Tag Archives: sdk

Using the ProgressIndicator in the SystemTray in Windows Phone

30 Oct

In many cases Windows Phone developers implement and place their own progress indicators in Windows Phone apps.

When you add a new PhoneApplicationPage to the app it will by default set the IsVisible property on the SystemTray to true on the page. This is done in XAML by default in the VS template.

The system tray can also be accessed from codebehind. It is possible to set properties like IsVisible during the Loaded or OnNavigatedTo event wired up in the codebehind. It’s not possible to set the system tray as part of the pages constructor.

The system tray got a build-in progress indicator (ProgressIndicator) located in the top of the system tray. The progress indicator on the system tray can be used in the application to show progress in a uniformed way. However to be able to use the progress indicator you first need to instantiate it.

Once it’s instantiated you can set all the regular properties like Opacity and Color on it and it’s possible to reuse this “default” progress indicator in a very easy manner. It won’t take long to make this a bit more generic which you most likely would do if you’re building an app with more than one or two pages.

// thomas

Tiles and Notifications in Windows Phone 8

30 Oct

The tile is the front door to your app. A nice tile can mean the world to your app and the usage of it. Some developers/companies manage to use this opportunity and make great static and living tiles.

New Tile Sizes

With Windows Phone 8 we have a new set of sizes and templates available for our tiles. The user have the opportunity to customize the size of the tile based on three sizes: small, medium and wide. It is required to implement small and medium sizes tiles but wide is optional. The supported sizes is set using the redesigned Manifest file.


Screenshot from Visual Studio 2012

Windows Phone 8 supports multi resolutions. Tile icons (and app icons) are defined for WXGA (768×1280) and are automatically scaled to work for WVGA and 720p.

New Templates

Windows Phone 8 supports three templates: flip, iconic and cycle.

It is not possible to update the template for the default tile programmatically – it will require and update of the app. The template for secondary tiles can be updated programmatically. Furthermore it is not possible to know which tile size the user has pinned to the start screen so all properties should be set for the supported tile sizes.

Flip Template

The flip tile template flips from front to back and support all three available sizes: small, medium and wide. The properties for the flip tile template is available using the FlipTileData class.


Image is taken from the SDK help file.

The small flip tile is 159×159 pixels and only allows a small background image (SmallBackgroundImage) and a counter (Count).

The medium flip tile is 336×336 pixels and allows a background image (BackgroundImage), title (Title) and counter (Count) on one size and a backbackground image (BackBackgroundImage), back title (BackTitle) and back content (BackContent) on the other side.

The wide flip tile is 691×336 pixels and allows a background image (WideBackgroundImage), title (Title) and counter (Count) on one size and a backbackground image (WideBackBackgroundImage), back title (BackTitle) and back content (WideBackContent) on the other side.

Iconic Template

The iconic tile template displays an image in the center of the tile and support all three available sizes: small, medium and wide. The properties for the iconic tile template is available using the IconicTileData class.


Image is taken from the SDK help file.

The small iconic tile is 159×159 pixels and only allows a small icon image (SmallIconImage) and a counter (Count). The icon size is 110×110 pixels.

The medium iconic tile is 336×336 pixels and allows an icon image (IconImage), title (Title), background (BackgroundColor) and counter (Count). The icon size is 202×202 pixels.

The wide iconic tile is 691×336 pixels and allows a small icon image (SmallIconImage), title (Title), counter (Count) and three lines of content (WideContent1, WideContent2, WideContent3). The icon size is the same as the small iconic tile.

Cycle Template

The cycle tile template cycles between 1 and 9 images and support all three available sizes: small, medium and wide. The properties for the cycle tile template is available using the CycleTileData class.


Image is taken from the SDK help file.

The small cycle iconic tile is 159×159 pixels and only allows a small background image (SmallBackgroundImage) and a counter (Count).

The medium cycle tile is 336×336 pixels and allows a title (Title), counter (Count) and between 1 and 9 background images (CycleImage1, CycleImage2…).

The wide cycle tile is 691×336 pixels and allows the same properties as the medium cycle tile.

// thomas

Windows Phone 8 SDK is now available

30 Oct

Today during the Build keynote the Windows Phone 8 SDK was announced. Using the SDK you can build both Windows Phone 7.5 and Windows Phone 8 apps in Visual Studio 2012 on Windows 8.

The SDK is available here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=35471

Stay tuned for a series of blog posts on the new features available in the Windows Phone 8 SDK.

// thomas