Analog Clock on a Live Tile – my new Windows Phone app

simulationI’ve been busy with a large project last few months, but now that’s over, I’ve switched to some fun stuff. First on the list – a simple little app that shows analog clock on a live tile. That sounds like a trivial task, but actually it is not. Windows Phone 8.0 restrictions says that you can update a tile once every 30 minutes, and that’s obviously not enough for updating a clock that needs to change every minute. Windows Phone 8.1 introduced a way to update a tile more often, but the things you can to there is quite limiting.

[Theoretically, you can use push notification to do whatever you like with a tile, as often as you want, but that will do awful things to phone battery and data plan, and it is not that reliable – what if a user has no Internet connectivity, or there is a battery save mode active?]

There are quite a few clocks with digital clock (e.g. showing the numbers on a tile). It’s quite easy to do that – take a look at the complete example here. This originally is a Windows 8 project, but since Windows Phone 8.1, the (almost) same technology can be used for developing Phone apps as well. Furthermore, this app is made as Universal App (my first published), so expect Windows 8 version as well.

I wanted to do an analog clock – it looks much better on a tile, and there actually is a digital clock at the top of your screen (almost) all the time, and you have one on your lock screen as well. (So, basically, this app is useless, but it looks nice on your start screen.)

The app has a transparent, Cortana-like tile, so it works perfectly with custom backgrounds you may use in Windows Phone 8.1. There is a support for small and standard tiles, as well as a wide – but that last one is a joke.

By default, the clock will not work if you have battery saver mode active. But that can be changed as well – go to Battery Saver app, find this app, and check “Allow this app to run in the background even when Battery Saver is on”. That will do the trick.

This app is very gentle to your battery. This is not something I did, that’s just the way this API is done, so all kudos go to the Windows Phone OS.

To cut the story short – click here, install the app and let me know what you think. I hope you’ll like it.


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