Any Phone App developers out there reading here? I need an App for my ¡next! Nokia Lumia...

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2013/09/30 07:01 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2013/09/30/10452589.aspx


I need an App.

On my phone.

It is a job that I need it to do that is almost deceptively simple.

So simple that there must be something complicated about it that makes it difficult?

Put simply, I need an App that will figure out the screen layout and store it, so it can be re-applied later, either in a new phone or after a reset.

Currently, if you save info to the cloud, the Apps themselves are remembered but not how they are laid out. That is what is needed: a way to re-apply the layout at will.

Some Apps come close to providing the feature, mind you.

There is an App out there in the Store called Group Tiles by vSoft Studiosthat comes close and sets up the framework to accomplish the task, but doesn't get the job done, in the end.

Group Tiles

And there's another App out there called Name Group of Tiles by Naveen Kumar Lthat comes even closer and he even provides an email address, so I'll definitely send him to this blog when it's published to see if he can help here, or if he's already getting it done and I'm missing it.

Name Group of Tiles

There are other Apps that are similar, I just realized why they fall short for me. They let you name groups of tiles, but their main purpose isn't about saving the whole layout. No one seems to be about just storing the layout and nothing else. The other features just distract from this simple, elemental functionality.

Most of these apps are free (with limited functionality, they can all be upgraded) but I don't need free.

Just give me an App that you can

  1. run any time you like;
  2. optionally save the info to SkyDrive or Dropbox or wherever;
  3. apply the saved layout to this phone if it gets reset or replaced, or a new phone comes along.

I also need to get some of my friends on the Windows Phone team to see if they can help.

Maybe I can do it myself, with a little bit of help. If I do it, the App will be free, or I'll give the money to Vittana (the microloan company that used to be run by my friend Kushal Chakrabarti).

One thing is for sure and for certain: I'm not getting a new Nokia Lumia Windows Phone without having this App in my toolbox.

*Somebody*has got to get this App developed.

I need this App.

Everybody needs this App. Just in case they need it.

And the sooner, the better! 😏;-)

So, have I inspired anyone out there enough to want to help?

You would be doing a great service for every Windows Phone user out there!


David Hayes on 30 Sep 2013 7:51 AM:

I don't think there is an API that lets you query the tile layout I'm afraid (would be cool though)

David Warner on 30 Sep 2013 8:01 AM:

There's no API for retrieving tile positions as of WP8 (or even checking what apps are installed). The two apps you've referenced in this blog simply create tiles that act as group headers.

Probably best to just vote for this suggestion on UserVoice: windowsphone.uservoice.com/.../3387112-expand-device-backup-scope-on-wp8

Lars Viklund on 30 Sep 2013 3:25 PM:

I'm going to channel Raymond on this. If you provide an API to change something the user has explicitly configured, evil applications will use it to promote themselves.

A generic rearrangement API is thus pretty much unfeasible to implement from the vendor side, and at best you'd get full layout backup/restore functionality.

Mike Dimmick on 1 Oct 2013 11:15 AM:

Following on from Lars' comment, it's pretty clear to me that Trustworthy Computing was in the minds of the people who designed Windows Phone and Windows Runtime for Windows 8 Store apps. They simply aren't providing APIs to do lots of the things you could do with Win32. It's not just not having time to provide them, I think it's a deliberate choice to not allow apps to do things that could provide places for malware to hide.

You really are relying on Microsoft to provide that kind of functionality.

Michael S. Kaplan on 3 Oct 2013 6:48 PM:

I give up. There doesn't seem to be a way to do this


referenced by

2013/11/12 My original request was unnecessarily hard on the competition, and kinda unfairly so

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