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Windows Phone 8.1 custom images for Live Tiles on the Start screen revealed

Windows Phone 8.1 is only a few weeks away. So with that, let’s jump onto the latest rumor floating around today, namely the one dealing with background images on the Start screen.

There was some confusion about this feature – codenamed ‘shadowbox’ by Microsoft –with people believing that it was the background of the Start screen that would be skinned. As we cautioned in original report, that was close but not exactly how it will be (our lede image was the clue).

New alleged screencaps of Windows Phone 8.1 have leaked out of China, and were picked up by Windows Blog Italy. Both images show three column support and Live Tiles overlaid with a custom image.

Real or fake? While I can’t vouch if the screencaps are authentic or mockups, the spirit of the feature is dead on. That is, how Windows Phone 8.1 could look, should you pick that option under Settings. Likewise, I hear that three-column support is a ‘go’ for 4.5 inch devices or larger. That feature will supposedly be labeled as 'Show more tiles' under Settings.

Under Settings, users will indeed have an option to choose to a custom photo or image, which can then been used to ‘skin’ their Live Tiles. It actually works by making the Tiles transparent.  The effect is certainly interesting. This idea is by no means new, as users of the popular app Skinery Themes can attest. But Microsoft is essentially baking-in this feature for users as an option to customize the look of their phone. Users can also still just used the Accent colors, should they elect.

We should of course caution that Windows Phone 8.1 has not RTM'd yet, so things could change before release.

We’re curious as to what you think of the new option: yay or nay? Let us know in comments.

Via: Windows Blog Italy; Thanks, everyone, for the tip!

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.

662 Comments
  • I don't really like it...
  • +1, ugly shit I expected backgrounds, this "thing" will just make tiles useless and cluttered, no idea what MS is trying to do... R.I.P WP8.1 2014-2014
  • If you don't like it then don't put. It's most likely optional.
  • Yup.
  • People on WPCentral change their minds quickly, everyone has been asking for more tile colors, well Microsoft just gave you infinite tile colors!! no one said you have to choose a Photo you know! maybe you want a Solid color thats not available in the pre-set, oh, what do you do?, you just get it from paint or maybe an app in the upcoming future! God! I for one am loving it! lots of possibilities
  • I'm sure they will have an option...
  • I mean with the addition to the option, the opportunity is limitless.
  • +720 !
  • Yeah just fucking search for I don't know gray and download a picture that is just a huge gray square and use it as background and boom all live tiles are gray! :) People don't think... they just wanna bash on things lol
  • your thinking too much , you could just disable the feature and boom all live tiles are normal :D
  • Lol what I'm saying is you could use the option so you can implement more colors. You could use color square as background to change live tile colors to ones that are not available like gray, golden, navy blue, and many others :)
  • :D , since I consider the steel gray , i didnt get the picture , but now i got it :P.  
  • can't agree more.
  • actually it's a terrible idea, when ppl see it they'll be like oh wow WP8 sux. Although i don't like iOS that much at least they have a clear idea of what their design looks like, not like this inconsistent mess if it turns out to be true.
  • I dont get it. This looks waaaaaaaaaaaaayyyy nicer than a background picture mostly obscured by icons and littler ed labels like iOS. This looks classy. It takes your photo and allow you to overlay information relevent to you in the way you want.
    I think it looks amazing, Can't wait.
  • So I guess what youre saying is what that YOU like and YOUR opinion is what really matters? And I guess what Im trying to say is..I care what you think?
  • yeah, let's copy ios...
  • i dont even know where to begin... are you aware that IOS is almost entierly a direct copy and past of old MS codes? or that the calculater was a direct copy from WP OS, along with most of there last update? are you aware that the only reasion apple has not had its ass sued off is that ms has a legal agrement for hardware patents and apple got the ability to share all patents including software... are you aware that MS had the first smartphone? what about that they had the first tablet? didnt think so. you iDiots consider those apple inovations becouse they made the devices shinny and expensive. 
  • I'm sorry, I was being sarcastic :p At least iOS uses Bing, so MS should stay friends.
  • I cant see the problem with this, ms aren't changing the design of the start menu at all, they are just adding a OPTIONAL feature to add a image as the background for all the tiles. MS have already made it clear a long time ago that they want their customers to be able to customise their start menu to how they want it, so of course they are going to add optional features. And i cant seem to put my head around your idea of it making people think "WP sux" just because of a picture, doesn't it depend on the image being used as the background that will affect the appearance? Not the idea of an image.
  • Dude first of all it's probably optional so you could ot use and second of all why wouldn't you use it??! This means you can change the tiles to nay freaking color you want. If I wanted gold live tiles I would just downlaod a picture of a huge gold square and place it as the background pic and I would have golden tile! :D Same for any other color...
  • That wont work though as if the whole background is gold and the tiles are transparent you wont see the tiles, just a lot of floating text. Personally i like the background images. Now can i have it change every few minutes like w8...
  • In the images shown any picture you choose get cut into pieces that fit each tile. What do you mean by it won't work? It would be exactly liek in the picture except that each tile instead of having a piece fo an image has just the whole color I chose since no matter what they cut from my picture all they get is plain gold color... I just don't see how it wouldn't work... o.o
  • A necessary OPTION to appease quite a few people. Just look at how wild and cluttered some of the most popular Android launcher skins are, expecially in the asian market. Obviously many people want this sort of thing.
  • Point is, wish there was a better option.
  • Depends in the image you use and depending on how they work, you would be able to see the image quite well on the app list page.
    Also, transparent/translucent tiles could be used.
  • I spend no more than a few seconds on the lock screen, start screen and app list... so maybe images are useless their too?
  • best answer ever xD
  • But wrong. Lock screen is the greeting screen, clearly a photo is well used there. I love seeing my wife on my lock screen. A bg image on the app list might be nice too. I like the images above in the tiles but what would really be cool if they offered options for showing the image. Example, display image in the tiles, display image behind the tiles and this would give you setting so you could adjust the opacity of the tiles. Another option could be to set the app list bg as the same image as the wallpaper or add in a custom image. I know I would like to see a different photo there.
  • Images are useless everywhere, including windows 8. They are aesthetic and serve no real puprose. People just have a desire to cusomize their devices so they feel more personal.
  • That's what I'm thinking, but it's just so cool and a creative way to use an image for the background which has been missing from Windows Phone for so long.
  • What if it was your girlfriend? :o "I spend only 5 sec ... so she may look like shrek. No point"
  • How is this worse than translucent tiles? It basically has the exact same effect.
  • Not at all on the app list page, as the image is on the live tiles not the background.
  • it's not just about the start screen.it's about the app list and the system apps.i am tired of just black and white.i want other colors too and the ability to choose pictures.some nice minimalistic stuff or just a simple color theme with some gradients would look nice across the os.   if all they add for customization in the os is this it will be in vain.after 4 years the os needs some finer tuning and putting a picture across all tiles only takes away the beauty of the tiles and add clutter
  • How does it add clutter? You still have the same tiles. What it does do is make the tile information harder to see. Making tiles translucent will also make the tiles harder to see. I really don't understand why there is a need to have an image on the start screen. You already have one on the lock screen. Do people sit around staring at their home screen wallpaper? Open an app and get to work. 
  • If it's an optional setting the what's the issue? Those that like will use it those that don't won't. People complain when Microsoft doesn't make things optional then complain when they do. Who can figure you guys out, I guess some people just love to complain.
  • Agreed.
  • Or it could be different people....just sayin
  • it will look weird with some apps supporting it and others not. I had hoped the start screen would at least support backgrounds like Windows 8 did before the 8.1 update came out.
  • Sorry, but sometimes I'm that kind of person, and I love to costumize my Color&Images to match my mood and peeferences in specific Time, so... I welcome this.
  • Yea we need this. https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=FEBEA4B30CB19D!12215&authkey=!AHOj...
  • Yes, this is the best idea, it's great same like windows 8
  • Agreed. I think it looks great. Best of all would be both options. Let people choose.
  • You can create space between tiles if you use them strategically, plus MS should add transparent or "spacer" tiles (for lack of a better term).
  • I've seen some apps that do this, that is of you mean a tile that is the same color as the background colour (black or white or an invisible tile) but i agree ms should add this feature.
  • This is exactly what I was thinking, and I love the look. I would like to change the color if the background to more than just black or white, though.
  • Well it's good to have the option. Also did they say 3 column support for 4.5" and up? So my 920 is going to be able to have 3 columns? :D
    Or is that for new phones coming out?
  • Agreed. Much cooler and more useful this way. Looks great and gives the OS a distinct look. I never liked the wallpaper idea, but I like this a lot.
  • Does this look more attractive?? Tile background really sucks compared to this! http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ZjtqQVOXiWY/UxLeYJFiYLI/AAAAAAAAEu8/xnRVeu6yrs...
     
  • This is HOW ITS SUPPOSED TO BE DONE!!! come on .. MS.
  • Nope. I much prefer the option on the tile. I havent seen a single example of a background that looks good. Textures or different colors is cool for backgrounds, but nothing more, or it just looks like crap. Remember, you only see that gap at the top when you scroll all the way down, otherwise the tiles go all the way to the top and cover that up too.
  • Same here, I would love the other option with background skins.
  • Dramatic much? Lol
  • You do realise that any image behind the tiled would be 99% hidden right? This way is a much better option. More background colour options (or better yet custom colours) would also be great
  • Agree, I love this as an option.   As an option you can turn it on or off, so no problem for people who prefer to not use it. But, to not have it as an option because some don't like it is silly.
  • Of course you can turn it off if you don't want. Even if you couldn't there is nothing stopping you from setting your own wallpaper that is just a solid color.
  • Agreed, more options are nice. I'll give it a try on my 920. If I don't like it then I can always revert back. No harm. Good job Microsoft and also thank you for opening up the 920 to get more tiles if we want.
  • Yup custom colours is what i would have liked but i ll use this anyway. I still wonder how this will work on a vertically infinite start screen. The image cant be stretched that much it ll look odd. Suppose if i have 50 extra wide tiles on my start screen how will one image apply to all these tiles? Will be repetition? Can we choose another image for the next screen height? I don't get it.
