Skip to main content

'Chaseable' Live Tiles coming to Windows 10 and Mobile [Update]

Microsoft announced Chaseable Live Tiles here at Build 2016 today.

The new option for developers gives a smarter Live Tile ability where the story listed on the Live Tile is the first story in the app itself. In other words, the Live Tile and ordering of stories or targets within the app will all be synced together.

The feature is a rather simple addition but delivers a consistent user experience if implemented. What the user sees on the Live Tile is the first thing they see in the app when they 'chase' the link.

No word yet when the feature will be delivered to developers but presumably it will come with the Anniversary update to Windows 10 and Mobile due later this summer.

Microsoft has been 'prototyping' so-called interactive Live Tiles for a long time, but "trying to get it right" before committing. Currently, there is nothing new to announce there yet, but it is something they are interested in doing.

Update: Here's the video of the session:

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

139 Comments
  • Small but useful. I assume Windows Central will take advantage of this? Windows Central for Windows 10-Microsoft Lumia 640
  • Hopefully Sent from my awesome 640 on Windows 10
  • Every little improvement is welcome.
  • This is probably the mini version of Interactive Tiles.  I would rather to see that MixView Exploding Tiles be implementated.  You can bring up 8 related tiles at the same time.  It will be much more efficient than just opening up one content.
  • Looks like there is a lot of WinMo news.. It's all just scattered around, and mixed in with the rest of the 10 news...
    ......
    WC should do a article compiling all the Mobile news from build.. That might help to appease a lot of Mobile fans who feel phone has been left out.
  • Alternatively, a lot of W10M fans need to get their heads round the fact that W10M is not something different. People are hung up on phones, when the OS is just scalable to different form factors. Phones are not the future, mobile cloud-enabled communication devices that happen to make voice calls are. Posted on a L950XL with Fingers 10
  • Perhaps, but the world I live in is still heavily phone-dependent. I want my phone to run Windows, but the available options are agonizingly few and limited.
  • Great point. Phone will definitely benefit from the advances Microsoft makes with tablets/laptops/desktops. Without those there is no phone. Deva are reluctant to program for desktop, but if they'd pay attention, they'd understand that they are hitting several segments at once when it comes to UWP. I may not be a desktop user or a tablet use bit I'm a phone user. Or I'm a laptop and phone user. Etc. I'm totally fine with the way things are going. They just need to make it available for all form factors(as is enabled by default), when updating for UWP.
  • I really wanted a live tile that would have a small button on the corner, you press it and quick actions for the app would appear. Something like it is on W10 why not give that to mobile?
  • I think a lot of people were hoping for something like that.
  • Give them an inch they take a mile
  • More like give them an inch and they all want to be rulers Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • That's actually what Interactive Live Tile concept does, though its even more than that. I think they're having an issue how to make it work for smaller screen such as for phones. I hope they will able to deliver Interactive Live Tile in its best form. It would be a huge disappointment if they ditch it (I hope not). Sent from Turing Machine
  • They could do it like a folder. Currently an app can have up to 9 (secondary) tiles pinned at once. If they would act like folders do when we touch them, it would seem like "exploding" tiles.     
  • What do you mean when we touch them? You mean single tap, which that wouldn't work as that's the primary way to open apps or a folder. This is legitimately a UX dilemma how to deliver it and make it work, especially for mobile. It's easier for bigger screen devices because of bigger real-estate, thus more room for additional simple controls or gestures. One thing I can really think of is having to tap-and-hold to open exploding tiles or like you said, folder-like behavior. Replacing the current tap-and-hold where it enters you to arrange or modify the Live Tile. The new tap-and-hold opens the Interactive Live Tile and there would additional button or tap-and-hold to drag/modify the Live Tile, but it already sounds bit complicated for user and that's a problem. It needs to be simple enough for average user to use it everyday with less effort yet still offering the rich feature. Actually, what if a pinch-out gesture from the Live Tile, but only works with medium tile as a minimum since the small 1x1 is too small. That way it's got unique way to open Interactive Live Tile without replacing the tap-and-hold. Any device can take advantage too.
