Transparency Tiles updated, lets you pin clear Instagram, Foursquare, Facebook and more to your 8.1 screen

Since Windows Phone 8.1’s preview release this week, you folks can’t enough of the new Start screen backgrounds. And here you thought you’d hate them ;)

We covered a cool little app dubbed Transparency Tiles earlier this week, as it’s used to re-create Tiles for your 8.1 Start screen for native and popular apps. On first release it covered just Xbox Games, Music and Video, but we told you more apps would be coming. Since that time, the app has had a few updates, with the latest just going live a few moments ago.

The app now is brimming with new apps, so many that it’s hard to list. You can now pin clear Tiles to your Start screen for these apps:

  • Evernote
  • Facebook
  • Finance
  • Food and Drink
  • Foursquare
  • HERE Drive
  • HERE Maps
  • HERE Transit
  • Instagram
  • Lync
  • MetroTube
  • MyTube
  • News
  • Nokia MixRadio
  • Nokia Xpress
  • Pandora
  • Podcast Lounge
  • SmartGlass (Xbox One only)
  • Spotify
  • Sports
  • Tapatalk
  • Travel
  • TuneIn Radio
  • Twitter
  • Viber
  • Video
  • Vine
  • Waze
  • WeChat
  • WhatsApp

You can create small, medium or wide Tiles using this app, but remember that these *will not be Live Tiles* as they are shortcuts to the app, not the actual Tiles. So if you can live without the Live Tiles, then definitely grab this app until if and when those apps are updated to support Transparency.

Update: Well, at least for a few of us, the Instagram Tile won't work. Chalk it up to a bug that will probably be fixed in the next release!

Pick up Transparent Tiles version 1.2 here in the Store. Windows Phone 8.1 only.

Thanks for the tip, vikrant6

QR: Transparency Tiles


Reader comments

Transparency Tiles updated, lets you pin clear Instagram, Foursquare, Facebook and more to your 8.1 screen


Ikr! I asked for mytube and Spotify and here they are! :D
EDIT: damnit I shouldn't count my chickens before they hatch, the spotify icon is the outdated one from 2012 not the newer version, I hope this gets fixed :P
EDIT2: The mytube icon on the small tile is waaaay too small :(

I have it transparent and it is live/updates. Using the large tile. Yep, just as writing this got a toast message, checked tile and new article showing, yeah!!!!

Yes, Iconic is, but it has mind of its own, keep changing between transparent and accent colour :/

Not really. It's really a question of luck. For example, I have it transparent on the L1020 but on the L920 with the exact same settings, the Tile isn't transparent.

Here's what I concluded...if you open the app and close it, its no longer transparent. Let out update on its own (background update) and its transparent again.

Oh Mr. Bennett, could you eliminate the glaring white "post" balloon from the bottom of the comments window too? It is so harsh at night :)

Now I want to be able to rename the tiles to wherever I want. Why? I want the Xbox tiles to be named in my language (Jogos, Vídeo e Música).

I've wanted to rename apps since WP7. Doubt it will happen, but I hate that some apps are named "Cool Voice recorder" or whatever and I have to remember to go to C instead of V to record a voice or go to R for record...or whatever...

Then you should grab Skinery Themes. You can create the tiles and while currently the transparent ones aren't available, the developer is already working on it.

*You're ;)

And are you surprised? I'm not. I mean, I'm not sure if Brazilians don't have swipe keyboard. Maybe they do. I wouldn't be surprised if, as usual, Microsoft would treat Brazilian as an autonomous language while ignoring Portuguese altogether.

I like how this app has helped me make my Music, Games, Here Drive and Here Maps tiles transparent. But don't the Nokia Express and Whatsapp tiles support transparency natively?

Wohoo my tip :) I hadn't liked this background stuff when the first wp8.1 leak had surfaced.. But now I'm in love with this so much that I'll never go back to plain accent tiles :D

tapatalk doesn't work for me either...just spins trying to launch the app.  If I use the 'real' tapatalk tile, it launches immediately.  something's not quite right on it.

cool, thx.  need to get used to being able to check there for app info with the store upgrades.

Skype and its a complete list.
...and yes. New startscreen and custom notifications easily the best of this update.

Yeah still waiting for Skype and trying to figure the WPC tile out. It's pretty unpredictable, but Jay says they're working on an update so here's hoping.

Instagram tile is not working on the 1020. Also, ones for ⛽ Buddy, Skype and Office would be nice.

blame it on MSFT. their restrictive API forces the tile app to open first and then launch the app you actually wanted to open. If MSFT provided a proper API as they do on windows to create any shortcut to any program with any look, this type of thing wouldn't happen.

It is because they are opened through a different protocol, which exists to perform other kind of linking between apps and might not be optimized for app launching. Also live tile is not live, just an image/icon.

