Nokia releases Glance Background beta; allows you to add awesome photos to the Glance Screen

Have you looked at the Glance Screen on your Nokia windows Phone and wondered what it would look like if you added a background image? Nokia has released a beta app that enables you to achieve just that. Glance Background is a new app for Nokia hardware that allows you to pick and choose images to have set as a background when the Glance Screen is active.

It's a simple app, but the end result is really impressive. Selecting up to four images, the slideshow will begin when the phone is locked, rolling through checked images while the Glance Screen is active. The best part is how the backgrounds don't water down the functionality of the feature, which is to conserve battery while displaying the time to save you waking up the display. 

When adding your own images, a simple editor is utilised that offers basic functionality. Available effects include colorise and zoom. Thanks to the camera capabilities in the Lumia 1020, you'll be able to zoom in on loaded photos and create some interesting backgrounds. With reports coming in that further customisation will be present in the Bittersweet shimmer update, we'll look forward to see how Nokia can further improve the glance Screen experience.

If you're wanting to check out the app and see what all the fuss is about, be sure to download Glance Background from the Windows Phone Store (requires Amber update - not available for Lumia 520 or Lumia 625). It's worth noting that night mode will of course prevent the images from being displayed. 

Update: See our hands on video tour of the app!

Source: Nokia Beta Labs (opens in new tab); thanks to everyone for the tips!

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.

