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Updated Windows 10 SDK documents new Jump Lists for Universal Windows Apps

Looks like Microsoft is still tweaking those Live Tiles for Windows 10. The latest SDK preview build 10563 was released today and with it came some changes to official UWP API.

The consumer-facing explanation is that soon developers will be able to add jump lists to their apps for quick-actions. A real world example of this is already found in the popular Twitter app Tweetium with a quick-action to compose a new tweet. The idea is to save time by going to a specific task without having to go through the app.

If you are running Windows 10 build 10565 for Insiders you can see this behavior when you right-click on the Tile on a long press (and then hit the ellipsis). Doing so reveals a new pop-up jump list that any developer can code for in their app.

Similar jump lists have existed for Win32 programs e.g. right-click on Chrome in your Task Bar, but now a similar feature is coming for Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile. The addition negates the need to create a secondary tile for a dedicated function. For instance, years ago devs would create a 'New Tweet' tile that can be pinned to the Start screen. This new feature in Windows 10 mixes the old with the new for a familiar context menu/jump list combination.

Windows Central has been informed that this is not a new feature, but in today's SDK it is the first time it is being documented for developers. Specifically, in the documentation there is reference for:

namespace Windows.UI.StartScreen { public sealed class JumpList public sealed class JumpListItem public enum JumpListItemKind public enum JumpListSystemGroupKind}

Analogies can, of course, be ironically drawn to Apple's recent 3D Touch feature in iOS 9 and the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. Apple's solution is just adding a hidden UI element with context menus that are similar to right-click in Windows.

Now, it appears that Microsoft is doing something similar without the Apple touch-sensitive technology. Instead, a user would need to long press on a Tile and – for now – choose the ellipsis menu and then the jump list item. However, this may change as the SDK evolves as this is not a very elegant solution.

What do you think of the idea of jump lists for Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile? Do you prefer this design or dedicated Tiles for specific functions? Let us know!

Additional content by MicrosoftInsider.es; Thanks, Emi/yzz, for the tip

Daniel Rubino
Daniel Rubino

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.

