New Windows Phone 8.1 video reveals Start screen backgrounds, parallax view

As we reported earlier, the leaks for Windows Phone 8.1 are coming in at a steady pace now. Following up on this morning’s video that showed off the new OS is one focusing on the new Start screen options.

Not much has happened with the Start screen since Windows Phone 8 was announced, but with 8.1 users will have at least two new features to help customize and personalize their phones: Start background and Show more Tiles.

As revealed in this admittedly poorly shot video, users can choose from a pre-selection of background images for their Start screens. Alternatively, users can select photos from their Facebook, OneDrive, or camera roll as well. Perhaps the neat thing is the parallax movement when the user scrolls, giving the Tiles a true “windows” feel to them, much like looking outside a window pane.

The other feature is of course ‘Show more Tiles’ though that is not detailed in this video. In essence, users will be able to toggle between two or three columns of Tiles, allowing users to fill more of the screens with their favorite apps. It’s not clear if there will be display size restrictions though we have heard of it being on the Lumia 630, which is thought to be 4.5 inches.

Much has been made of the background images for the Live Tiles, with some users preferring it to be truly in the background. We disagree. This approach that Microsoft is giving users is truly unique, innovative and when you use the right image, downright gorgeous. Besides selecting a photo, users will be able to use custom solid color wallpaper on the phone, giving them the ability to make their phone look how they want.

More will be revealed next week at Build, so stay tuned.

Source: Coolxap, YouKu; Thanks, alocom and kheang, for the tips

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.