  • Ah i may have a solution to this but in no way am i saying this is how its been implemented in wp8.1.
    what if the image is stationary and the tiles slide up and down on top of it. Like a 3D effect. I mean its silly to think one image will be permanently applied to a tile that way u ll most likely see repetitions of parts of the image. But if the image stays there and the tiles slide along this wont be a problem. But then there is another problem. White tile icon/logo and text falling over white clouds for instance. Hmmm we ll have to wait and see
  • A possible problem with your suggestion, that I can see, is that moving a background image like that would hamper readability and recognizeability of tiles, and possibly cause motion sickness. It would be a cool looking effect though :)
  • you do realize that it is HIDEOUS with it blending the picture over the tiles .. completely abstracts the tile's text and at quick glances makes it harder to find stuff. The Background should be "BEHIND" the tiles .. as an ACCENT "TO" the TILES not .. Now to please everyone .. their is a very SIMPLE way to fix this .. "OPACITY" on the TILES .. Problem solved. You get the background image which actually fills the whole damn screen and then you have the option to set an opacity level on the tiles so your background image bleed's thru. Scrolling would be as it is on the WEB when you have a fixed background and the page content floats ontop.   Just my 2 cents .. Hell throw in "ANIMATED GIF" support and you could have a running waterfall or something behind your tiles ..
  • too many options, my brain hurts! (sarcasm btw)
  • Yep, the OS is dead because you don't like a feature that is 100% optional.
  • Since WP8 I've been telling people in the forums that this is the solution we would eventually get. Why do people even think a background picture makes sense? Due to the very limited space between tiles, it would be impossible to recognise anything in such a background picture. Instead it would just look like the space between tiles is arbitrarily coloured. In places where the background picture has the same colour as an adjecent live tile, the two would bleed into each other, potentially looking very messy. Worst of all, such bleeding is impossible to control. Just installing a new app or taking a picture that is then shown on the pictures-tile could cause it. Bleeding is also why a choice of solid colour backgrounds is problematic. Live tiles would have to be framed with a white or black boarder, leaving even less space between tiles... Must MS provide this background picture option just so people can understand how impractical and poor the idea is? I suspect even if MS did, proponents would still just blame MS for not getting it to work 'properly', when it is the idea itself that is flawed.
  • Give this man a like
  • +100000 why put something that will look terrible 99% of the time in ur design, this is thing looks like we're back in the days of windows 3.1 so outdated and cheap....
  • Someone give this man a cookie, damnit!
  • +920
  • I doubt bleeding is an actually issue. The tile have visible icons, most of them animate, and all of them are big enough that if you press the icon, you are unlikely to be accidentally hitting the neighbour tiles. Background images wouldn't work as such, but with (semi-) transparent tiles they could work, as well as custom background colors. Choice would be the best... choice here, imo.
  • Use a graphics program to visualize bleeding to a background image. Transparent tiles or not, it looks like a graphics glitch, or an OS crash.
  • One word: Option. One sentence: Do not use it. Simple, isn't it? It's a vanity option. Who cares? Move along.
  • I care, i supported this platform because i liked minimal design Reskined tiles isn't minimal, however background would be a great addition, like on W8   So get your ignorant ass out of this comment section please
  • The option you don't like isn't minimal.  The option you would like is minimal? Is that it? Take your own advice, "get your ignorant ass out of this comment section please."
  • After seeing an example, the background makes WAY more sense than skinned tiles. With a subtle opactity effect (transparency) to the tiles, it looks beautiful -- similar to the approach IOS7 took to its UI. It creates a subtle "accent" to your already color-filled live tiles. Skinning the tiles with anything other than a solid color just ruins the UI & loses the uniformity that Windows Phone has. Live Tiles become useless & the text on titles are difficult to read depending on the part of the image that is under it. So yes, background images placed behind the tiles would be much more effective & more pleasant to the eyes than an image within the tiles.
  • Quit being dramatic. It looks nice, I can't wait to be able to customize my background. Really looking forward to WP8.1. If you don't like it than just don't use it.
  • I think we're all missing the key word here "OPTION"
  • A lot of folks don't understand the meaning of the word.  It's like wireless charging.  For some reason they think you can't still plug a USB cable in to charge.
  • i actually prefer this over background image.  i wanna see images not, not hidden behind live tiles.
  • Yess!!! MS should just do exactly the same as they did on windows 8.1! I thought they wanted to make the experience is similar between windows and wp
  • The 8.1 background style would be better utilized on lager devices like 8 - 10.1" devices as you can see more of it, but anything smaller, you won't be able to see enough of the image for it to matter unless win 8.1 OS replaced wp8 (true convergence) like some of the mockups out there that have phone concepts running what looks to be win 8.1 on the phone instead of wp8.
  • So you would rather have a background that is covered by tiles instead of a picture that you can see?
  • Oi! Do NOT say that! Microsoft may have a good idea for this! I say, go Windows Phone. 8.1!
  • Its a very good option if you choose the right tile backgrounds. But many of the apps use custom colours so it will look bad and hence not a good option.
  • True this looks lame as hell. Give me more color options and I'll be fine.
  • You could maybe use a "picture" of any solid colour you like. 
  • Yah this is freaking stupid and ugly.  Just give us more background color besides black and white.  It will be awesome.
  • Agreed. Awful, looks like Windows Phone Vista. Completely breaks the design shared with Windows 8.1 and Xbox. It should've been the background, not the tiles.
  • Should have been the background? So you can see 4 pixels of your image between the tiles? Don't be retarded.
  • http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=tom+warren+background+windows+phone+8.1
  • You do realize Tom has updated that to reflect the version we show here.
  • That doesn't change my opinion.. This really makes Windows Phone start screen look like some 3rd party Android launcher.
  • Pro tip: THEN TURN THE SETTING OFF.
  • More like don't turn it on. It'll be off by default.
  • Look at this http://s14.postimg.org/gb5rzrg9t/8_1.jpg and tell me it doesn't look better..
  • Yes that one specific image, that matches the phone and tile colors looks great. Now swap that image with one that a regular person might use.
  • True
  • That one already looks messy to me. If at all possible, I would prefer choice. There is really very few reasons to limit people's will and nature of expressing themselves.
  • Sometimes you need to save people from their own bad taste. Its for the good of the platform.
  • It looks a bit better because they increased the gap between the tiles and the edge of the screen, so now you get even smaller tiles than before, contradicting the information at a glance concept even more.
  • That doesnt look better. Too cluttered and the image is obscured too much by tiles.
  • While I agree with most people that it is nicer to have a background that could be extended beyond just the start screen, I would like to see what this skinned tiles would look like when it is scrolling. Anyone with mad PhotoShop chop in here? Just like live tiles, having the animation is what makes screen more lively and personal.
  • Lets make it clear... this is like Abortion... you dont like Abortion? perfect dont Abort... or Gay marriage you dont want to get married with another man? perfect dont do it! BUT LET OTHERS TO HAVE THE OPTION IF THEY WANT OK???? you dont like this? fantastic... is it mandatory for everyone NO ....THEN WHATS THE FUCKING PROBLEM?
  • doesn't really matter if it's an option or not but i think majority of ppl prefer having the option that's currently available on windows 8 and windows 8.1 instead of this ugly crap looking that's made by in a few seconds. and fyi most ppl on tom's twitter page hates it too.
  • Yeah, I'm skeptical about this, i always love it initially on skinnery, then i tend to hate it later on, any ways it's a welcome addition
  • It's an option not a requirement.
  • It's not that I don't want this. It's the fact that I want background behind the tiles. This can stay, I don't care, I won't use it. I just want backgrounds, too. Those I would use.
  • +8.1
  • Personally, I think it looks terrible and would much rather have an image in the background with translucent tiles. Just looking at this example, I wonder how live tiles will work. It appears that you'll know longer see images of your contacts rotate on that tile. What about the live tiles from say Bing News or Sports for example, weather apps, any non-native apps, etc. ... I'm not really a fan of having my tiles all matching my theme because I feel it washes everything out and makes it hard to distinguished between apps at a glance... you almost have to just memorize their location rather than visual identification... this would take that to the next level. I'm all for options, but this isn't the option I want.
  • What if I take a black background?! Then the tiles will look like they're transparent!
  • That's exactly what it would do, make it a hot mess and probably cause seizures.
  • Look at the last 3 tiles in both images. It appears the live tiles adapt to the background image
  • I don't either but choice is never a bad thing. I really wish Microsoft would include the choice to customize WP to look like Windows (and vice versa). Like in this concept: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6P-uXwG-18
  • I'll just post this, again and again: http://vimeo.com/86190996#at=0
  • I like that one a lot. Had the notification rights where I'd like them too. Now only add the option to use Windows-style tiles and I'm sold.
  • After I got my Surface, and got accustomed to using Windows 8, I found myself swiping from the left a lot on my phone to switch between apps. I think that would be a great mobile multitasking idea. Also add the ability to pin two apps one on top and one on bottom maybe? integrate the tablet aspect into mobile and I would be sold.
  • I still love the Windows phone nova concept. Its there on u tube type it u will get it.
  • Dude! That heavily depends on tastes! I personally like it very much. You can make an ugly start screen even now, using apps with ugly icons or just by arranging tiles in a not very beautiful way. But this option is great and will definitely lure some of android users. And as it was already said, you can use a simple one-colour gradient or a pattern that will look great for those who like simplier interfaces.
  • I bet Android users will laugh at this concept like they do at anything that takes them out of their comfort zone.
  • No actually this looks great. Many of the features reported to be in WP 8.1 address many complaints a lot of other platform users have of the OS.
  • Most android users aren't those visiting tech blogs and review -sites, they are average Joes and Janes, and I'm sure customization will appeal to them.
  • Yeah it is an option, but we need real background support... Not this ugly bull! MS sometimes acts as if they are in a different world where its only them that lives in it, with their stupid ideas. That being said, it's a welcomed extra feature, but not to many people want it... We want real background photos in the background.. Nay!
