Simple background trick allows you to dramatically change your Windows Phone start screen

Microsoft has often said that they think that Windows Phone is the most customizable smartphone platform on the market. Being able to change up the tiles, backgrounds, theme colors and other options, Windows Phone is easy to personalize and thanks to a simple trick by changing the background, you can now customize the tile look as well.

The folks over at Winphoneviet.com have figured out how to combine the transparent live tiles with custom background to change the Start screen of your Windows Phone with some impressive results. You can make your phone look like the device at the top of this post but know that it does take some work on tweaking your tiles to get the same results.

If you watch the video above, you can see how the backgrounds have been created, if you wish to create your own. Or, if that seems like a lot of work, you can download some of the files from our gallery to try them out on your phone right now.

If you do try them out, make sure to post up your images below, or in our Windows Phone forum so that we can take a look at them too.

Source: Winphoneviet.com | Via: WMPU

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Headline should read... "Simple background trick allows you to dramatically change your Windows Phone start screen into something really ugly!"

tedious rather than simple. Sure there is a good programmer out there who can automate this. recognize the tiles, find center, create circle depending on dimensions of tile on grid etc. create background and apply. Once that app is available I'd call it simple...

Wow, what a lot of trouble to get a good looking start screen.
Most people won't be able to do anything like that.

This trick only works if you only have a little bit tiles like that. If you have a bunch of tiles/folders it'll mess up once you scroll. I prefer the beautiful native tiles.

My tile background is a bunch of smaller tiles...

Yo dawg, I heard you like tiles so I put some tiles in your tiles so you can Metro while you Metro.

Well, it's interesting and clever but I expect MS has a number of updates to live tiles in the works for v9 that will change things yet again.

I dont see them going to much away from the tiles for touch devices tho. So I doubt that anything but the live squares will be available. Which is fine since I dont mind the tiles really on the 520 I have. They work pretty well for touch devices.

techbeck said,
I dont see them going to much away from the tiles for touch devices tho. So I doubt that anything but the live squares will be available. Which is fine since I dont mind the tiles really on the 520 I have. They work pretty well for touch devices.

I didn't mean them going away but evolving into more than just the live tiles we have now. Even in WP8.1 you see the first signs of this with the Cortana live tile which is the first, and so far only, one that is able to have a animation and not a static image like the rest (if you look at it her circle avatar turns on the live tile itself iirc). That's something they're probably going to open up to 3rd parties once they work on the API a bit more, which JoeB has said already, so that right there changes things to an extent.

The other thing is having, even on the phone, the ability to turn the live tile into a live widget like the MSR video that was shown, and then quickly pulled, showed us. So by expanding, say the Xbox Music, tile to it's full large size, you would get playback controls inside it as well, and when it's smaller it just defaults back to a live tile.

Those two things are what I expect to see on both WP and Windows in the future, probably with v9.

techbeck said,
I dont see them going to much away from the tiles for touch devices tho. So I doubt that anything but the live squares will be available. Which is fine since I dont mind the tiles really on the 520 I have. They work pretty well for touch devices.

There are rectangular tiles too.
vNext will introduce double height rectangles.

i prefer the tiles, thats why i got windows phone, not android, where every company unleashes their "creativity"

Microsoft has often said that they think that Windows Phone is the most customizable smartphone platform on the market.

Really? I want what MS is smoking and considering pot is legal in WA, probably some pretty good stuff. ;)

Edited by techbeck, Aug 21 2014, 7:09pm :

neonspark said,
it's marketing. stop freaking out over it.

No, its false information that confusers customers and they think they are getting something they are not.

techbeck said,

Really? I want what MS is smoking and considering pot is legal in WA, probably some pretty good stuff. ;)


I've owned an iPhone and Android and I definitely feel WP is more personal to me. When you look at everyone's iPhone and Android they are the same thing. Everyone's Windows Phones is different and unique to that individual.

j2006 said,

I've owned an iPhone and Android and I definitely feel WP is more personal to me. When you look at everyone's iPhone and Android they are the same thing. Everyone's Windows Phones is different and unique to that individual.

How so? iPhones I can see, but Androids different considering what OEM you go with and what icons/widgets a user puts on their home screen or screens. Then you add the launcher replacements, some without needing root, that changes things even more.

techbeck said,
How so? iPhones I can see, but Androids different considering what OEM you go with and what icons/widgets a user puts on their home screen or screens. Then you add the launcher replacements, some without needing root, that changes things even more.

You answered your own question. If you want to personalize a Windows Phone you can do so on with any OEM and device model, even on Verizon. :)

webdev511 said,

You answered your own question. If you want to personalize a Windows Phone you can do so on with any OEM and device model, even on Verizon. :)

That wasnt my question. A statement was made that all iPhones and Androids look the same. I asked how so concerning Android as I can customize an android phone easier and more than any other device.

Depends on what you mean by customization. I agree with j2006, the ones I see out, anecdotal as that may be, is that the WP users have customized more for their interests and not their skins with the same sea of icons.

Sea of icons or sea of tiles. Not everyone prefers one or the other. And we can go on and on about who has seen what and who hasnt. Depending on your area and who you hang around, experiences may vary.

Based on what you can and are allowed to do, Android wins hand down. I am talking about what you can modify/change and customize with the UI...not about what I see in the wild.

techbeck said,
Based on what you can and are allowed to do, Android wins hand down. I am talking about what you can modify/change and customize with the UI...not about what I see in the wild.

Without rooting the device, it is highly dependent on device and carrier. Of course if that's your thing to begin with, then odds are good that you're going to pick one that lends itself to easy customization vs. ultra locked down touch wiz, Verizon special.

webdev511 said,

Without rooting the device, it is highly dependent on device and carrier

Some things you have to root for. Alot of things, you do not have to root. Either way, Android is still more customizable.

That's nice and all but if WP is so customizable (Very dubious claim) why not introduce true custom icon support. Photoshop shouldn't be necessary to achieve such a basic customization.

Hollow.Droid said,
That's nice and all but if WP is so customizable (Very dubious claim) why not introduce true custom icon support. Photoshop shouldn't be necessary to achieve such a basic customization.
What program do you think people use to make custom icons?

blah sorry didn't realize that was MS's comment, not sure how they consider it more customizable then android, though I do think it's more so then iphones.

Maybe at the core it is as customizable as android, but not enough utilities/packages for it to date.

Edited by Corey C, Aug 21 2014, 11:16pm :

That background will fail once you start receiving notifications and tile updates of course. And wont work with scrolling Start Screens

The background does a parallax scroll with the tiles.

Really, unless you only have one screen worth of tiles, I don't see this working the best. Neat idea though