Windows Phone Mango's Push Notifications and Live Tile Support [Video]

Microsoft's Channel 9 has posted a nice video demonstration of all the push notifications and Live Tile change coming in Windows Phone Mango. In addition, they interview Thomas Fennel, who's in charge of that aspect of the OS (we saw him speak at MIX11 in a similar demonstration). To recap the changes from our earlier coverage:

  • 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

We've already seen how BBC News Mobile and the Weather Channel are looking to take advantage of the new system and our very own WPCentral app is currently being "Mango-ized", as a few of you lucky beta testers are now experiencing. In fact, we may have a video demo tomorrow of our new "flippy tile" and push notifications.

The interview with Fennel is quite interesting as he explains their motivation, reasoning behind the decisions and things they are looking at for the next version of the OS, expected to be "Tango". And on the Channel 9 page, they link to a bunch of resources on the new system, which is worth checking out if you're a developer.

As a side note, we can say after running "Mango" for the last seven weeks, we haven't had a single "end point failure" with our Live Tiles or push notifications, which means despite have nearly 15 Live Tiles they are all working perfectly. So for those who currently are experiencing Tiles not updating, hold tight as Mango fixes this and fixes it good.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • This is a question for Devs, do you think 30 limit is high enough. With almost 30,000 apps, 30 seems low. This wont affect me personally, I'm not a big app person.
  • MS probably has user data to show how many apps on average people pin to their start screen. I think I have like 10 atm, nowhere near the limit. MS will keep looking at that and updating it as time goes by I'm sure.
  • I think 30 is plenty. (Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong) the way Microsoft explained it at MIX11 is that you get 30 "endpoints" on your device for push notifications. Each application that sets up a channel to receive push notifications is an endpoint. So this article might not be entirely correct in saying that you can only have 30 live tiles. In Mango, an app can update its tile without using push and an app can have more than one tile on the Start screen, further increase the number of "live tiles" one can have.I personally can't imagine having 30 apps that have push notifications.Another thing to remember is, right now, pretty much any app that updates its tile uses push to achieve it. In Mango, an app can have a periodic agent that runs in the background every 30 minutes to update its tile(s) (these agents can do other things too). In the future, I think only apps that require real-time notifications will use push, the rest will use background agents. So having 30 push endpoint should satisfy almost any user.
  • I don' know if anyone else has noticed, but MagikMail (the YouMail app) already has flip tiles! I'm running the beta 7712 Mango build, and whenever I get a voicemail my MagikMail live tile will show the count and then flip and show the phone number. It's pretty cool!
  • Please change the count badge "ball of he11" to a "square of he11" . The red round balls totally screws with the startscreen look.