I'm not in that much of a rush lol... Let them update... They will eventually. Considering they have like 2 months left to do it at least

I think it's time for WPCentral to update their app as well? It's sitting the bottom of my start screen because it's not transparent. Or rather give your users ability to opt in for transparent or accent color live tiles like vieather.

ok, I'll bite.  the WP app is transparent for me...has been since you posted the article about updating it to use the Iconic or transparent tile...


what should I be complaining about Daniel?  :D

Nevermind...saw the response farther up the comments.  Live tile isn't transparent...coming next week.

Well the Facebook app is broken anyway ever since 8.1 but the beta one works just doesn't it do sync to phone. That's the only bad part.

It is the original facebook app which is broken, you have to go the peoples hub to download the new Facebook app and you'll be fine.

Let me try that. Because the beta facebook app works fine minus no phone sync. I will delete the normal facebook and download it through the Hub. Thanks.

Update: It still gives me we having trouble getting data when I check on the notification tap. App is broken.

If we aren't using a live tile for an app, will it still get notifications in the pull down shade?

Yes, you still get the notifications. Only the live tile won't work. Everything else will still show in the Notification Centre as long as you don't have it disabled.

Not such a big win for Foursquare on my phone.  It crashes 100% of the time when using transparency tiles to launch... :(

Great to see this continually getting updated! Unfortunately 3/4 apps I requested can't be done... hoping the devs actually get around to it.

Might as well wait for the devs to make their apps naturally transparent tile capable, if they're not live.

WPC App for Android- Lenovo IdeaTab A3000

Exactly. I use the news app and MyTube with large tiles just to glance at new headlines and new videos. Therefore, unusable to me...

I like it how the biggest hit to hit the WP UI has been basically to do away with the flat flourescent colors. yet another proof that MSFT needs to refresh its entire UI with more customization options.

i wish the Kindle app, Xbox games, One Note, Nokia Camera, Xbox Music, Photosynth. Phototastic and InstaSquarer had transparent tiles... I need them to be to finish up my home screen. 

MyTube and News are useless for those who use the live updates on the tiles. It doesn't support live updates... Yet?

No, not for me. I'm glad that you're all happy but one of the best features of WP is the live tiles, imo. If you take that away, together with the sudden death of the hubs (photos, music, games) all the best things that made out phones unique and different from the android/iPhone mob, then it's just another boring OS.
I'm really hoping for a serious improvement when the general version is launched. My 920 lags practically in every thing, the swipe keyboard doesn't support Portuguese, Cortana is a near to useless gimmick (give it time and you will get over it), especially outside US... Very disappointed at this point.

I love Live tiles, but not all my startscreen apps are live cuz they don't need to be. in those cases a developer ugly custom color ruin it.

Don't use this for your live tiles, use it for the static ones.


Give one less star on the reviews and write you will give one more when transparent tiles are available. 


I can confirm my instagram and pandora app tiles dont work on my 1520. I have to launch from the app menu. Or screw up my perfect start screen by putting the old tiles back on, yeah right thats not happening.

Large app devs such as vine and instagram know that when they do update their tiles to be transparent (and I do believe they will eventually), they will both have to provide features and bug fixes to bring the apps on par with the android and IOS versions. Neither would feel they could get away with tiny updates merely making their tiles transparent. I believe their respective owners (twitter and Facebook), although giving updates, have possibly not followed suit so a to not draw attention to vine and instagram. Just my theory.

I wonder if it was possible to create semi transparent tiles. If you hold down a tile until you get the ability to move or resize, you kinda a stained glass effect. It's pretty.

Some apps already has semitransparency in its icons (transparency tiles actually has it, music wallpaper and contacts hub too)

Transparent or live?  New decisions.  :) 

Facebook is now transparent because I can see new posts in Action Center.

Some of these will have already have "sort of" transparency support already. For example WhatsApp is already transparent and live for me. As a rule of thumb any app that shows your accent colour in the app list may be transparent I have come across four apps that aren't transparent being cellular live tile, WiFi live tile, Bluetooth live tile and Buses Due. They shows the accent colour in the app list but when you create the tile they are not transparent. The three apps apart from buses due just need to be updated whereas the Buses Due app shows its one unique colour scheme when pinned (its about 5% transparent - on the small tile at the bottom).

what is the use of unified colour system when your own app(office ,onedrive,music )dont follow the convention .

what is the use of unified colour system when your own app(office ,onedrive,music )dont follow the convention .

yeah, that's annoying as hell


Give one less star on the reviews and write you will give one more when transparent tiles are available. 


I sent a request for Mint, One Note, Office, and 9gag. He said they weren't possible though. So you can't have everything.

sometime next week the fix will be released. my "Dead" tile is transparent at the moment btw.

How can I have the WPCentral app transparent live tile? I tried it but doesn't work as a live tile, only shortcut to app.

What is the "video" tile a link to? It has my videos, but not the video store. Its half the app. Strange.

without any software used, on my 521, the Facebook app is transparent.  on my Icon, the Facebook app is the solid blue color.  I have no idea how the 521 got a transparent tile.