How did Google get an icon instead of a web thumbnail on their live tile?

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Long time friend of All About, Russell Beattie, was intrigued by Google's latest live tile for Windows Phone - by pinning their Windows Phone homepage to your start screen you get a nice blue tile with the "g" logo on show. Why is that not a thumbnail of the website and how did they do that? Beattie decided to work out how...

Hmm, so how did the Goog make a tile icon?!

So next, I spoofed my phone's browser and curled Google's home page to see what it showed - maybe there was some API or something you could call or a meta-tag that the rest of us don't know about. There isn't - it's actually a lot simpler than that. If you look at the screen captures above, you'll see that WPCentral showed the steps you have to take to add an icon: You click the button on the home page, then you see a blue screen with a logo and instructions to then use the menu to pin a tile.

The key is that Google is using an SVG image file on that page!

More details, and the vital code snippet for web developers are over on Beattie's site.

Source / Credit: Russell Beattie