With our Q1 2012 SP1 release we managed to bundle something that will make your apps go off the fanciness chart, something that will make your apps look way better.
That something is called RadHubTile and the WP7 home screen experience is now available to your apps without any effort. Just put one of the hub tiles we have prepared for you on your page and watch your app shine.
That probably sounds great but how do you actually use that thing? “Where are the classes!?” I hear you shout. They will be revealed a little later because I think it’s time to show a picture. A motion picture of a beautiful page that is alive with information:
The hub tile classes that you asked about, shown on the video, are these: RadHubTile, RadMosaicHubTile, RadSlideHubTile, RadPictureRotatorHubTile and RadCustomHubTile.
Let’s start with the simplest tile: RadHubTile. It is used to display information such as how many notifications you have in your inbox, or how many tasks are left in your TODO list etc. It also has a back side. Developers can set its BackContent property to display more information if necessary. This property is actually available on all hub tiles. They all have a back side.
The mosaic tile mimics the fancy looking people hub tile on the Windows Phone home screen. It consists of smaller tiles, which flip randomly to show small pictures from a collection of image URIs.
RadSlideHubTile is the tile you are looking for if you want to show a picture and some info related to the picture. Since the area on the tile is limited, the picture is displayed on the bottom side of the tile and the info on the top side. In order to see both, the tile slides up and down. It is identical to the tile that is created on your home screen when you pin a contact.
RadPictureRotatorHubTile has the same API as the mosaic tile, a collection of image URIs that is used to get a picture to be displayed. The difference between the mosaic tile and this tile is in the presentation. The rotator tile rotates random images and has that slow smooth animation when the images are bigger than the tile. See the tile of the Pictures app on your phone to see what I mean.
Finally RadCustomHubTile is completely, well, custom… Devs can show any information on the back and front sides because the FrontContent and BackContent properties are of type object. You can put anything from a simple string to a dynamically updating mini UI. The capabilities are the same as those of ContentPresenter and ContentControl.
Of course, in order to actually get the hub tile you have to download the latest release and if you have questions or suggestions, our forums are a great place to submit them.