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Have an unlocked Samsung ATIV S? Add more Live Tiles to your Start screen

Have you looked at your Samsung ATIV S and thought what it would be like if you could have a third column of Live tiles? We'll be getting more room for Live Tiles with the 1080p hardware that will arrive alongside GDR3, but if you own the Samsung Windows Phone 8 device (interop-unlocked), you'll be able to add more tiles to your Start screen with some handy homebrew tools.

WPH Tweaks is a such a tool, which we've covered before. Originally developed by Windows Phone Hacker, WPH Tweaks enabled Windows Phone owners to alter system settings that weren't available in a retail unit. Now, WPH Tweaks for Windows Phone 8 is currently in early testing and is available over on XDA Developers. An interesting feature included in this custom deployment is the allocation of more space for Live Tiles.

The above feature can be disabled, but it does allow you to have up to three medium-sized tiles on each row. To find out what else is included, as well as how you can get involved and download the necessary files, check out the thread on XDA Developers.

Be sure to head on over to our forum to join in the discussion. WPH Tweaks will reportedly work with any interop-unlocked Windows Phone 8 device. Should you look to try this out on your own Windows Phone, we cannot take any responsibility should you damage your smartphone.

Source: XDA Developers; thanks, WP8Expert, for the tip!

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

160 Comments
  • Google Chrome for WP!?
  • No.
  • Why bother having it?
  • I didn't know they made a WP app
  • What's google chrome and is it significant on WP?
  • Well I don't think there's an app for it but it's in the first picture
  • Google chrome has been on wp for ages! I've got it. Look in the store lol haha
  • http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/google-chrome/887be6e7-b1e5-...
  • No. Chrome blows. Bottom line. Gtfo
  • +2520
  • How is that "bottom line?" No matter how much you hate google, Chrome is a good product. It consistently beats IE in benchmarks and javascript performance is way better. I'm using IE11 now with 8.1 because I feel like it's finally comparable to Chrome. IE 9 was ok, 10 was certainly usable, but neither were preferable to the current chrome offering. Even now, IE11 has probably drawn even with Chrome, but isn't significantly better than it. You can hate google all you want, but benchmarks talk. And chrome consistently has some of the best JS rendering in the business. And it's also honestly much easier to develop for than IE, although IE11 is supposed to mitigate that quite a bit. I like IE11, but I won't blindly knock chrome. Chrome is the reason we have IE11 - without competitive pressure Microsoft was under no pressure to improve IE drastically like it has. So we should probably thank google for that, and a lot of other things.
  • Actually, im not saying it bcoz I hate google. I don't hate google. There obviously running a good business. I simply know that Chrome sucks. It may be fast but I am a computer troubleshooter and anyone having browser issues, its always Chrome. I also don't favor IE. I use FireFox and will continue to use it bcoz it keeps up over the years with my daily use. So yes. Bottom line. ;)
  • I can say the exact opposite you know... because I'm a software developer and developing and supporting Chrome is much easier than it is for Internet explorer. Developing for FF is also easy, but FF is not as fast as chrome (or probably even IE11 now). It's stable, but not fast. And more people probably have problems with chrome because more people are using it, if one person's anecdotal experience can be considered conclusive. I used to prefer Chrome because I found it by far the fastest and I never had any issues with it, even before I was developing.
    So no. Not bottom line. ;) Don't we all love using personal experience to prove our points? I can tell we're likely to convince each other.
  • Haha. Definitely a tough argument. I should add that most issues were... Chrome slowing the machine down and also downloads being broken. I was always able to fix the issue by saying "use IE and tell me the issue persists". I'd say FireFox but IE is readily available and I don't want to make more work for myself now by helping them get it installed lol. Every Explorer has its BS. But overall, depending on usage, there's a specific one for a specific user. Don't even get me started on Android ;)
  • As a user, in desktop I favor Firefox over Chrome for compatibility and customization. I don't care much for IE though it's been getting more solid over the years and both the Metro Win 8 and the WP8 versions are pretty good.
  • Your opinions are not fact, Ksmith. Please try to remember that.
  • I did state facts, if you read all the comments. Based on hundreds of customers I deal with on a daily basis.... I'm sure it's only coincidence till a certain point before realization kicks in. Anyways, this topic is over. I'm simply sparking convo and mixing dry humor and im done. Thanks and enjoy each owns choices! WPC
  • I'm talking about the comment I replied to:
    "No. Chrome blows. Bottom line. Gtfo"
    That's entirely opinion, not to mention dismissive and a poor argument. Your other comments are fine.
  • Why the hell are you guys quoting me? Its flooding my email with your responses
