New update v4.2 for the Windows Phone Central app ready to download, includes lock screen wallpaper support

It's time for another update to our official Windows Phone app, and this one brings functionality many of you have requested: lock screen wallpapers. If you're a die-hard fan of the site and just can't get enough Windows Phone news, or even want to bring the news front and center for a week or so, you can enable our app as your wallpaper provider to get the latest headlines on your lock screen. Our wallpaper colours can also be customised with the full range of Windows Phone accents, and you'll even get article images appearing when you're using our flip tile. Find and enable all of these options from the app's settings screen.

That's not the only new feature thought, we've also finally included support for playing videos through Metrotube, switched to the Nokia advertising exchange (for free users only of course) and updated Unification support with in-line images. See below for the full changelist as well as a few samples of what you can do when customising our lock screen.

wpcentral lock screen wallpaper examples

You can go minimalist, or more wacky with our wallpaper (far right inspired by Lumia 620 'Dual Shot')

  • Added lock screen wallpaper support - now get the latest news directly to your customisable wallpaper (WP8, paid version only)
  • Improved flip tile reliability
  • Added option to view videos in Metrotube (WP8 only)
  • Updated Unification support with images
  • Unifcation notifications are now sent to confirm enabling or disabling of the service
  • Trial: Now using Nokia Ad Exchange for adverts
  • WP7: Fixed bug where large image quality was not available

v4.2.8 is available right now in the marketplace, you can download it from this link (and whilst you're there feel free to leave a review!). Remember if you'd prefer not to buy the app the trial is our completely free option which will never expire, it just includes ads and has a few of the more premium features disabled.

As we say every time an update reaches the public: we really do value your feedback and opinions, so please get in touch through the forums, comments or the app help screen if you've got any suggestions, comments or even if you'd just like to tell us you're happy with the app! I'd just like to round off this announcement by saying thanks to our own Rich Edmonds and Sam Sabri for their original wallpaper designs which inspired this lock screen.