  • I get your point. To me, it would be fine if a single tap opened all the other tiles in a "folder like" way. Then, if the user does a single tap again, the tile would behave the way it already does.
  • I came up with an idea, since swipe right isn't used for anything you could use swipe right on a tile to initiate the exploding tiles (quick actions). If you want to upvote my idea, here is a like to my feedback. feedback-hub:?contextid=288&feedbackid=7a7acc4d-6e7e-4e3f-96b9-945a35cbedb9&form=2&src=2 L950
  • My thoughts are they need to utilize a "force touch" trigger to activate the exploding live tile.
  • The thing is that many will say, "they are they copying apple?" L950
  • and.... Both companies copy each other..
  • True
  • So? IIRC, 3D touch was a concept for the scrapped McLaren before iOS implemented it Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • My understanding is the McLaren concept was based on hovering your finger over the display and doing a tap motion. Regardless it never made it to market and likely because it just wasn't a good user experience...
  • At least with the McLaren concept explained by @Dojo005, it won't look like we are copying apple. L950
  • And apple is using it Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • And, imo, one handed use, would be even worse. If you have a hard-to-reach button, you don't want it accidentally activate the context menu.
  • Which sounds logical but the issue is that no any device will take advantage of it right now, which is a bit disappointment for the majority of users.
  • Agree, lots of implementation hurdles here.
  • I don't want buttons on corners, ruins the design. But I like the idea so a simple press and hold would be preferable.
  • Press and hold is to move tiles and make folders. I say double tap is a better idea. Less time in activating it and it can be done with every handset.
  • But that would introduce a delay on starting apps, as the tile would need to wait for a potential double tap. The swipe right to get contextual options is, atm, a better idea.
  • No it wouldn't. Double tapping is instant, less than half a second. Why would it cause a delay. If you don't double tap quick enough it'll just open the app.
  • Windows central doesn't even make the app go to that specific article upon clicking on the notification. Its really annoying. When clicking a comment, or any article notification, it just opens the app! DheeraJ
  • Mr. Rubino has already said they're working on it. That particular feature takes quite a bit of work on the developers' end.
  • It really doesn't though. Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • Uh yeah it does...
  • Uh, no, it does not. Add a launch attribute to the , let's say article|2361236. When the application is launched (or activated) and this optional parameter is present it redirects the app flow directly to the article XAML template loading whatever article was specified. This is basic Windows 10 development stuff and the only reason it's not yet implemented, IMNSHO, is laziness. Yes, the app is still a beta, but just look at how broken it is? Compare it to any other UWP app and you'll find that it takes five times as long to launch, it randomly crashes if you're scrolling too fast, sometimes it just crashes for no reason at all - no input, not even touching the screen while reading an article and BAM, back to the home screen. Geez.
  • apparently my comment was stripped of what was construed as tags. But basically, include a launch parameter in the toast tag and you're half way there.
  • This is true, but it might have been that the original architecture the dev used for this was... let's say less than ideal and now they have to go through the undertaking of rearchitecting their navigation logic.   I totally agree, navigating to a specifc page instance with a parameter is easy - but rearchitecting your launch logic and potentially your entire navigation stack/code could be trouble. I'm sure lessons will be learned here. I'd love to see a postmortum on their experience creating the app and where their trouble points were and what technologies they used. Open-sourcing the app would be even better, but that's just a pipe dream :P
  • Oh, no arguments there, I was just replying to the notion that "this ​does require a lot of work", which, if you considered it from the beginning (which, let's face it, you ought to have done - it's not even a new parameter for Win 10 UWP apps, it's been there for years IIRC) it isn't. Honestly though, that's only part of the problem with this app anyway, compared to many other UWP apps this one feels incredibly heavy and slow. Just checking now and it's used some 44MB just for tile updates !! in the past month. I don't even have the app pinned. It also quickly went from 25MB memory utilization to 120MB after viewing two articles. Now settled at 80MB but...
