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How do you close a tile app?

    Question

  • Maybe I'm just being dumb but the only way I can find to close a tile app is to go to task manager and kill it.  Is there a better way optimised for touch?
    Wednesday, September 14, 2011 3:18 PM

Answers

  • Apps go into a suspended mode when you switch to a new app. Here's how it works. When you switch away from an app it is given 5 seconds to perform any cleanup work (like saving settings or its state) and then is suspended. It is still in memory but not receiving any CPU cycles. If the system needs to free resources it will terminate suspended apps to make those resources available.

    Let’s say you have 10 suspended apps and your App History is set to 3. If resources are needed, the 7 oldest apps will be evaluated to determine which one is using the most resources. It will be terminated. The only app(s) that are running, rather than suspended or terminated, are the ones you are actively using.

    You can still terminate apps manually in the Task Manager just as you can in Windows 7.  

    Wednesday, September 14, 2011 5:32 PM
    Answerer

All replies

  • I struggled with this as well. As far as I can tell, there's no way to actually "close" an app--similar to mobile phone platforms.

    Instead, just press the "Windows" key on your keyboard to return to the start menu or use Alt+Tab to switch between what's open. The system automatically suspends running Metro apps when you switch away from them. That could be problematic unless there's a way to write an app that continues to run certain threads in the background.

    Bottom line: I find this new behavior a little odd, and certainly not intuitive just yet.

    Wednesday, September 14, 2011 3:27 PM
  • Thanks for your reply.  I keep, accidentally opening tile apps when trying to do things like open the right hand search/settings panel and just want to get rid of them as they then clutter up my scrolling through the running (or suspended) apps.

    WP7 Mango's implementation of flicking between running apps is so much quicker and more intuitive (and simpler) than this Windows 8 way, although the Windows 8 one looks better in a demo, it's already a bit of a drag in practice.

    I see they've been clever with the order in which you get the tile apps, go through fairly quickly and they all cycle through in order.  Give it a couple of seconds and the order is changed to get your most recent first.

    Wednesday, September 14, 2011 3:38 PM
  • This is highly odd. I should be able to close the app in some way. I was randomly testing all the apps and now they are all running sucking up some major juice.

    I am reasonably certain, they will fix this in the future though.

    Wednesday, September 14, 2011 3:52 PM
  • I think the best way to handle it would be similar to have the top right corner of the screen display a close button on mouseover, sort of like the start button in the bottom left.

    And then they could do it for touch by swiping in from the top (which currently just duplicates the swipe from bottom functionality).

    Wednesday, September 14, 2011 3:54 PM
  • Apps go into a suspended mode when you switch to a new app. Here's how it works. When you switch away from an app it is given 5 seconds to perform any cleanup work (like saving settings or its state) and then is suspended. It is still in memory but not receiving any CPU cycles. If the system needs to free resources it will terminate suspended apps to make those resources available.

    Let’s say you have 10 suspended apps and your App History is set to 3. If resources are needed, the 7 oldest apps will be evaluated to determine which one is using the most resources. It will be terminated. The only app(s) that are running, rather than suspended or terminated, are the ones you are actively using.

    You can still terminate apps manually in the Task Manager just as you can in Windows 7.  

    Wednesday, September 14, 2011 5:32 PM
    Answerer
  • So the tile app functionality as explained works as if it were running on a phone or tablet to minimize resource usage of those apps not currently active. Does this mean they won't be able to multi-task? I'm somewhat confused by this given the Mango path. Can you clarify this?
    Wednesday, September 14, 2011 5:40 PM
  • I was generalizing a bit. You can multi-task. For instance, you can snap an app to one side of the screen with a narrow view that will also run along with your main app. Also, apps can continue running if they are designed to perform background tasks. For instance, you may have a music app that keeps playing in the background or an email app that maintains a persistent connection. Apps that aren’t specifically designed to perform background tasks will be suspended once you switch away from them.

    Wednesday, September 14, 2011 5:52 PM
    Answerer
  • thanks for your reply Rich.  I loosely understand the technical side of things around this and that's all very clever.  My problem is more around usability (which I guess is what this preview is about gathering feedback about).  It seems a bit random when tile apps start disappearing from the app history (if that is the term you are using for the swipable in apps). My app history seems to change between 3 and 4 apps and it's not obvious how to adjust such a crucial setting.

    So when you accidently open an app you didn't mean to (always seems to be the piano app for some reason!) it stuffs up the apps you actually want in your app history with no easy way to tidy it up.

    I'm kind of comparing it to the iPad's not so obvious double press of the hardware button that brings up the task list and allows you to kill them off to free up memory.  you could potentially add a button on the right hand swipe in panel that shows you running/suspended apps with a close button on each.

    Thursday, September 15, 2011 12:49 PM
  • On Thu, 15 Sep 2011 12:49:56 +0000, Ben Lowe wrote:

    My problem is more around usability (which I guess is what this preview is about gathering feedback about).

    This preview is really about getting developers familiar with the new Metro
    UI paradigm as opposed to gathering feedback, hence the Developer Preview
    moniker.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    Daddy, what does "Formatting Drive C:" mean?

    Thursday, September 15, 2011 12:57 PM
  • Alt-f4 seems to work for some of them, but often you get stuck on a green screen and have to click start to escape
    Thursday, September 15, 2011 1:49 PM
  • Paul,

    My wording wasn't entirely clear there (I didn't mean that the preview's main focus was for gathering usability feedback), but Microsoft are (by accident or design) getting a whole bunch of user testing, mainly by developers but some of us are also UX designers, which they would be foolish to ignore.  Take the huge threads around the desktop Start Button which, rightly so, is causing much debate.  It's good for Microsoft to be able to push out the Developer Preview showing the extreme implementation of the new os in order to start a conversation with the developer community about what does and doesn't work in the many environments out there in the real world.  But surely the UXD's on the Windows team at Microsoft must be delighted with the opportunity to get all this free feedback.  You can never do too much usability testing and you can never start it early enough.

    Friday, September 16, 2011 9:11 AM
  • Task Manager still works.

    Sunday, September 25, 2011 7:47 AM
  • Hey Ben,

    You can adjust the app history buffer size in the Control Panel >> Privacy >> App history.  You can select from 0 through 12 as the number of apps in your history.

    Regards,


    Gary
    Sunday, September 25, 2011 9:02 PM
    Answerer
  • But to be specific this behaviour is quite disturbing. Any way I had another question that is there any windows app store to get apps for Windows Developer Preview. Frankly speaking this behaviour of apps are quite disturbing.

    Wednesday, September 28, 2011 12:26 AM
  • FarAlloy,

    The Windows App Store isn't available in Windows Developer Preview.  It will be available during later releases.

    Regards,


    Gary
    Wednesday, September 28, 2011 2:29 AM
    Answerer
  • If that is your definition of multi-tasking, no wonder Microsoft is failing so utterly failing to create a multi-tasking-friendly system.
    Moderator | MCTS .NET 2.0 Web Applications | My Blog: http://www.commongenius.com
    Wednesday, September 28, 2011 3:10 PM