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You want a wide tile icon on your WP7 application eh? I'm afraid I have some bad news for you.

Oct 13

Written by:
Wednesday, October 13, 2010 10:19 PM  RssIcon

Wide Tile exampleEver see some of the cool WP7 tiles?  Some of them are super wide eh?  You want one for your WP7 app?  Nope, no can do.  Read on for why.

Wide Tile example

Calendar Wide Tile exampleHave you ever seen the extra-wide tiles on WP7 start screens?  They are cool eh?  But how do YOU get one of those cool tiles for YOUR WP7 application?

You sitting down?  I have some bad news.  Unless you're Microsoft, Samsung, HTC, LG, DELL or AT&T, Rogers, Bell or Telus, it looks like your out of luck.  According to the official UI Design and Interaction Guide for Windows Phone 7 PDF (pg 46, Tiels and tile notification) "Double-wide tiles are only available to Microsoft, phone manufacturers and mobile operators."

Level-0 (Microsoft) and Level-1 (hardware manufacturers and cell carriers) companies are the only ones allowed to create/use the "double-wide" tiles.  I believe big companies after the hardware manufacturers are Level-2s (BIG game companies for example).  And lastly, there's everyone else (like you and me) at Level-3.

Now, I haven't officially heard it from an MS employee about the Level-1, 2, 3, at least not officially!  But that metaphor does make sense and is easy enough to understand.  You not Microsoft, LG, Rogers, then you have the regular tile.  Simple.

Someone did post a way around this, BUT, and I stress BUT, this will ENSURE your app will fail certification.  Try it out if you want to for education's sake, but you do this at your own risk.

Thanks Chris for thinking out loud today, I think this is good information for people to know.

 

Resources

Rudi Grobler in the Cloud: Double-width tiles

stackoverflow: Any idea how to create a wide tile on WP7?

Microsoft: UI Design and Interaction Guide for Windows Phone 7 (PDF)

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7 comment(s) so far...


Re: You want a wide tile icon on your WP7 application eh? I'm afraid I have some bad news for you.

To be honest, I think this is actually a good thing. Tiles are pretty big anyway (i.e. you only get 4 rows on a screen), if all App developers were /able/ to set their tiles to be double size, I suspect many /would/. For the end user this could either bloat the home screen or mean that users decide to not pin an app, or move the app to the end of the list to keep it out of the way.

Just looking at the AT&T phones from Monday - the U-Verse tile just takes up lots of real estate for no reason. I'm sure used properly, some apps could benefit from the extra "live" space on the tile - but I think those would be the exceptions.

By Ed on   Thursday, October 14, 2010 8:55 AM

Re: You want a wide tile icon on your WP7 application eh? I'm afraid I have some bad news for you.

And I thought trailers were the only thing that came in double-wide...

So what you're saying is that the company that owns the platform and the hardware is controlling who can do what on it? Unbelievable. That would never happen...

Sent from my iPhone...

By Jim cloughley on   Thursday, October 14, 2010 9:40 AM

Re: You want a wide tile icon on your WP7 application eh? I'm afraid I have some bad news for you.

re Ed, a good thing
I agree on both accounts. After thinking about it for a while, having four "double-wide" tiles would just force you to scroll more and more. And YA! For sure if I could do it, I would. What's the saying in marketing, even bad publicity is better than no publicity. I would MUCH rather see better use of the one tile and double the number of tiles on the one screen. After all, MS claims the "glance'n'go" metaphor. So for people like me who don't play Xbox, I'm hoping I can actually get rid of that XBox tile. We'll see.

I just saw the AT&T U-verse you mentioned (http://www.samsunghub.com/2010/10/12/samsung-focus-wp7-phone-for-att/). YIKES! Ya, THAT'S a waste of space! That's being wide ONLY for the sake of doing it (like I mentioned above), DOH! They might think they're "the exception" but I would much rather see the user decide to make it double wide or not!

re Jim, hahahah I nearly spit my coffee when I read your comment! TOO funny! I especially love your tag line at the end! LOLOLOL

Thank you very much Ed and Jim for commenting! Have a great TGIF and a great weekend!

By phenry on   Thursday, October 14, 2010 7:54 PM
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Re: You want a wide tile icon on your WP7 application eh? I'm afraid I have some bad news for you.

how can i get the clear messages symbol on the (blue) left in the image up on top?
greetings

By lumiamonkey on   Wednesday, February 01, 2012 3:02 PM
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Re: You want a wide tile icon on your WP7 application eh? I'm afraid I have some bad news for you.

Hi lumiamonkey, took me a bit of time to try to find what you were talking about. But if you're talking about what's ON the tile, that's another blog (which I haven't done yet, DOH! ggrrrr, I should do one soon!). Are you coding for the WP7? Are you trying to create your own tiles? I believe what you're looking for is in creating those tiles themselves. Thanks for leaving a comment. Hope you come back!

By Peter Henry on   Wednesday, February 01, 2012 8:24 PM
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Re: You want a wide tile icon on your WP7 application eh? I'm afraid I have some bad news for you.

aaaand back! um, i´m looking for the messages icon without the smiley in it (one the left one of the two startscreens), guess that is more clearly now

thanks for the quick response

By lumiamonkey on   Thursday, February 02, 2012 6:23 AM
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Re: You want a wide tile icon on your WP7 application eh? I'm afraid I have some bad news for you.

Hi lumiamonkey, OH, I think I get it now. Unfortunately, I can't give that to you, sorry. Oh, not cause I'm a PITA or trying to be rude, no, nothing like that! Mind you if you touch my goalie in hockey, then I WILL HAVE TO GET MEAN WITH YOU! But.....I digress, we're not on the ice playing hockey! haha Ok, ok, seriously, if you want THAT pic, you'll have to try to use snippingtool or PrtScn and your best paint.net/paintbrush techniques to augment it for your own misadventures. At least that's what I would do. Good luck and let me know if it results in an app on the marketplace so I can try it out!

By Peter Henry on   Thursday, February 02, 2012 8:44 PM

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