Hacker finds Live Tiles in Windows Phone 7.8 thoroughly broken

imageHeathcliff from WP7RootTools has continued his research on the Live Tiles issue of Windows Phone 7.8, and reports that it is even more broken than we first though.

Live tiles have 3 ways of being updated – directly by an app, on schedule and via push notifications. Heathcliff reports that only direct updates via apps worked flawlessly.

He writes:

  • ShellTileSchedule.Start() – This method allows to set a URL to a live-tile-image on an external host. The URL is fetched at predefined intervals. I found that the Shell Tile Scheduler may start behaving erratically under some circumstances. The app from my previous blog-post, did in fact use this method. I have tried to reproduce this behavior in an app of my own. But I have not been able to isolate the situation that triggers this problem. If the problem occurs, there is a serious problem, that may lead to low performance of the phone and high bills from your mobile operator! This behaviour seems to be specific to WP 7.8. So far I have not been able to reproduce it on WP 7.5 and WP 8.
  • HttpNotificationChannel.BindToShellTile() – This method opens a channel to the Microsoft Notification Servers. External sources can post images, text or counters to the Microsoft Notification Servers. This will be routed to the phone. I found this functionality to be completely broken on WP 7.8. It is possible to send a text or counter. But as soon as an URL for a live-tile-image is sent to the phone, the phone immediately closes the endpoint to the server and nothing is updated. I found that when the app completely registers a new endpoint, the live-tile can sometimes be updated once and then the endpoint is closed again. In my case deleting the PushClient Endpoint registry-keys did not help and even a hard-reset did not resurrect the live-tiles. Live-tile notifications still worked only once, or not at all. On WP 7.5 this method just works as expected. I actually hope I did something wrong here. Or else I don’t understand how this could ever get past the Microsoft Quality Assurance department.

The last bit is a rather telling indictment of Windows Phone 7.8, suggesting rather little attention was paid to what was intended to be a mere cosmetic update, rather like a facelift which went horribly wrong and caused your nose to fall off.

Read much more detail at WP7roottools.com here.

Via WPD