  • Agreed! Give us the real deal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6P-uXwG-18
  • that's what im talking about this looks +1520 better than this Skinery wannabe
  • No it doesn't ! That looks like  a dogs dinner. Its a bit like those ridiculous backgrounds on XP, IOS or Android of peoples wedding photo or baby photo, that then is splattered all over with icons, it looks like turd. Absolute nonsense.
    You people amaze me. Digitally authenticate means nice to look at and useful. Background images covered in icons is not good. Not the way forward. Sorry, you are just plain wrong.  
  • I'm confused. You say you disagree but your comments make it seem as if you agree that this isn't the right move. So what is it?
  • for all we know they may give that option too so be patient
  • Too bad.
  • Maybe they add both options, background image and/or tile background.
  • Yup. And I bet they allow you to control opacity on the tile background too.
  • Its OPTIONAL. If you don't like it, DONT USE IT!
  • No diss to Skinnery but it's why I never used it. Doesn't appeal to me but the option for those that need it doesn't hurt. I'm easy to please anyway I just wanted custom notification tones and Subway Surfer. All these other things are extras in my book.
  • I love it - but I suspect it won't materialize in 8.1   ciscomoto
  • Agree mate!
    I would prefer to select an image as a background (behind the tiles) like android and iOS
  • Then you are a muppet. Are you seriously telling me that outdated pathetic background baby photo covered in icons actual looks good?   No way man. You are mental.
  • Actually do you know what you could do? You could use a solid colour image instead of a picture of something! Then you colour enable more Tile colours than what are built into your device by default :D
  • Neither do I. I thought it will be like in Windows 8. Solid color brushed tiles with some kind of  abstract background in the back. That would be lovely. But this. You will have to choose your background wisely if you want to read the text on your tiles.
  • If they allow you to control the opacity then any image will do.
  • I like it though. However, choosing the right picture is a very important aspect since it may hinder the visibility of text on the tiles.
  • Not if you can change the opacity.
  • To add on to this they should add a normal background feature and make the tiles have some transparency. You should be able to choose between accents, tile skins, and full on backgrounds.
  • Agree with you instead the background should have been behind the tiles.
  • Me neither, looks awful!! Bluhhh
  • Whether we like it or not, we want more options!
  • I made this quite quickly on photoshop, but this is my take on what I'd actually like the start screen customization to look like.  http://i.imgur.com/EZmF5eh.png
  • Vote for this please if you like this ideahttp://windowsphone.uservoice.com/forums/101801-feature-suggestions/sugg...
  • Real or fake, they look nice
  • But how will this work with third party apps???
  • This is one of the reasons that WP8 apps have to be recompiled for WP8.1.... Think about that.
  • They don't, WP8.1 apps are just apps that use the new APIs and wouldn't, of course, work with WP8, but I haven't seen or heard anything that suggests that WP8 apps don't work "as is" in WP8.1.
  • It's been said by MS that all apps have to be updated to work on WP8.1.
  • This goes a looong way in making the tile layout more appealing. Good riddance to the Hodge podge calico kaleidoscope of different tiles.
  • It's the system apps that allow for transparency and will show the image you choose. Third-party apps may not allow it, or it'll have to be updated to allow it.
  • After the recompiling of apps from 8.0 to 8.1 the system will be able to take presidents over how the tiles will look according to settings.. This is one of the reasons that apps have to be updated to work on 8.1... That's MS making sure all apps will cooperate with the background images...
  • Yup.
  • Just hoping it won't break live tiles more. It's already broken as it is.
  • I think it would be nice if carriers put their own default images on WP devices... Right now they just don't stand out on store shelves like other devices... Next, can we please get animated background images?... What do you think of that?... Think about it.. You could choses to have all of your notifications animated in real time on the screen.. Not uselessly animated like Android, but animated in a useful way...
  • Stop being so animated Rodney
  • Not a good idea, they could've made it for backgrounds not tiles.
  • +720
  • I think this is the better option, at least now, people will be able to see the big picture, with out having titles in the way.
  • +1520 This looks way better: http://s14.postimg.org/gb5rzrg9t/8_1.jpg
  • This would be fantastic.
  • HAHA, Are you on drugs? In what universe does that look better?
  • Well, that's kinda how Windows 8.1 looks smh...
  • ehmm but windows 8 has more space to see the image from begind... you cant rarely see what image it has as background unless you remove the tiles, do you want to remove the tiles to see your dog or wife or family?
    stop comparing Windows 8 vs Windows Phone... while trying to make your point valid because that wont work, I mean... you cant compare their resolution or their size and how space Win8 start screen uses vs Windows Phone, because of how big screens are for Win8 or their resolutions.
  • So, just tell me... Why is Microsoft working on merging Windows RT and Windows Phone? Also, resolution isn't a huge problem since we are going to have more devices with 1080p screens, and the Lumia 1520 has a 6 inch display (seems more like a tablet size, at least for me), I think it may help to take some features from Windows 8/RT (start screen rotation, groups of apps, universal search, etc.) and I'm sure Microsoft is going in this direction. Anyhow I understand that the one in the article gives more the idea of a window, so no problem man.
  • >So, just tell me... Why is Microsoft working on merging Windows RT and Windows Phone? To merge app targetting. Write app once, get it on W8, WRT, Xbox etc. Not because of your rubbish background concept. The one MS has designed is beautiful.
  • Calm down man, granted, universal apps is one of the reasons but I think having the same experience across all devices is very important too. I'm sorry that you don't like the concept, I'm ok with that. I'm not saying the one MS has designed is bad, it makes a lot of sense actually. Still, I'd have preferred something like Windows 8, but that's just my opinion. Options are always good.
  • I think that looks horrible....i don't really like the way in the article either. I am fine with the way it is. I think am image anywhere on the start screen is pointless. Thankfully it is optional, and its nice to have a new feature coming. Even if I don't personally like it.
  • Bit of an eyesore, but I can see the appeal.
  • That is perfect!! :D
  • Unfortunately, Tom Warren just said he believes as of now, there will not be a background option. I wish there was, to appease those people.
  • Agree mate! This looks really disgusting! :\
  • Not a fan as it takes away the idea of developers bringing distinction to their tiles. But more options for other users is always great
  • If the developer doesn't make the tile background transparent, you won't see the image through it.
  • No, it doesn't. Take a closer look at both those photos.  All it does is replace the solid color tiles on your phone, with being part of a larger photo.  Any dev who went through the effort of customizing the image of their live tile, or giving the user the option to customize the image of their tile, will not be affected.   If you have a ton of generic [theme-colored] tiles on your phone, then this is a great idea. Just another option to customize them.
  • +1 This is accurate.
  • Wonder how Skype will be affected then.
  • Skype uses its own blue background, so it won't be affected at all.
  • I hate the games tile. It doesn't change color too, always stays as is, wish it changed with themes.. Because if it I use emerald color theme, but I like lime and green more)
  • If I can try to advise, try rearranging your tiles so that the color-constant tiles are symetrically arranged, or arranged in some neat fashion (like have them make a checquer with accent colored tiles or so). That way they will be less obvious
  • They need a three tile wide tile for this to be useful. That was why I returned my Icon.
  • Really....
  • Let me guess your a lame Apple or Droid, user, that didn't know how to resize the tiles. Read the manual first you can get 3 wide if you want, its how big or small you want times, apple and Droid don't do that. ENJOY.
  • I don't really understand your response? Why insult the author so harshly when they're correct? The largest tile available is the 'wide tile' which is 2 medium tiles wide or 4 small tiles wide. Not 3 medium as they were obviously hoping for.
  • Would be too large, and not enough info for just one title. Microsoft nailed it, but preferences are always there, I suppose. What phone are you using now though?
  • Very cool
  • rawr
  • Nah.. This is much better and close to Windows 8   http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=tom+warren+back+ground+windows+phone...
  • +8.1
  • -8.1 No, it's not. Sorry. It's not the background that will be skinned.
  • That's a disappointment :(
  • Are you kidding? I think what's coming is so much nicer.
  • I agree with you LTTG...that one looks +16.2 nicer...offsets Danie's -8.1
  • Hey Dan is it this one accurate or Tom's? EDIT: changed the sentence
  • The account we presented here is the accurate one.
  • thanks
  • What do you think about it?
  • So you're saying that as of current plans, we will receive these skinned tiles but we will not receive backgounds a la Windows 8. And since you've also said 8.1 is just about locked down in terms of feature list i.e they're at the stage where they just fix bugs and release, then this is it. This makes no sense. 
  • What about you Daniel, do you like the idea?
  • Damn - you took away his 8.1. 
  • What about this idea?if you like,vote for it pleasehttp://windowsphone.uservoice.com/forums/101801-feature-suggestions/sugg...
  • +920 you're right, it does look better.
    But the option presented is still welcomed. I wouldn't mind having both! I like options!
  • Not feeling it. Just looks like something else reviewers will complain about. As usual.
  • Pointless. You only see the backgroud at the top when you scroll the tiles all the way down to show it. Most of the time that gap is closed and you just see glitches between tiles.
  • Having OPTIONS is good, those who dont like this style can stay with what they like :)
  • Or use even more solid colors! :D
  • They should give us the option of adding a background image to either the tiles or background. Also, the biggest color palette they can make for both tiles and background. That would be nice.
  • Boils down to taste and choice of image. It definitely has potential though! I'd try it out.
  • Totally right. Just because some dude chose a random pic for the screenshot, doesn't mean the feature is lame.
  • Only 1.... More... Month :D
  • I seriously don't get all the hate I've seen on any post discussing this. It's all about options. I personally like it and can see myself using it. If it's not for you, then stick with the current option of choosing a uniform tile color.
  • Yes, for the love of god, this. Cant believe i had to scroll thru all the garbage above to get to this. You freaking people, I don't get it, stop the mob mentality. If you dont like it, DONT TURN IT ON. Is Bill goddamm Gates coming over and holding a shiv to your throat while you switch your tile appearance? No? Then please stop.
  • No
  • Agreed. I would go back to Apple if they ever marketed windows phone this way. No way I want to be associated with this clusterfnck.
  • Surprise! You don't have to use it. 
  • I'm all for this option. Variety is great, I'm just expressing my personal stance on this. I won't use it, but other people will, and for them it should be there.
  • Silly me. I thought I was going to have to use it. Like using three columns on bigger screens.
