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In Bring your Application Tile to life, I talked about how to create dynamic Application Tiles. Application Tiles have front and back titles, front and back background images, a count badge on the front and extra content on the back. The heart of the Application Tile is the background image displayed on the front of the tile. The background image should capture the essence of your application and be easily recognizable. The background image should also work well with the titles and other tile properties.

Application Tiles are always 173 x 173 pixels. The title (both front and back) will appear in a 161×16 pixel high area 12 pixels above the bottom edge. If the tile text does not fit it will be truncated at the right edge of the tile.

If the Application Tile is displaying a count, the badge will appear in a 37×37 pixel box inside the upper right corner, 12 pixels from the top and right edges.

The background content text will be written to a 161×136 pixel area in the center of the tile leaving a 12 pixel margin on the top and left sides. The text will be automatically wrapped at word boundaries, but long words might be truncated.

The background image should be a 173×173, 256 dpi PNG file. The default background image specified in the application manifest must be 173×173 to pass marketplace certification. When programmatically updating a tile, any sized image can be used but it will be stretched to fit into 173 x 173.

If you want the phone’s theme color to show through the image, use a transparent or partially transparent image. The text used in the titles and back content message is always white, so make sure white text looks good on your image and does not get washed out. You should consider leaving the areas where text will overlay the image transparent or solid dark color. If you are using a back content message, consider not having a back background image.

Safari Books Online has the content you need

Check out these Windows Phone 7 books available from Safari Books Online:

Windows 7 Plain & Simple is your easy, colorful, SEE-HOW guide to Windows Phone 7. You’ll learn the quickest ways to set up and use your new phone with easy-to-follow steps, screenshots, and concise, straightforward language that make learning plain and simple!
Windows Phone 7 provides an exciting new opportunity for companies and developers to build applications that travel with users, are interactive and attractive, and are available whenever and wherever users want to work with them. Windows Phone 7 Developer Guide walks through a series of fictional, but realistic scenarios involved in building a phone application that uses a mobile front end talking to a cloud backend. Microsoft Silverlight Edition: Programming Windows Phone 7 helps you get started building applications for Windows Phone 7, expertly guided by award-winning author Charles Petzold. You’ll focus on the core concepts and techniques for creating apps with Microsoft Silverlight. Charles brings a unique combination of pragmatism and authority to his instruction—along with an eminently readable style and a wealth of hands-on examples. In Microsoft XNA Framework Edition: Programming Windows Phone 7, you’ll focus on the core concepts and techniques for creating apps with Microsoft XNA. Charles brings a unique combination of pragmatism and authority to his instruction—along with an eminently readable style and a wealth of hands-on examples. Microsoft XNA Game Studio 4.0: Learn Programming Now! is your hands-on introduction to computer programming with Microsoft Visual C# 2010 and XNA Game Studio 4. Get fun, easy-to-follow instructions for customizing your Xbox 360 games—or creating your own!

About the Author

  Timothy Binkley-Jones is a staff engineer in the Cloud Infrastructure and Management group of VMware, Inc. Tim is a co-author of Windows Phone 7 in Action by Manning Publications, and regularly speaks about mobile application and cloud development at user groups and conferences in the Colorado area. Tim has been developing commercial IT management applications for 15 years. You can follow his blog at blogs.magnatis.com/tim or follow him on twitter at @timblinkleyjones.

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