Microsoft's Push Notification Servers acting up for Live Tiles?

We're getting a few isolated reports, ourselves included, that some Live Tiles are not updating their images properly or just general strangeness with notifications. While this was common on NoDo with Mango it's been very rare, if ever, that we've had failures occurring.

The most popular culprit seems to be the official Foursquare app, which for many now features a blank tile instead of your local rankings. In addition, we've see our GoVoice app stuck on "1" and even our own WPCentral app not have the back-tile update. Dave Amenta (interview), developer of Send to WP7, confirmed with us that he too is experiencing these problems.

For now, all we can think of is some hiccups with Microsoft's push notification servers, which handle a lot of this back end stuff. We'll keep an eye out and give a shout out in comments if you're Tiles are not refreshing or other craziness.

Image credit: puredrive07, from our forums

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

  • Are you sure it's Microsoft's Push Notification servers? The tile images are generated and hosted by the app developer. The only thing Microsoft's Push Notification servers do is push the notification to the phone so that it knows it needs a new tile. If you're seeing an empty tile, it sounds like the notification came in to refresh the tile, but the app developer's servers did not serve it properly.
  • True, but we're also hearing the Flickr app is having something similar happen.
  • Had an issue today with the WPC app it froze with the NES story on the back and wouldn't clear tile counts, but that has since rectified itself. Rowi was having an issue the past few days but I was tweeting back and for with a dev last night and got it working again. Outside of those 2 I haven't noticed any other issues.
  • My live tiles/push have hardly ever worked for me! I hope mango sorts them out for me.
  • I noticed that the live tile wasn't working on GoVoice this afternoon. It was stuck showing the last number of unread text messages. Even after reading them, the number did not change. I sent myself a test message the live tile changed to "1", but did not go away even after archiving the message.
  • I've also had WhatsApp fail a few times today, which never happens. My WPCentral app is now working, so perhaps just a hiccup with the servers?
  • How are you getting GoVoice to use push notifications? Mine always says I have to buy the paid version when I try to enable it, but I can't find any paid version of the app.
  • No WPC live tile updates for a couple of days - no back tile, no new article count. Foursquare also not updating. Also getting fed up with my LG E900 rebooting in some apps under Mango (Weather Channel, Telerik Tasks, Insider).
  • I also have the reboot issues on my E900... I hope a firmware update can fix it.
  • Yeah all kind off live tiles are not working since 2 day's in Mango, including the Foursquare APP is blank =(
  • OhOh, it's the Kin all over again :-(
  • Hmm strange I'm using Omnia 7 and I don't have any problems with the live tiles with Mango ... no delay, no clear tile no nothing it works great (think)
  • I didn't know that a special server was needed for live tile notifications...I thought that live tiles were getting the info from the apps...Why is this so complicated? Is it so difficult to mirror the info inside an app, straight to a tile? Also, why it is so difficult for developers to make a proper tiled toggle for various WP7 settings? I haven't seen any of them.
  • All the data that passes to your phone comes through an MS server. MS maintains a connection to your device and that's how it can push updates to you. But some apps, like Network Dashboard and the beta of CleverToDo I am currently running, take advantage of a new Mango feature where apps "can" be updated without going through the server(s) provided you don't need something like a news or weather update.
  • pre mango wpc's live tile rarely worked. its been fine with mango. fox news 2 days after mango was just a blank black worked itself out a couple of days later. winsupport said to uninstall it and redownload. I never did, it just started working again.
  • I was getting that alot with package tracker and some other apps. The only app that seems to be working just fine with no issues for me is the WPCentral app
  • some of my apps have been doing this.
  • I too experience this with an unlocked Optimus 7 for which I "unhid" Mango manually. Might that be part of the problem? Update ran smoothly, but the issue seems to be focused on the LG phone.WPCentral stuck until reboot on 5 new posts, showing the NES news on the backside. Opening the app didn't help. I believed a reboot resolved the problem, but reading some comments here I now believe this was just a coincidence. It works right now. TheGuardian is still showing old news, however. Forecast doesn't work either.
  • Yep, seriously frustrated here. GoVoice is stuck on 1, Clever ToDo won't update the live tile, Weather Channel doesn't update... Pretty much everything is toast. Maybe that's why they call them "toast" notifications?Samsung Focus w/ official Mango load. Live tiles worked great for about a week, now this. For being the premiere feature of the OS, you'd think somebody could debug it properly?
  • I think this one reason why msft is not really pushing on windows phone on advertisements.. You can't advertise something that is not perfect... Although majority of the live tiles work some are just late to update or sometimes doesn't.. I uninstall all apps that are late.. I think this issue is a app developer problem not msft... You all be patient they will get done...
  • You're Welcome for the picture WP Central. Still having issues with Foursquare regardless of uninstalling and reinstalling.
  • No problem here. Weather Channel, Accu Weather, CleverToDo, Smart Tile, Fox News, Parcel Tracker, Sports Calendar, Pro Sports Scores and Sports Scores all updating fine, before (Mango beta) and after the Mango update (got notified the day it weas released). Had an issue with Urban Dictionary, but that's a pull app, and it has had some known problems the past few weeks. Different devices hit different servers though, so possibly an MS issue.
  • My foursquare app has been showing a blank tile for days. I replaced the tile, and reinstalled it to no avail. I'm glad to know it's not just me. I was worried that last update to foursquare last week broke live tile updates.
  • And on that note, 10 minutes later (read: just now) my foursquare live tile came back. Go figure...
  • So it just took 1hr 40 mins for the Infinite Flight article to toast and add to the count, while the rest of my toasts have been working flawlessly today.
  • WeatherLive and Facebook aren't updating for me.
  • Most of my apps' live tiles are updating correctly, but Go Voice is still showing "1". I have reached out to the Go Voice's developer and am awaiting a reply.