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Preview for Developers users need to rollback for Cyan

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

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Show the whole background on your Windows Phone 8.1 Start screen with Tilesparency


One of the most popular new features in Windows Phone 8.1 is the addition of background photos on the Start screen. But along with this new feature may come some aesthetic challenges, like non-transparent Tiles blocking out key pieces of your background photo. This is where Tilesparency comes in.

Let's take a look!

With Tilesparency, you can create blank, functionless, tiles that allow you to make your background image look complete. And we say tiles, as in plural, because you can create as many as you want or need to make that perfect Start screen.

Bring your background front and center with Tilesparency

Tiles created with Tilesparency are just like any other Live Tile. They can be any size, including wide, and they can be positioned anywhere to compliment your background.

Remember, in order to use this app, you must first enable your Start screen background by going to Settings > Start+Theme > Choose Photo.

Tilesparency can downloaded for free here. WINDOWS PHONE 8.1 ONLY

Need more tips or apps to help manage your new background images in Windows Phone 8.1? Read this helpful guide!

QR: Tilesparency




There are 124 comments. Sign in to comment

Tense says:

Seems cool :)

I would've paid for this!


I wonder what happens for a tile like Weather or News that has a photo on it...

I ended up buying the paid version... because I wanted to support the developers building for the Windows Store. :)

Laura Knotek says:

Same here. This app is nice.

WinnyPolo says:

This idea is really cool but I had some hard time making it work because of the adds.

The app "Transparent Tiles" does the same for free with a lot less adds.

Choco22 says:

Now it's becoming more and more like a window

2tomtom says:

Yeah! err no, not quite what I thought it was :(

Promethius99 says:

Totally agree, since i updated, my 925 is much harder to use an no where near as initiotive to use as before

jbrandonf says:

Harder to use? Really? How? Since essentially the design language hasn't changed.

A windows on a phone

omullins says:

Already using "Blank Tiles" to acheive the same effect, definitely fun to play with!

Sin Ogaris says:

While this app is cool I couldn't justify foregoing the screen real estate for apps I regularly use.

lippidp says:

I'm with you, but I do like that this app is available should I change my mind someday.

Roun says:

Lol, yeah I'm with you.  Found myself trying to optimise my tiles to show off the wallpaper... but this would be going a bit too far.

Sin Ogaris says:

I've done a bit of rearranging but the majority of my wide tiles that I use regularly aren't transparent so I make do with pockets here and there, it does help that my background is of the sun bursting through the clouds so it looks great segmented, but I can understand how some might want to really show off their background.

It'd actually be nice if the transparency that occurs when rearranging tiles could be toggled on permanently.

Th3 I3LooD says:

Jup, I agree fully! This is nonsense if you ask me! Stacking a bunch of useless transparent tiles just to see the image behind it is lame and it defeats the whole purpose of the start screen and live tiles. Maybe on a 6inch display I would put one or two max if I've filled up my start screen with every app I use frequently and there's still space but on my 1020... Like you said, not wasting that precious glancable info real estate. But hey, I can totally see people switching over from Android doing crap like this LOL! ok, haters fire away :)

walter1832 says:


morpheus1982 says:

Lol. My hopes plummeted when I read the solution.

jbrandonf says:

You're actually the hater. If you don't want to use it then don't. Just shut the fuck up.

If they bring the function to categorize your apps just like in Windows 8.1 then most of us will be able to do whatever we want without losing any functionality.

Sin Ogaris says:

That would be nice. It'll arrive eventually, I guess we should just be patient.

Promethius99 says:

Yea, i agree, whats the point of a start screen with my most used apps, when im gonna replace them with see through tiles with nothing on! bit of a useless gimmick.

jbrandonf says:

I had blank spaces that I can now fill up. The apps farther down my screen are categorized already. So I can use this to further display my awesome background.

Why in Gods name does my Lumia 520 keep telling me "we are currently unable to check for updates" even while am using preview for developers! Please I need help.

thecanuckguy says:

Well, since this is an articvle, and you want help.  MAybe go post it in the Forums, where people go to get help.

Thomas Ozawa says:

1- Do you have an AppStudio account ?
2- Have you checked the box "Enable preview for developer" in the preview for developer app ?

Ankmeyester says:

Switch on Wi-Fi/data :P

DennisvdG says:

I had the same issue, it turned out my school wifi was the culprit, when I got home the issue was gone

Sin Ogaris says:

Make sure the date and time are correct, had this issue on my old 920.

Promethius99 says:

Are you using WI-FI? you should use this to download the update, i had the same problem, i had to use my parents network via WI-FI, and then it downloaded ok, mind you, be aware that this will alter your phone quita a lot, i for one am NOT happy,anyway,hope this helps

kenzibit says:

Functionless tiles?