  • I wouldn't call it the worst, maybe the second-worst at the very worst. Though not REALLY a UWA, the Xbox app on W10M is a disaster. It takes probably 3 minutes just to get started, and it's really annoying.Once it's going, it's not as bad, but I think the absurdly long load time there makes it worse than the WC one (though it has more flaws that need improved, they aren't unusably bothersome).
  • Come on, we all know that developers have a special "coding wand" that they wave and everything is planned, written, debugged, reviewed, verified, and released immediately. They're just holding out on us! :-P
  • Debugging and testing? What's that? Those words don't exist in a dev's dictionary. We write the code for something once and it works flawlessly without any bugs or unintended side effects, 100% of the time. There's never anything wrong with our code. Nope, not ever.
  • Actually developers just code the bugs in so that they can get paid to "fix" them later.
    :-p
  • The same way firemen put fires secretly.
  • Be reasonable. You are asking for the moon.
  • can i have jupitor?  
  • Which is kind of the point of this article, don't you think? Posted on a L950XL with Fingers 10
  • I've wanted this forever because you se a story on clipboard CNN click the time it takes forever to find the article i you find it from reading other articles along the way.
  • Yeah finally something about live tiles....was waiting eagerly
  • We not have chipsable tile, we have interactive tiles. Microsoft. 2(3?) f...... years we have interactive tiles.
  • Sounds tricky, I wish them luck... =]
  • Did they already say more about ActionCenter? (Not only the synchronization between devices)
  • The action center improvements were huge :P It's beautiful.
  • Ffs, where is transparent action center on Mobile ? Sent from DOS
  • I expect this to roll out by Fall 2018....
  • or its already available for devs in newer builds. but ya know sure. Posted from Crappy Old Laptop
  • not to sound totally skeptical regarding the recent Build annoucements, but has the "you're gonna be blown away" moment happened yet and if so what was it?
  • +1
  • Dude, its Microsoft Build, what the hell did u expected? flying cars and pigs? For developers yea...was great news, i might say that Bash coming to Windows as a native subsistem was indeed a fact that blown away devs minds. And that twitter post might as well been aimed at devs..since Build is a dev Conf. I dont know why average consumer Joe expects to be blown away at a msft Build conference..wich is not aimed at CONSUMERS. Assuming that here on WC site 90% of visitors are just regular conumers, might begin to think that WC did a bit of mistake posting everything from Build, especially developer related stuff, wich a consumer cant understand properly and might seem boring for him, hence many stupid comments aroud all Build Related articles.
  • Bit high and mighty bro, the whole thing was seriously average, mind was not blown once, and the windows central audience base is Consumer+ , as we have been along for the whole wm journey and have painfully wrapped our heads around NT kernal, metro design, arm processors, UWP, insider builds/ feedback , continuum hardware, cloud integration, instagram workarounds and it goes on. Some of us have seen enough to legitimately question the 'Something awesome '
  • A whole native Linux subsystem inside Windows, along with bash, which simply coexists with Windows (i.e. not in a VM/container), is not 'average', I assure you. And for web devs, this is a bigger announcement than Xamarin going free (which would excite mobile devs more, I think), as they utilize command line tools the most. As for the high and mighty part, I simply don't get it. @johnnyraven might come off as rude, but still, this is like going to a medical conference (or any other professional conference for that matter) as an 'average Joe' and then claim it was boring because none of those technical stuff blows your mind, and also claim that you (as an 'average Joe') "have seen enough to legitimately question the 'Something awesome '". For me, this now sounds like you're the one being high and mighty. Some of us here have indeed seen enough to legitimately question that, but in this case, with all due respect, if you're not a software developer, then no, you haven't seen enough.
  • Yeah I totally see your point, I use bash on slackware and could make use of Linux on W10, I'd have to have a play to see the limitations, I noticed in the channel 9 demo c was under mnt, so I'm not sure how deep the integration will be, anyways if I can do MySQL admin with it and run a local host or apache instance then it would be handy. But the thing is, this is a file system mash up at best, nothing new has been invented, bash has been around for ages and Ubuntu is a competent standalone OS for a dev. Islandwood, centennial and the android bridge blew my mind last year because it was clever stuff, but not much more on that topic this year unless you want to start from scratch in C#
  • All those Linux command line tools are there, what mashup at you talking about? And you can even install more with apt-get. Disks are off course under mnt, that's the place they are in Linux anyway. By the way, free Xamarin is even bigger news. Windows is becoming the default development environment for a mobile developer, and cross-platform became a lot easier. Now there is more incentive to develop for Windows together with Android and iOS.
