Transparency Tiles

Make Xbox Music, Video and Games transparent with this new app for Windows Phone 8.1!

Today is evidently Start screen day, as more and more developers are quickly pumping out apps for Windows Phone 8.1. Last night we gave you a guide on some ways to make your Start screen shine on 8.1, and this morning we gave you two more apps (Tilesparency and Clock Hub) to add to your list.

Now, we have a third one to share. No worries, it does something different and I think you’ll like it. Transparency Tiles is an app from developer Matthew Miller and it’s free to use. Its purpose? It generates new Tiles for Xbox Music, Xbox Games and Xbox Video that are now transparent.

The app is super simple to use: launch it, create transparent Tile, resize and reposition as needed.

Miller has told us that he’s going to update it again today with even more Tiles for various apps. I imagine this could become a thing until devs update their own apps to support Tile transparency. In that regard, if you have a request, you can drop them off here in comments as I’m sure Miller will be listening! (I’m guessing one limitation with this method is these will be static Tiles only)

Update: There was a technical problem with links to this story not working; it has now been fixed

Pick up Transparency Tiles here in the Store for free. Windows Phone 8.1 only!

QR: Transparency Tiles



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DennisvdG says:

Onedrive, office and skype next please!

And anything Nokia, Here, ect...

NIST says:

Bingo! We have a winner!!!

DennisvdG says:

Also the games icon is too small... I hope the dev reads this and makes it the same as the original tile...

millermk says:

I'll probably get corrected by a more experienced dev than myself, but I'm pretty sure I can't make them any wider using the iconic template...


DennisvdG says:

just making sure you understand what I mean, I'm talking about the white xbox controller icon (not the entire tile)... it's hard to believe that changing the size is impossible...

anyway thanks for the respons

radmanvr says:

its pretty big on my screen

Mine is the same as the original tile.

DennisvdG says:

It's only smaller when you're using the smallest tile!

NIST says:

Post link to app please

LasDivine says:

How did you scan it? The search app doesn't have that feature anymore right? An app?

rockstarzzz says:

Can't do that on my phone. There used to be links to store in WPCentral app that one could access to visit store. Back in the day.

rockstarzzz says:

Hit camera, open lenses, choose Bing vision.

Daniel Meek says:

Also, ATT has a scanner app built in. I think that and the account management app are the only ones that I didn't remove of theirs.

Check the app again in a few minutes to let the CSS refresh. We had an issue on the backend that wiped the URLs. They are now fixed but will take a few mins to propagate to the app.

bulgar4e says:

bing vision was always just a camera lens, it's still available through the camera app

Loco5150 says:

Start camera app and change lense to the reader

EDIT: LOL many replies

Open the camera and use the Bing Vision Lens

NIST says:

And then point at your computer screen?

blegs38552 says:

True, but it would be nice if I could but a shortcut to this on my start screen.

LasDivine says:

thank you kindly fellow window phone users. Rookie question.

EbolaXB says:

Pin location to notifications and when you want Bing vision, just disable location and the old search is back.

vision disappeared from the search for me with WP8 (or maybe sooner?)

Romberry says:

Bing Vision for scanning QR codes is still there, but now it shows up with your Lenses under your camera app. And yes, there are several other QR code scanners from the WIndows Store that you can use.

NIST says:

Thanks for the link!

Jaskys says:

FB will still show notifications on the tile?

John20212 says:

It's great, but this is something that should have been part of the OS, why do you have to have an app for every stupid little thing.


I would've paid for this! :)

kenzibit says:

No thank you but I love default stuff

sholokov says:

Thanks for sharing. I was wondering if you liked the new custom look or the default icons.

interopbyt says:

You don't have to be interested in what he/she said. This is the comments part of the article, where people are free to voice their opinions. It would only be weird if every comment here was interesting to you...

Feel the same way but love the options

sharathu7 says:

Anyways Xbox music is static... Lol

I'm thinking for new apps he might add, like Skype, Twitter, Facebook etc. Not these ones per se.

sharathu7 says:

When will WPcentral app become live tile with transparent... I just bought the full version today...

aerosidinc says:

and when will wpcentral app go universal?

jiggaman135 says:

My wpc tile goes in and out of transparency... Weird!

jcutting says:

Mine does the same. It worked for a while, then I restarted my phone and it was back to being my theme color. I went through the Live Tile setup in the WPC app again, but no luck there. Eventually, it seems to go back to being transparent. I actually switched to the Iconic tile from the WPCentral Flip Tile (which I prefer) just to make it transparent. Probably just a glitch that Jay will get to soon.

