Start Screen Background Apps

Spice up your Windows Phone 8.1 Start Screen with OneStart

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Some phones in India not getting Lumia Cyan until September

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New video shows how to add interests for Cortana

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Cyan going to Italy soon for the 1020?

New phone alert

All green Lumia 1520 now available from AT&T

Call me maybe

How to speed dial on Windows Phone 8.1

Cyan on AT&T

Lumia 520 and 925 on AT&T finally get Cyan and 8.1


Microsoft ends Device Hub beta, included in Lumia Cyan

How To

Want the Lumia Cyan update? You need to downgrade your phone first.

How To

Here's how to move apps to your micro SD card


Demo of the Animated Lock Screen for 8.1

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Windows Phone News

Long awaited Lock screen app for Windows Phone 8.1 almost ready for public beta

Windows Phone News

Microsoft releases helpful video to get you started with Cortana


Microsoft's aiming for flagship Windows Phones, killing Nokia X but selling MixRadio

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O2 UK shares details on the Windows Phone 8.1 update, teases visual voicemail

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Preview for Developers users need to rollback for Cyan

Windows Phone News

Cortana showing a stock chart is a nice touch on Windows Phone 8.1


Here is my Start screen wallpaper for Windows Phone 8.1

One of the more interesting side effects of constantly taking photos of your phone, especially during such a high profile week, is everyone is curious as to what app that is or where’d I get the background. They’re all fine inquiries, the challenge for me is trying to respond to every tweet, email, DM or comment here to satisfy everyone!

Hence this post. This is nothing more than me going: here is my wallpaper.

I should mention, the wallpaper was created by the fantabulous app PolyScreen, which we detailed in our little guide dubbed ‘How to get beautiful Start backgrounds for Windows Phone 8.1’. That app randomly generates low-poly images, so what you see below is a one of a kind. Or something.

Regardless, if you folks like this sort of thing, I suppose I can kind of do it regularly. I did detail most of my apps I use on my Start screen in this article, though that is something constantly changing. (Before anyone asks, that weather app is the new Blue Skies. We covered it recently and it’s my new favorite). To make Twitter 'transparent' I used the free app Transparency Tiles.

So without further ado, go forth and download!

For those who want a direct link:



There are 136 comments. Sign in to comment

That wallpaper looks sick on the 1520!

nuprotocol says:

Hahahaa so glad he posted this! I've been wondering for a week. Lol

That's a good one I hope everyone uses that XD

Jaskys says:

Not bad Daniel, but mine is better

jmerrey says:

Hey Daniel, how is that clock app working for you, especially re: battery life?  Thanks.

vikrant6 says:

I have also pinned that clock to my start screen for few days now and No, It's not sucking much of the battery..  I would love to see something like clock and weather on a same tile.. 

jmerrey says:

There is another that does weather also, but according to the dev it requires sideloading to update properly. He also has a W8 version that works great on my Surface. Its called TimeMe.

Sweet, Imma do a post on that I think (the W8 app).

I see no effect on battery.

NokiAngel says:

Permission to copy Daniel. Thanks for sharing.

uopjo6 says:

Mine kinda stopped working and couldn't display the time. Only the icon. 

Anyone have similar issues?

josonjoy1986 says:

Your ME tile looks awesome Daniel.....:)

rubenbest says:

Man i wanna have my start screen as amazing lol

bguy_1986 says:

keeping my colbalt blue tiles.  Wallpaper seems to make things too "busy" for my tastes...

Schnydz says:

I've learned it definitly has something to do with the type of background used. For me it seems the darker the better. In fact, you can now do the appropriate "STORM TROOPER" phone with white background using a black wallpaper background. No need to change the high contrast setting in ease of access. 

Awesome sauce :-)

lafn says:

The colors look kinda IOSish.  :-)

Whats that weather tile? Which app?

ttsoldier says:

Good thing you read the article

galtom says:

And what is the name of weather app you use :-)

Daniel i just read app name :D

Joeul_Ramos says:

Blue Skies weather app

I am sure, that my background screen is better then Daniel's.

The best one is always the one you pick as your own!

Aah, very decent answer daniel.
Why don't you try in Hollywood!

galtom says:

Question to you: what is the name of the calendar app you show on the top picture?

Its simple calender i hope

I_am_beat says:

Oh thank You very much!!! Been searchig for it all this morning!!

akshaypn says:

This is nice ..looks good on 1320!

Bhawk1990 says:

Dat cat is cute :D And the wallpaper is cool too! ;)

SamiSaifDine says:

Anyone knows the transparent shortcuts tiles app ?

TechFreak1 says:

It's mentioned in the article... and its already been covered - Transparency Tiles by Matthew Miller.

SamiSaifDine says:

I meant the connectivity tiles like : The cellular and Bluetooth!

Why is the twitter icon the old one?

Transparency Tiles app uses the old icon for some reason.

Binson#WP says:

I wish the Cortana tile used smaller font for headlines. More like the size of the Bing news app font. Also, please let us manage our sources on Cortana...

purevibz says:

Looks very good.

kingenu says:

what app did you use to make that twitter tile? 