  • Obviously you don't make any interesting comments that often.. Lol. Coz this is usually what happens.
  • Imho chrome is garbage i always have trouble getting it to work properly if im playing a flash game in a different tab. IE9 was the same way for me if i had 2 browser tabs flash games would get all "skittery" for lack of a better expression. Mozila on the other hand has always been good to me and IE10 and 11 have been awesome. This is my opinion based on my experience.
  • From IE9, i like and use IE. Chrome crashes randomly and i try to stay away from google products because of their 'we want to know everything about you' policy. Mozilla is fine but it seems to be a memory hog.
    From  a web programmer's point of view though, i would understand why a programmer might not like IE.
  • This is relevant to my interests... hugely.
    Off to look into this...
  • Add backgrounds and more tile colors?
  • Was I wrong?
  • Nope! You were saying this all along. I just hope that Nokia adds this as an optional feature in BSS. Or, maybe not!
  • Unfortunately this feature is officially not coming to current phones. It will be only for phone with 1080p resolution.
  • I can really make my home screen a comic now with pin to start pics :)
  • That would be cool, flipping after 30 seconds down the line, a whole story.
  • Make this happen!!
  • How does it do this?
    Does it make the tiles smaller?
  • No, it makes your screen bigger.
  • Thanks smartass.
    I thought maybe they could have eliminated gaps on the sides and lessened the gaps in between since this is one of the larger WPs available (maybe the largest).
  • Lmao
  • Lmbo!
  • lol. Great question :D
  • Lmco
  • xD
  • Now I'm hating my Lumia 920
  • Me too.... It's display is not as good as my 925 but my 925 don't have enough memory. I bought a ATIV S last week off eBay. It has a screen that shows real Blacks plus it has memory. I will miss glance though.
  • 920 is not that bad. Memory is great and I'm used to LCD. Never tried amoled.
  • The screen is better on the 920 in my opinion. Sure, an AMOLED has more contrast and more saturation, but an LCD has better color accuracy and better definition. I mean, I have a 920 and I tried a 925: if you look closely on the 925's screen you can clearly see a "grainy" texture on the image. Look at the tiles: there are small "dots" along the edges and on the inside. That's strange since the 925 doesn't use a penTile screen, but still...
  • If you had both the 920 & 925 it would be hard to use the 920. It looks dull and faded. Next time you're close to a Att or T-Mobile store go in and compare. Just hit the settings button and hold them side by side. You'll realize how dated the 920 LCD screen is.
  • I will compare them
  • Wow man, calm down. I have used both of them, and I prefer the 920. It's heavier and looks more solid, it has wireless charging and double the memory of the 925 (32GB against 16, at lest here in Italy).
    And apart from the contrast and saturation, the LCD screen is more detailed, that's all. I can't stand a pentile matrix, it looks so cheap, especially on a high end device.
    This is extracted from a review of the Lumia 925:
    "The IPS LCD display on the Lumia 920 was pretty decent, with this AMOLED being largely the same. However there are some differences and tradeoffs associated with switching to OLED-based technology, one of which is the necessity to use a PenTile subpixel matrix at this display density. The PenTile RGBG arrangement reduces the subpixel resolution but not the technical resolution of the display, resulting in sometimes grainy and less sharp images than a panel that uses the usual RGB stripe arrangement."
  • Calm down??? WTF are you talking about? I'm just saying do a side by side. Anyone who isn't blind will see why Nokia doesn't use LCD screens on any of their Lumia's anymore. They look crappy on side by side comparisons. Background Glance is basically useless on my 920. Yet on the 925 it really pops...
  • I fear the 1520 will be LCD :(
  • lol I apologise then, I got that comment wrong :D
    Anyways, I was just saying that of course the amoled screen has more contrast (and glance really is useless on an LCD screen, of course), but it's a matter of fact that the 920's screen has 1/5 more subpixels, so it has a sharper image, that's it. And as for the specs, it has more memory and wireless charging, so I wouldn't say the 925 is much better than the 920.
    As Daniel said in his review, the 925 isn't a new flagship after the 920, it's just a variation with slightly different specs, so that depends on your tastes :)
    And imho for anyone who edits pictures directly on the phone, an LCD screen is better due to its color accuracy. An amoled screen has more contrast and saturation, but it also changes too much the images it displays.
  • My girlfriends 820 which is amoled looks loads better than my 920
  • 925 does use pentile. Look at a non pentile 720p amoled like the Moto x. It looks way better. Its the one thing that drives me nuts about my 925.
  • At least your 920 has GDR2 and soon GDR3, while most of the Ativ S owners are stuck in GDR1.
  • Not really, most ATIV S owners are on GDR2 as most of them are unlocked. What makes me laugh the most is that most Nokia devices don't have GDR2 yet!!?!
  • I don't have GDR2 on my unlocked Samsung..
  • My samsung is running GDR3... hmmmm and data sense (not to brag or anything)
     
