Posted on 10-24-11 01:40 pm
Earlier today, I released a demo video of my new project, entitled "Resumable XAPs". Essentially, these enable applications to be resumed when they are called-not replaced. Combine this with my dehydration hack, and we've got applications that instantly resume themselves whenever they are clicked on. Pin these to your home screen, and you get the picture. Instead of having to restart applications on launch, you can simply jump right back where you were.
So how does this work? Well, here's the technical bit: In every WMAppManifest.xml file, located inside the XAPs, there's a line called "DefaultTask". In the Visual Studio IDE, there's little you can do with this line, but if you edit it post-compiling, you can actually do a lot of things. In this case, adding the term ActivationPolicy="Resume" to your DefaultTask will make the application resume the task, rather than replace it (default action). Here's an example:
For the End User
Pretty simple, huh? Well, for some, not really. So to help you guys out, I created a tool called the "Resumable XAP Tool". It's an early version, but here's what it does:
- Patches XAP files to be resumable
- Gives an option to deploy, including [free] Marketplace XAPs
To get the XAPs, I recommend you use the WP7 Desktop Marketplace. This will allow you to download free applications, which can then be run through the patcher and deployed in a few clicks. Here's the catch: you need the original XAP file to patch, so any paid applications will not be available for this. I wish this weren't the case, but for now, that's the situation. For free applications, such as Twitter, this tool works great.
This does not work on every application. In a technical sense, it does, but some applications are coded in a strange way and are not designed to be resumed in this manner. The official Facebook app, for example, will not resume properly. Same goes for Netflix. Other applications, however, work great, such as the Twitter app I demonstrated. Don't expect it to work miracles, but for the applications it works on, this new functionality should be greatly appreciated.
Update: Apparently this only works on Windows Phone 7.0 applications. 7.1 (mango) applications do not support this, probably because of the way they are handled for multitasking. Will update when a solution is known for them.
Please do not link directly to this download, link to this page instead.
Please let me know if you have any concerns, problems, questions, or even nice comments. If you like it, do feel free to let me know in the comments. I put a lot of work into trying to make this easy on you guys, and I hope to be able to release more in the near future. Enjoy. ;)