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Generate custom live tiles on Azure?

    Question

  • For my WinRT WP8.1 app I'm trying to generate custom live tiles. This used to be easy (and within the memory limits!) with Silverlight, but with WinRT things changed. I have tried the XamlRenderingBackgroundTask but this used too much memory and doesn't work, which is a shame as my app depends on the custom tiles users came to love with the older versions (Silverlight).

    My only option now is to do this server side, and I had the following system in mind:

    Can you guys give me any pointers on how to achieve this (e.g. detailed samples etc.)? And what would be better/easier/cheaper. Going for a ASP.NET webservice or using a full-blown VM on Azure?

    I really don't understand why Microsoft is so silent (e.g. not a lot of samples) on custom live tiles. Live tiles are one (if not THE) differentiator for Windows app, and having a nice example on how to generate custom (= user specific!) live tiles by using Microsoft's clouds platform would be a win-win for devs and Microsoft. Maybe something to take up :).

    Niels

    Tuesday, March 31, 2015 6:45 PM

Answers

  • Hi NielsLaute,

    Indeed there are some memory limitation on Windows Phone device, if we let server render the tile image and download in your background task that could be a good idea as you mentioned, but note there are some data size limitation on the background task.

    The generating part I want to do server side, but I have no idea on how to do this - looking for samples / tutorials! I hope you can help me out! Going for a ASP.NET webservice or using a full-blown VM on Azure?

    -> Render image on server side? Probably you may ask such question at ASP.NET forum or Azure Mobile Service forum, render image is not difficult, but it depends on how you would like to render the image.

    Asp.net: http://forums.asp.net/

    Azure Mobile Service: https://social.msdn.microsoft.com/forums/azure/en-US/home?forum=azuremobile

    --James


    We are trying to better understand customer views on social support experience, so your participation in this interview project would be greatly appreciated if you have time. Thanks for helping make community forums a great place.
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    Wednesday, April 1, 2015 10:01 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi Niels,

    I don't think we can directly customize the tile by background task.

    However there is a possible solution: user renderTargetBitmap to render a image from the UI which you can get from Azure or from web service, apply that image to the The tile template catalog, after that, in the background task you can use that image update the tile.

    Anyway I cannot visit your link, seems broken.

    --James


    We are trying to better understand customer views on social support experience, so your participation in this interview project would be greatly appreciated if you have time. Thanks for helping make community forums a great place.
    Click HERE to participate the survey.


    Wednesday, April 1, 2015 8:12 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Niels,

    I don't think we can directly customize the tile by background task.

    However there is a possible solution: user renderTargetBitmap to render a image from the UI which you can get from Azure or from web service, apply that image to the The tile template catalog, after that, in the background task you can use that image update the tile.

    Anyway I cannot visit your link, seems broken.

    --James


    We are trying to better understand customer views on social support experience, so your participation in this interview project would be greatly appreciated if you have time. Thanks for helping make community forums a great place.
    Click HERE to participate the survey.


    Yes I understand that. Right now I generate a .PNG in the background task and set this with a tile template. However, for low memory devices generating the tile in the background task on the device this is not working (OutOfMemoryException). The generating part I want to do server side, but I have no idea on how to do this - looking for samples / tutorials! I hope you can help me out!

    The links are not real, just for describing my idea.

    Niels

    Wednesday, April 1, 2015 9:12 AM
  • Hi NielsLaute,

    Indeed there are some memory limitation on Windows Phone device, if we let server render the tile image and download in your background task that could be a good idea as you mentioned, but note there are some data size limitation on the background task.

    The generating part I want to do server side, but I have no idea on how to do this - looking for samples / tutorials! I hope you can help me out! Going for a ASP.NET webservice or using a full-blown VM on Azure?

    -> Render image on server side? Probably you may ask such question at ASP.NET forum or Azure Mobile Service forum, render image is not difficult, but it depends on how you would like to render the image.

    Asp.net: http://forums.asp.net/

    Azure Mobile Service: https://social.msdn.microsoft.com/forums/azure/en-US/home?forum=azuremobile

    --James


    We are trying to better understand customer views on social support experience, so your participation in this interview project would be greatly appreciated if you have time. Thanks for helping make community forums a great place.
    Click HERE to participate the survey.

    Wednesday, April 1, 2015 10:01 AM
    Moderator