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Glance Background

Nokia releases Glance Background beta; allows you to add awesome photos to the Glance Screen

Have you looked at the Glance Screen on your Nokia windows Phone and wondered what it would look like if you added a background image? Nokia has released a beta app that enables you to achieve just that. Glance Background is a new app for Nokia hardware that allows you to pick and choose images to have set as a background when the Glance Screen is active.

It's a simple app, but the end result is really impressive. Selecting up to four images, the slideshow will begin when the phone is locked, rolling through checked images while the Glance Screen is active. The best part is how the backgrounds don't water down the functionality of the feature, which is to conserve battery while displaying the time to save you waking up the display. 

When adding your own images, a simple editor is utilised that offers basic functionality. Available effects include colorise and zoom. Thanks to the camera capabilities in the Lumia 1020, you'll be able to zoom in on loaded photos and create some interesting backgrounds. With reports coming in that further customisation will be present in the Bittersweet shimmer update, we'll look forward to see how Nokia can further improve the glance Screen experience.

Glance Background

If you're wanting to check out the app and see what all the fuss is about, be sure to download Glance Background from the Windows Phone Store (requires Amber update - not available for Lumia 520 or Lumia 625). It's worth noting that night mode will of course prevent the images from being displayed. 

Update: See our hands on video tour of the app!

Source: Nokia Beta Labs; thanks to everyone for the tips!

QR: Glance Background



There are 156 comments. Sign in to comment

pmich says:

Sweet looking

dhruv07 says:

Dats soo soooo cooooolll another reason to showoff my nokia !!! ;)

pmich is roaming around here now? Glad you're keeping it in the family :)

pmich says:

yah i have the lumia 920 right now while i still use my bb 9900 interchangeably

Just finished trying it and it looks awesome!! Bringing back memories of the Sleeping screen of Symbian!! Thanks for listening to feedback Nokia!!

Residing says:

^This!  I really enjoyed using Nokia Sleeping Screen on my Nokia N8.  I'm looking forward to using Glance Screen on my 1020.
Would have been really nice if Nokia had been able to implement this when the Lumias first came on the market back in 2011, but better late than never :)

uoeno says:

I wish I had the 1020, the 920 has an IPS backlit screen, that glance is gonna kill my battery even more. 
Idk why they didn't put an AMOLED in the 920, even the lumia 800 has AMOLED.

I've tried the glance screen on the Lumia 920 and the battery seems fine with it. 

Radeon7000 says:


WinMaverick says:

It's like Nokia to the Rest: "Now, who's your daddy... pay respect to the king... bitches!" :D :P

kunwar_91 says:

Sleeping screen is back bitches

clappenings says:

Works like a charm. Just concerned about battery drain?

xxxneoxxx says:

As a non-Nokia user, i'm curious about that one aswell.. ;)
Also, won't this cause your screen to burn in at some point?

rodneyej says:

This is cool.. No other phone does this..

Aryan Angel says:

My old Symbian can do this.

Clavitox says:

Nokia doesn't count cuz its nokia

rodneyej says:

Well, yeah... That's what were doing is giving Nokia credit.. Duh❕

Deaconclgi says:

All Symbian^3, Symbian Anna, Symbian Belle, Nokia Bell FP1 and Nokia Belle FP2 devices do this! Nokia Sleeping Screen FTW!!!!!!
*Looks at his Nokia C7, N8, and 808 Purview as they hand off Sleeping Screen to his Lumia 1020

As a long time Nokia customer, I appreciate this addition and I am glad to see this and other Symbian/Meego abilities (Glance/Standby Clock/Screensaver, Double Tap to wake and so forth) come to Windows Phone. :)

rodneyej says:

She we say,,, no other OEM does this..

Deaconclgi says:

Your are correct sir! ;)

rishabh876 says:

Actually all the updates that nokia is pushing will eventually become a part of windows phone 8 only. (as Microsoft will acquire Nokia's devices business). so glance screen is exclusive to us only for a while.

MikeSo says:

All 5 people that ever used those phones in the US agree with you.

mister2d says:

What does the US have to do with this?

Vistaus says:

Symbian phones, Jolla Sailfish OS phones.