84 Comments
  • It's cool and definitely a nice feature to have. Especially for mobile, will it work the same as on the desktop?
  • Don't see why it wouldn't. It already works for touch in Windows 10 10565.
  • I guess it would, it'll be interesting if they look the same.
  • A lot of the other context menus look like small right click menus on Mobile.  Long pressing on start screen tiles would be awesome... Jump to compose text, add favorites there, Email options, calendars... Maybe that's why they opted out of 3D touch.  Perhaps they decided this worked better and was more familiar to users.
  • Wont this conflict with the "hold down" gesture to rearrange your tiles?
  • I think Microsoft shoudl make this the default "long press" action - and move the rearranging tiles to a button in settings or something. I can see myself using this a lot more if was more fluent. Maybe Microsoft will have an answer to Iphones' 3d touch soon!
  • apple uses force touch for this, theres probably a different/better way to do it though.
  • Long pressing a tile takes you to the edit mode now. So how do you differentiate a long press for context menu and tile alterations?
  • Try using your middle or ring fingers instead of your index finger, that works for mouse, maybe touch? (I know that doesn't work, but I really wish it would...)
  • Or a menu option for Edit Start Screen which puts everything in edit mode.  That could be at the top of the menu.  Then your jump list items from the dev would be below that.
  • I imagine it being like you long press the app and the unpin, size and the new elipsis menu appear. You press the elipsis and there you have it. Would be nice.
  • Jesus. We poor Windows Mobile users have to be patient and appreciative of even such a tiny bit of progress, eh? Fuck these people for having control over Xbox, Skype, Office, Hotmail / Exchange, AND the entire bloody Windows ecosystem. They make great products on an indispensable platform but when it comes to OS features, extensibility and APIs they come DEAD LAST, even after Blackberry. I happen to still hope for a return of social integration and messaging hubs, which Blackberry managed to figure out!
  • The ability to have both would be great!
  • So do u just hold down on touch? Posted from space
  • Which has been around since Windows added a touch interface with WinXP. This is allowing the developer to add items to the context menu that appears.
  • Can't wait to start incorporating this into my app!
  • You can't wait to introduce a feature that has been available using Win32 APIs since the 1990s?
  • It was introduced in 2009 with Windows 7...
  • Jump lists for mobile would be their "force press" or whatever apples calling it. It would be smart.
  • Force Touch. Posted from space
  • Apple can call it force touch all they want ! At the end of the day it really just right click. It's been around the block a while on PC with a mouse. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • No, Force Touch is way more - it has varying levels of force applies, which is useful for things like drawing and games. And it is way quick as you don't wait - you just quickly press harder on the screen.
  • Well as for drawing, who wants to draw with their finger or a stylus that isn't pressure sensitive and palm-rejecting? I kinda get that being in games but not really, it does seem like something people wouldn't really miss or care about generally. As for speed, I think it's faster having on screen trackpad on my tablet for right clicking, and one can just as easily make a two-finger tap do that on multi-touch displays.
  • Don't know about everyone else but if they added that to Windows and then took it away I would miss it. I've always hated the long press to right click makes me feel as productive as a duck. Apple solved that problem with new hardware just like Microsoft would have solved it with 3D touch, however I think I prefer Apple's approach it seems more natural than hovering over the screen which I assume would still have a delay so doesn't really solve my producktivity issues.
  • Context menu. Posted from my computer
  • ^yup, at the end of the day it's really just another way to invoke a context menu.
  • Schwartz touch.
  • May the Schwartz be with you!
  • Because if so wouldn't that kinda be like Apples force touch. Posted from space
  • Because isn't Apple's force touch just a context menu with a fancy marketing name? Posted from my computer
  • To be fair, Force Touch is a hardware tech that allows the touch screen digitizer to detect pressure which isn't possible to most capacitive touch screen only. It allows developers to give specific actions base on levels of pressure. So yeah it sounds like right click but its more than that.
  • So they needed hardware to do a context menu? Pressure based touch is not good. It requires the user to be able to adjust how hard they are pushing. While seated or not moving it isn't a problem, but while jogging, or even walking, then your are bouncing around too much to apply the exact pressure and when you wanted a light touch, you will get a hard push. And really, most of the scenarios that Apple make this out to be great are just plain stupid. Hey, don't tap on that email to open and read it. Press and hold and get the email to pop up, and then let go to close the mail. And don't worry about your thumb in the middle of the screen still holding, you don't need to read what is below your thump, anyway. Trust us, we know, we are Apple.
  • Yup, That is why I laughed my head off when Panay announced PixelSense and I like it.
  • Indeed.  Midi-chlorians around the galaxy would not approve.
  • Precursor for interactive tiles?
  • i also see this.
  • I think so. I really hope the real Interactive Live Tile will come soon before Redstone.
  • Is this the prequel for the Explode Live Tiles?
  • Some are speculating as much, but I'm not quite ready to say that. But sure, presumably instead of these being jump list items, they are represented graphically.
  • So Dan. Any review units in yet for the 950s Posted via the Windows Central on Blackberry passport SE