  • Oh I work in /home/ but yeah external disks are under mnt. Why should I learn c# ? Why is it gaining such popularity? I'm curious but not convinced...
  • Why shouldn't you? You don't need to learn Java and Objective C. I am learning C# right now actually, because of Xamarin. I've been a great fan of C++, hating managed code and virtual machines, but the oppportunities are just too big to ignore. With one language you can target anything (and I can still use C++ for the computational intensive tasks).
  • Calm down Mr. Johnny Raven :):) you are right about Build being for developers. You are right that average Joe might not be bown away. But the question is, has it happened already? ;) what happened at that time slot? There had to be a binary answer and an explanation based on the answer :)
  • Fair points, but there are a lot of devs on this site. I watched the stream live, but it goes quite quickly so it's good to get more information about each point. But I definitely agree it's not for the average Gumby
  • dude i hope you arent a dev, because you didnt even bother to incorporate spell check into your rant against my obviously serious question. Why should i get blown away by a subsystem that i would never use for my code? go make all the ASSumptions you want about who and who isnt what you claim. all it does is make you sound like an elitist tool that cant spell
  • Yeah still waiting for Something awesome ' I'm thinking it was Ubuntu
  • Last year we saw candy crush iOS bridge
  • Bash on windows. Blows my mind. Been wanting this for years, and getting tired of 3rd party solutions. What they did is amazing, and nothing else so far at build has come close to that. But I'm a computer engineering student, so I love stuff like that. Tried explaining to my mom why it was so awesome, didn't quite come through the same way. So depends on your point of view about what blows you away. Different strokes for different folks.
  • I don't even know what they meant by "something awesome" in quote Sent from windows 10 mobile
  • All that stuff wasn't mind blowing? My. Mind. Was. Blown.
  • Flipboard definitely needs to implement this! So many times I have to search for the article I saw on the live tile I want to read
  • I've been waiting for this for a long time. It's irritating to see a cool thing on the tile and then after opening the app not being able to find the article. +Lumia 929
  • Should've always been this way. Awful when you open a news app and have to dig way down to get to the story you wanted to read on the tile
  • Finally. Every time I tap news app, its cus of an article I want to read, but of course, it never open that article haha, so I have to go digging.
  • Wow finally, what has it been 5+ years of annoying live tiles....
  • Ios had had 9 years of annoying static icons...
  • Heyyyy!
    That's not fair!!
    :-(
  • Interactive tiles next, right? :)
  • This should have been implemented years ago Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Been wanting this for a long time. It's frustrating to hit the news tile because of an interesting story lead, and then not be able to find that story in the app...
  • That "Coming" again.... New slogan... "Microsoft: In - Coming !"
  • Soon its coming...
  • Awesome... it does become irritating when you can't find that article that just when live across your tile.
  • This is a huge update depending on how you use a smartphone, For example right now news app. you see the news on the live tile and interested in the story further. You open the app and the story is not here. You scroll all the way through, and the article is still not here. Current behaviour does not match the 'live tile' concept to begin with. 
  • Please please please implement this in photos RIGHT NOW! It has plagued me for years that it will surface an old photo that I really like onto the live tile but then I can't find it when I go into the photos app . If you show me a photo on the live tile go to that photo when I select that tile, please :)
  • Finally some great Mobile news. Posted on Lumia 930 with
    Windows 10 Mobile
  • About time. That's always been my biggest complaint. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Cool. This will help make live tiles more than just a neat mini-slide show.
  • Yeah. But, sadly, it"s not like most developers take full advantage of the Live Tile anyway...