J Papi says:

Now, if only we had the option to choose whether we want to use the Glance lock screen or the WP default lock screen.

rubenbest says:

Im sure thats there dude

J Papi says:

Not really. Once you get off Glance, the default lock screen appears. I don't want to see the default lock screen, that's what i meant.

rubenbest says:

So you want to double tap right into the phone? Lol then it becomes a lock screen.

moc426 says:

I think once they have notifications working, this should/could be an option.

jsaviour84 says:

Maybe I'm just being cynical but the glance is just becoming a second lock screen in my opinion

paulheu says:

Switch off Glance and you have the default screen...

mpt15 says:

Turning it off is fine. But for people who do use it, they will have two lockscreens, which makes no sense at all. I see no use for lockscreen with pictures and notifications. Just showing the time is fine.

kunwar_91 says:

How are they two lock screens, glance is just a replacement for ur dead black screen n not ur lock screen ... U still have the same method to unlock ur phone(press the lock button n swipe up) no extra steps have been added... I just dont understand the bitching here

mpt15 says:

So there's the glance screen which has the notifications, and then you get the lockscreen which will give the same info of notifications, and then the start screen. Its the same screen twice. Im not bitching.... Its a fact that the two screens are essentially the same. And if I have glance turned on, the lockscreen is a waste. Hence having both screens is a waste.

If the glance just shows battery and time, and then there's a lockscreen, its ok. But if glance shows notifications and time, it makes no sense to have the lockscreen as well.

DalekSnare says:

Yes, once it has all notifications they should make the lockscreen optional.

Glance is there so you don't need to touch your phone. Chill dude

J Papi says:

I want Glance without the default lock screen

georgeambriz says:

Completely agree with you on this!

ChRiS4932 says:

I wish I could try it but for some reason it says I'm not eligible for a Nokia account at this time

monotheist says:

You can download it also from the Windows Phone store.
Can someone post the link as i have lost it

moc426 says:

I was thinking it would be cool to have a background on the glance screen just the other day and now Nokia does it. Now I am thinking if Nokia/Microsoft can release a 20 mp phone that isn't 6 inches and for AT&T and have true OTA updates.

I will always love you for supporting your customers till the very end..
Even as I see you passing away still are doing all you can..and true commitment..
Nokia Forever! \m/

toph36 says:

So dramatic!  This type of support is not going away, neither is Nokia.  I expect a lot of great things under their Here brand going forward. 

yeah..Nokia will forever live in our hearts..
and yes i know the HERE services and NSN remains..
but devices and services division was a really big deal..
and yes..i will love Nokia unto death..

Deaconclgi says:

Why we love Nokia...explained in a 2:05 minute video:

If you have been with Nokia before they made Windows Phones then this article and video is more than likely why you love Nokia.
I am glad to see Nokia, as in the creative minds that brought us all of the devices and services that so many of us like, love and have depended on all of these years. I look foward what the creative minds at Nokia will develop in the future.

Los says:

People are too worried about Microsoft buying them. If anything, I think Nokia is gonna help change the culture in Microsoft for the better. There's a reason why MS did it. They saw the value in the talent, engineers and marketing team. Something MS has been struggling with for a while now. The Nokia team will still do what they do best, only change will be is being under a giant that has the resources to push Nokia tech forward

Jack Larson1 says:

Nokia (red polycarb) Xbox 360.5. Wireless connectivity, NFC charging on top, virtually indestructible, and comes with a red Kinect that has two 41mp cameras comboed with the regular prox. Camera.
Nokia Xbox can transmit Xbox games to Lumia, does the data crunching on Xbox.
^I'd. Buy. This.

Xaphoon148 says:

The Nokia team will still be awesome :)

Nice! I just downloaded this and am using the tiger one. I'll tell my mother about it later so she can grab this app for her 620.

zorb58 says:

I like the idea of the glance screen but think this is taking it too far.  What is the point of the lock screen now?

tissotti says:

Well that's not Nokia's problem. They are brining the lockscreen that hundreds of million Symbian users have used to use.
Only the vital notifications are missing from maemo and Symbian. Should be there on GDR3. 