TechFreak1 says:

Another that can't read :P.

I used an evening photo of NYC, it looks amazing on Lumia 1520. :-)

ajftl says:

How often people use shazan? once a year? Cool setup

IceDree says:

I use it all the time ... Its quick to launch & can also recognize Arabic music (both Bing & SoundHound can't)

AliSiirappi says:

Basically a ripoff of the Galaxy s5 wallpaper.

@AliSiirappi I guess you're of the "Samsung invented this..." crowd, much like how those are 'Apple colors' because Apple invented ROYGBIV too.

News flash: polygon wallpapers have been huge on Reddit and other design communities for the last year. Samsung is merely picking up on the trend. They didn't invent it.

AliSiirappi says:

Guess your aggressive ad hominem response shows my reply got under your skin for some reason. Fact is that those backgrounds have started popping up everywhere after the s5. Whatever the originator it is pretty clear that it has played into it by being a very visible product. No harm done, I personally use the Nexus 7 wallpaper because it is excellent.

MaulerX says:

You used the word "ripoff". What other response did you expect? He made a valid point that it's not a "ripoff" of the Galaxy s5 at all.

pallentx says:

Looks very similar to the wallpaper you see on the new Galaxy S5 in all the ads.

xXG4Xx says:

Popcorn Time App in WP8.1?? 

that strat screen looks amazing!

kingenu says:

next up can you show the rest of your start screen? that'd be great your start screen has persuaded me to use the background feature 

CJ Thunder says:

High profile week, I'd love to see an article about site visitor stats. Maybe on the slow sunday.

I did tweet how we had the largest day ever for traffic on Monday, with 1.3 million page views and 300k uniques. Traffic only dipped 9% from that on Tuesday, which is crazy. It's now leveling off though still much higher than normal.

CJ Thunder says:

Hopefully that's the new normal. Congrats.

lukebrady81 says: best wallpapers ever and look Really nice on windows phone

medianemesis says:

Thanks Dan! I'd been asking about this all week. I use PolyScreen too but I could never get that exact same colour/polygon combo so I settled for all blue. Thanks again...

Jabarkas says:

Not really my cup of tea. I will stick with the standard livetile colors.

FCone says:

Too "Nexus" for me.

truedesi says:

Daniel, Why do you still have store Icon pinned? Autoupdates are working beautifully. Same is the case with settings Icon. You can easily access it from notification area. See i saved you 2 small icon space on your gorgeous LUMIA ICON.

FFugue says:

I'm pretty sure he's not using the store icon for updates only. He's reviewing a lot of apps so he's probably going through the store every day. Also, the store now lets you manually look for updates, which is also pretty useful for someone writing articles on Windows Phone. About the settings tile, yeah you're right. One of the first thing I did after updating was getting rid of it!

TechFreak1 says:

I for one now also have the store app pinned to my start screen. With automatic updates off, I have too many apps and games lol. So therefore would rather manually update.

This is the correct answer ;) I don't have the luxury of not paying attention to updates or new apps/games, lol

sickleykey says:

Then please review my app, pls pls pls.... "NewYorkEvents". I hope you will like it.

spinzeroWL says:

Unrelated...but for UK users, you can pick up the 64GB Lumia 1020 for around £160 after discount, and the 925 for a potential £49!!!
Check out Hot UK Deals for the details. I've just ordered 2x 1020's for family members. Stonking deal, especially for that 64GB edition!

FFugue says:

Could be fun if there was a place where we could post a screenshot of our start screen and maybe once a week you could feature a small selection, that way we could see the different styles different Windows Phone users have for their start screen.

twomill69 says:

Zedge for wallpapers....simple

Ushae says:

I'm using a justice league, and it looks awesome :)

aehhaeh says:

Daniel is the 1520 your daily driver now? I was under the impression that you thought it was way too big. Did it grow on you?

1520 all the way, I could never go back. Also Daniel check out this very nerdy and beautiful tile background I use.!13990&authkey=!AH748LLZsqfudXY&v=3&ithint=photo%2c.jpg

Shawal Fizah says:

Hi Daniel. Sorry to bother you but where can I get this background?

Been looking for a while and find nothing. Mostly appreciated. Thanx!

asmodeus69 says:

Looks like logo of hum tv pakistan

Nice but as long as backgrounds are automatically darkened I don't think there is much point in light bright colors. At least on my phone they look very yucky.

QilleRz says:

Nice ! You are such a neat person Dan !

rubenwidjaja says:

that is galaxy s5 wallpaper

Madhu T C says:

After WP 8.1 update, battery drains faster. Does anyone have this issue?

Marco Gomes1 says:

I think everyone, but that's one of those things I already expected. I'm guessing as the OS gets fine tuned for the general release next summer battery life should improve.

ebk14 says:

Mine looks way better. Well except for when I scroll past the WP central wide tile that can't stay transparent..