Just happened to me

Chemilinski says:

Yes I've noticed this. If you open the app, once you go back to the start screen it's the accent colour, but eventually it changes. I even saw it change from the colour to transparent one time.
I looked at the help section in the app but wasn't sure how I should contact Jay to have a look at this :s

Novron says:

WPC app has been updated, we have transparency.

Mayur says:

It used to happen with WP8.0 as well, tile used to go Black. If you click a link in email to open someone's reply to your comment and go direct to that comment. Now it happens with clicking direct to article from Action Centre.

millermk says:

Facebook, Twitter, HERE apps, Nokia apps, & Tapatalk for today.  Possibly more in the future.


radmanvr says:

just wait for them to update the live tile to be compatible with transparent

Arka1412 says:

Facebook,twitter is there maybe he should Instagram Beta

montel22 says:

It sucks big time. The old one on window phone 8 was way better. I just hope they are more features in the final build. Also I miss the Facebook and Skype chat options in SMS and the social hub integration.

bbennett40 says:

I completely agree with you on the messaging function. It was a feature often envied by non-WP users.

rockstarzzz says:

There won't be any more features in the final build.

iop777 says:

Make transparent Twitter and Facebook tiles if possible please!

KKRLessey says:

Instagram too!

Metaru says:

6tag (instagram) is transparent and other than having to pay to do video it's a way better app

DennisvdG says:

You can already do that with this app called System Tiles

Novron says:

Does it support the new transparency settings?

Studio384 says:

If it support the use of the system color, yes.

DennisvdG says:

yes it does


bawajose says:

Make everything transparent... oh no!!

IceDree says:

Try System Tiles ... It have a Twitter transparent tile.

Aashish13 says:

First we need update though still twitter is running well with 1 update till now compared to fb app. We need twitter update as first

millermk says:

Facebook and twitter inbound today or tomorrow

JW7 says:

love it, only problem is the twitter tile is the old logo

What happens if you set a photo as background and you have a very long page of tiles? The image finishes and then all the rest is blank? The image is repeated? The image is zoomed to cover all?

vikrant6 says:

It covers your whole start screen no matter how many times you have pinned.. It's called parallax scrolling..

joe_easton says:

The tiles move but the image stays still. There is no scaling or altering.

DaKidIndian says:

The speed at which the image scrolls will adjust so that it'll finish when you get to the bottom of your tiles. At least, I assume so.

Novron says:

The image stays, the tiles slide over it.

twelvetudors says:

Not quite, the image does move, but much slower than the tiles.

vikrant6 says:

Great.. Now I only have my alarm tile of 627.AM in top part of my screen which is not transparent..

Pranjal Rai says:

Firstly Microsoft needs to update a dump of an app that is the Xbox music and Xbox games cuz both of them suck big time. Then I can think of using this gem of an app

Rick Smits says:

I don't understand how the games hub is horrible... Its an improvement if anything

Madhu T C says:

Game hub doesn't work after today's update

Novron says:

Still works fine on my Icon.

Madhu T C says:

May be your app is not updated

Pranjal Rai says:

I don't know if you've downloaded the latest update or not but it apparently doesn't show your games collection itself in the hub. It shows completely empty. And also it's always up updating whenever I open it. Please tell me how is it an improvement? The previous games hub was a billion times better.

Novron says:

Just checked for updates, none available. Hub still works, games still listed.

Pranjal Rai says:

What is your version no. Mine is 2.0.1404.11000

Novron says:

Same, 2.0.1404.11000

interopbyt says:

I also have the same version and I can confirm it works...

I just wish MS would continue separating the games from regular apps in the app list... :(

TechFreak1 says:

Wouldn't call the new update an "update"..

Rem97 says:

This a good idea, but I actually like having some opaque tiles.

Tlcoman says:

nope, cant find it. Could you post link in The More screen on winphone?

Please add the Nokia Apps, Weather Channel and Battery App from enless-soft.

millermk says:

Nokia apps coming today or tomorrow.  Weather channel isn't possible.  I can try to add Battery from enless-soft in the future, but as with the rest it won't be live.

ddewar10 says:

Just got updated. Nokia Apps are on there

jusD says:

Works just fine !


facebook, one note


cheers !

dmmontal says:

I'm not seeing the app in the store and the direct link in the article doesn't seem to be working. Am I missing something?

