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This again?

Windows Central Podcast 37: Windows 10 Mobile is still dead

Redefining the PC

Why Microsoft's Surface phone could be MUCH more than a mere 'phone'

Surface Pwn 5

Surface Pro 5, Project NEON details leaked on LinkedIn?

XP-YESSSSSSS

Dell's already awesome XPS 15 gets even better in 2017

Surface table meets Windows 10

Yes, we did put Windows 10 on the original Surface table ... and it rocks

Cream o' the crop

Before buying a Microsoft laptop, check out our pick for the absolute best

Simple and secure, just the way I like it

We think Windows 10 Cloud is a great idea, here's why

uber micro

Halo Wars 2 has something for everyone. Here's our full review.

Oldie but goldie

We reviewed Microsoft's decade-old Surface table

Creators Update comin' at ya

These are the coolest new features in the next big Xbox One update (video)

Buyer's guide

The Razer Blade 14 is the best laptop Razer has to offer

Windows 10 app gems

10 terrific Windows 10 apps you should be using

Tower of power

Here's what we think of Dell's XPS Tower Special Edition

Quite a deal

Grab the complete C# coding bootcamp for $41!

Your go-to laptop guide

Introducing our ultimate laptop buyer's guide

Listen here

Attn Android and iPhone users: What you need to know about Windows phone

Old is new?

The original Surface Pro still holds its own in the 2-in-1 world

Xbox Greenlight?

No, internet, Microsoft isn't opening Xbox to all UWP games

Falling in love

HP Envy 34 review: An ultrawide curved all-in-one after my heart

2015 machine in 2017?

Surface 3 still holds its own in 2017

< >

Shop: Surface Studio | New Surface Book | Xbox One S Bundles | NEW Dell XPS 13"

backgrounds

With the release of Windows Phone 8.1, under the Preview for Developers program, we have seen a number of apps surface in the Windows Phone Store focused on creating custom Start Screen backgrounds. Each app seems to follow the same pattern of having a simple interface and plenty of creative styles.

Theme+ is one of the more recent additions to this genre of apps and falls in line with those that have come before. Theme+ has a simple interface that allows you to create custom designs that can add a dash of color to your Windows Phone 8.1 Start Screen.

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As we reported earlier, the leaks for Windows Phone 8.1 are coming in at a steady pace now. Following up on this morning’s video that showed off the new OS is one focusing on the new Start screen options.

Not much has happened with the Start screen since Windows Phone 8 was announced, but with 8.1 users will have at least two new features to help customize and personalize their phones: Start background and Show more Tiles.

As revealed in this admittedly poorly shot video, users can choose from a pre-selection of background images for their Start screens. Alternatively, users can select photos from their Facebook, OneDrive, or camera roll as well. Perhaps the neat thing is the parallax movement when the user scrolls, giving the Tiles a true “windows” feel to them, much like looking outside a window pane.

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WhatsApp is in many ways the go-to messaging app for many these days. Even more so after its momentous purchase by Facebook, who released their own highly-acclaimed messaging app this week.  

We’ve been covering the beta recently, showing you what’s in store for the upcoming public release. Since our last coverage, there have been a few updates, including one just this morning bringing it to build 390.

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More information from the Windows Phone 8.1 beta SDK leak hint at some forthcoming features for the OS update, due to be announced in April. The info comes from LiveSino, who found references to numerous unannounced references to features in the SDK, hinting that such customizations may be in the final build for customers.

The idea of giving customers more options to customize their Windows Phone has been a hot topic for customers for years. Currently on the Start screen, users are only allowed to select from a pre-selected range of hues, with no backgrounds, leading some to call the OS ‘boring’.

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Imagefusion is an interesting app, enabling you to create images for the lock screen background from local libraries. If you've used media players in the past where a collage of images are displayed from multiple artist albums, this is the same affect but with images you choose. The end result can be quite something and best of all: it's free and really simple to use.

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Nokia ran a poll on its blog last week, asking consumers which of the different lock screen features they valued most. Whether it's the notifications, the background images or locking the Windows Phone with a passcode, visitors had the selection of three to choose from. The team has now published the results, which aren't entirely surprising.

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