MaulerX says:

I know! The WPcentral tile does not stay transparent... Arghhh! Lol

yes we like it! you surely can do this more often! :D

MaulerX says:

Thanks Dan! Just curious, did you place your Cortana tile in that position on purpose? The circle is right smack in the middle where the colored triangles meet!! Effing cool!

uopjo6 says:

I imitated a similar one before. I blurred it and it looks fantastic. 

Blue skies is my new favorite too.


jaaks says:

What calendar app is that?

rudrAgni says:

I would like to know that too..

QwarkDreams says:


Too colorful for me.

Arka1412 says:

Why Cortana is not showing the top headlines of my country instead its showing news of US..Is it because I have changed the region to US?

Marco Gomes1 says:

Damn you're so bright. You should definitely send your resume to NASA.

iinnnnit says:

Here is my concept about wp,if you love it ,please vote for this concept!thank you!

iinnnnit says:

i love that wallpaper,by the way,it somehow likes galaxy s5's wallpaper

Marco Gomes1 says:

Well I thought I was the only one who thought so.

iinnnnit says:

Maybe someone else didn't notice that!;)

JohnStrk says:

Looks fantastic!

FYI - the Windows Store link to "the fantabulous app PolyScreen" is broken.

Laura Knotek says:

I like this article. I'd definitely be interested in seeing future articles like this, and I'd also be interested in seeing what other staff writers have on their start screens.

RMNG says:

Folks, i need help with my 8.1 preview. I ' ve read, that battery saver tile is live and shows battery percents, byt on my Ativ S it doesn't show anything...

WPDeveloper says:

Best weather App for windows phone 8 and 8.1 with transparent Live Tile

WPDeveloper says:

Best weather App for windows phone 8 and 8.1 with transparent Live Tile

Hi. Can I help translate your app to Brazilian Portuguese?

Marco Gomes1 says:

Looks like the Samsung S5!! Kill it with fire!!

Duduosf says:

Your wallpaper looks like the from the new GS5

IceDree says:

Thanks for sharing Daniel:)

Anyone have problems for the start screen. Fb notifications aren't going away like bday updates any fixes yet

vipulgog says:

Thanks for that daniel. can somebody zip all the default background images that come with wp8.1

sickleykey says:

some of the glaring issues I have been facing after wp8.1 update

  • The mobile and desktop site options are swapped in the IE. If you set it to desktop, it opens the mobile site and vice-versa
  • Cortana would not listen if you are connected to a bluetooth device like a bluetooth home phone (the ones that route your cell phone call to the home phone via bluetooth)
  • Sounds (like noise) each time you forward a video clip
  • opening a video always pops up open/save dialog. Its a pain.
  • Battery draining issues - but it got fixed after doing a hard reset. I would suggest the same to everyone who is upgrading instead of a clean install. Best option is to upgrade, take full backup and then do a hard-reset so the start screen is preserved.
  • Even though the file picker is supported in SDK, still there is no option to attach documents in an email. This to me the most glaring omission so far. Its like not giving copy/paste in the initial version of WP.


vipulgog says:

Can you tell how to make a full backup of my phone. including my start screen.

sickleykey says:

Backup-->app+settings-->back up now. Then do a hard reset. Follow the instructions.

vipulgog says:

Ok Thanks. Then how to get it all back. I mean how to restore.

looklook says:

Not impressed, of course to each their own.
What happened to the Metro UI philosophy?
Transparency & backgrounds only seem to make
navigation & groupings less intuitive.
Give me the ability to change each tile color
& maybe a dark & light icon color option.
Seems obvious & maybe this option
exists but I haven't found it yet.


What calendar app is that?

what are all the apps on the homescreen?

AnthonyWhoso says:

Sweet. Thanks for sharing Dan.

suresh419 says:

Hey Daniel, is that Super Calendar? How did you get to make the tile transparent? Even though i select it to be transparent, its not doing it. I get a black background... Only the settings and day addon tile go transparent. Thanks a bunch, been trying to make my homescreen look awesome, and this is my last hurdle jeje.

The resolution is too low :-(

ankit saroch says:

Here's my start screen wallpaper for Windows Phone 8.1.. Just created a black colored pic on Fresh Paint.. and used it as the wall paper...

Omar Cavero says:

Hi Daniel. How do I make the calendar live tile like yours?

cmj1 says:

Omg, when u take away a tile, it did not open a window to the background, it black out.

There is a similar but much nicer wallpaper to the wallpaper that you show in your article and that is a Galaxy S5 wallpaper. You can easily find it using the keywords Galaxy S5 wallpaper in Google Images. I give you a link of this much more colorful wallpaper with different sizes at

And here is a sample at see how nice this wallpaper looks like:


Shawal Fizah says:

Hi Daniel. Sorry to bother you but where can I get this background?

Been looking for a while and find nothing. Mostly appreciated. Thanx!

Joe Tindall says:

Its the Nexus 4 wallpaper with different colours...

Samshyne says:

get all the wallpapers here
dont forget to thank the artist :)

Wish there was a higher resolution version, doesn't look very sharp on my 1520...