QR: wpcentral

Jay Bennett
  • Lock screen support?! Jay, I love you. :D
  • Its cool but the lockscreen is just too chaotic for my taste.
  • chaotic? if you use the iconic tile and set the colours all the same it looks very different
  • I cant make it look like in the article. Where do I choose Iconic? I have the article-picture at the top that pushes everything else down, maeks it messy. Screenshots above looks alot cleaner.
    All settings I have on Lockscreen-pake is enable/disable and colors.
    Am I missing some settings?
  • Under live tile, tap "configure live tile" and then chose the Iconic tile option, following the instructions on screen
  • But I dont want to change my Live Tile?
  • Then your lockscreen will have the image at the top. Apologies those are the only configurations supported at present
  • With the new update, Landscape is taken away!!! What Happened? Thats all I use. Bring back the Landscape!!!
  • Landscape has not been changed at all in this version. Check that you haven't accidentally toggled the portrait lock switch under settings.
  • Notificartions heehee
  • Whoops, that's what happens when you proof read before adding a new item! All fixed now thanks :)
  • I like the kind of updates as well as the new feature. I think viewing the video with metrotube will be my next favorite features besides the fantastic spree of news and coverage about anything windows phone. Great job!!!
  • Awesome!!!
    Oh....dont you guys sleep?
  • Really love the app, but one comment I have had for some time was the offline notification... When I am in the subway I love being able to read the articles that have already loaded (absolute best feature to the app), but it also constantly bugs me with a message saying that the app could not reach the servers. This happens every time I open an article or go back to the app home-screen.
    There may be no way around this, but I would love if there were a less intrusive way of displaying this--it almost always pops-up right when I am in the middle of an article.
    Otherwise, great app!
  • Yes I've been meaning to improve that experience for a while now but it keeps dropping down the list of importance I'm afraid. I'll pin it up there for the next release and see what I can come up with :)
  • Fantastic :) Not sure what is possible programmatically, but I would love just something like a "offline mode - last updated at XXXX" subdued text line at the top of the page/article. Still, not a major issue and, next to games, it is my most used app for the large periods of time I spend on the subway!
  • You'll like the next update then, I'm including Pocket (formerly 'Read it Later') support via the excellent Pouch app: 
  • Somehow I missed ever even trying Pouch. Looks pretty fantastic for what I need/use. Thanks for the tip!
  • Me too! Just bought it, I was missing Pocket...
  • This looks great! Very beautiful, can't wait to try it out.
    Great work Jay!!
  • How do you set the app to play video with Metrotube or is it automatic?
  • When you tap a video you'll be given the choice of either the Youtube app, the Native player, or Metrotube to play that video back with :)
  • I'm only getting the options for Youtube or Native. I do have the MetroTube app installed.
  • Are you using a Windows Phone 7 device? Metrotube playback is only possible on Windows Phone 8
  • Ahh...that explains it. Thanks.
  • Still no option to have the icon support on the lockscreen? (like missing call for example.).
  • Yes it's absolutely possible. But you need to either be using the iconic live tile or the plain count type on the flip live tile (OS limitation means they are the only ways to set the count). I'll change the tile set-up screens next update to make this more clear
  • Ok. Thanks.
  • Love the lock screen integration but its going to take GOD himself to get me to remove my Halo wallpaper.
  • I'm with you on that !!!!!!
  • The app looks amazing but would love to see all incliding news displayed messages in the lock screen but loving it will win the best app star contest..
  • Jay, I haven't received a live tile notification for a loooooong time. Does this update fix it or is it a WP8 issue?
  • There is a fix for some live tile issues in this update yes. But there is also a long standing problem with live tiles which I sometimes see as well. Follow the guide I wrote here as it tends to work for me: just make sure after you disable all tasks you restart your phone before continuing :)
  • Thank you as always. Edit: tried as you suggested but still doesn't update. In fact all non MS live tiles do not work!
  • Awesome! And you did listen to feedback I provided on Twitter about right-aligning the # of unread articles so it doesn't interfere with the day name. Thanks a lot, I am loving it!
  • Friggin awesome as usual.
  • Jay, is there a way to set the default video playback app so that I don't have to select one every time I try to play a video clip? I think Mehdoh has that implemented.
  • For now I've decided to go the route of a quick tap to make the choice when you want to play a video. I may change that to use a default instead at a later date, but personally I think this experience makes more sense. When you're out and using mobile data you may prefer to use the YouTube app as it's the least data consuming of the three options.
  • aah, makes sense, thanks for the explanation!
  • Is there a windows 8 app for this yet?
  • It's in development, but there's a lot to do
  • You guys are awesome. Only paid app I have brought from the store! Love the windows phone updates! Can't wait for wp8.1 to be released! I work for an MDM and WP8 is starting to get a lot of traction!
  • As a long time supporter of the WPCentral app I can only say thanks to Jay for all the amazing hard work he puts in to this. I paid for it as soon as I had tried it out because I knew it was a quality app.
    Jay, if you got a WP8 app up and running I want you to know I'd gladly pay like £4.99 for it. Keep coding old chap, you're doing a bloody marvellous job of it!
  • I have a question, will I see the images on the forum if i bought the app?
  • Whenever there are images in the forum a tappable "images" icon appears next to the post. That's available in the free and paid versions :)
  • It would be nice if you could add battery information and weather information to the lock screen, like with lockwidgets.