  • i have a feeling that Samsung purposely made this security flaw in their WP devices to spoil the WP ecosystem, as it was a growing competition to their android devices..
    i may be wrong, but it is very much possible..
  • Yeah, they made a security flaw in their phone that wasn't discovered for basically a year so they can bring down Microsoft and Nokia.
    That or they unintentionally did something and now some hobbyists can have a mess around.
  • How does this spoil WP this along with folders makes W8 better.
  • I doubt it.
    If anything, the ability to mod the phone will make it more popular.
  • No, this makes it probably the best WP around. This and 200€ price.
  • Also, like, 9/11 was totally an inside job, you guys.
  • Samsung did 9/11 to undermine Windows Phone.
  • Tinfoil hats are by the door, shall I get one for you?
  • You are very very very wrong, in fact, that might be the stupidest thing I've heard all day
  • Well I don't know, but it works for them. I bought my Samsung ATIV S just because the flaw was found. And if I didn't, I wouldn't have created WPH Tweaks and no one could have new start screen yet :P
  • I want this so bad on my Lumia 920 it's not even funny!
  • Me too. I think the screen is a great size for an extra row of tiles.
  • My 925 needs this, too!!
  • +920*925
  • Lumia 920 for sure has a great size for an extra row of titles.
    Please NOKIA do it at least as a fix update!!!
  • They could integrate that option with Bittersweet
  • Nothing for other Windows Phones huh? Someday...
  • Is there a alternative for Nokia? That would be cool...OR INSANELY AMAZING
  • No, only Ativ S has been hacked till now, expecting many more homebrew features soon from xda developers.
  • As they always say. Doesn't seem like many hackers care to play with WP. By the time they get it, WP8.1 will be out and it'll be pointless due to patching. Once the OS finally reached a point where it is as popular as android and ios or even supercedes them, then we will see jailbreaks being taken seriously. Point... Not enough people care. I like my L925 the way it is. Extra tiles and folders are a plus, yes. But that's it. Anything else is messy (backgrounds, etc). Elegance and simplicity will win.
  • There's not much development for WP as it is locked down, the ATIV S is the only phone that they can do anything with and they've only just started.
    Still have to hope Nokia will bring this feature to us. Now that we know it's possible we shoud start pushing Nokia to add this feature.
  • Lumia 920????
  • No, it's for interop unlocked Windows Phones and so far only the ATIV S has been unlocked ;-)
  • Does the ATIV S sport a 1080p display?
  • No.
  • I just checked it, and it doesn't. How the hell is this possible?? I hope current high-end Lumias can do this, as well.
  • It is possible because Microsoft tested it on non 1080p display phones and there were beta testers. We don't know what devices Microsoft used but it is safe to say they uses Ativ S.
  • It really sounds like a custom ROM feature
  • It is just a toggle in the registry - it can even run on 800x480 screens. The resolution does not matter, the size of the screen matters (OEM needs to enable it though)
  • It's not that hard to believe. This feature was in testing as part of GDR3 for existing handsets. It failed in testing as some live tiles didn't play nice with it, unfortunately. All it's doing is shrinking down the resolution of the tikes. It will be interesting to see if there are any compatibility hiccups with this homebrew solution.
  • It is simple...just do a registry edit... lol.  -That's only if you have an unlocked device!  The ATIV-S is the only phone capable of this atm.
  • Nope
  • Yeah, but who actually has that phone?
  • I do!
  • Billy, George and Ralph... oh, and that guy^.
  • Lots of people do in Canada, where the big three all carried it.
  • This might be a difficult concept to grasp, but the world consists of more than just the US of A. Thank god.
  • This might be a difficult concept to grasp, but it's a poorly selling phone WORLDWIDE.
    Go spread your anti-USA crap elsewhere.
  • You generalize, he generalizes. Calm down, man.
  • I don't see how this is "anti-USA" crap. It's more a practise of common sense. If you don't see something yourself, this does not in effect mean that it doesn't exist. If sales of a product are low, it doesn't mean it doesn't get sold. In case of phones, it means it gets sold relativly less then competitors. And that is something that isn't manufacturer specific, it's operating system specific. As we all know, WP phone sales are not in the same league as Iphone and Android phones sales.
     