  • Sweet looking
  • Like the N8!!! Link-->
  •!231&authkey=!AHhA... gonna make this one my backgroung
  • Dats soo soooo cooooolll another reason to showoff my nokia !!! ;)
  • pmich is roaming around here now? Glad you're keeping it in the family :)
  • yah i have the lumia 920 right now while i still use my bb 9900 interchangeably
  • Just finished trying it and it looks awesome!! Bringing back memories of the Sleeping screen of Symbian!! Thanks for listening to feedback Nokia!!
  • ^This!  I really enjoyed using Nokia Sleeping Screen on my Nokia N8.  I'm looking forward to using Glance Screen on my 1020.
    Would have been really nice if Nokia had been able to implement this when the Lumias first came on the market back in 2011, but better late than never :)
  • I wish I had the 1020, the 920 has an IPS backlit screen, that glance is gonna kill my battery even more. 
    Idk why they didn't put an AMOLED in the 920, even the lumia 800 has AMOLED.
  • I've tried the glance screen on the Lumia 920 and the battery seems fine with it. 
  • Wow..IMBA.
  • It's like Nokia to the Rest: "Now, who's your daddy... pay respect to the king... bitches!" :D :P
  • Sleeping screen is back bitches
  • Works like a charm. Just concerned about battery drain?
  • As a non-Nokia user, i'm curious about that one aswell.. ;)
    Also, won't this cause your screen to burn in at some point?
  • This is cool.. No other phone does this..
  • My old Symbian can do this.
  • Nokia doesn't count cuz its nokia
  • Well, yeah... That's what were doing is giving Nokia credit.. Duh❕
  • All Symbian^3, Symbian Anna, Symbian Belle, Nokia Bell FP1 and Nokia Belle FP2 devices do this! Nokia Sleeping Screen FTW!!!!!!
    *Looks at his Nokia C7, N8, and 808 Purview as they hand off Sleeping Screen to his Lumia 1020 As a long time Nokia customer, I appreciate this addition and I am glad to see this and other Symbian/Meego abilities (Glance/Standby Clock/Screensaver, Double Tap to wake and so forth) come to Windows Phone. :)
  • She we say,,, no other OEM does this..
  • Your are correct sir! ;)
  • Actually all the updates that nokia is pushing will eventually become a part of windows phone 8 only. (as Microsoft will acquire Nokia's devices business). so glance screen is exclusive to us only for a while.
  • All 5 people that ever used those phones in the US agree with you.
  • What does the US have to do with this?
  • Symbian phones, Jolla Sailfish OS phones.
  • Cool!
  • Now, if only we had the option to choose whether we want to use the Glance lock screen or the WP default lock screen.
  • Im sure thats there dude
  • Not really. Once you get off Glance, the default lock screen appears. I don't want to see the default lock screen, that's what i meant.
  • So you want to double tap right into the phone? Lol then it becomes a lock screen.
  • Yup :p
  • I think once they have notifications working, this should/could be an option.
  • +1
  • Maybe I'm just being cynical but the glance is just becoming a second lock screen in my opinion
  • Switch off Glance and you have the default screen...
  • Turning it off is fine. But for people who do use it, they will have two lockscreens, which makes no sense at all. I see no use for lockscreen with pictures and notifications. Just showing the time is fine.
  • How are they two lock screens, glance is just a replacement for ur dead black screen n not ur lock screen ... U still have the same method to unlock ur phone(press the lock button n swipe up) no extra steps have been added... I just dont understand the bitching here
  • So there's the glance screen which has the notifications, and then you get the lockscreen which will give the same info of notifications, and then the start screen. Its the same screen twice. Im not bitching.... Its a fact that the two screens are essentially the same. And if I have glance turned on, the lockscreen is a waste. Hence having both screens is a waste. If the glance just shows battery and time, and then there's a lockscreen, its ok. But if glance shows notifications and time, it makes no sense to have the lockscreen as well.
  • Yes, once it has all notifications they should make the lockscreen optional.
  • Glance is there so you don't need to touch your phone. Chill dude
  • I want Glance without the default lock screen
  • Completely agree with you on this!
  • I wish I could try it but for some reason it says I'm not eligible for a Nokia account at this time
  • You can download it also from the Windows Phone store.
    Can someone post the link as i have lost it
  • I was thinking it would be cool to have a background on the glance screen just the other day and now Nokia does it. Now I am thinking if Nokia/Microsoft can release a 20 mp phone that isn't 6 inches and for AT&T and have true OTA updates.
  • Nokia..
    I will always love you for supporting your customers till the very end..
    Even as I see you passing away still are doing all you can..and true commitment..
    Nokia Forever! \m/
  • So dramatic!  This type of support is not going away, neither is Nokia.  I expect a lot of great things under their Here brand going forward. 
  • yeah..Nokia will forever live in our hearts..
    and yes i know the HERE services and NSN remains..
    but devices and services division was a really big deal..
    and yes..i will love Nokia unto death..
  • Why we love Nokia...explained in a 2:05 minute video: If you have been with Nokia before they made Windows Phones then this article and video is more than likely why you love Nokia.
    I am glad to see Nokia, as in the creative minds that brought us all of the devices and services that so many of us like, love and have depended on all of these years. I look foward what the creative minds at Nokia will develop in the future.
  • People are too worried about Microsoft buying them. If anything, I think Nokia is gonna help change the culture in Microsoft for the better. There's a reason why MS did it. They saw the value in the talent, engineers and marketing team. Something MS has been struggling with for a while now. The Nokia team will still do what they do best, only change will be is being under a giant that has the resources to push Nokia tech forward