  • Hey! Those new wallpapers look really neat! Care to share the files themselves? On WP7, so I can't use the interactive features but I'd love just to have those wallpapers
  • They're actually not files interestingly :) They are rendered on the fly with XAML code so that they can stretch, contract and change colour according to the content. However if you're on WP7 you can still use the wallpapers we provide in the "Wallpapers" section of the app :)
  • That's clever stuff. Yeah I just really liked the unique black and white one and the dark background one with the blue logo. I like the ones you provide already though!
  • Just updated the app on my Lumia 900 now the app crashes when i start it. To be exact it crashes when it tries to update the news. So i get to see the layout and after that crash.
    I tried to turn the phone on/off. Also I tried to delete and install the app again,still the same problem. :(:(
  • Hi Atomic, are you using the paid or free version of the app? Both were tested before being sent out so not sure what's going on here. Get in touch with me on jay AT wpcentral DOT com and I'll see if I can help you :)
  • I'd love a notification of the number of new articles since last accessing the app.
  • Hmm I may well be dense. I just tried setting it up. Hope it works.
  • Love the wpcentral app!
  • Love it how you guys keep tweaking this great app. Problem is that we're getting too many different options for our lockscreens now and it's getting harder to choose which one to use. Keep up the great work
  • I hear you, got a crazy suggestion with a fusion of simple calendar with WPC on lock screen. But I'm pretty sure that's impossible.
  • Vow! Wpc rocks!
  • After updating the app it takes a little more time to open up.
  • Awesome! It actually seems like the app opens quicker!! ;-)
  • Jay, still no flip wide tile support for WP7?
  • Afraid not, there wasn't enough memory for WP7 to support it in my last attempt. I will have another shot at it sometime soon though as I have reduced the footprint a fair bit with this last update
  • Ok and thanks. I really love the wide tiles maybe because I'm used to the single tiles ;-)
  • Beyond awesome now.
  • Jay, any chance of an update that turns this app into our one stop shop for the mobile nations? So WPCentral features across all Mobile Nations sites but one app.
  • That's not my decision to make. Although it has been discussed in the past I wouldn't expect it for now.
  • You're the developer of the app, how is it not your decision to make? Who's decision is it?
  • Remember I'm an associate of the site, I'm not employed by the Mobile Nations guys at all :) They give me relative free reign when it comes to adding features and changing things but the overall direction of the app, the content available, and the APIs which the app uses are all owned by Mobile Nations.
  • So I need to go to the Community Manager (James) to get you the permission to do this? If so not a problem.
  • You can suggest it to him yes, but it's something for the more top brass to discuss and then for myself and them to come to an arrangement on.
  • One stop shop... No thanks. I like it as it is... All Windows Phone all the time!
  • I'm seeing something here on my lock screen. It says... "I'm used for lock screen count" Am I missing something in the settings?
  • That's the other live tile not your lock screen. It means you've selected the iconic tile and still have the other tile pinned. Basically when using the iconic tile we have to create a second tile thanks to a limitation in the OS which doesn't allow apps to change their default tile's type (it's really annoying). So I set the main tile to be a dummy tile with just the count on it, that's how the lock screen count gets updated at the bottom of the page. You can go ahead and un-pin that dummy tile it will just get silently updated in the background, and make sure your iconic tile is put in it's place.
  • Great work as usual. Your spoiling us customers =D
    Here's a crazy suggestion that would be cool AND useful. Work with the app "simple calendar" so entrys can be on the lockscreen below your beautiful top news. That would be not only cool, but useful. Just a thought, keep up the great work.
  • Hi Jay. Thanks for the cool update. Can I request for the black lockscreen background, instead of black altogether can you make the square pattern a little bit grey?
  • I'll look into a special square colour when the app background is black for the next udpate. Or maybe the option to customise the square colours.
  • yeah~ that's better 
  • Good job Jay !
    When I search anything on forum . most of the time I'm getting no results but it works fine with PC.
    Anyone else facing this issue ?
  • WPCentral has completly taken over my phone. Its everywhere lock screen, voice command, large live tile. I even have a small tile direct jump to the forums.Its amazing to me how connected I am to my favorite website. Jay once again this is the most amazing app in WP. I am glad you are on our side and using your supper powers for good.
  • THIS. IS. SPARTA!!! What are we doing? :D
  • I guess jay u forgot to add scrollview in the lockscreen settings page as preview button is only half visible......or am i doing something wrong here ?
  • That is a little odd. What device are you using? All my test devices displayed the full screen?
  • Nokia lumia 920
  • Great idea.. But I think that I'm experiencing a bug or something, all I can see after setting WPcentral as my lock screen provider is a black and white lines with a misplaced WPcentral logo in black. I got a HTC 8x unlocked.
  • Same problem with me ...:(
  • Hmm that shouldn't happen, can you open the app, hit refresh on the news screen and wait for it to completely load? Wait about 2 seconds after it loads and then see what your lock screen looks like. Thanks in advance
  • When I open speech and say "windows phone central what's the best phone" I get "probably the one you are using" and afterwards "sorry I didn't get that"
  • Yeah it's just a quick fun response/easter egg that one, but not a meaningful question so the app just plays the default response of not understanding your command :)
  • yeah thats a nice response, there was another problem that doesnt always happen, after posting a comment it scrolls to the top and just before scrolling down to the last comment the app automatically scrolls up and i have to exit the app to solve it
  • The best just got better. Weldone.
  • Are you planning to add been able to login using a microsoft account?
