Playing around with WMAppManifest.xml

WP7 introduces a new file for applications packages (along with the XAP format). The WMAppManifest or WindowsPhoneManifest depending on whether it’s Silverlight or XNA is used to request permissions, and set up things like icons and the applications name in the Start Menu.

In WP7, there are two different places app names are displayed, the “home page”, and the “start menu”. This makes it a little annoying to change the name of your application, as when it’s “Pinned to Start” it’s not necessarily going to display as you’d expect.

The default for an Silverlight application icon looks something like this


and when pinned to start, it looks like


The “Title” attribute in the <App> element defines what’s shown on the start menu when the application is not pinned. Since by default spaces are replaced by underscores, it makes sense to undo that and have something that looks a lot nicer to read.


The <Title> element within <Tokens> defines what is displayed on the home screen when the application is pinned.  


Similarly, the <IconPath> element defines what’s shown when not pinned, and the <BackgroundImageURI> is a URI pointing to the image shown when the application is pinned.

The <Count> element within <Tokens> allows you to set a value for the count indicator when the icon is pinned. This is what’s incremented by push notifications. Setting it to ten before being deployed displays something like the image below. This doesn’t have any effect on icons that are not pinned to the start.


Hopefully this clears up some of the slightly odd behaviour of WP7 and app manifests.


About l3v5y

Student, hacker, news writer and software developer.
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