i don't think so.
glance is for quick checking.
i use it a lot, and it in no way messes with my lockscreen.
at times i just wanna see the time. why unlock the phone? i simply take it out of my pocket and it shows me the time. (i use "peek" mode) and when i need to see pending notifications and lockscreen messages (calender or other apps) i just see the lockscreen.
i agree introduction of notifications on glance will make the use of lockscreen a little less, but that's perfectly ok. it still has the detailed notification and connectivity status and i can change my ringtone settings from there, all without having to unlock the phone.
but yes, background to the glance screen is a welcome addition as (in my case) glance screen is probably what i view of my phone the most. so adding some colour and visuals to it makes my experience better. the same may apply to many others.
and in the end you always have an option to switch it off if you don't need it. :)

dkp23 says:


K_lando says:

I like glance, but I sort of get it too... why not make it so that the default lock screen is one of the options to see at a glance?  I.e.... when I wave at it, it just shows me the lock screen?
But NOT complaining... glance is pretty cool.  Between wave to see and double tap to wake, its pretty cool.
The only problem is the motion feature is ultra sensitive.  I'm about 2ft way from my phone and its detecting my movement and keeping Glance on.  I had to cover the FFC and light sensor with a polish cloth to keep it from 'seeing' me.

M_Mike says:

Even color photos cool.  
Nokia keep it coming.  

Flavio76 says:

oooooo great!!love it

uberlaff says:

waiting impatiently to get this on my AT&T phone... 

gajomau says:

how Nokia can further improve the glance Screen experience ??

just watch this video :D

em1ke says:

That would be great!

I'm in permanent night mode so won't be of much use but very glad they are still developing and listening to their customers - very cool!

I bet you own a red Lumia 920 like I do... I did this with my glance screen too, as it looked so much cooler having the red clock match the red body of my phone! :D
Hoping the update to glance app in GDR3 allows the background images to work on all of the rumoured colours that users will be able to set the clock and notifications to!  

Sureshr says:

I got a Nokia s/w update yesterday on my TMO 925, not sure what that update was for. Did anyone else get it and know its purpose?

sonosp says:

Really awesome, working on my Lumia 820. 

And I'm still waiting for Amber, they haven't release the update yet in most of Latin America, not even a word in México, came to WP8/Nokia hoping a better experience and not the same waiting hell as android. Still love my 720 without Amber, great Smartphone, best choice ever, the thing is, I would like nokia to set more reallistic update periods, waited Amber whole september.
So, I don't undestand why so much hate on AT&T, at least they gave a date already.
Love the site and community, cheers!

sejgiul says:

This is awesome! Keep 'em coming Nokia!

Awesome ! Just love it !

Aryan Angel says:

 i feel bad for htc and samsung users.

Yangstax says:

I wonder if Microsoft will release all the Nokia Collection apps to all the WP users once the acquisition is completed.  It makes sense for MS to do that to promote WP phones - at least with a fee of course.

DJCBS says:

Am I the only one around here that doesn't use the Glance screen?
I mean...what's the point? To prevent a simple double-tap on the screen to see the time?

Anyway, this seems cool so I'm giving it a try.


sejgiul says:

Not everyone has double-tap to wake (I'm on the 620).

DJCBS says:

Oh, right. Forgot about that.
Well I'm enjoying this app though. The editing tools allow some really cool pictures to be turned into glance-type pictures (so we can make them different from the original wallpapers)

sejgiul says:

I'm actually struggling a little with my own pictures (they don't look very good on the glance screen).

gajomau says:

if you use the peak option, when you take your phone from your pocket you don't even to touch on a single key or screen to see the time ( or notifications on the future gdr3 ).. after seeing what you needed, put the phone on the pocket and the screen will turn off automatically ( it uses the proximity sensor to turn off the screen)

Gwenn_B says:

even with the "always on" option, the screen turn off automatically in your pocket

K_lando says:

Yeah, I get what you're saying, but its also kind of cool to not have to tap nothing. Wave my hand in the middle of the night... or walk up to my phone and glance down at it. I know I know I know... how much of a difference is it to doulbe tap instead? Not much... but its like wireless charging... some of us will just love it.

Geddeeee says:

I really don't see the point of this. A lockscreen on top of the existing lockscreen. Why??? Oh dear..

sejgiul says:

It's not a lockscreen as such and cannot be interacted with as one either.
It simply shows you the time (and notifications in the future) and now we have the ability to set a background for it.
Perhaps it's not useful, but it livens up the glance screen a little for those that do use it. If not interested in glance screen, just don't use it :)

Ken Heslip says:

This is a lower powered lockscreen. It means you don't need to press or tap to see updates/time. Think of it like a smart screen saver.