NIST says:

That's where I lost interest

ddewar10 says:

I just use it to fill the stupid gaps I have at the end of my screen when I run out of real tiles

WRider says:

Yeah liked the idea of transparent tiles but once I saw they are just tiles nothing more I uninstalled. I just rearranged my tiles I have to show the background the best they can.

Promethius99 says:

Ha, same as me, they useless gimmick.

kvsanal78 says:

Hey where can I find the downloads of internet explorer 11

Thomas Ozawa says:

If you have windows phone 8.1 , then you have internet explorer 11 :)

Sharon Shaji says:

dude you just went full retard, never go full retard^^

kvsanal you will have to download file explorer

a1rphones says:

Transparency tiles has a lot more potential since the idea is to convert non transparent app tiles to transparent one. But only 3 apps were converted for now. All Xbox tiles, games, music and video. Hope the developer will add much more sooner.

Jandieg says:

It will be 3 apps and just a few more, since most apps won't expose a launching method

sayonical says:

Are there any apps that lets me using a blank tile to launch other apps? Something like what skinnery does but with transparent tiles with icons...

penetronn says:

That's a great app

topleya says:

Really hope devs give the option to make tiles either coloured or transparent from now on.

I like having mine transparent but I also like some being none transparent as well

reevolver says:

The Facebook tile in the post is transparent. Is it an unofficial fb app? 

Nimdock says:

He may have one of the apps that allow you to have custom tiles for some apps.

ja_izzy says:

Why isn't my facebook app transparent like in the image shown in the article????

ShahdHamdan says:

What's the point of having tiles if they're just a background O_o I don't get it!

cannon#WP says:

Yea, this is more useful, but it stinks that there's only 3 options.

ja_izzy says:

He only has 3 tiles man. Music (useful), videos and games. No facebook, twitter, etc. like he claims in the forum. So basically they are both useless!

mariusfilip says:

he doesn't claim that way...maybe you should learn to read says that it will support those in the it more useful this crap above? :))) the app is made in jaust one day i think,sincer the dev prev was released,and he has seen a lot of requests for transparent tiles...i have no financial interest in supporting the app or the developer...but this guys keep the store moving ahead...i'm just curious...what apps have you created? no offense,but because of people like you,devs are descouraged and don't use their neurons...wp central is a place where people should promote one another...and help the way they can...not by criticising least for me...good...i HATE THAT GREEN :))

Ronnet says:

What's new about this? There a plenty of fake tile apps that offer the option to use accent color and thus transparancy now as well).

mariusfilip says:

this ain't fake my 'friend' the dev...didn't even bother to make a way to rate his's FOR REAL :))) you and the guy above who commented are like two mosquitos :))) who suck the positive way of thinking...'here...have a Snick...KitKat" :)) just joking...or not :))

Ronnet says:

What are you going on about?! You're the one taking out the positive by insulting me for NO REASON. What did I say to deserve such a response? Have you got no manners? I just pointed out that there are plenty of other apps that offer the exact same thing. What is your problem with that?

spinzeroWL says:

Whatever keeps people happy! I personally could not imagine wasting screen real estate on empty tiles!
On a separate note, how do I upload screenshots to OneDrive on WP8.1?

twelvetudors says:

Unfortunately it seems you will have to go directly to the OneDrive app until it is updated to take advantage of the share function in the pictures app

spinzeroWL says:

Thanks for the tip :). I think that is my only real gripe with if it is going to be fixed pretty soon, perfect!
Oh, my other gripe is that News, Sport, Weather, Drive+, Facebook etc were all updated recently in preparation for 8.1 - yet none of them have transparent live tiles! Seems like a silly omission from Microsoft given how great the start screen now is. Perhaps I am too critical of a Dev Preview :)

FoD-SiGMa says:

Anybody's games hub not showing games properly(8.1)?

4 fun says:

Full crap!!...I thought I was able to give transparency to the actual live tiles I use daily...and no sense in paying in order to get it work...need improvement... :/

Aashish13 says:

Anybody here from India. R u guys facing bugs with Cortana such as only getting search results when asking questions. In my case it shows that it tries to go check for places but eventually goes into search results. Please help

bawajose says:

Not sure if it is a bug.... but Cortana is not doing a good job in India for sure! But you still need Cortana for the quite hours unless Nokia gives you some other option to achieve the same.

