Windows Phone: App Accent Color

The last post showed how to get the current app’s tile colour in Windows 8. What about Windows Phone? There isn’t the concept of a tile colour – you provide a full image for your app icon and tiles and this can be whatever colour you choose or transparent in which case the user’s accent colour is used. In terms of a theme colour for phone apps the application icon is probably a better place to start. The vast majority of apps use a solid colour background, this is seldom the case with games but since this post focusses on apps let’s not worry about that.

The Charming ApplicationModel library contains a more complete implementation of the Windows.ApplicationModel.Package class for reading app metadata at runtime – on Windows Phone most of the properties are not implemented. This has been updated with a number of new Windows 8.1 properties such as Logo which returns a Uri to the application logo file within your package. We can then use a WriteableBitmap to read an individual pixel from the image and create a solid colour brush to be used inside the app. This allows you to change the appearance of your app without any code or XAML changes, and is also useful for custom controls where the code might reside separately from the application itself. Below is the equivalent code to the Win8 version posted before. This creates a resource “AppAccentBrush” which can be used within the app UI.

System.Windows.Resources.StreamResourceInfo sri = Application.GetResourceStream(InTheHand.ApplicationModel.Package.Current.Logo);

System.Windows.Media.Imaging.BitmapImage img = new System.Windows.Media.Imaging.BitmapImage();

System.Windows.Media.Imaging.WriteableBitmap wb = new System.Windows.Media.Imaging.WriteableBitmap(img);
int rgb = wb.Pixels[0];
byte r, g, b;
r = (byte)((rgb & 0xFF0000) >> 16);
g = (byte)((rgb & 0xFF00) >> 8);
b = (byte)(rgb & 0xFF);
System.Windows.Media.Color c = System.Windows.Media.Color.FromArgb(0xff, r, g, b);
Application.Current.Resources.Add(“AppAccentBrush”, new System.Windows.Media.SolidColorBrush(c));

There is currently no check here for transparent backgrounds as we’d probably want to default to a solid colour in this case (perhaps fall back to PhoneAccentBrush). I’m looking at improving this code and integrating it into the charming libraries, to provide customisation to some of the UI such as the settings screens. You can grab the Charming libraries from Codeplex ( or NuGet (