Show the whole background on your Windows Phone 8.1 Start screen with Tilesparency

One of the most popular new features in Windows Phone 8.1 is the addition of background photos on the Start screen. But along with this new feature may come some aesthetic challenges, like non-transparent Tiles blocking out key pieces of your background photo. This is where Tilesparency comes in.

Let's take a look!

With Tilesparency, you can create blank, functionless, tiles that allow you to make your background image look complete. And we say tiles, as in plural, because you can create as many as you want or need to make that perfect Start screen.

Bring your background front and center with Tilesparency

Tiles created with Tilesparency are just like any other Live Tile. They can be any size, including wide, and they can be positioned anywhere to compliment your background.

Remember, in order to use this app, you must first enable your Start screen background by going to Settings > Start+Theme > Choose Photo.

Tilesparency can downloaded for free here. WINDOWS PHONE 8.1 ONLY

Need more tips or apps to help manage your new background images in Windows Phone 8.1? Read this helpful guide!

QR: Tilesparency

125 Comments
  • Seems cool :)
  • Seems clear
     
  • Very clear❗
  • I would've paid for this!   I wonder what happens for a tile like Weather or News that has a photo on it...
  • I ended up buying the paid version... because I wanted to support the developers building for the Windows Store. :)
  • Same here. This app is nice.
  • This idea is really cool but I had some hard time making it work because of the adds. The app "Transparent Tiles" does the same for free with a lot less adds.
  • Now it's becoming more and more like a window
  • HA!
  • HE!
  • Hi!
  • HO!
  • HUm!
  • No more space for mine!
  • Yeah! err no, not quite what I thought it was :(
  • Huh?
  • Totally agree, since i updated, my 925 is much harder to use an no where near as initiotive to use as before
  • Harder to use? Really? How? Since essentially the design language hasn't changed.
  • A windows on a phone
  • ONLY
  • Already using "Blank Tiles" to acheive the same effect, definitely fun to play with!
  • While this app is cool I couldn't justify foregoing the screen real estate for apps I regularly use.
  • I'm with you, but I do like that this app is available should I change my mind someday.
  • Lol, yeah I'm with you.  Found myself trying to optimise my tiles to show off the wallpaper... but this would be going a bit too far.
  • I've done a bit of rearranging but the majority of my wide tiles that I use regularly aren't transparent so I make do with pockets here and there, it does help that my background is of the sun bursting through the clouds so it looks great segmented, but I can understand how some might want to really show off their background. It'd actually be nice if the transparency that occurs when rearranging tiles could be toggled on permanently.
  • Same here.
  • Jup, I agree fully! This is nonsense if you ask me! Stacking a bunch of useless transparent tiles just to see the image behind it is lame and it defeats the whole purpose of the start screen and live tiles. Maybe on a 6inch display I would put one or two max if I've filled up my start screen with every app I use frequently and there's still space but on my 1020... Like you said, not wasting that precious glancable info real estate. But hey, I can totally see people switching over from Android doing crap like this LOL! ok, haters fire away :)
  • pew...pew...bang...bang
  • Lol. My hopes plummeted when I read the solution.
  • You're actually the hater. If you don't want to use it then don't. Just shut the fuck up.
  • LOL (y).... see what u mean, but it is good fun though. I mean I have a tiny Lumia 620 and the transparency still looks good.   Thanks for the laugh though (y)  
  • If they bring the function to categorize your apps just like in Windows 8.1 then most of us will be able to do whatever we want without losing any functionality.
  • That would be nice. It'll arrive eventually, I guess we should just be patient.
  • Yea, i agree, whats the point of a start screen with my most used apps, when im gonna replace them with see through tiles with nothing on! bit of a useless gimmick.
  • I had blank spaces that I can now fill up. The apps farther down my screen are categorized already. So I can use this to further display my awesome background.
  • Seems like fun
  • Why in Gods name does my Lumia 520 keep telling me "we are currently unable to check for updates" even while am using preview for developers! Please I need help.
  • Well, since this is an articvle, and you want help.  MAybe go post it in the Forums, where people go to get help.
  • 1- Do you have an AppStudio account ?
    2- Have you checked the box "Enable preview for developer" in the preview for developer app ?
  • Switch on Wi-Fi/data :P
  • I had the same issue, it turned out my school wifi was the culprit, when I got home the issue was gone
  • Make sure the date and time are correct, had this issue on my old 920.
  • Are you using WI-FI? you should use this to download the update, i had the same problem, i had to use my parents network via WI-FI, and then it downloaded ok, mind you, be aware that this will alter your phone quita a lot, i for one am NOT happy,anyway,hope this helps
  • Functionless tiles?
  • That's where I lost interest
  • I just use it to fill the stupid gaps I have at the end of my screen when I run out of real tiles
  • Yeah liked the idea of transparent tiles but once I saw they are just tiles nothing more I uninstalled. I just rearranged my tiles I have to show the background the best they can.
  • Ha, same as me, they useless gimmick.
  • Hey where can I find the downloads of internet explorer 11
  • If you have windows phone 8.1 , then you have internet explorer 11 :)
  • dude you just went full retard, never go full retard^^ kvsanal you will have to download file explorer
  • Transparency tiles has a lot more potential since the idea is to convert non transparent app tiles to transparent one. But only 3 apps were converted for now. All Xbox tiles, games, music and video. Hope the developer will add much more sooner.
  • It will be 3 apps and just a few more, since most apps won't expose a launching method
  • Are there any apps that lets me using a blank tile to launch other apps? Something like what skinnery does but with transparent tiles with icons...
