Create custom Windows Phone 8.1 backgrounds and wallpapers with Tile Background

If you are in the mood to create custom Start Screen backgrounds and Lockscreen Wallpapers, there are plenty of Windows Phone 8.1 apps to choose from. Tile Backgrounds is one option that hopes to catch your attention and find its way onto your Windows Phone.

Tile Backgrounds has options to crop and edit your photos so they fit your needs. The layout is simple and the app does have the potential to create some fantastic looking backgrounds and wallpapers. However, there is one aspect of Tile Backgrounds that may not be very appealing to some.

Simple menu, easy interface

The main menu for Tile Background offers you the options to create a Start Screen background, a Lockscreen Wallpaper, rate the app in the Windows Phone Store and send feedback to the developer.

Once you choose what you want to create, you will need to pick out a photo from your Windows Phone Pictures Hub. Tile Background will then let you crop your image to fit the screen size of your Windows Phone.

Once cropped, you will be sent to the editing screens of Tile Background, which includes these nine tools.

  • Darken
  • Blurry
  • Pixelated
  • Cartoon
  • Color (add a colored hue to things)
  • Old
  • Neon
  • Hex Tiles (pixelates but with hexagonal shaped pixels)

Each tool can be customized/tweaked by tapping the settings gear in the bottom row of control tiles. For example, you can choose color tone to add to your image or set the size of the pixels for pixilation.

When you have customized the image to your liking, tap the checkmark to save the image to your Pictures Hub. You will have the option to set the image as your Lockscreen Wallpaper, share the image, create a new image, rate the app and send feedback to the developer once you save things.

You will see an option to set the image as your Start Screen background but as the app will remind you; this feature is not available with Windows Phone 8.1.

Overall Impression

Tile Background comes across as a nice and simple way to create custom Start Screen backgrounds and Lockscreen wallpapers. The interface is straightforward and the tool set not too shabby.

However, there is one aspect of Tile Background that will have many saying, "I'll pass". The app is a free title in the Windows Phone Store but only the first three tools can be used (Darken, Blurry and Pixelated). You can preview the other six tools but to unlock them, it'll cost you $.99 each. Yes… each. On the plus side if you share the app on Facebook you get one filter free.

While I can see the appeal of Tile Background, I'm not sure it's worth almost $6 to unlock the full feature set. It may be worth the $.99 to unlock the entire collection of editing tools but it's a tough sell to charge $.99 for each of them.

Tile Background is rated at 4 Stars in the Windows Phone Store and if it wasn't for the cost of unlocking the full app, we probably would agree with that rating. As is though, 4 Stars may be too high.

  • Tile Background - Windows Phone 8.x - 6MB - Free - Store Link

George Ponder

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.