Why have the links to store stopped recently?

vikrant6 says:

I thought its Mobile nations's Newsroom effect.. But wait, Daniel has written this article!!

No. It was a technical issue with Drupal and the text editor that wiped the hyperlinks. It's now fixed.

jiggaman135 says:

Great! I hope the dev decides to add even more apps asap

TechFreak1 says:

I hope someone works on Nokia's here suit -). Also the link appears to be broken? I tried viewing in ie but nothing loaded when I pressed the link and there is no "download app" button in the wpcentral app lol. Oh well will try the qr code later on.
Edit: I found it on the wp store by searching the developers name as searching via the app name would bring alot of similar named apps -p.

mango.lover says:

Et tu, brutus? What about WPCentral, Daniel?

vikrant6 says:

Pin the iconic tile..

The inferior tile? No thanks. Even that doesn't always stay transparent.

Chemilinski says:

Well the inconsistent transparency on the iconic tile is obviously a bug. But the one which you prefer is rendered as an image, so there's no possible way for it to look as it does now and to be transparent where the accent colour is. Perhaps it could redone.. but I am not a developer (yet) so I don't know anything about coding :P

It's a shame it isn't just as simple as using an image format with transparent elements, like PNG or GIF... but maybe you can? I'm not a developer either. xD

NightWatch71 says:

Off topic but I got an update on Xbox games app and now it doesn't show my games at all. What's up with that?

Pranjal Rai says:

Same prob here too. try using the app list for the time being. It won't be long before they release a fix for the bug.

brebo33 says:

I can't get WPCentral app to stay transparent. Had it at one point, can't get it back. Bug?

wheelerk says:

You can create empty folders and pin them to your start screen

LasDivine says:

just realized bar code reader, from search button, is no longer available. sad day.

Novron says:

It's a lens option in the camera.

Chemilinski says:

If only we could pin that lens!

WP Central needs a transparency support live tile!!!

vikrant6 says:

Try iconic tile from the settings..

brebo33 says:

Not working for me

Bgrubb says:

How about a link to the app? Or am I missing something?

unknownguns says:

In the more section click show in browser, then at the end if the article the last line is as a link to the app :)

threejulian says:

Transparent tiles. Transparent tiles everywhere.

Mark Richey says:

I'd like to make Xbox music transparent alright. What a disaster in 8,1 LOL

boroczkyp says:

I can't find Transparency Tiles. Can anyone share the link?


xankazo says:

Pretty neat and it doesn't matter if it's static tiles only, since the stupid music app has been stripped out of its lovely love tile ability. Can't wait till all the major apps begin updating for 8.1 support.

TechFreak1 says:

Metrotube is semi transparent :P well not really semi, its the small rectangle in the logo that is transparent.

themichal007 says:

Just make everything transparent I will love it then and I would donate over 50$

I don't expect to MS to update these Xbox tiles to add transparency. FB, Twitter, Here and Bing neither.

At least I saw in the demos transparent tiles for Skype and Instagram beta.

Transparent is the new black.

themax2 says:

Nokia folders make groups transparent!

sanshiro says:

Yep. I've folderized most of my apps and pinned them. 

What do you mean by "Static Tiles"

TechFreak1 says:

They don't update and they just become shortcuts to launch the app or hub.

Static Tiles. The opposite of Live Tiles.

Kashyapjani says:

Somewhere a little puppy died. It's name was purpose.

Onenote, Office, or Onedrive would be a good one if possible.

Chemilinski says:

No no, the opposite of Live Tiles is Dead Tiles.
And the current Xbox Music app is definitely dead.

NAMISH says:

Perfecto...! I hope that developers start releasing updates for their apps with transparent tiles or the option to use transparent tiles! (MS should've given transparent tiles for all their apps with 8.1 to begin with...)

sanshiro says:

BTW today's US Bing image could make for a seriously good background. 

brebo33 says:

I hoping there will be an option soon to make the Bing image of the day the background (maybe some of them are too busy though)

eduardopl says:

Does anyone knows a weather app with transparent tile?

ms_geo says:

Try blue skies ... It has a very nice transparent live tile

Kashyapjani says:

Hehe nice idea for an app

Does anyone else miss the old music integrated app? I miss the live tile activity I would get when I played an artist. The stand alone app doesn't do anything...