    Also, with a username of "SouthDallas40", it's kinda easy to guess where the user making the original statement is from. Other continents have people living there too, which also have mobile phones. Fact that u can't see them from your bedroom window, doesn't change that fact.
     
    Given your reaction however, I think Josh, I can make an educated guess where u are from.
  • +1
  • checking in. love my ATIV!
  • Yep I have one its better than my old 920 miss my 8X though.
  • I have one too, love it (now with extra tiles)
  • I have one too and I have to agree with the others, it's one of the best on the market ;-)
  • I do and damn proud of it and my Omnia 7 :)
  • Same here, ATIV S and Omnia 7 are the best devices for WP hacking ;) Both had/have holes which can be used to unlock.
  • Where this says we"ll get more of this with the 1080p hardware alongside gdr3" is that meaning i have to buy a 1520 Nokia if i want three rows without homebrew tweeks ? I want to stick with Samsung !!!! :( i was under impression we were 1080p on the ativ ????
  • No, we have 720p.. But you can get them with that custom rom
  • You don't need a custom ROM, just sideload WPH Tweaks and that's it :)
  • 720p display. But 1080p video recording from rear camera.
  • I wish we could add blank space to W8 & WP8...too many tiles for. Thank god for options.
  • You can if you want.
    Just get a tile editor app and make a black/white tile.
  • Can't lie, pretty dope.
  • Does it work with the Sprint ATIV S Neo?
  • No reason why not if an interop unlock is available for it ;-)
  • I don't understand why third COLUMN is for 1080p devices only. Resolution is pretty irrelevant. All that should matters is the screen size. And even then, if someone has a 4" screen then it should be their own decision as to if they want that third column.
  • Because that's how MS treat us all the time tell us that stuff don't work on our present phones so only way to get that r those features is to get new phones, they been doing it since win mobile 6.0
  • Since Windows 3.11 Workgroup!
    ;-)
  • It isn't dependent on resolution, it's dependent on if it's 5+ inches
  • I was expecting triple columns on 720p/768p devices to make the gap between tiles tiny, making it easier to tap the wrong things, but the gap is the same and the tiles still look easy to see and press with that screenshot displayed on my 920. I'm open to having this on my 920. Would be cool if Microsoft at least made it an option, like they do on Windows 8. (I have it set to have tiny icons in Windows 8, even though I have a relatively normal sized laptop screen, and larger icons could be considered more appealing.) Or, at least allow 1080p screens smaller than 5" in future devices. Don't want to need a massive phone in order to have the best specs otherwise.
  • I completely agree. It should be an option.
  • Yeah the new start screen does not depend on screen resolution, it should even work on 480x800. It only depends on the screen size the OEM sets, either small (current devices), medium or large.
  • thanks Nokia -_-
  • Yeah, thanks for making a more secure phone that can't easily be hacked.
  • You would not say that if you are on this side of the fence. Ativ S
  • Freakin awesome to see such a big step in wp8 jailbreak ❤❤❤
  • Nice! Hope to see more of these!
  • interest of the XDA community is always a good sign about the health of the OS :D
     
    i hope microsoft embrace that community by opening all bootloaders, it can be very  benefitial
    for example, apple has been copying cydia features for years now
  • Argh man want that on 1020
  • I hope the Lumia 920 gets this feature with a new update, it would make things much more reachable without folders. Hoping 8.1 improves things.
  • This would be a great feature to have on my 925. When it was rumored before on 720p/768p screens, I was very hopeful. Now that people are asking for it, hopefully Microsoft won't do their usual, "We'll tell you what you want..."
     