  • Yes, hopefully getting the SDK details from the Mobile Nations passport team very soon
  • Thanks. Commenting is one of the main reasons I have to come to the site, even though I have read the article on the app.
  • Hi Guys,
    Finally gotten round to actually joining up on this most excellent site!
    Question about the lock screen, I don't seem to have the option to make it my lockscreen in either the app, or the lockscreen settings in the phones setting menu.
    Using: Nokia Lumia 900 with Ver 7.8, using the paid version of the app.
    Many thanks!
  • Hi, unfortunately this lock screen integration is only possible on Windows Phone 8, therefore the option does not exist in the Windows Phone 7 version of the app
  • No problem, thought I was going nuts or something! You may want to just add that as a little note in the update description. (WP8 only) or something.
    Love the app, its fluid and intuitive, keep up the awesome work!
  • Done, thanks for the suggestion
  • This is an amazing update, nice bug fixes, new features and a great lock screen design. Wonder who came up with that lol ;-). Jay you are a legend.
    This is my lock screen now .. hope this will help you find out what is the problem :)
  • Ah yes that can occasionally happen when the data connection is a little off. It should fix itself if you launch the app and let it refresh, or if you wait approx 30 mins for the next update. If this keeps happening, switch to the Iconic tile :)
  • hey jay, any thoughts on the commenting experience. I really like how it works and looks but find replies a bit frustrating in that you can't differentiate between levels after the first one. would love to see some sort of baconit-like view or maybe something as simple as showing who the comment is in replay to..?
  • Yeah I need to have a think about this problem, not the easiest thing to solve with the screen real estate available. Thanks for the feedback
  • I have to buy it and get that refunded... again.
  • Really? That's terrible, hope you've told Microsoft Billing support
  • An easier way to reply to comments would be great for the next version.
  • Out of interest what's difficuly about the current method? Just tap on that reply icon, or if you find it difficult, tap and hold the comment you want to reply to then chose "reply"
  • I receive an email to say i have a reply to a comment. But when i go to the app, you cannot see the reply without going to the right article, then finding the reply. Would be great to see a section for replies when you open the app.
    Also cannot reply to email to reply to a comment.
  • Ooooooh actually you've just given me an idea, I could actually implement a link in that e-mail which jumps straight to the reply! *Scurries away to implement in the next update*
  • Sounds like that would be a fantastic idea. Thanks jay!
  • Great!
  • Great work and it all works well now including live tile images now. Thanks Jay
  • You guys keep raising the bar. Awesome. Thank you and keep up the great work!=)
  • All I have to say is Jay is amazing can people please buy the app there are only a handful of apps with such a rich experience for 99 cents we should be supporting these developers hard work when the lot of us complain about the lack of apps on the free version of this app anyways cheers to Jay for another great update!
  • I agree with you wholeheartedly, and with that said, I have decided to purchase, support and enjoy the WPCentral app! Yey!
  • Thanks Tech Knowledge :-) Jay deserves your 99 penny's lol
  • +100
  • Is there a way to have it display a number of new articles since last opened? On the tile itself whatever size its set at? Like 1,2,3 and so on?
  • Love the app...amazing job as always.. :-)
  • Just installed it on my L620, any tips or suggestions?
  • Its awesome update. I was wondering if you have updated the app to show "talk mobile" articles as well. Currently it do not fetch them.
  • Are all the apps that support MetroTube gonna have it for WP8 only ?
  • It would be awesome if the notifications would sync automatically when read from the laptop.
  • +1, or if read from another WP device (i have it both on WP7 & WP8 units)
  • Nice work, Jay -__-
  • How do I open links in comments and forums
  • I can't update it.  Marketplace is down. Error code 805a01f7.  
  • Good
  • How frequently does the lock screen update itself? This morning I woke up and the lock screen didn't mention any unread articles but when I unlocked the phone, the app's live tile had an unread article count of 3.
  • I like this app very much!
  • Plz remove windows phone central name from the bottom of lockscreen wallppr as it is not looking good with the othr notifictn icons at the bottom..
  • start up time is slower than the old version and moving from article to images and back takes more time, in fact it froze my L920 today.
    Not sure if it is the app or my phone, but I never had these issues with my phone earlier.
  • Yay for metrotube support
  • @JayTBennett,
    I am having the free version on my red L720. I have set the app as my lockscreen wallpaper. Wall paper background color is not changing even if I manually change it(always on cyan).
  • Lock screen wallpaper support is not available in the free version, it looks like I've overlooked a situation where users can try to enable it when they are on the free version but it simply will not work. I'll look into this immediately
  • woops..what have I done?!..can I have the paid version for free instead. Anyways, great job Jay!
  • I guess I'll just be reading from the web site until Microsoft fixes whatever it is that makes it want to charge me again every time an update is pushed out.
  • My phone still hasn't showed up with an update yet... What is wrong?
    WP7.5 HTC Radar
  • First app I see asking which video app you want to open with! Very good!
  • Sorry, my fault!
  • Hey Jay! Im having issues on my HTC HD7 running 7.8 when tapping on the native and YouTube video links. It says I can't play the video without the YouTube loader app...but when I two the link, it says it's unavailable for my device. Am I doing something wrong?
  • Still having issues, Jay. Just updated today again. But the app will still not allow me to play videos either with YouTube or in the "Browser" option. It links me to the WP8 YouTube Loader app page. I have the 7.8 version already. It wasn't until two updates ago that this happened.
    HTC HD7 running WP7.8