  • +1.1
  • Wish they could add this feature on 8.1...is really nice and different from boring monochrome tiles....
  • I'm not really a fan, but I know some will. I do like having more options built in so that is a win, but this option will remain off on my phones.
  • Wait.... What's with that Yahoo app in the cover picture?
  • Yahoo mail, not app.
  • Well, that doesn't exist on Windows Phone either, so what's the deal with it?
  • It does in settings > email + accounts when you add a new account there is a Yahoo! Mail option.
  • I guess it's the Yahoo! mail account tile, no?
  • It's not the mail tile as i have that pinned and it has an envelope with a small yahoo icon in the bottom right corner (i have the small tile pinned).
    Maybe it's a third party app or some icon that skinnery gives
  • We are back to our lovely wp8.1 topic.
  • You're right man. I was getting tired with this Nokia X thing
  • Hmmm
  • Yes I was getting annoyed of all the android news
  • Not sure how to feel about it...
  • It seems faster!
  • Lol
  • Looool I feel stupid for still laugh about it
  • xD +1020
  • It would be more interesting to have the same "Wall Paper" feature like the one on Winsows8/8.1.
  • I absolutely adore this. I think it's a beautiful way of personalizing the start screen. It's also LIGHTYEARS ahead of W8 design because the picture doesn't clash with all of the many tile designs.
  • ^^^^^^ This ^^^^^
  • I'm just happy about 3 column tiles coming to 4.5in screens. I really didn't want to trade up my 1020 so this just made my day!
  • "3 Columns in the 4.5" " How about midle-end devices like Lumia 625 ? Will it be a Resolution or a Screen Size matter ?
  • Screen size. It's always been about screen size.
  • Hum, in that case, the lower resolution devices with more thene 4.5" will do it, but for what result ?.
  • Couldn't agree more!
  • Looking forward to 3 columns on 928. Background image not for me but do like MS providing options to do this for those that see it useful
  • I'm thinking how I'm going to arrange the tiles when I get 3 columns on my 928)))
  • Should of just added a colour wheel for tiles and backgrounds.
  • Great idea; +920
  • And an opacity slider for the app tiles, with an option to have an image skin tiles or remain in the background.
    I'd love to have a nice image in the background with 70% opaque tiles. Would give a very open feel.
    As is, I'll likely never use this feature. Just seems to mush all my app tiles together into one homogenous cluster of difficult to find mess. +920, +520, +1020
  • yeah 70% opaque tiles, would look different than this /s
  • Looks odd but if you have a great wallpaper it's another story.
  • I don't like it. Just give me backgrounds with aero transparent tiles. Sigh*..
  • That would be amazing. I wish we had both options, though.
  • True. Nothing wrong with options.
  • I never thought about that! It would look very cool :D
  • I really hope this is fake... I thought it would be like Windows 8.1 metro background system.
  • Me too.
  • +1020
  • +925
  • Don't really care for it personally. Makes it harder to see what's on the tile. And it looks as though it'll only work if the tile background is transparent, or shows your accent color around it. Tiles that have their own background (like the games and music tiles) probably won't work, unless you want them to block parts of the picture.
  • You can just pick a picture of a different color...
  • I really like this... And people saying they want more tile colours instead of images... Doesn't this give you that, anyway? Just pick an image which is the colour of your choosing!
  • I love it!
  • People hub still showing Facebook .!!
  • "3 Columns in the 4.5" " How about midle-end devices like Lumia 625 ? Will it be a Resolution or a Screen Size matter ?
  • So 720 with 0.2 inches smaller screen wont have this. Size does matter I suppose. :|
  • well i guess MS does have a valid point of not having 3 column tiles for under 4.5 inches. the text will be VERY small
  • The smallest tiles dont have any text on them anyway.
  • its screen size since your 625 is bigger than the 920. chances are much higher that you'll be able to get 3 column tiles
  • Nope
  • Looks amazing. Adds pop to the interface. I like a busy home screen so this gets me excited
  • Live love love it! Exactly what I was hoping for!!!
  • Nay times 1000. Wtf. You might as well give background images and sparkling tiles. Looks like pig on a lipstick.
  • +1020 I hate it...
  • -2520 I love it! Agree to disagree :)
  • I like the option. I'm an artist, so this is another way to express myself.
  • It doesn't say if you can use your own image. Anyway they should still let the dev choose to override the accent color of their own tiles.
  • You can use your own image.
  • You are my new BFF with all these good -for me- news today!   :P
  • How about making the start screen blacked-out by using black background and all black pictures for the tiles :)
  • Hi Daniel, The WPCentral Feature list for WP 8.1 is not up to date. The latest two additions are missing here: - IE 11 Private Browsing Mode + More than 6 Tabs possible
    - Custom Images for Live Tiles i think you mentioned we should post anything missing in the list here, but you seem to forgot your own Posts :)  
  • Nice as an option, I think it distracts from the live tile functionality. But my 920 will live on longer with the 3 column option. Until the 1020 upgrade.
  • Looks good those saying it ugly "turn it off"
  • That looks horrible - but fortunately it's optional! Hopefully we can change the background of the start screen, too - that would be nice :)
  • No thanks.  I like the CLEAN look of WP personally.  But if it is designed with a custom background made SPECIFICALLY for YOUR tile arrangement, you can do some interesting stuff.  Like make a different picture or colour for each individual tile maybe?  I'm sure some creative types will find something really neat to do with this.
  • I like it.  Even if I don't use an actual pic, I would mix a custom color in Microsoft Paint on my Surface RT and transfer it over to my phone.  Then I'd have even more color choices for my live tiles.
  • The guy above me is a genius ;)
  • Microsoft should hire you
  • Nice! Will definitely do that when the update comes out.
  • guyz, this is an option :D it's not that u have to stay wd these... personally, i like this feature! i mean, how light the background is and how clear icons are :) CooL!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)
  • What?
    a few weeks....oh ya for the devs...what about us?
  • Dev Preview Program means you could update to 8.1 too, just like Update 3. 
  • I signed up for the dev preview via the app studio.
    so I'll get it in April right?
    will it have any issues with my L520?
  • No issues bro. Its just the version they release for all developers registered under app studio of Windows store. The developers use it and experience how the os is working. Thats y its called a developer preview mode. U will get WP8.1 on your phone on April 2
  • Thanks man :)
  • Loads of issues, firstly It will downgrade your Lumia 520 to 420 with reduced screen resolution, reduced ram and lower processor speed too  :(
  • I hope you are WRONG!!!
  • He didn't mention the monochrome screen issue. :)
  • Being a pro user.....i shall say, this brings in customization with some flaws, coz if i choose a picture with dark and light contrast i/u might miss out on some notifications as the live tiles may not have proper view.
    For regular users....its just "mehhh" Hey Rubino, any verdict on File Explorer?? And better email attachment options??..these two are on my personal wishlist for 8.1!!
  • Its an option...you don't have be a filmstar to live in aashirwad, lokhandwala!
    If you like it use it on the tiles or else don't!
  • Hate it.
  • Talking about windows 8.1 is just of no use cause lumia 620 users still have not got the black update yet.
  • Lol
  • I have Black on my 620
  • Nay
  • I think I threw up a little bit in my mouth.
  • I feel you. So how much of my homescreen will the skin cover? Not much: http://forums.wpcentral.com/attachments/windows-phone-8/54792d1390088291-start.png
  • I like having the option, but if this is the only option for customization, it's a shame. 8.1 is supposed to be the OS that that brings Windows Phone in line with Windows 8.1 and this makes it look distinctly different.
  • I think it is a nice option. I will probably try it out.
  • We ask for custom backgrounds and less opaque or transparent tiles, they give us skinned backgrounds. Seriously. *facepalm*
  • +8.1
  • Butt ugly.
  • Why is that all the leaks are from China, at least for the most part. And, don't really like the background. It makes the tile Contents almost unreadable.
  • Because that's where a lot of phones are assembled
  • All these people say it looks "ugly" and "horrible", yet no doubt they will end up using one of their favorite pictures.
  • Definitely, they'll will try first and end up loving it
  • How far to April...a month? Grrrrrrrrr
  • I think would be better if there will be both options in settings menu (skinery & classic background). Likewise should be great an animated background too...
  • Awesome!... Just hope that this is for real
  • Does Windows Phone 8.1 come for lumia 720
  • confirmed to come to all WP8 devices including your 720 :)
  • I like it.  I don't know why people would want the background skinned.. the tiles would be covering like 90% of it lol.  I don't really know what's not to like, I mean you can use your own image, or not use it at all.  Seriously. 
  • +1 I think this is the best implementation of wallpapers.
  • I like it! I'm interested in seeing how the image reacts to scrolling though And if you guys recall WPC hinted pretty heavily at the ability to choose whether the tiles or the background will be skinned. There was also rumor of the tiles taking on the accent color of the background... similar to W8
  • meh, not for me but it's always nice to have the option
  • Tiles looks very disorganized wtf
  • Will it skin over Dev apps?
  • I don't get how this will work with live tiles flipping, showing pictures, news headlines etc. Thankfully it's optional. I'm still hoping they might add in the option for W8 style backgrounds but not too hopeful.
  • meh, would rather be able to change the actual backgournd not TILES.
  • If you like this idea,vote for it pleasehttp://windowsphone.uservoice.com/forums/101801-feature-suggestions/sugg...
  • This feature excludes the Custom Background option? Or can we expect both??
    I like this skinning thing, but I like custom backgrounds like Windows 8.1 even more.
  • Meh. I prefered the old rumor. Make it look like Windows to unite the two Operating Systems. This just seperates them further. I prefer this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6P-uXwG-18
  • I strongly agree with you. That's how windows phone will get closer to windows. Unfortunately I guess we will have to wait for the next big update to witness such a thing.
  • I'm ok with them taking small steps if necessary but if this look turns out to be true then I'm not even sure if WP and Windows are planned to merge at all. This just takes them further away from that goal. I switched to WP to have a unified experience across my PC, tablet and phone. I like WP for what it is but in this regard I've been disappointed so far.. might as well have an Android or iPhone next to my Windows tablet. I mean from a user perspective it is the same.