  • No, but if I did have them I wouldn't be able to answer. Phone review units have not gone out to anyone yet AFAIK due to the OS, you know, not being completed.
  • Did you get a chance to listen to the sound quality. Just asking as I've noticed hd call, and virtual speaker sound. Sort of hoping it will be better than 930. Posted via the Windows Central on Blackberry passport SE
  • LOL
  • It could be as simple as tap with two fingers as opposed to long pressing.
  • What are Explode Live tile? It sounds familiar.
  • We had explode tiles in Zune desktop.
  • Maybe, actually Exploded Live Tiles is much better implementation.
  • This could be cool if, in touch, when you long press the tile, this object could create little tiles or whatever you like, but like the circles that have the unpin option and the elipsis, so you can have a little icon like in-app to, for example, make a new tweet, or whatever you think would be cool. Think about this like the dead 3D Touch Live Tile the McClaren was supposed to have with exploded tiles with a lot of info, but in this there is no info, but actions
  • Yup exactly but Microsoft are so slow with anything, if you suggest it... It'll be there by 2017
  • And then Apple will have something like that already implemented.
  • Apple's solution may not be better but it will have a more awesome fantastic brilliant name.
  • Sounds great.
  • Nice one. But apple not invent that lol Posted via the Windows Central on Blackberry passport SE
  • I have a good feeling that this the start of something that is about to come... The wheel has been reinvented to float and not just roll... Just saying...
  • Can't wait for windows 10 to incorporate some sort of force touch tech (I believe synaptics has something similar that they can bake into touch screens). Force-touch + Exploding tiles!
  • Check out this concept I created last spring for "context menus" for tiles. https://www.youtube.com/watch/?v=7fCK0PgQy5M
  • Interesting. Slight touch of jolla in there Posted via the Windows Central on Blackberry passport SE
  • Ok now things make more sense. I was confused before because Microsoft was trying to unify context menus. And the Start Menu context menu was different than all the other context menus. But now I know that the reason why is that this context menu is going to be unified with Jump Lists. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Sounds great & got lots of potentials ... hop developers take advantege of it ... looking at you Twitter
  • I love the idea. I already sent feedback that on long press not only the resize and pin but there should be smaller tiles underneath the tile with quick actions.
  • Guess Redstone will be more interesting! *cough* mixview, maybe? Can't wait for tiles to be more interactive!
  • anyone else thinking about the mclaren 3d touch? :) maybe sth is still coming ... looking forward to seeing more... looks nice for mouse so far but will be interesting to see how they'll improve for touch and for mobile ...
  • Cool hopefully this enables Jump List capability to things like Edge in the taskbar so you can pin sites, show recent or launch In-Private browser straight from the icon rather than launching it first then doing several more clicks in the browser menu to do other stuff.
  • The question becomes, if you purchase a tablet only service as opposed to a hybrid, will these file be interactive, exploding, or something like 3-D touch?
  • Not bad at all...
  • No, there is no such thing in the non-preview SDK https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/windows.ui.startsc...​. And not that it is not documented there, it is not available in Visual Studio either. Still, if Tweetium has it, how could they pass certification? It has a preferential treatment?
  • I think its cool. Now that apple has similar tech in force tech, users can have similar experience cross platforms. Also, this is the closest we can get to interactive/actionable live tiles without cluttering the UI further in the process.
  • Yet another perfect materialization of why I've always said apple's force-touch is just a buzz-word for remarketting a digtizer and the right-click button. Them shortcuts are just a right-click/long-press/swipe-up (on my OnePlus One with Nova Launcher) away, it's always been possible, straight-forward and fast without the force-touch buzz-word. Eitherway, hoping Microsoft eventually evolves them universal tiles to finally incorporate Interactive buttons/views like a widget...similar to what their team demoed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUfMszCJSwI
  • Explosive tiles via long press, anyone?
  • This is sort of like that I guess. I don't rearrange my tiles much, but I may have to use the jump lists more often. They should bring up a rearrange mode for the start screen, and let the users go straight to the jump list on long press.
  • Let me get this straight. Pressing and holding brings up the ellipse button. Then I press the ellipse, then click on an action? Isn't that the same number if clicks as opening the app and clicking the action, without the long press? I don't see myself using this on my phone very often.
  • I may be wrong, but presumably the jump lists wouldn't require the app to launch for you to choose one of the items.
  • It will be better, if you make gesture by your two finger on the tile that can show context menu, it will be awesome to introduce to Windows 10 mobile.
  • why don't people & cortana live tile in pc animate like phone version?
  • I don't like these jump lists on windows 10. I don't like this design.I think the sdk should have focussed more on interactive live tiles. I understand it will most likely be a welcome and familiar feature for the average user, but it is a small incremental step for windows 10. I wish microsoft would have some more guts and change the status quo on this matter. I think this is purely a business decision and to not make the mistake of making a radical change and scare off the average user. I think they should also release an interactive live tile SDK and also cater voor the evolution of windows 8 to windows 10 for those windows users/windows fans that are ready for the next step. I'm all for Satya's philosphosy of not being scared of investing more in creativity.
