Skip to main content

Here is my Start screen wallpaper for Windows Phone 8.1

One of the more interesting side effects of constantly taking photos of your phone, especially during such a high profile week, is everyone is curious as to what app that is or where’d I get the background. They’re all fine inquiries, the challenge for me is trying to respond to every tweet, email, DM or comment here to satisfy everyone!

Hence this post. This is nothing more than me going: here is my wallpaper.

I should mention, the wallpaper was created by the fantabulous app PolyScreen, which we detailed in our little guide dubbed ‘How to get beautiful Start backgrounds for Windows Phone 8.1’. That app randomly generates low-poly images, so what you see below is a one of a kind. Or something.

Regardless, if you folks like this sort of thing, I suppose I can kind of do it regularly. I did detail most of my apps I use on my Start screen in this article, though that is something constantly changing. (Before anyone asks, that weather app is the new Blue Skies. We covered it recently and it’s my new favorite). To make Twitter 'transparent' I used the free app Transparency Tiles.

So without further ado, go forth and download!

For those who want a direct link:!11864&v=3&ithint=photo,.jpg&lor=shortUrl

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

  • That wallpaper looks sick on the 1520!
  • Hahahaa so glad he posted this! I've been wondering for a week. Lol
  • That's a good one I hope everyone uses that XD
  • Not bad Daniel, but mine is better
  • Hey Daniel, how is that clock app working for you, especially re: battery life?  Thanks.
  • I have also pinned that clock to my start screen for few days now and No, It's not sucking much of the battery..  I would love to see something like clock and weather on a same tile.. 
  • There is another that does weather also, but according to the dev it requires sideloading to update properly. He also has a W8 version that works great on my Surface. Its called TimeMe.
  • Sweet, Imma do a post on that I think (the W8 app).
  • I see no effect on battery.
  • Permission to copy Daniel. Thanks for sharing.
  • Mine kinda stopped working and couldn't display the time. Only the icon.  Anyone have similar issues?
  • Your ME tile looks awesome Daniel.....:)
  • Man i wanna have my start screen as amazing lol
  • keeping my colbalt blue tiles.  Wallpaper seems to make things too "busy" for my tastes...
  • I've learned it definitly has something to do with the type of background used. For me it seems the darker the better. In fact, you can now do the appropriate "STORM TROOPER" phone with white background using a black wallpaper background. No need to change the high contrast setting in ease of access. 
  • Awesome sauce :-)
  • The colors look kinda IOSish.  :-)
  • Whats that weather tile? Which app?
  • Good thing you read the article
  • lol, thank you
  • And what is the name of weather app you use :-)
  • Daniel i just read app name :D
  • Blue Skies weather app
  • I am sure, that my background screen is better then Daniel's.
  • The best one is always the one you pick as your own!
  • Aah, very decent answer daniel.
    Why don't you try in Hollywood!
  • Question to you: what is the name of the calendar app you show on the top picture?
  • Its simple calender i hope
  • Thanks!
  • Oh thank You very much!!! Been searchig for it all this morning!!
  • This is nice ..looks good on 1320!
  • Awesome..
  • Dat cat is cute :D And the wallpaper is cool too! ;)
  • Anyone knows the transparent shortcuts tiles app ?
  • It's mentioned in the article... and its already been covered - Transparency Tiles by Matthew Miller.
  • I meant the connectivity tiles like : The cellular and Bluetooth!
  • LOVE ❤ it!
  • Why is the twitter icon the old one?
  • Transparency Tiles app uses the old icon for some reason.
  • I see...
  • I wish the Cortana tile used smaller font for headlines. More like the size of the Bing news app font. Also, please let us manage our sources on Cortana...
  • Looks very good.
  • what app did you use to make that twitter tile?  dww
  • Another that can't read :P.
  • I used an evening photo of NYC, it looks amazing on Lumia 1520. :-)
  • How often people use shazan? once a year? Cool setup
  • I use it all the time ... Its quick to launch & can also recognize Arabic music (both Bing & SoundHound can't)
  • Basically a ripoff of the Galaxy s5 wallpaper.
  • So you mean Galaxy S5 wallpaper also a ripoff from this  
  • @AliSiirappi I guess you're of the "Samsung invented this..." crowd, much like how those are 'Apple colors' because Apple invented ROYGBIV too. News flash: polygon wallpapers have been huge on Reddit and other design communities for the last year. Samsung is merely picking up on the trend. They didn't invent it.
