LiveTileQuestion

A few days ago I reported here that I have been having problems installing new apps with Live Tile support that would either; not allow me to turn on the Live Tile feature or the tile simply would not update. I theorized that as I had nowhere near 15 third party live tiles installed/active or have even reached that number cumulatively, that the 15 tile limit was based on cumulative installs, even if you installed the same app several times. From the responses in the original post, several other users indicated that they had experienced the same issue, across multiple devices, and only a hard reset cleared up the problem. Further, I follow the Marketplace comments for many of the apps that I have been having issues with and each day I see more and more users complaining that the apps Live Tile is not or no longer working. 

DavidK put the question in front of Brandon Watson / WinPhoneSupport and here is the reply.

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Looks like the key word in that last tweet is “should”, as “clearing up the spot”, does not appear to be the case. I have tried uninstalling all of my Live Tile supported apps, soft resetting, battery pull. Everything short of a hard reset. And now every app with Live Tile support I install, even apps that worked perfectly last week, no longer work.As the issue has been detected in at least three different device types and two manufacturers, I am thinking that this has something to do with the OS and not a vendor modified ROM.

One other thought is that some rouge app, that all of us affected have installed, has some how mucked up the Live Tile Channel (when an error is displayed it’s, “Failed to open channel”) and now nothing can get past it, so a simple soft reset, as suggested by one of the developers I have been dealing with, will no longer “clear up that spot”. If it is a rouge app, trying to find it will be like finding a needle in a haystack. Not like there is some definitive list of “push” Live Tile apps at everyone’s disposal to compare. You would need access to the registry key(s) associated with Live Tiles to see if something odd is in there, like the remnants of a rouge app constantly recreating itself, clogging things up. Might be time for me to take a look inside.

On another note, now that it has been confirmed that there is a 15 Live Tile limit, less the native apps, I would suggest that Marketplace add an identifier in an apps description indicating, Live Tile Support, along with “push” or “pull”, as now we will need to keep a count of what we have installed on our device. With more apps adding Live Tiles, which is a big feature of WP7 and a good thing, reaching this limit is going to be happening to more and more users every day. BTW, no clarification on any limit for “pull” Live Tiles, but I am guessing that there is no threshold. They are apps that update on a scheduled basis, like once per hour or per day, rather than instantly. They include; Weather Channel, WeatherDuck, Urban Dictionary and SmartTile (when push is disabled). Marketplace needs to distinguish between these two Live Tile types so as not to confuse end users. Of course, Microsoft can raise the Live Tile limit to something like 100 and the problem will go away. Ah, wishful thinking.

19 COMMENTS

  1. This does seem to be a limitation of the OS itself and not individual ROMs. I have a Dell Venue Pro that maxed out its live tile capacity well before 15 applications with live tile support were installed. I also have an HD7 that seemed immune to this problem, but within the last week, my live tiles (Beezz, TVShow, WeatherBug, MyStocks, Smart Tile)) have stopped updating like they used to. If there was some way to clear the servers without a hard reset it would be a welcome solution. Until then, I wait for NoDo and hope it resets the offending channels.

  2. Thanks. Interesting comments. So on your HD7 did these Live Tile apps all stop working on your phone by themselves or did you get stuck in that evil loop, uninstalling/reinstalling apps to try and resolve the issue, If existing Live Tiles stopped working on their own without deleting/reinstalling, that’s a new problem.

    I have loaded so much on my phone I can’t really tell precisely what app was the last that worked. I do know that Pro Sports Scores was the first app that would “not” load it’s live tile. But WeatherBug, Beezz and Sports Scores were all working fine. Since trying to get Pro Sports Scores working I have installed at least six other Live Tile apps and none of them worked in addition to the three working apps above that stopped after an uninstall/reinstall.

    I know a hard reset would fix the problem, but wouldn’t “solve’ it. So I need to learn a little more about how this works before taking any action. I am also thinking that NoDo, with an expected firmware update from HTC, may clear the issue, or patch something that no one will talk about. But I may have to wait a couple more months for that. Damn AT&T.

  3. @jimski:

    My live tiles for Weather Bug and My Stocks suddenly stopped working on my HD7 and in the process of troubleshooting the problem (soft reset, uninstall, reinstall), other tiles stopped working. Uninstalling and reinstalling the affected applications did not seem to help. As in your case installing other applications with live tile support only seemed to make things worse. Now Weather Bug is working again (don’t ask me how), but the other applications that worked fine before do not update under push. Pull tiles still seem to work fine.

    It would be nice if the freeing up of the push channel worked as Microsoft suggests above, but obviously this does not appear to be the case. Sadly if NoDo doesn’t fix the problem then I will have to hard reset and be more careful as to what apps I install. Despite all of this, I really do love WP7 and hope Microsoft can get their act together while they still can.

  4. “Despite all of this, I really do love WP7 and hope Microsoft can get their act together while they still can.”
    … because if they don’t….???