  • Nokia (red polycarb) Xbox 360.5. Wireless connectivity, NFC charging on top, virtually indestructible, and comes with a red Kinect that has two 41mp cameras comboed with the regular prox. Camera.
    Nokia Xbox can transmit Xbox games to Lumia, does the data crunching on Xbox.
    ^I'd. Buy. This.
  • The Nokia team will still be awesome :)
  • Nice! I just downloaded this and am using the tiger one. I'll tell my mother about it later so she can grab this app for her 620.
  • I like the idea of the glance screen but think this is taking it too far.  What is the point of the lock screen now?
  • Well that's not Nokia's problem. They are brining the lockscreen that hundreds of million Symbian users have used to use.
    Only the vital notifications are missing from maemo and Symbian. Should be there on GDR3. 
  • i don't think so.
    glance is for quick checking.
    i use it a lot, and it in no way messes with my lockscreen.
    at times i just wanna see the time. why unlock the phone? i simply take it out of my pocket and it shows me the time. (i use "peek" mode) and when i need to see pending notifications and lockscreen messages (calender or other apps) i just see the lockscreen.
    i agree introduction of notifications on glance will make the use of lockscreen a little less, but that's perfectly ok. it still has the detailed notification and connectivity status and i can change my ringtone settings from there, all without having to unlock the phone.
    but yes, background to the glance screen is a welcome addition as (in my case) glance screen is probably what i view of my phone the most. so adding some colour and visuals to it makes my experience better. the same may apply to many others.
    and in the end you always have an option to switch it off if you don't need it. :)
  • I like glance, but I sort of get it too... why not make it so that the default lock screen is one of the options to see at a glance?  I.e.... when I wave at it, it just shows me the lock screen?
    But NOT complaining... glance is pretty cool.  Between wave to see and double tap to wake, its pretty cool.
    The only problem is the motion feature is ultra sensitive.  I'm about 2ft way from my phone and its detecting my movement and keeping Glance on.  I had to cover the FFC and light sensor with a polish cloth to keep it from 'seeing' me.
  • Even color photos cool.  
    Nokia keep it coming.  
  • oooooo great!!love it
  • waiting impatiently to get this on my AT&T phone... 
  • how Nokia can further improve the glance Screen experience ?? just watch this video :D
  • That would be great!
  • WOW Awesome!
  • I'm in permanent night mode so won't be of much use but very glad they are still developing and listening to their customers - very cool!
  • I bet you own a red Lumia 920 like I do... I did this with my glance screen too, as it looked so much cooler having the red clock match the red body of my phone! :D
    Hoping the update to glance app in GDR3 allows the background images to work on all of the rumoured colours that users will be able to set the clock and notifications to!  
  • I got a Nokia s/w update yesterday on my TMO 925, not sure what that update was for. Did anyone else get it and know its purpose?
  • Really awesome, working on my Lumia 820. 
  • And I'm still waiting for Amber, they haven't release the update yet in most of Latin America, not even a word in México, came to WP8/Nokia hoping a better experience and not the same waiting hell as android. Still love my 720 without Amber, great Smartphone, best choice ever, the thing is, I would like nokia to set more reallistic update periods, waited Amber whole september.
    So, I don't undestand why so much hate on AT&T, at least they gave a date already.
    Love the site and community, cheers!
  • This is awesome! Keep 'em coming Nokia!
  • Awesome ! Just love it !
  •  i feel bad for htc and samsung users.
  • I wonder if Microsoft will release all the Nokia Collection apps to all the WP users once the acquisition is completed.  It makes sense for MS to do that to promote WP phones - at least with a fee of course.
  • Am I the only one around here that doesn't use the Glance screen?
    I mean...what's the point? To prevent a simple double-tap on the screen to see the time?  
    Anyway, this seems cool so I'm giving it a try.  
  • Not everyone has double-tap to wake (I'm on the 620).
  • Oh, right. Forgot about that.
    Well I'm enjoying this app though. The editing tools allow some really cool pictures to be turned into glance-type pictures (so we can make them different from the original wallpapers)
  • I'm actually struggling a little with my own pictures (they don't look very good on the glance screen).
  • if you use the peak option, when you take your phone from your pocket you don't even to touch on a single key or screen to see the time ( or notifications on the future gdr3 ).. after seeing what you needed, put the phone on the pocket and the screen will turn off automatically ( it uses the proximity sensor to turn off the screen)
  • even with the "always on" option, the screen turn off automatically in your pocket
  • Yeah, I get what you're saying, but its also kind of cool to not have to tap nothing. Wave my hand in the middle of the night... or walk up to my phone and glance down at it. I know I know I know... how much of a difference is it to doulbe tap instead? Not much... but its like wireless charging... some of us will just love it.
  • I really don't see the point of this. A lockscreen on top of the existing lockscreen. Why??? Oh dear..
  • It's not a lockscreen as such and cannot be interacted with as one either.
    It simply shows you the time (and notifications in the future) and now we have the ability to set a background for it.
    Perhaps it's not useful, but it livens up the glance screen a little for those that do use it. If not interested in glance screen, just don't use it :)
  • This is a lower powered lockscreen. It means you don't need to press or tap to see updates/time. Think of it like a smart screen saver.
  • It is a smart screensaver :D