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How to Create Cycle Tile Programmatically in Windows Phone 8 App

Using CycleTileData template, programmers can create cycle tile in their Windows Phone 8 app development codes for their WP8 apps. This Windows Phone tutorial shows how to create cycle tile using CycleTileData tile template with sample Windows Phone 8 app project.

Let's create a new Windows Phone app project using Visual Studio 2012. I named the sample app project as CycleTileDataSample. Developers can also download sample Visual Studio 2012 project with sample create cycle tile code

After our Windows Phone app development project is created successfully, now developers should create graphics images for their tiles. Medium size cycle tiles are in 336x336 sizes. For a better user acceptance and look and feel, it is best to work with professionals instead of creating your images. Working on tile images takes a lot of time where developers can actually spent it for the app development and coding instead.

After this note, for this tutorial sample, I have taken screenshots from my HTML5 game Lights Out Toggle which I have also published as a Windows Phone 8 app in Windows Phone market. I resized these images in cycle tile medium size 336x336 and placed these images in /Assets/Tiles folder as shown in below screenshot from Visual Studio 2012 Solution Explorer window.

Windows Phone app project tiles folder

If you do not see these new graphic files, click on the Show All Files button at the top section of the Solution Explorer.

Programmers should add these image files to the project files using the Include in Project command displayed when they right click on a file at Visual Studio 2012 Solution Explorer window.

add tile images to Windows Phone app project

Now we are ready to continue coding in our sample Windows Phone 8 app project. At the top of the MainPage partial class, I defined a list variable where I store the tile images paths.

private List<string> tileList;

As seen in below code block, I populate the tile list at MainPage constructor using below C# code. The list named tileList stores the path of tile images as string and I can use it whenever I need on this app page.

// Constructor
public MainPage()

 if (tileList == null)
  tileList = new List<string>();

After this step, we can create a button which will trigger an event that will create cycle tile or update existing cycle.

create cycle tile for Windows Phone app

On MainPage.xaml place a button control as follows between Grid tags where page content is displayed

&t;Button Content="Create or Update Cycle Tile" HorizontalAlignment="Left" Margin="64,115,0,0" Grid.Row="1" VerticalAlignment="Top" Tap="Button_Tap"/>

On the code behind page where Button_Tap tap event code exists, I placed a control to decide whether to create a tile or update existing tile. The first line of C-Sharp code queries for an active tile which is pointing to MainPage.xaml If such a tile exists for our sample Windows Phone app, we choose to update tile. Otherwise, we continue with create tile code sample.

ShellTile cycleTile = ShellTile.ActiveTiles.FirstOrDefault(o => o.NavigationUri.ToString().Contains("/MainPage.xaml"));
if (cycleTile == null)

Let's first continue with create tile sample codes. We assume that there is not any tile configured for MainPage.xaml ShellTile.Create method is used to create a tile.

private void CreateCycleTile()
 List<Uri> imageList = new List<Uri>();

 foreach (string imagePath in tileList)
  Uri uri = new Uri(imagePath, UriKind.Relative);

 CycleTileData cycleTileData = new CycleTileData();
 cycleTileData.Title = "New CycleTileData";
 cycleTileData.Count = imageList.Count;
 cycleTileData.CycleImages = imageList;

 ShellTile.Create(new Uri("/MainPage.xaml", UriKind.Relative), cycleTileData, false);

And here is the update tile code sample. Windows Phone developers will realize that the Update method of the ShellTile object is used.

private void UpdateCycleTile(ShellTile cycleTile)
 List<Uri> imageList = new List<Uri>();

 foreach (string imagePath in tileList)
  Uri uri = new Uri(imagePath, UriKind.Relative);

 CycleTileData cycleTileData = new CycleTileData();
 cycleTileData.Title = "Updated CycleTileData";
 cycleTileData.Count = imageList.Count;
 cycleTileData.CycleImages = imageList;


Windows Phone enables developers to create flip tiles during Windows Phone 8 app development for their apps similar to cycle tiles shown with sample code in this tutorial.

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Microsoft Windows 8 Downloads, tutorials, guides and how-to documents

Microsoft Windows 8 Download
Save Windows Phone Screen using Screen Recorder
How to Create Flip Tile Programmatically in Windows Phone 8 App
How to Create Cycle Tile Programmatically in Windows Phone 8 App
New Windows Phone 8 Features
Download Windows Phone SDK 8 for Visual Studio 2012 and Windows Phone Emulator
Add Search Providers like Google Search Provider to Internet Explorer 10 IE10
Enable and Configure Kid's Corner on Windows Phone 8 Smartphones
How to Change Windows Phone 8 Broadcast Name
How to Change Windows Phone 8 Device Name
Download Windows Phone App for Windows 8
Windows Phone 8 App Development: A Quick Start Guide
Search for an App on Windows 8 App Store
Reinstall App Store for whom Removed Windows App Store
Create Picture Password for Windows 8 User
Windows 8 Tips - Windows 8 Close App
Group and Name Windows 8 Tiles on Start Screen
Learning Windows 8 Diary - What I learnt today
Windows 8 Installation Stuck at Getting Devices Ready
Rate Windows 8 Performance using Windows Experience Index
Windows 8 File Explorer aka Windows 8 Explorer
Pin Program to Taskbar using Windows 8 Pin to Taskbar option
How to Change Windows 8 Language
Windows 8 Wallpapers
How to Shutdown Windows 8
Windows 8 App Development using Visual Studio 11 Express
Windows 8 Installation (Windows Consumer Preview)
Install Windows 8 on Virtual Machine Oracle Virtual Box Configuration
Windows 8 Screenshots from Windows Consumer Preview Beta
Windows 8 Product Key to for Windows Consumer Preview Setup
Windows 8 Installation Compatibility Advisor Report
Tweet@rama Windows 8 Application for Twitter
Microsoft Windows 8 Activation using Desktop Control Panel
Windows 8 Product Key to Reinstall Windows 8
Change Screen Resolution in Windows 8 for Metro-Style Applications
How to Install Windows 8 - Installation Screenshots
New Windows Task Manager in Windows 8
Windows 8 Startup Repair with System Restore
How to Change Windows 8 User Account Picture
Windows 8 Tips and Tricks
Windows 8 Setup Error: HAL_INITIALIZATION FAILED. Your PC ran into a problem that it couldn’t handle, and now it needs to restart.
Windows 8 Games
Windows 8 with Windows 8 Xtreme

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