  • I understand, they just want to add new features to grab the medias attention. Its a brave move and an original idea to be honest. But we might as well switch that feature off until the actual unifying between all 3 platforms is complete in the future
  • The way they go about adding things to Windows Phone 8 makes me wonder if they still want to unify all three.
  • They will, im confident. That's what this whole company is about "to unify all 3 platforms" they can't go off that path
  • The tiles are more & more taking up the screen space. I liked it before when we had a gutter.
  • Nice! just another option. If it is not your thing, then don't use it.
  • Think it looks nice. Having an image behind the tiles where you can barely see it and placing it behind a text based app list would not be a good idea. This is something uniquely windows phone and gives us the option to customize the phone without losing our start screen animations. Makes sense from a design standpoint to me.
  • I think I like the idea , not for the fact that I can skin the tiles with a background of my choice but for the fact that I can come up with new background colors other than the standard default colors offered to us by Microsoft
  • You're the ultimate WP user, thank you, actually I would like the subtle Windows 8 start screen backgrounds, simple with just a hint of artwork.
  • This puts the match background option in a whole new light doesn't it?
    * in the settings for on screen navigation buttons.
  • I think it is VERY interesting and cool. I chose windows UI because android and ios bore me. Windows reminds me of the early ios days except updates and new features come out almost daily instead of once or twice a year. Just my opinion.
  • Nay. metro/modern all the way for me.
  • I wonder what will happen to the image when you swipe through the tiles. I mean will the image move up with it? If so then it will need to be a very long image. Or will it stay when the tiles move? I think that would be painful to watch. Really this whole design looks like a bad idea from some custom made ROM that I used to try out as a Android kid.
  • 10/10 this looks nasty , imagine we have this in tile background , and photos tiles showing images btw these ugly tiles , it will create mess , same goes for people tile
  • Like the option
  • I like it!
  • Looks really nice to me - makes the screen really seem like a 'window.'
  • I'm not a fan os that 'Skinery' style. I mean, I like the idea of having that option but I'd really prefer the background behind the tiles like the mock-up Tom posted. I'm not putting images or photos on my background, I'll just pick a solid unique color so no one else will have a tile the same color as mine's :3
  • it's too ugly to be true
  • That's awesome!
  • Looks awesome and I want it. Make it an option I say
  • Everytime Daniel says that winphone 8.1 is a few weeks away my heart raises!!!!! I CANT WAIT!!!!!!!
  • Nay --'
  • Funny, I had that wallpaper on my moto x. Looks a lot better when it's not all chopped up. Well the more I look at it the more I like it. Good to have as an option
  • And what happens with the image when you scroll up? Will it repeat or stay positioned and the tiles that come into view space gets the same image on them?
  • Thats the doubt even I have been having..
  • I do not like it. It would be better if is was like windows 8. Others might like it, so it think giving people the option of skinning the tiles or using actual backgrounds or both can't hurt. In the end it is all up to the user to do as they like.
  • Whether you think it's ugly, useless, or stupid, it's good to to give users options. I'm sure many people will use the functionality. If you don't like it, don't use it.
  • It would also be great if we could set the color for individual tiles
  • With all these OPTIONS, it really depends on each individual user. Me personally, I don't think any of them work with photographs but a simple pattern behind the tiles could work quite well. But everyone is different so MS should just give all three options. Behind the tiles, on the tiles and solid colours.  
  • Not a big fan, I was hoping for something like this: http://s14.postimg.org/gb5rzrg9t/8_1.jpg
  • Yeah me too
  • Why would you want so much (little, by percentage) color in the background with that much color in the FOREGROUND?
  • You have a beautiful background, and beautiful tiles that stand out despite the colorful background. It's a rainbow of colors - Windows Phone.
  • Looks awesome to me, depends on the picture you choose but I'm all for the options. I do like the idea of a background image with tiles that are translucent too. Give us both!
  • I may not like it, but imagine the possibilities! Now, all colors are available, including black/white! So for those of you who want high-contrast while still having a lock screen picture, this is life-changing for you. I don't like it yet, but I have no doubt I'll find a creative use of this feature!
  • Couldn't agree more ! And we have more variety of colors for our live tiles !
  • Not all colors are available. Your accent is still limited to a small variety of colors.
  • Look up "chartreuse" on Bing Images, save it, and choose it as your tile skin. Easy. New color.
  • Exactly why this can be an excellent option... any color you like.
  • Where's whatsapp update ?
  • I like the freedom to skin tiles but I'd rather have the background with a picture like W8 and that Microsoft would just open the remaining tiles for skinning by 3rd party apps like Skinnery. Because chances are, you'll want to skin each tile individually instead of having the same image on top off all. Currently Skinnery can't access only tiles like Messaging, Contacts, Hub, in other words, core tiles. So open those and leave the tile Skinning for the devs. Put a background picture possibility and then truly unify the UX of W8 and WP8
  • I just don't understand where or how u could a background pic its almost no space for the plain white and black I like this a little better once I see it in action and how well it plays
  • Having the option is at least better than not having customizations at all. Your not forced to use it. I see this as the fix for only having limited themes. Whether you want a sunset or not, you'll at lease be able to create a fade of colors.
  • yay.. more options always welcomed
  • Beautiful.
  • A few weeks away?!? Then where's the dev preview!?!?
  • A few weeks away of being announced and probably released for devs.
  • Oh ok.
  • I love this!! I was against the idea of a background image on the homescreen, but shadowbox is awesome! I'm gonna use it as soon as it comes out :)
  • "Oxymoron428" ScHoolboy Q fan by any chance?
  • I like it.
  • Does the image stay where it is and the transparent tiles float over the image or does it move on top of the tiles?
  • I do not get why people are complaining about this.  If you want more color options, simply use a plain picture in the color you seek and you would get what you want. This provides way more customization options.
  • I like it, if it stops me reading the tile, it will have to go. Maybe if the tile is light the writing can be dark and vice versa. Though that might look terrible. I know i never used a background much before because it made the information so difficult to read. Will have to suck it and see..
  • Give us this plus a background image option. More options the merrier which will hopefully lead to less negative articles about WP
  • The image should've placed in the bottom, behind the tiles, I don't really like it, to make it worse, the 620 will never have 3 tile columns, crap :(
  • I like it, finally more options
  • Nooooo. My 820 deserves that three column tiles. :(
  • To think of it it missed out bcas of god damn .2 inch ! This is really stupid of Microsoft that a 4.3 inch screen of a 720 or 820 will supposedly not get 3 row option but a 4.5 inch phone will......all bcas of a .2 inch difference. I guess that was the brain size of the person who took the decision !
  • Why the 4.5 inch or above caveat for show more rows? Why not 4.3? or 4? Then it means lumia 720, 820 and others at 4.3 inch or below will miss out on show more tiles? If it because of resolution if its plain stupid? It means Lumia 625 and 630 will get 3 rows and 820 will not?? Users should be given the option for all devices.
  • I really like it. I hope the image is static in that the tiles move across it. Almost like, dare I say it... Windows. This would be really amazing if it could also use select images as a slideshow. Goosebumps. For those naysayers simply stick with the stock colour options. Maybe venture into the unknown and use your own solid colour as the image, or if you are feeling incredibly adventurous a slow gradient image.
  • I personally think it looks fantastic. One more way to express yourself creatively. Give me options or give me death.
  • Interesting, I was hoping for Custom Backgrounds with a Transparency option (& a HEX picker) for the Tiles , I used that combination with Launcher 7 in my old Motorola Atrix before I jumped ship.
  • Options is always a good idea but I really prefer the live tiles we have now, by far.
  • 4.5 inches for 3 medium sized tiles. Boo i want it for my 920
  • How would this work? A wallpaper has limited height, but the tiles can make a huge height... will the wallpaper go on repeat? That would be extremely ugly. If the wallpaper stays locked, it would make a very weird scrolling effect, as the background will change in each tile everytime.
  • Thats what makes it so ugly :'(
  • Interesting thought. Maybe it's parallax?
  • My thoughts exactly... This is going to be really...really interesting...
  • I really dislike this! Choose like in Windows 8.1 would be better. Anyway, it'll be optional so...
  • Agreed. More pre-defined colors would be better. Or a color picker. But thats it for me.
  • I'm quite shocked at all the negative reaction on here.  My expectation is that most people would enjoy this option.  I think that this opens up some cool possibilities with photos. I think that it's a welcome option.  I'm more likely to use this, than looking to achieve a similar effect with a 3rd party app.
  • The only awesome thing about this is that you now can make your own colors instead of the what 16 pre-defined ones that have way too much contrast. But the photos? Nahh, no thx, too much cheese for my taste.
  • One question, a picture is of a definite size. If you have more tiles than a would fit a picture, are those tiles underneath the picture going to be a color? Or, is the picture going to repeat?
  • Exactly,same doubt here...how would they accommodate a 16:9 or 4:3 pic in d start screen?it would look awful if it wud render them to stretch n fit
  • This is ugly. Period. BUT if they were to add a second option to have the background picture in the BACKGROUND I wouldn't mind it. I don't mind options, I hate limited options.
  • This isn't ugly. Period! You see, opinions
  • Can't wait for 8.1 to come out. Looks amazing
  • @daniel_rubino We need real backgroud images instead of white and black. https://twitter.com/smasithick/statuses/439853199214661632
  • And how would you like to see a background behind all the tiles? This makes much more sense. And it looks great. What the hell is the matter with people these days. Its bringing some sort of customization to the tiles rather than plain boring colors and people are complaining.
  • Its subjective. To you it looks great, to me, it looks horrible.
  • This is what we want on Windows Phone, not just tile "skinning" but "backgrounds":  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6P-uXwG-18    This looks a million times better than skinning.
  • It's subjective. To you it looks a million times better than skinning, to others it looks horrible.
  • That's what you and some other people want. Speak for yourself dont speak for "us". I love this idea(the skinned tiles idea), I want it and judging from the comments, so do a lot of other people. This leads to better customization. You can even see people in the comment section talking about how they would use this to get better tile colors. Again, speak for yourself and don't speak for me and other people that like this idea
  • This is a good start, at least there will be some level of customization. Everyone can personalize their phone. I am happy Microsoft is considering it, i hope it also applies to the multitasking window as well and app list.