  • That's a great app
  • Really hope devs give the option to make tiles either coloured or transparent from now on. I like having mine transparent but I also like some being none transparent as well
  • The Facebook tile in the post is transparent. Is it an unofficial fb app? 
  • He may have one of the apps that allow you to have custom tiles for some apps.
  • This one http://www.windowsphone.com/s?appid=d77dfdfd-b014-488d-8d98-e34e8ebbf4b6  
  • Why isn't my facebook app transparent like in the image shown in the article????
  • What's the point of having tiles if they're just a background O_o I don't get it!
  • hau
  • http://forums.wpcentral.com/windows-phone-8-1-preview-developers/276985-... http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/transparency-tiles/f4125e62-...   instead of supporting this guy the headlines are taken by a useless app...at least for me :)
  • Yea, this is more useful, but it stinks that there's only 3 options.
  • He only has 3 tiles man. Music (useful), videos and games. No facebook, twitter, etc. like he claims in the forum. So basically they are both useless!
  • he doesn't claim that way...maybe you should learn to read better...it says that it will support those in the future...is it more useful this crap above? :))) the app is made in jaust one day i think,sincer the dev prev was released,and he has seen a lot of requests for transparent tiles...i have no financial interest in supporting the app or the developer...but this guys keep the store moving ahead...i'm just curious...what apps have you created? no offense,but because of people like you,devs are descouraged and don't use their neurons...wp central is a place where people should promote one another...and help the way they can...not by criticising something...at least for me...good...i HATE THAT GREEN :))
  • What's new about this? There a plenty of fake tile apps that offer the option to use accent color and thus transparancy now as well).
  • this ain't fake my 'friend' the dev...didn't even bother to make a way to rate his app...it's FOR REAL :))) you and the guy above who commented are like two mosquitos :))) who suck the positive way of thinking...'here...have a Snick...KitKat" :)) just joking...or not :))
  • What are you going on about?! You're the one taking out the positive by insulting me for NO REASON. What did I say to deserve such a response? Have you got no manners? I just pointed out that there are plenty of other apps that offer the exact same thing. What is your problem with that?
  • Whatever keeps people happy! I personally could not imagine wasting screen real estate on empty tiles!
    On a separate note, how do I upload screenshots to OneDrive on WP8.1?
  • Unfortunately it seems you will have to go directly to the OneDrive app until it is updated to take advantage of the share function in the pictures app
  • Thanks for the tip :). I think that is my only real gripe with 8.1...so if it is going to be fixed pretty soon, perfect!
    Oh, my other gripe is that News, Sport, Weather, Drive+, Facebook etc were all updated recently in preparation for 8.1 - yet none of them have transparent live tiles! Seems like a silly omission from Microsoft given how great the start screen now is. Perhaps I am too critical of a Dev Preview :)
  • YAY
  • Useless!
  • Anybody's games hub not showing games properly(8.1)?
  • Full crap!!...I thought I was able to give transparency to the actual live tiles I use daily...and no sense in paying in order to get it work...need improvement... :/
  • Anybody here from India. R u guys facing bugs with Cortana such as only getting search results when asking questions. In my case it shows that it tries to go check for places but eventually goes into search results. Please help
  • Not sure if it is a bug.... but Cortana is not doing a good job in India for sure! But you still need Cortana for the quite hours unless Nokia gives you some other option to achieve the same.
  • Obviously it wont as it doesn't properly catches our accent but yesterday it was doing a great job when I asked here find McDonald's and dominos pizza she gave me results but today I don't know she's just giving me search results. I can see that she os trying to get results but something os blocking there I can see Cortanas logo while answering getting pushed away giving only search results.
  • True... same here today
  • Ashish... do you see your music files on you SD card?
  • My battery is discharging very quickly with Windows Phone 8.1 Dev Preview :(
  • Yes!
  • I don't know what i have to do. I checked the Battery Sense app. The Internet Explorer has the full bar of battery consume! Help! Sorry for the bad English.
  • Cyan will fix. That athva like last time dev preview might get update again 2 weeks removing the bugs faced
  • Cba tbh
  • I just hope Headertiles brings transparent tiles soon! I love how headertiles allow me to group my tiles in order to havea clean layout of my apps. But the non transparent tiles makes it less useful. Headertiles with transparent background tile would kill this app ;)
  • Would be cool to have it funtional if you'd like.
  • Well another 6 months for us non developers
  • What????? R u sure???
  • I hear it drops in June
  • WPcentral app tile doesn't remain transparent all the time. Does anyone else have this issue?
  • It's like no one reads anyone else's posts around here?
  • But to answer your question, yes, this is a very common problem many people are having.
  • Ok. Thank you
  • Link to app??
  • Now I want a phone that shows the third tile natively, since enabling "show more tiles" makes the tiles really small on my puny little 620.
  • Omg. What a total waste of time!! Why would you even write an article about this. Baffled.
  • Baffled at an article doing very well for traffic and an app that is garnering high interest? This is our 2nd most popular article right now for traffic. Yeah, I'll stick to having these articles written. It's no sweat off of your brow, so you can worry about other things in life ;)
  • Yes very baffled. Filling your screen with dummy tiles is, er, completely crazy, yes. But by all means, write away. No worries. Try not to take it personally when someone has an opinion contrary to WPCentral's. That's gonna happen right? No worries for me today, it's my Birthday (yes, I hear you mumbling happy birthday).
  • 8.1 dev preview is not so smooth on my L720. I see lags very often