Guidelines and checklist for secondary tiles (Windows Store apps)
This topic describes best practices for creating secondary tiles and lists any requirements your app needs to meet to be accepted in the Windows Store.
The following sections give you design and usage dos and don'ts for secondary tiles.
Note Only users can pin a secondary tile; apps cannot pin secondary tiles programmatically without user approval. Users also have explicit control over secondary tile removal, either through the Start screen or through the parent app.
- Secondary tiles, like all tiles on the Start screen, are dynamic outlets that should be frequently updated with new content. Secondary tiles can surface notifications and updates by using the same mechanisms as any other tile. To update the tile when the application is not running, the secondary tile must request and open a channel Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) with the Windows Push Notification Services (WNS). For more information, see How to request, create, and save a notification channel.
- While the choice to create a secondary tile is entirely the user's, the areas in the app that are offered to them to pin is determined by the developer, who should follow these guidelines:
- When the content in focus is pinnable, the app bar should contain a "pin" button to create a secondary tile (subject to user confirmation).
- When the content in focus is already pinned, the app bar button icon and label should be changed to show an "unpin" command instead. This will attempt to remove the existing secondary tile, subject to user confirmation.
- If the content in focus is not pinnable, the app bar pin button should not be shown. If the app exposes the pin command outside of the app bar, the app bar's pin button should either not be shown or be shown in a disabled state. Whether the pin button is disabled or not shown depends on the UI surface and scenario where it appears when it is enabled.
- Use the system-provided glyphs for pin and unpin.
- Developers can also add contextual interactions specific to their app that create secondary tiles.
- The app should use meaningful, re-creatable, unique IDs for secondary tiles. This is important for the following reasons:
- Secondary tiles can be reacquired by users when the app is installed on a second computer. Using predictable secondary tile IDs that are meaningful to an app helps the app understand what to do with these tiles when they are seen in a fresh installation on a new computer.
- At run time, the app can query whether a specific tile exists.
- The secondary tile platform can be asked to return the set of all secondary tiles belonging to a specific app. Using meaningful, unique IDs for these tiles can help the app to examine the set of secondary tiles and perform appropriate actions. For instance, for a social media app, IDs could identify individual contacts for whom tiles were created.
- Don't use secondary tiles as shortcuts to discrete files that cannot change, or to other static content.
- Don't use a secondary tile as a virtual command button to interact with the parent app, such as a "skip to next track" tile.
- When an app launches, it should always enumerate its secondary tiles, in case there were any additions or deletions of which it was unaware. When a secondary tile is deleted through the Start screen app bar, Windows simply removes the tile. The app itself is responsible for releasing any resources that were used by the secondary tile. When secondary tiles are copied through the cloud, current tile or badge notifications on the secondary tile, scheduled notifications, push notification channels, and URIs used with periodic notifications are not copied with the secondary tile and must be reset up.
- When creating a secondary tile, we recommend the use of the RequestCreateForSelectionAsync class. This allows you to place your confirmation Flyout predictably, leading to a better user experience.
- Don't change the name of your tile's default image asset once your app is published. Before the secondary tile receives its first notification or when it has no notification to display, it displays its default image. If Windows cannot find the expected image, it results in a blank tile.
- We recommend that button text be standardized as "Pin to Start" and "Unpin from Start". This requires overriding the default text when using the system-provided pin and unpin glyphs.
There are no specific Windows Store requirements regarding secondary tiles.
For general Windows Store requirements, see Certification requirements for Windows apps.
Build date: 11/29/2012