  • This is gonna be useful! I hope the implementation and interaction design is predictable and expected that it won't be in way when you just actually to open the app normally. There should be a visual clue nor a message that when you tap/click the Live Tile when that visual clue for "chasable" content/notifcation. Sent from Turing Machine
  • great features  
  • #mindblown
  • As impressive as it sounds, how does it differ from current iteration? Windows Central app for WP8.1 with iconic live tiles shows three recent most articles with the recent most article on top and no. of unread articles in live tiles (of topic, that's how I want UWP app live tile to work) which is one of the app showing the true potential of live tiles. It has such a great user engagement potential. How many times I jumped to Windows Central app as soon as I noticed a title of interest on live tile? Numerous times a day. And all this user engagement potential with getting into users face that's the case I feel with notifications. Beep, vibration, notification icon un the tray... Oh look there is a new notification... you can get azmer case for $14 (sorry windows central, I know it is one of you people's source of income), ok shut up I don't need that. But with live tile, attraction without being clingy. Perfect. Same was the case for live web tiles that supported the feature like Pocketnow, Zdnet, Verge and other Microsoft focused sites, as soon as I would see some title on their live tile close to my interest (Microsoft, Windows Phone), I'd visit their site. Brilliant for sites, meant great user engagement for them. For me, keeping in touch with stuff I liked right on my start screen without having to use any specific app or without getting annoyed by pesky notifications. (I only approve of notifications for phone, messaging, email, app uploads, download/uploads) Power to the user through and through. And I feel Microsoft and other internet services are losing on this great idea by not pitching it properly.
  • Not everyone checks their phone so religiously. I might check it 3-4 times per day, and actually scroll down to the 'news section' of my screen 1-2 times to catch up on things. Quite often WC, Flipboard, or MS News will show an interesting article, but when I click on it I have to go looking for it.
  • This might also be annoying? Imagine you just want to read the news and not just that one story currently on the tile.. You have to wait until the time change to something else? Or you just click on it and you always have to press back Tu get to the news overview?
  • WTF...go fishing!!!
  • dont get me wrong i like it.. but how would you just open an app now without going to that arcticle?
  • Interactive or mixview live tiles would be more useful to me as a windows phone user. They would give me a preview of stories contained within an app like windows central when long pressed in theory, it would explode giving me a preview of the top articles contained within the app without fully opening it Posted via Windows Central app for Windows 10!
    Proudly rocking my Lumia 1520!
  • This is a no-brainer that I can't believe wasn't built-in years ago. Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • This is great for news apps. I often see articles on Cortana's tile that I wish to "chase." Expanding on that, I could see pinning frequent websites, or their apps to the start menu, where it would be easy to tell at a glance if any new articles were live, then click/tap to dive in. That would certainly add a lot more "LIFE" to live tiles. This would also help to further differentiate Windows products from the dead sea of iOS and Android tiles. One simple stopgap that could be employed pre-interactive live tiles, is to tie "update flips" to the built-in gyroscopes. A sharp shake of the phone or tablet would force tiles to flip to their backs for info, instead of the random durations currently employed. Perhaps a quick flyover while hovering with the mouse could do the same on desktops. For example, there are times I only want to see the 7-day forecast on the back of the weather app, this would allow me to get to it without waiting or leaving the start screen. It would also allow me time to read without flipping back in the middle. My hope for interactive live tiles is this: long-press to open flyout menu (redial, speed dial, voice mail, from the Phone tile for example), and two-finger long-press to reorganize tiles, plus maybe a button at the bottom by "All apps" to reorganize as well. Desktop could use middle-click or right-click for the same flyout menus, but it is much more critical for touch interface.
  • Good ideas that I hope were sent to the feedback portal, however, you can two finger long press the small tiles Posted via Windows Central app for Windows 10!
    Proudly rocking my Lumia 1520!
  • I'm assuming you meant "...you can NOT two-finger long-press the small tiles" The idea was not that you would long press any one given tile, but just two-finger long-press the start screen anywhere, then select what you wish to move once they get "all jiggly." Now that I think of it, it would be awesome if you could select multiple tiles and move them together all at once.
  • I did, but you can't wait edit posts in this new app. Posted via Windows Central app for Windows 10!