Aashish13 says:

Obviously it wont as it doesn't properly catches our accent but yesterday it was doing a great job when I asked here find McDonald's and dominos pizza she gave me results but today I don't know she's just giving me search results. I can see that she os trying to get results but something os blocking there I can see Cortanas logo while answering getting pushed away giving only search results.

bawajose says:

True... same here today

bawajose says:

Ashish... do you see your music files on you SD card?

pexbirdxd says:

My battery is discharging very quickly with Windows Phone 8.1 Dev Preview :(

pexbirdxd says:

I don't know what i have to do. I checked the Battery Sense app. The Internet Explorer has the full bar of battery consume! Help! Sorry for the bad English.

Aashish13 says:

Cyan will fix. That athva like last time dev preview might get update again 2 weeks removing the bugs faced

I just hope Headertiles brings transparent tiles soon! I love how headertiles allow me to group my tiles in order to havea clean layout of my apps. But the non transparent tiles makes it less useful. Headertiles with transparent background tile would kill this app ;)

chatafrata says:

Would be cool to have it funtional if you'd like.

Ljay 263 says:

Well another 6 months for us non developers

Aashish13 says:

What????? R u sure???

Joeul_Ramos says:

I hear it drops in June

Madhu T C says:

WPcentral app tile doesn't remain transparent all the time. Does anyone else have this issue?

ebk14 says:

It's like no one reads anyone else's posts around here?

ebk14 says:

But to answer your question, yes, this is a very common problem many people are having.

xankazo says:

Now I want a phone that shows the third tile natively, since enabling "show more tiles" makes the tiles really small on my puny little 620.

Dean McCrae says:

Omg. What a total waste of time!! Why would you even write an article about this. Baffled.

Baffled at an article doing very well for traffic and an app that is garnering high interest? This is our 2nd most popular article right now for traffic. Yeah, I'll stick to having these articles written.

It's no sweat off of your brow, so you can worry about other things in life ;)

Dean McCrae says:

Yes very baffled. Filling your screen with dummy tiles is, er, completely crazy, yes. But by all means, write away. No worries. Try not to take it personally when someone has an opinion contrary to WPCentral's. That's gonna happen right? No worries for me today, it's my Birthday (yes, I hear you mumbling happy birthday).

bawajose says:

8.1 dev preview is not so smooth on my L720. I see lags very often

Aashish13 says:

Its sometimes smooth sometimes not coz it still has bugs we devs are facing that's y dev preview is required before the final version. Be patient there will be one more update to the dev preview and then later officially with cyan

ramyZgHR says:

Will there be notifications on tiles?

23232harshad says:

Its just a beginning, beware hangdroid

ScubaDog says:

Tile transparency is NOT popular with me.  It ruins the look of the Start screen.

Caikems says:

Thats why theres an option to use it or not use it. :-)

Ameer Matani says:

Works pretty well, I used it to seperate my different categories of apps (games, music, etc.)

Caikems says:

This would be cool if you could assign functions to the tiles -.-

brucles says:

This app stopped my notifcation pull down on my start screen from functioning, even after deleting it. Be careful. this is on a lumia 822. Tried shut down and pulling the battery but still not working. I'm not happy. I used the notificaton pull down all the time. If anyone finds a fix, I'll be very grateful.

Pointless app, they even want £0.79 to remove the ads. Gotta laugh!

sManowar says:

I wish I could invent some new tile sizes, like a double wide small tile. That would be nice, but that's a Microsoft thing.

immyperez says:

By the time I get 8.1...I'm going to miss out on all these tips because I'll forget all these great apps! :/

Reebs Reebs says:

A message to all the apps that used to take the top of the screen on WP8 phone: "Folks are replancing you with BLANK tiles! update your apps or... to them bottom you go!"

sd173 says:

I wonder if this app could be updated with the feature of a small double-wide tile?

neonspark says:

off course it would be more useful if it could launch other apps so you can hide the fugly green xbox tiles and launch those apps instead of a useless space tie.

chris_1790 says:

How do i get the wp central app to be transparent?!

I took a long time yesterday figuring out a good layout... But if I ever want a change (which is quite likely!) then I'd be happy to give this app a go!

I find it dumb 'cause there's no reason i put a functionless things on my start screen to confuse myself.

Wevenhuis says:

What about the native app tiles and tiles that do not have transparancy enabled. Can you also get those to become transparent to the background image. Because that's the issue I'm running into. I'm noticing that the onenote tile and here maps tile in the lower left corner of the picutre demo are not transparent.

Lumio says:

Am not against this app, but the main purpose of live tile is to show all your updates in those tiny tiles say messages,calls, etc.., 

filfat says:

I would recommend my app "TransTiles" instead, as the tiles does not flip, and i dont ask NOR earn any money from it :D