can't really expect these updates to be of zero cost to WPC when they certainly take time and effort to produce. As many WPC users have the ability to pay PLUS many have free gift cards, WPC should use that and make us pay a bit more. That's not inflation, that's helping keep the ppl who write for us employed.

I would start using my Android app. It's better than the WP8 app and it's totally free. Got an update this week as well. Has better comment sections. Would pay for a subscription. Have had WhatsApp for three years and they simply haven't charged me for using their services.

Nicely done! :D

Is the transparancy an option though? I'll admit I like to have some opaque tiles interspersed amongst the transparant ones so it would be great for developers to make it optional rather than the only game in town. :)

Looks great, but I feel the font could be a bit heavier so it looks less blurry compared to tiles like the native calendar. They look more clear.

Hi Jay! Wouldn't it be great if we had the choice for both colored and transparent? I actually prefer color sometimes based on what my start screen looks like. I'm sure that's the case with many. After all, as soon as these transparent tiles starts getting boring, ppl will wish they had some extra color on their screens. :D

With this update does clearing the notifications in the action center also now clear the counter on the WP Central live tile? I don't think it did before.

Guys, whoever has not yet bought this app please do... Believe me it will be your best purchase in WP.. And Jay, great update but please fix 'can't fetch image' bug in the forums..

i agree. No regrets with the purchase, even with the current move to make all features available for trial users.

Thanks Jay. Even though the trial version is now essentially the paid version (albeit with ads), I don't regret purchasing the app and consider it to be the best money I've spent in the Windows Phone App Store. Keep up the great work!

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