    I would really like to have multiple start screen-like pages as a form of "folders", as that would make for a less crowded main page. Say you have a page just for phone numbers, you'd click the "Phone #s" tile on the main start screen and it would take you to a page tiled with phone numbers you've pinned there. (Being able to pin phone numbers and not just contacts would also be useful, since Windows Phone does not support speed dialing.) You could make similar tile-pages for favorite navigation/maps, games, webpages, the possibilities are endless. While this sounds like a huge change, I think that once people tried it, everyone would universally adopt this ability as a natural extension of the Windows Phone environment. And if you didn't want to use it, nothing would be affected for you (except maybe "Pin to Start" being augmented with a "Pin to Tile-Page" option).
     
    Hopefully if Microsoft doesn’t see fit to add these features, someone will create a hack for Lumias as well which allows such customizability. More open-source like customization is Windows Phone’s key to success…they need to realize that.
  • So if i want a third row i have to install/download that thing from xda or will this be in gdr3? Srry i dont understand very good english, im from the netherlands
  • You don't need a rom, you just need to interop unlock your phone, enable all sideloading and deploy WPH Tweaks. Pretty simple process with easy-to-follow guides too.
  • Nice to see there is a simple registry change for this, similar to Win8.   At least it says they are thinking about the idea.    I for one would like the flexibity to at least try it and make my own decision if its too cumbosome or not.  This whole platform is just not flexibile and customizable enough.  That's a common complaint along with several key features missing.   At lest we now know the ability to change the tile config is baked into the OS we now have.  Maybe they will expose it with Blue.  Hope so.
  • Still have no interest in Samsung lol but this is a good feature I hope comes to others.
  • It won't. It's only for interop unlocked devices, of which only the ATIV S has been unlocked
  • I'm guessing the imagines on the article have been taken from the XDA thread? Unless someone from WP Central is Finnish which I wasn't aware of before.
  • Yeah, my screenshot.
  • !! Can we get this too? (Lumias)
  • No, this is currently only available on the Samsung ATIV S.
  • Damn... I want that on my lumia 920 :(
  • More tiles for 920/1020 come on devs
  • I really want this on my Lumia 920!!!
  • C'mon Nokia-Microsoft! Let us decide if the third row is too much or not.
  • So... There's no need a custom rom for this?
  • You just need to interop-unlock(hack) your Ativ S, no need of custom rom, just follow the instructions on xda forums.
  • too bad i cant use a Samung  ATIV S on verizon....
     
    Wish they could find a unlock for Nokia phones....
  • What are the comic tiles?
  • Fingerpori comics, just sites pinned in IE.
  • Thanks
  • Will this work if I get my Telus ATIV S unlocked?
  • If it's an interop unlock then yes. It's different to unlocking the phone for all networks ;-)
  • Unlocked means hacked, yes you can do it quite easily, just follow the instructions on xda: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2435697
  • now i cant live with my lumia 920
  • I resized the sample image and aligned it (using the clock), and I gotta say that this works nicely on the Lumia 920 screen. The small tiles seem still easy to hit, and the resolution on the tiles looks good.
  • That's actually a pretty good idea to see if this works for your screen resolution or not. :)  Good idea!
  • View it on my 920.... nice option though its a bit small for my fingers. I would not mind having 1x3, or 1x2 rectangular tiles.. Is this not possible??
  • I want this feature on my L920!!!! :'(
  • I don't understand all you kids getting hyper for these 3 columns. Imo you are just all craving for something new to the OS, no matter what. Imo the extra tiles look bad, because you lose the ability to have a tile that covers the whole width of the screen. As long as this isn't possible, it's crappy design by MS.