This blog post was authored by Thomas Fennel, a program manager on the Windows Phone developer tools team.
Flip, Cycle, and Iconic—you hear them in your sleep calling your name, don't you? Those are the beautiful Live Tile templates you can use in Windows Phone 8 apps to get deep, personal engagement with your customers. Those new templates have some neat tricks you may not know about, though.
Enter Light Up—an easy way for you to add Windows Phone 8 Live Tile functionality to your Windows Phone OS 7.1 app so that when it's run on a Windows Phone 7.8 or Windows Phone 8 device it "lights up" the new templates!
Let's take a second to get our head fully around this concept before we get in to the details. What we're discussing here is the ability to maintain your existing Windows Phone OS 7.1 app code base and, by adding some conditional code, make that app do new things with Tiles on a Windows Phone 7.8 or 8.0 device. Your Windows Phone OS 7.1 app has always been forward compatible with Windows Phone 7.8 and 8.0, but now it's forward compatible with additional functionality! When your app is run on a Windows Phone OS 7.1 device, it will behave exactly as it always has, but when someone with a shiny Windows Phone 7.8 update or an entirely new Windows Phone 8.0 device uses it, you can delight them with great new Live Tile features to make the app even more alive. You don't even need multiple code blocks to deal with differences between APIs in Windows Phone 7.8 and 8.0 because there are none! The code you write works exactly the same way on both Windows Phone 7.8 and Windows Phone 8.0 devices—one code update to rule them all, as it were.
So, what are we really talking about here? In a nutshell: Reflection. Yes, that old chestnut. Rather than just repeating the excellent topic on MSDN, I'll call out the really important parts here and leave it up to you to follow along with the MSDN article.
That's pretty much it. All that's left is to write the code to create or update Tiles. There are examples of that in that MSDN article, and there's a really great, non-Microsoft endorsed, sponsored or affiliated, community project that makes it much easier here: http://mangopollo.codeplex.com.
Enjoy, and let me know if there's anything that needs clarification.
I had 2 apps in the Store without the appextra code... They went thru certification :D
I can get a FlipTileTemplate to show a remote BackBackgroundImage URL on the emulator, but on my Nokia Lumia 800, no luck. The wide tile is disabled when I set a remote URL. Is there anything specific required for remote tile images e.g. size, format?
Here my solution
The line "if (tileToUpdate.NavigationUri.ToString() == tileId.ToString())" doesn't work for me, what I have to send in the parameter "tileId"? During runtime the value for tileToUpdate.NavigationUri.ToString() is "/"
Same error, don't know how to solve it
@tfennel but why is it then available for WP 7.1 tool like visual studio express? on the download site clearly stays it is if you have WP 7.1 SDK or WP8 SDK, Windows 7 and Windows Vista compatible, beside Windows 8... i use windows 8 but i think this is an sdk error. if they made it for wp7 tool it must run then :)
Keep getting same error as Dinchy87. I was trying it before the release of WP7.8 SDK update. It was no luck. Thought this update will fix this, but it is still same error. I'm running Windows 8 with WP8SDK installed.
@Dinchy87 - please make sure you're using the WP8 tools.
I tried this with appextra in my app but i get this error "Warning 1 The element 'Deployment' in namespace 'schemas.microsoft.com/.../deployment& has invalid child element 'AppExtra'. List of possible elements expected: 'App'."
any help with this?