  • Guess your aggressive ad hominem response shows my reply got under your skin for some reason. Fact is that those backgrounds have started popping up everywhere after the s5. Whatever the originator it is pretty clear that it has played into it by being a very visible product. No harm done, I personally use the Nexus 7 wallpaper because it is excellent.
  • You used the word "ripoff". What other response did you expect? He made a valid point that it's not a "ripoff" of the Galaxy s5 at all.
  • Looks very similar to the wallpaper you see on the new Galaxy S5 in all the ads.
  • Here is mine
  • Gorgeous!
  • Popcorn Time App in WP8.1?? 
  • that strat screen looks amazing!
  • next up can you show the rest of your start screen? that'd be great your start screen has persuaded me to use the background feature 
  • High profile week, I'd love to see an article about site visitor stats. Maybe on the slow sunday.
  • I did tweet how we had the largest day ever for traffic on Monday, with 1.3 million page views and 300k uniques. Traffic only dipped 9% from that on Tuesday, which is crazy. It's now leveling off though still much higher than normal.
  • Hopefully that's the new normal. Congrats.
  • Who wants a dragon Or Cortana  
  • best wallpapers ever and look Really nice on windows phone
  • Thanks Dan! I'd been asking about this all week. I use PolyScreen too but I could never get that exact same colour/polygon combo so I settled for all blue. Thanks again...
  • Not really my cup of tea. I will stick with the standard livetile colors.
  • Too "Nexus" for me.
  • Daniel, Why do you still have store Icon pinned? Autoupdates are working beautifully. Same is the case with settings Icon. You can easily access it from notification area. See i saved you 2 small icon space on your gorgeous LUMIA ICON.
  • I'm pretty sure he's not using the store icon for updates only. He's reviewing a lot of apps so he's probably going through the store every day. Also, the store now lets you manually look for updates, which is also pretty useful for someone writing articles on Windows Phone. About the settings tile, yeah you're right. One of the first thing I did after updating was getting rid of it!
  • I for one now also have the store app pinned to my start screen. With automatic updates off, I have too many apps and games lol. So therefore would rather manually update.
  • This is the correct answer ;) I don't have the luxury of not paying attention to updates or new apps/games, lol
  • Then please review my app, pls pls pls.... "NewYorkEvents". I hope you will like it.
  • Unrelated...but for UK users, you can pick up the 64GB Lumia 1020 for around £160 after discount, and the 925 for a potential £49!!!
    Check out Hot UK Deals for the details. I've just ordered 2x 1020's for family members. Stonking deal, especially for that 64GB edition!
  • Could be fun if there was a place where we could post a screenshot of our start screen and maybe once a week you could feature a small selection, that way we could see the different styles different Windows Phone users have for their start screen.
  • Zedge for wallpapers....simple
  • I'm using a justice league, and it looks awesome :)
  • Daniel is the 1520 your daily driver now? I was under the impression that you thought it was way too big. Did it grow on you?
  • Always has been
  • 1520 all the way, I could never go back. Also Daniel check out this very nerdy and beautiful tile background I use.!13990&authkey=!AH748LLZsqfudXY&v=3&ithint=photo%2c.jpg
  • Hi Daniel. Sorry to bother you but where can I get this background? Been looking for a while and find nothing. Mostly appreciated. Thanx!
  • Looks like logo of hum tv pakistan
  • Nice but as long as backgrounds are automatically darkened I don't think there is much point in light bright colors. At least on my phone they look very yucky.
  • Nice ! You are such a neat person Dan !
  • that is galaxy s5 wallpaper
  • After WP 8.1 update, battery drains faster. Does anyone have this issue?
  • I think everyone, but that's one of those things I already expected. I'm guessing as the OS gets fine tuned for the general release next summer battery life should improve.
  • Thanks you :)
  • Mine looks way better. Well except for when I scroll past the WP central wide tile that can't stay transparent..
  • I know! The WPcentral tile does not stay transparent... Arghhh! Lol
  • yes we like it! you surely can do this more often! :D
  • owh and thanks! :D
  • Thanks Dan! Just curious, did you place your Cortana tile in that position on purpose? The circle is right smack in the middle where the colored triangles meet!! Effing cool!
  • I imitated a similar one before. I blurred it and it looks fantastic.  Blue skies is my new favorite too.  