  • Like Bumper Stickers on a Ferrari. Truly horrid that Microsoft would want their beautiful design presented like this.
  • To each there own. Its alot better than plain boring ass colors. If u don't like it, don't use it. Its that simple.
  • More options always better
  • Perfect!!! Love the idea!
  • I dont really mind if it is background or not. I prefer more important stuff like notifications,etc. Anyway I like it just because you can set any picture you like.
  • This isn't a background, people still have to put up with the boring black or white that they've had to put up with for years. Why can't Microsoft just do something right and give users what they want? People asked for a background, not some tile thing that won't even work.
  • Don't use it. Get an android. Simple solutions.
  • Its not that I don't like it its just that its still not what a huge amount of people want. With a background people want to change the background, not the foreground.
  • I think it looks cool. I don't see how a background would work behind the tiles unless few apps were pinned using small tiles. Or just solid colors. I'll use it and show it off. I think most people will think its cool, depending on image used.
  • First of all, this makes the OS look cheap.  It looks like some fake skinnery app. Second, this goes against the Metro UI guidelines, which was inspired by metro signage that are clean, minimalist and move.  You would never see train signs ugly backgrounds like this.  They should have just made subtle background accent images with the choice to upload your own or a custom solid colour (Just like Windows 8.1)
  • This is just the start screen. If they changed the background (the one that's currently black or white), that WOULD actally mess up the whole metro design, because that would clutter all the system menus etc.
  • Thats ugly, i dont like it.
    Wish we can change the black background for a image, NOT THE TILES!
  • ALL LOVE
    ITS LEGIT!!
  • 3 column tile support yay... Don't need to swype down
  • Not for all, only for phones with screens larger than some 4.3 inches..
  • Def wanting this feature looks awesome
  • Yay and nay. It's cool but doesn't look as cool as the accent colors.
  • when is the update coming?
  • Awful and tacky. This is MS whoring out from the original concepts in order to bring more people into their platform (only that if they keep implementing changes like this, it won't be their platform anymore as it will look exactly like Android or IOS).
  • Go check out android and ios. BC they still look nothing like this. Derp..your right likes keep it all the same old same old so ms can stay behind apple and android. In the behind right where you like it.
  • It's hard to respect your opinion if you include "derp" in it, you know. But thanks for trying anyway.
  • Well, considering a background won't show up properly behind the tiles, I believe this is a good way to use custom backgrounds.   Though I myself would still stick to accent colors instead.  
  • I like it. As long as we can put our own pics on the background titles im in. I'm sure its optional for the choice of using it or not and why ppl get hardons if there's a change is hilarious. How do u guys handle weather changing from day to day. Its a must see im sure. Boo hoo crocodile tears. :-D
  • Isn't that from the app, Shining Themes?
  • Looks horrible and stupid. What is their issue with making Windows Phone like Windows Desktop?
  • ...I couldn't tell if you were being sarcastic above.
    Well, windows phone 7 was the ultimate aesthetic divergence in UI, which didn't win as many hearts as we had all hoped. Now they're slowly going for convergence hoping to win those hearts on the edge, as we started seeing on the desktop, and now here.
  • The more customization for users, the better.
  • Good old MSFT finally getting hip. That's right take off those stupid suits and ties and begin walking around in sweat suits. I like it looks great.
  • They say that Three columns on 4.3" devices are Impossible and horrible cause the text would look smaller (who cares about smaller text? Tried viewing a Three column screenshot on a l720 and looks totally awesome) and then they skin the tiles making them completely ureadable and kitsch..
  • Will Windows Phone 8.1 be available on my Lumia 1520?
  • Yes. In fact, all wp8 devices. Get this update I think. You have one of the newest WP devices.
  • I like it. Anything Microsoft can do to add flexibility to the phones o/s is a good thing. Customization is part of what made Android so popular. So I hope we see this.
  • I'm going to put it out there and say I like it.
  • I expect it will. I've got a 1520 myself imported from Malaysia but I'm in Toronto and hope to get it too. Rogers doesn't carry this phone, so I expect because its unlocked Nokia themselves will push it out in the next couple of months.
  • Instd of this MS must bring the background options for WP as it is in Windows8 that might look better as it has many colour options and graphics too.
  • That would just mess up all the system menus
  • I like it and it is OPTIONAL
  • I would be it under the tiles. Where the option for that? I don't really like on the tiles, takes away from having tiles in my opinion. Looks like winmo to me.
  • 3 column support for 4.5 inch or larger? why not 4.3 inch and larger!? I want it on my 820 nao!
  • Yes i like it, though my preference would be to have this and the option of background image as well which would officially make windows phone the most colourful smartphone available!!
  • Its fine but a it should be optional to make the tiles translucent and have a wallpaper or animated theme in the back too along with this but not only this!
  • I don't really care about this. But, what I do care about, is that they're likely not going to include real backgrounds. They should at least give us more colours than black and white.
  • The tiles seem to take up more of the screen now
  • Come on. Everybody here says this is better, no that is better. Do you understand that beauty is a completely SUBJECTIVE thing? That means what looks good to you is ugly to another and vice versa. If someone likes neon green background and neon pink tiles, let them have it (although probably majority of people would find it awful, including me). I personaly like the idea of picture as tile background. If you don't - that's fine but don't make a general statement that it's bad just because you don't like it.
    Got it?
  • Instd of this MS must bring the background options for WP as it is in Windows8 that might look better as it has many colour options and graphics too.
  • Don't like it, they should just put it behind the tiles and make the tiles slightly transparent like in several concepts. How does this work while scrolling, does the image go with the tiles or is it stationary. If its stationary it'll look bad as you try to read what's on the tiles.
  • Really, this is not only ugly but disgusting.
    Background image instead of black or white might be acceptable, but this... seriously?
  • Well i love it, and in my world, that's all that matters, well done MS
  • No thanks!
  • I have mixed feelings about this, but I kind of like the idea. I wouldn't use it though; I'd very much rather have backgrounds behind the tiles, I wouldn't mind them being limited to a few minimalistic wallpapers or solid colors. I'm just a bit bored of the just white/black background choice.
  • Is this what MS came up with? Who runs the design team at MS? This is rubbish. They started off with metro/modern UI which was amazing and now they are ruining it. Why not have blurred out translucent backgrounds. That would have been more attractive
  • +Infiniti! Ms shud recruit u ;)
  • So 4.5 inch phones will be getting the extra column? Sweet
    +928
  • What was rhat about not presenting fake news? Oh thats right, you set a different standard for what constitutes fake.
  • If they ran it, they are probably confident about it. I mean there are some stuff that could be criticized about WPCentral but journalistic credibility is not one of them.
  • Dan Rubino knows something we don't.
  • @stephen_az Tom Warren on the Verge confirmed this story after we posted it. You're move, buddy. 
  • Minimalistic Metro is fading away...
  • Ita more choices to make the masses happy.
  • No Thanks.  I prefer it behind the tile.  That means no background on the app list. 
  • Great!!!
  • The most frustrating thing for me right now is applications that have an ugly tile that can't be changed to fit my overall aesthetic. With this option, I can simply use a plain-colored background and make EVERY tile the same color, which would be amazing. Of course, the picture thing is cool too, but the tile unification is exciting to me.
  • Show more tiles..... 4.5" displays ftw, maybe my 920 & 1020 will finally look the biz
  • Will the image also be part of the app list?
    I was hoping for something that would be consistent on the home screen and app list. Maybe like the background image stays consistent but moves slightly Windows 8.1.
  • absolutely horrible...we already have something like this in WP8, it's called "Skinery Tiles"...this looks like some grade school project...absolutely ugly....the one Tom Warren posted makes much much more sense and it's what they use in W8 and W8.1 so I don't understand why they went this route if it's what we will get in WP8.1 instead of the one posted by Tom Warren
  • Im not a fan. With the right images it can look good but the majority of users dont have the picture perfect pic for the tiles. Imagine an image with white in it. Now you cant see what the tile icon is or possibly notifications etc. Would have been better to be behind the tiles IMO.  
  • I like it either way. Just hope devs will support it so my screen can be consistent. Currently with my favorite tiles pinned, it's a diarrhea of colors with a slight predominance toward my accent color. :(
  • I guess I'll give my minority opinion. This way has potential, depending on the image chosen. Having a background behind the tiles is a terrible, terrible (xInfinity) idea. All of the posts showing examples and saying how much better it looks, look horrible. Having said that, it should be an option for those who want it, just like this should be.
  • Every example I see of this has been ugly to me. This looks much better to me: http://a.disquscdn.com/uploads/mediaembed/images/867/5774/original.jpg Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • Cant waint. On Christmas l will change my Lumia on an "Advent calendar", I will set some christmas motive as a background :-). The only thing I will miss will be hidden chocolate under every title(square) :-) :-)
  • Looks like a fun idea... still hoping the 810 gets the update. 
  • Cool feature for those who think you can't customize WP enough but I hope this isn't on by default.
  • Not a feature I'd use myself, but hey the option to use it is there. If you don't like it don't use it!
  • *Windows phone 8.1 is only a few weeks away* Seeing as I only just got the Lumia Black update, I'll expect this one around November.
  • I think its a good feature to have. If the wallpaper is locked in one position the tiles can display the bits missing when scrolling up and down, making it look cool
  • I think it would be neat if the start screen had little side designs like the ones available in windows 8.
  • Most awaited feature for me is extra tile. I would love to see extra tiles in my Lumia 625
  • So , we complaining about more options given to users . :p... dont like it dont use it :).   Screen shot .. also include option for extra tiles. http://i.imgur.com/63bRO04.jpg          
  • I love it.
  • Very bad: 1) Live Tiles lose their "identity": CHECK 2) Live Tiles are harder to spot: CHECK 3) Live Tiles are harder to read: CHECK 4) Start Screen becomes a mess with Live Tiles that have their own image (photos app or games) on top of the selected skin image: CHECK   Now, for those who don't understand us who simply want to change the background colour: We know that the Live Tiles take most of the screen space and you can't almost see an image selected for the background but please understand this: 1) Most of us don't want to use a photo full of details, we will just use a background with simple colours or some gradients. 2) We want to get rid of the black/white background colours. They make the OS look sad. This is the main reason why most of us want the option to change the background and not to have a photo to which we can look all the time.
