This is what Start Screen backgrounds in Windows Phone 8.1 will look like

win81startscreenbgs

The last time we talked about Start Screen backgrounds in Windows Phone 8.1 it was hinted that they could look familiar. That’s because the rumor stated that backgrounds in WP 8.1 would work just like an existing app called Skinery. With Skinery you can create custom live tiles that work together to display a larger image. Some new screenshots confirm that this is exactly how it will work in WP 8.1.

The screenshots above show a¬†background image peeking through the live tiles. This is probably what previous rumors meant by “transparent live tiles.” Tiles that use the user-defined accent color will display the background images, but tiles that have their own color will not. Many users have wondered why not just put the background image behind the tiles like in Windows 8. If you look more closely you’ll see there is very little room for that image to show through.

start back settings

Tom Warren from The Verge has also shared what the Settings page will look like for choosing the image. Users will still get to choose an accent color, but if you have a “Start background” they will only see the color in other areas of the OS. We can also see that users will be able to choose if they want the two or three column layout on the Start Screen. We love that.

[via The Verge]


  • Aooga

    That looks nice!

  • robjackson81

    Nice idea but it kind of makes my brain hurt. It takes the branding away from the apps and places the focus on the wallpaper/background. Cool in theory, but my attention gets lost in the divided priority.

    Windows has always been about functionality first. in trying to “catch up” with iOS and Android they started focusing too much on the “cool factor” in my opinion. This option is great, but I think Windows Phone would benefit from letting users choose a simplified icon start screen as would the new Windows for desktops/laptops/tablets.

    I really want Microsoft to succeed with Windows Phone but I don’t think – at least in the near-term – they’ll get their simply by thinking outside of the box. Conform a bit, Microsoft! It’s okay!

    Just my opinion.