  • This is just plumbing. We dont know what fixture will ULTIMATELY sit on top of it.  We just don't know enough so don't frett, just yet. Good God.  Its easy to see how this class could be extended into a new "3D" touch class.  Microsoft is doing good work here.  Keep in mind at how well they are doing with feedback offered.  This preview program is a great idea, unfortunately it can also make some ideas a pure numbers game. Cut them some slack for doing even as much.  
  • That's because I'm very passionate about the interactive live tiles. I think this is an important feature and differentiator and iconic feature for microsoft with windows 10 to come. I don't want them to screw it up form the start. In the Netherlands we having a saying "A good start is half the work." What I see in these first demo's is not a good start. I think it will ruin the live tile experience and the feedback will be endless before microsoft gets is right. That's what I'm affraid. A lot of work for microsoft and insiders and windows for no reason. I think this demo is too conservative and in contrast to Satya's speech on embracing and investing in more creativity. If this is a first glimpse of what is to come, it is an extremely conservative implementation of exploding tiles or interactive live tiles and too much to much reminiscent of a minor thing in the right click context menu. Microsoft needs to breath, to to show asthmatic constraints on the familiar scaffolding. It takes tremendous effort to provide relevant feedback to what is a best idea from the start. Yes microsoft does show great listening skills in user feedaback. But I sometimes do feel they don't use their creative insights enough to polish things through to a good finish. Two examples I still running into with windows 10 is for example multitasking. When I use an app on a tablet and I wish to see it in another orientation a single app will rerender and resize to fit the new orientation when changing sccreen orientation. With two apps snapped side by side in desktop mode the snapped apps carry through reasonably well between landscape and portrait orientation (reasonably because many thrid party app have not been coded correctly to snap in smaller dimensions giving an overlap effect. Still not fixed for many). But snapping a maxium of 3 to 4 apps and things start to get really tricky when changing orientation. The apps fail to keep their positions, and odd things happen with app order changes and automatic unsnapping when changing screen orientations. Tablet mode with regard to snapping gets even worse. It's not even possible to carry over snapped apps between portrait and landscape mode. And that in tablet mode for goodness sake! It's such details to the experience that I feel microsoft is losing momentum to. They start with great ideas, implement, reasses based on feedback and change. But they forget that extra mile to check if things on some features carry over well. I think if the primary design was on cue from the start these kind of things could be prevented from the start, and not leave a sense that we're not cutting them slack. I know they need to be cut slack. I do see that with time they get it right. But I can imagine it would help if we showed them the right direction from the start.   I think this demo "plumbing" is off. It will stick to most people as that this is the new standard for "exploding tiles". I think this "plumbing" design for starters is way off.  They should have shown a different scaffolding from the start. I think they should have shown a demo of an expandable tile. This is neither 3D or explosive, its just a fancy right click in a appendage context menu. I think the demo should have been where the live tile expands as a jumplist, but not as now an appendage menu to the tile. The design of the container windows should be like how microsoft made the live tile folders in windows phone 8.1. That design I think is original, microsoft, windows, exciting, exploratory, unique to the live tile design language and empowers the user for advanced functionality and empower the user for improved interaction and productivity. I will make the startmenu become more alive, more functional. I think this right click jumplist will still make the start menu feel dull and old-fashioned.Windows 10 and the startmenu should have a bit of creative fun. I felt the windows phone folder tiles has something playful, but yet a powerful organizing tool right on your homescreen. Efficient and your relevant files/apps organized to be productive right on the go withough having to open more context menu's and see relevant tile glanceable data in a second. Expanding (jumplist) interactive tiles is I think the way to go.  
  • Don't read this as a 'they're catching up with Apple' ... It's good that Windows will have a similar experience to the new iPhones with the 3D touch. I like that they've been able to kind of match what the new iPhones are able to do, but at a software level.
  • I developed a WP app a while back where a longer press on a tile and having options would have been helpful. I even asked Microsoft reps a a dev seminar if that was possible. At that time they said it wasn't. I ended up coming up with a double trap routine that sort of worked.
    My question on WP would be how that would interact with the current long press which now activates the tile resizing and moving??
  • This further reduces the gap between Windows mobile and pc. I think that Microsoft should continue to add features like these until there is no differences between the mobile OS and the PC version of the OS.
  • I'd be happier if they would get rid of the splash screens and apps would just open faster.
  • It will work well in a pressure sensitive device
  • Nice.  I like it.
  • It may not be "elegant" but I could see jump lists being the default view with expanding having unpin, turn of live tile, etc. That wouldn't be bad then imo.