    Proudly rocking my Lumia 1520!
  • If this is implemented in people's hub, and if we get the Windows Phone 7 style hub(in case you have forgotten, all the social connect to a person at one place), this can go a very long way of keeping people in touch. Let's hope for it :)
  • I hope this is a pattern that is used for the people application.
  • Double tap to go to the data's page and single tap to open app
  • Single tap will become slower then...
  • Windows Central could use this. Moreover, whenever I click on anything on the Action Center, it simply opens up the app. It doesn't follow anything. Neither articles, nor comments, nothing. From the Windows 10 app.
  • This is nice feature but main problem is...in w 8.1/10 lives tiles updation with latest news is problem...Specially in facebook...it will be problem for end user if he wish to see homepage rather than a specific inner notification...it should be optional
  • so I guess the exploding tiles are not coming any time soon? not that I was ever sure the concept was that appealing looking anyway. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • This is perfect I've wanted this for so long
  • So, MS has become android. Live tiles converted to widgets?. Bad. I would like interactive tiles rather than this,or tiles should have option to open full app or just an article. Upvote if you like this.
  • Ah thus has annoyed me for ages. Clicking the news tab often resulted in the story I was interested in being nowhere to be seen. Hope everyone implements this.. Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • Damn windows is very far behind... Even this want not there (am not a windows phone user)... Does opening notification on windows phone open the specific item?? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Of course it does -.-
  • but how do you open the app now without going to anything specific? i see a problem here.. although this is nice...
  • When the live tile is showing just the icon and no information. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I don't use notification/action center on the phone or the PC.  And nothing I've seen in this video makes me want to.  I also don't use the interactive toasts that are currently functioning.  In fact, I find it annoying when I actually DO click on a toast that it doesn't immediately take me TO the app itself.  I want the Live Tiles to become the be-all, end-all of my interacation unless I want to go into the app itself.
  • With the improved capability of Live Tiles (which is WHERE THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN GOING IN WINDOWS 8) it just sickens me that  I can't make the Start Menu fullscreen all the time regardless of number of monitors.  Right now, the poor mimicking of Windows 8.1 that Windows 10 does is only allow you the sorry-excuse-for-Start-Screen to go into Tablet Mode. But the moment you connect a second monitor it disables Tablet Mode. I LOVE the fact that on my computer w/three monitors I can have the Start Screen stay up on monitor 1 while the other two are showing any combination of Metro apps or desktop.  In Windows 10  you can't do that, period. This is stupid.
  • Thought there was an option to use the start as full screen. I remember playing with it
  • Should of been like this all along. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • That is how software evolution works. What a ridiculous statement.
  • In this world opinions is taken for FACT, which of course it isn't. Just because you think that Live tiles, action center etc, should act a certain way doesnt make it a fact it just is opinions. What you think is right I might think is wrong. That is a fact.
  • The new notification listener api is of note too.  Devs can now write apps to listen for toast notifications and send them to smart watches and the like without special permissions from Microsoft.  
  • Notification management and sync probablly can be replicated for Cortana-ignored regions with this.
  • Good thinking, there are so many good use cases for this api.
  • Microsoft, you dropped the ball on the Live Tiles. Plz make something new that works good instead.
  • It's too late...This should have been done a year ago not to lose a lot of fans.
  • Bring the Cortana lock screen support to windows mobile
  • If we talked about a browser, a tile would be a hyperlink, a live tile would change the hyperlink on a schedule, and the "chaseable" live tile adds parameters. Wow, just wow.
  • In short, this will improve the efficiency of LIVE tiles and will make them more reliable. It can even display live soccer or cricket scores or stock exchange prices with much better accuracy.
  • Guys the videos don't alligm correctly in the app. It happened both in this article and also in the live streaming of /build// Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • Good, that's the one nitpick i've had about live tiles from day one. Sometimes a photo, or whatever, appears on a live tile prompting me to tap the tile, but then i have to go hunting for the thing i was interesetd in. Not anymore!
  • Especially Cortana. Hate having to fish for what was on the tile. 50% of the time I never find the story. Sigh....
  • Any updates on this?