  • The black/white backgrounds make the OS look "Metro". Identity/harder to spot/harder to read tiles: select as "skin" a picture "with simple colours or some gradients". ;-)
  • I agree with getting rid of the black and white but i dont agree witu your first point in the "please understand this" segment. Most smartphone users want to have a picture of themselves or their family on their background and this is most likely the option they will go with. I actually see a lot of people using this more that background behind the tiles. This gives more freedom to customise. If MS just made pictures to only work with the tiles then people would attack them for lack of customization options. Ms...damned if they do, damned if they don't
  • Agreed with that We want this
  • I hope it changes like the Photos Live Tile I like it
  • This is a great concept. With a well thought-out pic, it could look awesome.
  • Fake. On the first image, one tile is the tile from Skinery Themes, which already does this. So, it is just nothing
  • Sexay!!
  • I love that.
  • I think some people are forgetting that this is OPTIONAL! I swear some people have a really hard time dealing with options.. Lol
  • That's not the problem. The problem is that we aren't going to have the option to change the actual background. We are still stuck to black and white.
  • Do not like it at all.
  • I really like it. Tired of looking at just plain colors. At least Microsoft is attempting to update the look of the OS. Give some credit where it is due. They are doing something. Not a fanboy, but just like what they are attempting to do if comes out at all. Like the idea.
  • Look Amazing <3
  • I don't see myself using it but it's nice to have that feature baked in for those that like it.  I would have preffered to have a custom color selector for the live tiles.
  • Love This feature, but i don't get how for example the contacts live tile will work with background image ?? Will those contact photos be integrated, or aren't they available when the image is enabled, getting real confused about This..
  • Ugly as F$%&
  • Again, that is HORRIFIC!  Rather than allow the tiles to be turned into UNREADABLE MUD, why not just give us a full up color wheel to choose ANY color for the tiles we want?  If I saw someone with a Start screen that looked like the examples I'd run as far away from that OS as I could.  Horrible.
  • Looks nice, i was hoping for a black accent to be added so the screen was black except for the icons, but I do like the way the images work. Hope the third row comes to something like the 925, after switching from a 620 the tiles are comically big. An off topic not never switch between windows phone that was 2 hours if my life I'll never get back , not sure how people that review WP deal with it.
  • Daniel do you know why they have decided to abandon the "Metro/Modern" minimalist look for this? At the very least can you tell us that you have seen examples from actual 8.1 that look better than this? It may just be this mock up, but I would never use this for any thing other than an image of a solid color. Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • Hopefully this ends the bickering
    Personally,I think this is very ugly looking,but if some people happen to like this design,then I'm completely fine with Microsoft implementing it,but the reason why I'm unhappy is because I wanted backgrounds BEHIND the tiles,and some of you may think its stupid because of the little space between tiles,but it still looks very nice if you choose the right picture,and you can see alot of the picture when you swipe to the apps list,and on top of that,it wouldn't take much for Microsoft to add more space in between the tiles.I just want wp8.1 start screen to truly look like windows 8.1 does. It would be even better if we had the option to add those color preset backgrounds that windows 8 has!once again in not against this design in particular,but more so angry that Microsoft doesn't seem to be adding the option to add the background behind the tiles..
  • Yay
  • I like this option! I'll enjoy playing around with different images seeing if I can actually live with any of them. I'm hopeful.
  • While I agree with most people that it is nicer to have a background that could be extended beyond just the start screen, I would like to see what this skinned tiles would look like when it is scrolling. Anyone with mad PhotoShop chop in here? Just like live tiles, having the animation is what makes screen more lively and personal.
  • Think will look good if, good quality images are used!
  • Curious people only 1%,in term of operating systems, 99 of them buy smartphones or laptops base on their choices and popularity.
  • I would have much preferred live animation in the bg like in windows 8.1. That could have been something to cheer for.
  • I think an opposing color background behind the tiles would be good, like a contrast.
  • Curious people only 1% or less about operating systems,, 99 of them just go and buy
  • I think having an opposing background color would be good behind the tiles, like a contrast.
  • Finally, skinnable system apps. Honestly you can only do so much with your start screen that it gets bland after awhile. Fortunately with skinnery themes i can have them as i want to but making blank tiles/spacers is a pain and can be a nuisance as they are not linked to anything as tapping will start a transition and revert back to the homescreen. However as the system apps are not skinnable you are somewhat limited (if your like me, who prefers to have a symmetrical design). With the third column i can have 6 more tiles to play with, opens alot more possibilities :p. With the addition of the background image i can have the start screen just how i like it i.e use of gradients, have pictures of constellations, stars, maybe a landscape, People who are complaining, I guess have no imagination at all lol.
  • This.
    Is.
    AWESOME!!!
  • My 620 still doesn't have Black
  • Yay
  • Hmm my comment is not showing lol, oh well. I hope they add support for animated gifs, then tiles will truly be live (well sort of :p).
  • Yay+
  • YAY++
  • Should do a proper poll so we can see the yays and nays clearly...
  • 3 Column Tiles only for 4.5 inch Screen and above?? So does that mean 820 will not get this feature?
  • Nay
  • Why not make the tiles little transparent and have us use a custom background (faded) instead. More subtle and cleaner.
  • I think it looks good, tiles do flip, hopefully they can still flip to display notifications, but it would be nice to have more options.... remember this isn't being promised as the actual layout, it might be a possible option though and options are always good
  • why don't custom background at the back with semitransparent tiles?
  • I don't like the tile color choices we currently have, so I would use this to get an image of a solid background in a color I like and use that.
  • So, how would this work when I scroll up or down and reach the end of the image? Are the bg images going to be tiled or static?
  • I don't like it so much, but having a choice is fine with me! There are those that will love this. What I want to see is what type of flipping you might see and can you turn it off for selected tiles. For example, my Photos tile sports lots of favorite pics of my family, landscapes and such I have photographed. Nokia Storyteller, Bing Apps, etc bring other images I find more compelling than the static, choose 1 image most backgrounds consist of. This also doesn't act like the background image on Windows 8.1 where you seemingly move seamlessly from the Modern UI to the Desktop. I would much rather see that.
  • Just went through all these comments and DANIEL I think it's a time for another POLL!!! How about that?
  • i second, third fourth that! My prediction is a lot ppl hate this than like this
  • What is wrong with this exactly? It might not be for everybody, but don't use it if you don't like it.
  • I like it
  • Awesome! Not sure I would use a picture, but this would be a great way to get color options not supported by MS! Just make a solid color rectange, set it as your tile background, and bam! you can have any color (or gradient) that you could want. Personally though, I think I'll use a picture. Nothing as textured as what is shown in the article images, but something flat and simple.
  • Personally, I think beauty and design are subjective. When used with the right background, this can look pretty great. Why fret over something that is completely optional and when we don't even know what other options and features are there in the final build related to this? Its good to have options - whether its a foreground or background. There are tons of other features in this update we should be excited about. Also, I was wondering if WP can do split screen like W8. Screen size could be a limitation though. All excited for //build/ :)
  • I was expecting the option to place a pic in the background - like Windows 8.1........ that said, you wouldn't see much on the phone version of the OS if they followed the desktop / tablet OS.
  • Windows 8.1 is kinda selling me to upgrade to a higher end Windows phone!! It brings the features that I've become accustomed to with Android and adds it's own Windows flavor....I'm so excited!! Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • I really don't like this because it looks cluttered and would present additional problems for brands that have specific style guides for their icons, etc. (I get it that those types of icons could just easily not allow themselves to be skinned, but then this would contribute to an even more cluttered-looking screen) I would have wanted a REAL full screen background and then maybe push the tiles all the way down and off the screen, leaving only one row of small tiles at the bottom. Pulling up from said row would bring up the rest of the tiles, and you can just flick down again to hide them. Or something of this sort. The skinned tiles just look too busy to fit the WP look and feel.
  • I say false. Microsoft would never do something that allows that much freedom of customisation.
  • Yeah it looks amazing. Guys. Lets see when it comes..i think it would be great
  • Just Have a Look at it who find it ugly
    https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=CF56ED9B019BEE1A!1329&authkey=!AGs...
  • How would this work for a really long start screen?
  • WOW., Can't wait to get this Update soon on my L520
  • Will Lumia 520 will get file manager, more tiles, notification centre and start screen background after 8.1 update anyone please replyyyyyy.......
  • https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=CF56ED9B019BEE1A!1329&authkey=!AGs...
  • This actually looks pretty cool
  • I prefer solid background color options.
  • I don't see myself using this but who knows... Every kind of customization should be very welcome, it would be awesome if they add this aside with really background wallpapers and/or more colors beside dark and light...
    If battery drain is the issue it really can't be worse than IOS ...
  • This is great you can set picture on background,,, realy good looking depend on what picture choose
  • This is great you set picture on background,, good looking depending on what picture you choose,,,
  • Great you set picture on background,,,good looking depending of what picture you choose.
  • Yay, would simply love it. It will give more freedom to customize your phone.
  • Great you set picture on background,,,good looking depending of what picture you choose...
  • This is a shining theme app..OMG, this isn't WP 8.1 :(   You can check it yourself on WP store
  • This is 8.1, look at the status bar WiFi icon.
    They gave it a 10 rating on the rumour meter
  • I like having the option. Options is what its about! And I think it looks nice!
  • Looks really bad,if it's true,Microsoft had misleaded
  • I wonder how it'll look after you scroll down to the bottom, as in would the image stay the same or more of the image is revealed... which sparks other questions as in, what if the image is not large enough?
  • The image will probably repeat when it's over
  • Far better than the BLACK or WHITE background...
  • It will be awesome
  • Nice
  • I like the possibility....
  • Question: what will happen when we scroll down?
  • But then wouldn't this spoil the 'contrast' concept?? Also i think it would make reading the numbers and text on tiles difficult due to images...
  • Bt nevertheless...it does look awesome...images broken down to tiles...i mean,come on! Now you are talking about everything in true #Metro....way to go MS!