John Weldon says:

Yes - not happy with new Music app. Big step backwards. Lets hope Microsoft updates this app soon.

DJCBS says:

Nice! Hopefully developers will start updating their apps soon to bring transparency to the tiles.

Aashish13 says:

So we might start getting updates from next week right?

omullins says:

IM+ Pro would be my number one request for this app - it has such an ugly tile LOL

(Then Vieather!)

anmol_gamer says:

I was searching for this kind of app. Thanks for it. Please add support for more apps such as People hub and Photos. I can compromise with static tiles.

kmgagen says:

Photos you can already change to transparent.

Open up the photo app...Go to Settings and change "Start Tile Shows" to Single Photo.  Tap the Choose photo button and then exit without choosing a photo.  Voila...the tile for photos is now transparent.

ScubaDog says:

Why would I want to ruin my Start screen?

Trevor Wolfe says:

I only use it for apps that aren't live tiles

bjbaylor says:

Awesome! great app

zikifer says:

How about SmartGlass (both 360 and One)?

I only need Facebook, and maybe the Camera Album :)

mevalmvm says:

Photos can already do tht

majohnny says:

Office, Music, Games etc are static either way atm. So thanks for bringing Microsoft's thoughts to a logical end. (Logo is enough branding imho

Xarok says:

So many articles about "transparancy".

Cool. Oh btw you can also set custom notifications for apps yourself just go to ringtones+sounds xD I am using FB chat notification sound for my Fb messenger (downloaded it from Zedge) :3

goldenpipes says:

Will the next WPcentral app update have a transparent tile?

Tragic says:

+925 on that one let's hope so

twomill69 says:

What about transparency with this WPC app then ?

EngineerTuna says:

I need to edit the text. You know not everyone use english.

DynaDog says:

Please please please make Nokia Mix transparent. Priority 1AAAA.

majohnny says:

I would love OneNote, OneDrive, office, here drive, smartglass, twitter to be also transparent. Would appreciate teambiewer, eBay, healthvault, starmoney an im+

JimiDiGriz says:

Looks like some of those are done.

majohnny says:

Appreciate the heads up.

morpheus1982 says:

Nice idea but my music tile doesn't open properly with this. I will keep app in anticipation of updates.

cybermoose89 says:

Now this I can use just need it to do the rest and we are golden

Tragic says:

Xbox One Smart glass and the Beta app please!

John Weldon says:

Transparent tiles are really beautiful - it makes the platform really stand out! iPhone guy stoped me today to ask me to look at my screen - I could see the jealousy in his eyes. Would love more transparent tiles - especially a weather one as that generally takes up a lot of real estate. WP 8.1 is a huge step up - I'm thrilled with it!

Too complicated to use....Not quite impressed

omullins says:

All you do is open the app, tap a button, and a new tile shows up on your start screen...

JimiDiGriz says:

App updated with lots of new tiles...

Excellent app, now i just need the WPCentral app to be able to do the same and i'll be 100% impressed.

Nimdock says:

Picked it up for Facebook alone.

can anyone explain to me in simple English how this app works?i only managed to make a transparent live tile with nothing in it and thats it!how can i assign an app in it??

Launch the app, select an app that you want to be transparent, tile will be placed on your start screen, remove the colour tile.

when i launch tilesparency how it is possible to choose an app?i press add trnsparent tile and a trnsp tile appeared on start screen with nothing in it....

kmgagen says:

Wrong app...that one only does blank, non-functioning tiles.  Try Transparent Tiles instead...that's the one that does actual app tiles.

antonius138 says:

Awesome and quick work!  Can't wait to see what tiles you will get to next.

ALex Susky says:

Now if only we could make the WPC app tile transparent... How long has it been since they updated it anyway? Grrrr

Trevor Wolfe says:

Please do smartglass, and all the Nokia and here apps

kmgagen says:

Here Apps are now included...Just updated in the last hour.

Please make a app that turns your start screen  into a slidshow

Trevor Wolfe says:

Please add here exlpore, redlaser, Pandora, and mytube

KEER W says:

App updated with more apps support, including Nokia apps!!!!

Trevor Wolfe says:

Better yet make a feature where we can add our own

di_genius_7 says:

Awesome app and to think ppl were complaining about too much customizing not good for WP8.1, a few request myself amazing weather, cal calendar Nokia camera, xbox extra n netflix Thanks Dev