  • What calendar app is that?
  • I would like to know that too..
  • Meh....ZZZzzzZZZzzz
  • Too colorful for me.
  • Why Cortana is not showing the top headlines of my country instead its showing news of US..Is it because I have changed the region to US?
  • Damn you're so bright. You should definitely send your resume to NASA.
  • Here is my concept about wp,if you love it ,please vote for this concept!thank you!
  • i love that wallpaper,by the way,it somehow likes galaxy s5's wallpaper
  • Well I thought I was the only one who thought so.
  • Maybe someone else didn't notice that!;)
  • Looks fantastic! FYI - the Windows Store link to "the fantabulous app PolyScreen" is broken.
  • Check out this very nerdy and beautiful tile background I use.!13990&authkey=!AH748LLZsqfudXY&v=3&ithint=photo%2c.jpg
  • I like this article. I'd definitely be interested in seeing future articles like this, and I'd also be interested in seeing what other staff writers have on their start screens.
  • Folks, i need help with my 8.1 preview. I ' ve read, that battery saver tile is live and shows battery percents, byt on my Ativ S it doesn't show anything...
  • Best weather App for windows phone 8 and 8.1 with transparent Live Tile
  • Best weather App for windows phone 8 and 8.1 with transparent Live Tile
  • Hi. Can I help translate your app to Brazilian Portuguese?
  • Mine
  • Here is mine :)
  • Looks like the Samsung S5!! Kill it with fire!!
  • Your wallpaper looks like the from the new GS5
  • Thanks for sharing Daniel:)
  • Anyone have problems for the start screen. Fb notifications aren't going away like bday updates any fixes yet
  • Thanks for that daniel. can somebody zip all the default background images that come with wp8.1
  • some of the glaring issues I have been facing after wp8.1 update The mobile and desktop site options are swapped in the IE. If you set it to desktop, it opens the mobile site and vice-versa Cortana would not listen if you are connected to a bluetooth device like a bluetooth home phone (the ones that route your cell phone call to the home phone via bluetooth) Sounds (like noise) each time you forward a video clip opening a video always pops up open/save dialog. Its a pain. Battery draining issues - but it got fixed after doing a hard reset. I would suggest the same to everyone who is upgrading instead of a clean install. Best option is to upgrade, take full backup and then do a hard-reset so the start screen is preserved. Even though the file picker is supported in SDK, still there is no option to attach documents in an email. This to me the most glaring omission so far. Its like not giving copy/paste in the initial version of WP.  
  • Can you tell how to make a full backup of my phone. including my start screen.
  • Backup-->app+settings-->back up now. Then do a hard reset. Follow the instructions.
  • Ok Thanks. Then how to get it all back. I mean how to restore.
  • Not impressed, of course to each their own.
    What happened to the Metro UI philosophy?
    Transparency & backgrounds only seem to make
    navigation & groupings less intuitive.
    Give me the ability to change each tile color
    & maybe a dark & light icon color option.
    Seems obvious & maybe this option
    exists but I haven't found it yet.  
  • What calendar app is that?
  • Very nice!
  • what are all the apps on the homescreen?
  • Sweet. Thanks for sharing Dan.
  • Hey Daniel, is that Super Calendar? How did you get to make the tile transparent? Even though i select it to be transparent, its not doing it. I get a black background... Only the settings and day addon tile go transparent. Thanks a bunch, been trying to make my homescreen look awesome, and this is my last hurdle jeje.
  • The resolution is too low :-(
  • Here's my start screen wallpaper for Windows Phone 8.1.. Just created a black colored pic on Fresh Paint.. and used it as the wall paper...
  • Hi Daniel. How do I make the calendar live tile like yours?
  • Omg, when u take away a tile, it did not open a window to the background, it black out.
  • There is a similar but much nicer wallpaper to the wallpaper that you show in your article and that is a Galaxy S5 wallpaper. You can easily find it using the keywords Galaxy S5 wallpaper in Google Images. I give you a link of this much more colorful wallpaper with different sizes at And here is a sample at see how nice this wallpaper looks like:  
  • Hi Daniel. Sorry to bother you but where can I get this background? Been looking for a while and find nothing. Mostly appreciated. Thanx!
  • Its the Nexus 4 wallpaper with different colours...
  • get all the wallpapers here
    dont forget to thank the artist :)
  • Wish there was a higher resolution version, doesn't look very sharp on my 1520...