  5. @RASTX: Thanks for the feedback. Some confusing stuff there. So it is entirely possible that what Microsoft suggests may work in theory but one or more apps may not release the channel when they are uninstalled. Coming from WM, there were plenty of apps that did a poor job of uninstalling, leaving behind lots of damaging stuff. So much for the Marketplace Police.

    When I tried this last week I uninstalled every known app with a Live Tile on my phone except for Flixter and Smart Shopping (not sure if either of those actually use push updates) powered off, pulled battery and started back up. First app I reinstalled, could still not turn on the Live Tile function. Next app, same thing. Very frustrating not having enough info to fully understand.

  6. My push notification haven’t been working for several weeks now. Includes AlphaJax and Beezz, to name a few. I’m nowhere near the 15 limit either, and have tried uninstall/reinstalls, battery pulls, and more. I’ve also had problems with some of the ‘pull’ apps, but I’m not sure if that is simply the apps, or a related issue (Countdown, Marketplace browser)

    I’m more hopeful for NoDo on the principle that this is fixed, rather than the whole concept of Copy/Paste and other half-desired features. Have been reading on XDA however that the update does not resolve the issue. Would hate to have to reformat my phone, but it may be necessary I guess…

  7. Yeah, a reformat may ultimately be necessary but I first I need to understand one thing; when does an app get registered on my device as a live tile, when installed, when live tile support is turned on or when the tile is pinned to Start. There are many apps that install with Live Tile support turned on by default, some that may not even state they have live tile support. If that’s the case, I need to know that before I start installing apps, which may not be controllable if Zune just starts to load them up. A real problem.

    I uninstalled Urban Dictionary last night at 11:00pm and then reinstalled immediately. Tile stayed static until about 12:20am when it updated to the phrase of the day, right on schedule. Also installed WeatherDuck, and after a few hours it updated. These are both pull apps. In preparation for the inevitable think I will check every installed app today and determine if they have some live tile function hiding in the background. What a PITA.

  8. Sorry for the interruption Jim, I got NoDo for the ATT Focus…Hell yeah! Back to you Jim.

  9. Ok, I can’t seem to be able to post a link. So try this, go to XDA and read this thread : Windows Phone 7 Development and Hacking/ Windows Phone 7 General/ Get the NoDo Update right now!

  10. Hard reset here is no big deal. I have done it twice. It takes me a total of about 5 minutes to go from reset to synchronizing with my server and to get f’book set-up. Some apps even reinstall when I plug into Zune and re-name the phone to what it was before.

    Then adjusting what’s on the home page and getting the live tiles pinned. Will be nice when it does it all off a back-up but it sure beats the WinMo reset experience.

  11. @BennyJ: Lucky bastard.

    @Durishin: Trust me I know. Being an app mavin and liking everything to be just the way I want it, WM6.5 used to take between 12-16 hours after a reset from start to finish.

    Figure that WP7 will probably all come together in 1-3 hours. Still things to do like; matching up all the contact photos with names that I don’t have in Facebook (damn Windows Live), getting all my apps back and deleting those that may automatically load because I have previously tested but deleted, syncing my 6GB of music, photos and video and restoring, sorting my 46 Start menu tiles. There there is the loss a data from 3rd party apps like shopping lists. Wish that anything that stores data used the SkyWallet method of syncing the data file with SkyDrive. Sounds simple enough, but that’s another article.

    But my biggest problem is if i reset I never learn why live tiles stopped working in the first place. Did a thorough review of my 168 apps, plus 41 deleted apps, earlier and I have a total of 10 current push live tile apps (actully 9 if Flixter turns out to be a pull app), and another 6 that I had previously tested and deleted. Of the 10 current, 2 never had the live tile feature activated, and 3 others gave me errors right from the start. My live tile issues started when I had about 6 active and about 5-6 deleted apps, still under the 15 threshold any way you cut it. I need to better understand why this is happening before resetting and losing the data on my phone.

  12. If you have a regestry editor on phone (developer unlocked phone needed), then you can look at HKLM\Software\Microsoft\PushClient\ManagedEndpoints.
    I think here are all push live tiles registered. Maybe if you remove an entry, one slot will be free again. there is also a HKLM\Software\Microsoft\PushClient\Endpoints pathe with more entries. I think that are the livetiles from the WP7.

  13. @Refka: Thanks for that detailed information. Think it’s time to dev unlock and get to the bottom of this.

  14. @Refka: OK, so now I am Dev unlocked. Spent the past few hours searching the registry and using file explorer without much success.

    Looked through HKLM\Software\Microsoft\PushClient\ManagedEndpoints and found 22 subkeys, numbered 1 thru 22. But can’t make out what each one represents. Wondering if anyone using a Reg Editor can check if they also have 22 subkeys, especially if you are “not” having a push notification problem. I did delete 4 push applications and after a soft reset I still have 22 keys. Don’t want to arbritrarily delete as some may be for default apps.

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