  • Also this new option is like 'In your face!' to those haters (Androiders -_-)
  • Looks nice I think.
  • This thing spoils the beauty of Windows Phone. I hope they really keep it optional, because only the android fanboys are going to like this.
  • It does look nice but I suspect it's fake.
  • Why can't we just be allowed to pick 3 colors (from an unconstrained palette): Background Tile Background Tile Foreground   I really don't understand imposed limits on something trivial like colors, when it's obvious that one of the key winning points in the mobile market is "device personalization".
  • Ugly . . .
  • I wonder if WP9 would make lock screen picture as start screen background picture too.... and have different way to unlock it so that the start screen transit towards user seamlessly, after unlockiing it. The grid line could also be less visible. :) 
  • Options are a good thing.
  • I got an idea for whoever doesn't like this feature (including me), we always asked for more accent colors, right?? You can now make your own accent color with paint, then saving it and sending it to your phone, and setting it as the live tiles wallpaper... (did you get the idea?)
  • I don't like it, but it doesn't matter as long as it's optional. But if they're not adding the conventional backround pictures, I would like at least to be able to change the backround colour.
  • It's all about choice. iOS is an excellent operating system if you are content with no choice.  AAPL has two phones they are currently marketing, the 5C and 5S, both miniature phones.  There is very little choice and customization.  A whole bunch of clone cultists who are content to overpay for their products are fine with no choice.  I think all this choice is great.  If you want a picture as a background screen then use it, if not, don't!  But, at least we (i.e. Windows Phone users) have a choice.  I use the 1520... far and away the most functional/useful phone in the market today.  You can actually get something done on it.  No, it's not too big.  But if someone wants to use Windows phone and wants a smaller form factor , then they have choice.   Windows Phone OS is still in its infancy.  It is arguable the best phone OS, and certainly will be in the future.
  • I think this is absolutely fantastic idea. I already have couple of pictures that would be ideally suited.
  • Yay! Can't wait!
    If you don't like it, don't use it :P
  • Yay! I love this!!
  • I wonder how weird it would look if you put a black photo as the picture. Everything would be black! Same as with white. That would look pretty cool.
  • Like this look of this better than the current background in Windows 8
  • the paradigm of backgrounds and transparent tiles exists in uc browser.. its great one bt a late one!
  • It's too bad,Microsoft has lost its way
  • Well, I love it. I never understood why people want backgrounds behind the tiles. Colour, sure I understand that. But you can't see your picture. And that would bug the hell out of me (just like it does,on the iPhone). However, in the tiles it's now like a mosaic and very cool. You can see your picture. So it makes sense.
  • I think they should go they way of surface/desktop. White space with group headers. Or, jam them all together if you want...
  • It looks great. You guys are crazy. I personally look forward to it. Of course, if you don't like it, don't use it. Its not compulsory.
  • I need only infinite color to my tiles, not images
  • I'm glad we get the option to show more tiles! I'm sure many will like it, and some might not.
  • Not very appealing, but different. The tiles should be translucent and the image in the background. A bonus would be that the background image remains for the app list also.
  • To the people complaining: It is a damn option. If you don't like it then don't enable it. Also, stop complaining just to complain. Use that energy for something positive. There, now I'm done complaining. ;)
  • That's all well and good, but i wish they'd introduce more options for the background; either colors or more monochrome options like grey for instance.
    Having just black or white is a bit limiting. :/
  • I love it.
  • This is done using the Skinery Themes app. What's everyone fussing over?
  • The more you look at it this is the right way to go, will refresh the look of what is the best mobile os by giving new options to customize our start screens, also i agree with everyone who wants customizable background as well, just imagine being able to choose any colour of background as well, this would be class
  • I like it especially to add a solid color.  I've always felt the WP8 screen could benefit from being a bit less colorful to one that is more subdued for maybe a more professional look.  You could achieve that by using a solid color with this feature.
  • In Windows Phone 8, you can actually set your phone to "high contrast" and it will transform you tiles to dark grey and white. Very attractive actually if you have a white phone. You can of course use the setting with a red or yellow phone but to my mind it's most attractive in a white phone.
  • I think this is an awesome thing. Its an option.
  • Custom pic should be made as background only. It doesn't look good on the tiles. Tiles should be solid, not transparent. How the hell will it look good while we have the as usual *boring* black/white background, with some transparent pictured tiles..
  • I think its sweet
  • What if there's an option for the image to be either in the foreground (overlaid on the tiles) or in the background (behind the tiles). Would that make most of the complainers here happy?
  • I like it. I notice that one tile in the corner is not transparent which makes me wonder if the developers have to code this feature in every app or if it can be disabled on individual apps.
  • I wonder if we will be able to control the opacity.
  • This shit is so ugly. Completely defeats the purpose of Live Tiles. And how can anybody see what the icons are a background like that? So much for glance and go now. Now, you have sit there and look carefully look through the tiles to see what they are because the image completely clutters tue view. Stupid, stupid, and really stupid. :P
  • Yay
  • For ppl who love/hate it, its an option and Ms is not forcing it. I love it and will use it to give my phone a truly personal look.
  • Definitely yay....
  • http://windowsphone.uservoice.com/forums/101801-feature-suggestions/sugg...
  • I think it looks cool, plus I have to agree with MDboys with the comment of more background colours are needed, black or white is just not allowing the user to be creative. Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • I like it
  • Looks absolutely superb. Mint. Really what WP needs and the kind of thing that most consumers want. The level of negative criticism in these comments tells you all you need to know about a lot of bitter WP users. Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • I would use the images in the background of livetilles, and images on livetilles let it be an option. No image in the background I have the impression that my screen smaller than it is, on a black background. It would be nice to have the option to set the image instead of just black and white background, in both cases, on start screen and the app screen!
  • Definitely happy to have more options for customizing the phone. No complaints
  • this is heading in the right place....but its still has the grid on it...its not my own personal home screen.....like i can have on my desktop...or even andriod or iphone for that matter. i want a home screen thats mine....completely up to me whats on it or not....for instance a picture with nothing else....or maybe a icon or widget in corner....but i can change it to nothing but pic whever i want
  • I don't get all the whining and bit#$I,g about this IMO this is a welcome feature; I wish they also include more options for backgrounds other than dark an light.
  •   Looks better than I thought it would be. Looking forward to trying it out.
  • i cant understand why people are attracting towards background themes, this type of tyle customization is better and good looking than that.......... really i love windows phone 5 out of 5 star for this.................. nice job developers!!!
  • Zoom in closely and it looks like some tiles aren't lined up or are just slightly smaller then others. Also this idea would be kind of stupid. How would you make it so that every tile could be set custom unless developers made their apps to work with it just like small and wide tiles on WP8. It would also get rid of developers artwork and original tiles and it would make text and other things hard to read. If the image you use is to light you won't be able to see what's on the tiles real well.
  • Yay
  • I like this idea, much better than just a background image that will get covered up by the tiles instead. 
  • Its ok, but I would like to see the tiles rotate in landscape mode. That would be sweet. Live locks screens would also greatly boost apps in the marketplace.
  • It's alright, but they could probably do something cool like make dynamic backgrounds that move when you scroll, such as with Windows 8, the desktop OS. I honestly would like for them to change that tile number update thing. It's kinda ugly. Oh well.
  • No more waiting
  • wow it looks amazing. definitely sets it further apart (in a very much good way) from the other mobile os's out there. can't wait for this!
  • Million of windows phone user like it,, this the for other users options
  • While I do not like the way the screenshots make it look (not even sure what happens if one starts scrolling down the screen) this will at least give us the opportunity to select any shade of color as our start screen accent color. Or maybe a gradient.
  • What we need is a free color picker for the theme color. This background image thing just doesn't do it for me. That being said: With this option, I could always just create a monochrome image with the color I want.. ;-)
  • OK sooo there will be no POLL, because Daniel likes it and the poll would show that majority doesn't.
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  • cool new feature! bring on 8.1
  • This is awesome. I've been wanting Microsoft to do this exact thing for a very long time. I'm glad to see it finally make it in.
  • I wonder how it is going to adjust to the flipping tiles. but i does looks good. looks like the tiles will just be an overlay of a background picture.. "a window" if you will. i do wish they would bring the W8 start screen with its moving backgrounds and app grouping to WP. could you imagine eliminating the soft keys of your WP device and just having a swipe in charms bar at the bottom of your screen, or better yet having the option to customise the charms bar (like colour, duration of existance when in standby and not in use, interchangeable icons {like swapping search icon for text/call/or any app}, opacity, size). how about search, include results from texts emails contacts (you see where I am going with this). basically get Windows RT and throw it on WP8.1 and add better volume control and a notification hub and your golden.
  • Hi wpc
    This is my first comment here. Lol
    Glad to find you
    Sorry, off topic. Posted via the WPC App for Android!
  • yay!
  • THIS IS TOTALY UGLY! Unless they remove the gap between the tiles.
    I really dont wanna have a picture of my friends and myself there with our faces all over the blank spacing.
     
  • I like this. But I would also like the idea of having the style that Windows 8.1 has with the multiple colors. Likewise I'd like to see Windows 8.1 allow for a solid color tile option like Windows Phone currently has. Variety being the spice of life and such. I would probably try this for a bit then switch to the multicolor option that would mimick Windows 8.1, I like uniformity between my devices.
  • Love the look of the image on the tiles! I think it's much better than a background image.
  • About time they'd release WP 8.1.
  • This can be done with skinner. Nothing to see move along people.
  • shiiiiit... i think it looks great!.. but i would also like to see if we have the option of applying skin in the background instead of just black or white... 
  • i know that this is an out of topic but i really wish WP8.1 also comes with auto rotate when we flip our phone side ways (tiles would also rotate)... or atleast hoping that they are in development. 
  • I would make a few dark texture such as brush gun-metal, aluminium, dark paper grain, rust or some techy dark pint stripe design, man, my 920 is gonna look sick and personal! this is great idea!   Whoever thinks this is a bad or ugly idea need to start thinking outside the box.
  • Yay...
  • I really need to get 8.1 on my Icon. I'd love to have this option!