Originally Posted by grking
The idea of the tile is that all of a person's information is aggregated in one place and displayed. So, the people tile displays any email that a person sent you, any texts, any twitter postings, any updates to their facebook page is all in the people hub in one spot.
If I were to do that on my iPhone, I would have to open (and switch between) multiple applications to get the same information.
I like the concept
of the Active Tile!
For it to be useful
, however, the user must have a lot of external things going on
that affect him-- or there would be little "activity".
There are several ways it could be implemented:
1) Push notifications
2) Periodic polling
3) a combination of the above
None of this is too expensive (battery) because the phone, in reality, is constantly mini-polling for calls, etc.
So, when notifications arrive (however, they arrive) they can be saved and a badge updated-- all but the simplest notifications, contain a token instead of the actual content.
At some point, the notifications are resolved by:
-- sending the token to the server
-- downloading the content associated with that token
-- invoking the app (or a mega-app) that processes that content (mail, pictures, people tracking, etc.).This is the critical part -- resolving the notifications..
If it is done in the background
whenever a notification arrives -- it can drain the battery.
If it is done when the user presses the start key
(all outstanding notifications resolved) -- there, likely, will be a noticeable delay.
If neither is a problem for the user -- likely, the user doesn't have enough external "activity" to benefit from active tiles,
Surely, the OS can use some intelligence, realize that tokens are stacking up, resolve them and then go back to sleep.
Within the iOS SDK (and I suspect Android SDK), the developer can write a mega-app-- an "Active Tile" if you will, that could handle "resolving the tokens".
Apple or Google, certainly, could do it on a system-wide basis.
The question is the battery tradeoff worth the always updated status?