Nakazul says:

It is a smart screensaver :D

Jack Larson1 says:

Cause glance beats the crap out of the new rocking feature on the Samsung galaxy round.

danedperez says:

I can't find it in the store. Has it not loaded there yet? I'm going through my phone.

apocacrux says:

As mentioned in the article you must go through the Nokia Beta Lab site.

danedperez says:

Damn. Missed that Reading too fast. Thanks!

walter1832 says:

I love you Rudy!  Your the best!...oh, wait

rohitsingh says:

LOL. Yup Rudy deserves your love.

noknok79 says:

i love it! oh yeah! way to go Windowsphone!

toph36 says:

Very cool.  It works great with the stock images.  Now we just need a Lens built into the Nokia Camera to optimize the images for the Glance Screen!

mpelti says:

and of course, can't try it until AT&T gets me the Amber/gdr2 update. Which I'll probably sit on until next week, see if it bricks anyone.
Will this image replace the lockscreen photo? or will it just show on glance/peek, and when I hit the power button it shows my normal lock image?

mpt15 says:

Why on earth would we need two lockscreens? How is glance different from the actual lockscreen? Makes no sense to me

apocacrux says:

One is a quick reference screen that requires no tapping or button pressing and saves battery. The other is the gateway to your phone allowing a key lock and full colour backgrounds.
It would be nice if you could disable the lockscreen completely and just use Glance. But that's not ideal for seeing notifications in strong lighting conditions.

mpt15 says:

Other than the method of acces, it provides the same info. If I have glance turned on with notifications, I still have to pass through the lock screen which has those notifications. I have to get through two screens to reach the home screen. Its almost pointless.

rohitsingh says:

Its called having options. Like the time when you are hungry and all there is to eat is soup. Now some people would be happy with just soup, while others could wish they had an alternate option.

YOU are happy with just soup, I am not not. Simple.

samcode7 says:

Doesn't seem to work on night mode

apocacrux says:

Read the article. Its disabled in night mode, specifically so you dint have extra light while you're trying to sleep.

Jazmac says:

Now that is bangin'.

Gabranth says:

The tiger is very coooooooool.................

k00ksta says:

Looks so BOSS on my 1020!!!!!! AWESOME JOB NOKIA!

pwachleman says:

Really great app!

apocacrux says:

It works really well,I like it. Though like others I'm wondering if it causes a significantly extra drain on battery, and if its more of a drain to go full colour as opposed to black and white.

Depends on your phone.  If you have a phone which has an LCD screen, because the backlight is on anyways it will not add any more battery drain than just the plain glace screen.  If you have a phone with an AMOLED screen then yes it will cause slightly more battery drain than just the plain glace screen because it has to light more pixels. Even with an AMOLED screen though I would assume the extra drain is pretty negligable.

Eas195 says:

Why 520 and 625 can't have this? Is it using feature(s) that they don't have?

MikeSo says:

Yes, they have a different type of display.

Oxymoron428 says:

This. Is. So. AWESOME!!!

louisoneal says:

Nice surprising feature that I did not expect. Thanks Nokia!

DecadeMoon says:

I really like everything Nokia's doing to improve WP. Keep it up Nokia!

myjota says:

Awe i am with tiger)*

DecadeMoon says:

I noticed Nokia achieves this by reducing the colour depth on the display. That's probably how they can do this without draining the battery much. It's probably similar to the way my iPod classic reduces the colour depth on the display when left idle playing a song and it switches to a screen showing the time, which is nice.
I hope this won't cause the pixels to burn in.

pookiewood says:

Ok.  First I though Glance was kind of Meh.  NOW!  I'm on the AT&T YOU NEED TO PUSH THIS UPDATE OUT NOW Bandwagon.

attract says:

It looks nice. Nokia is really doing a good for the windows phone ecosystem.

DennisvdG says:

Freaking awesome!

Ken Heslip says:

Feedback would be to have a slideshow with customizable timer.

mwright53 says:

I really like the way that Nokia keeps impressing me with their extra effort

out0fplace says:

Btw, the Amber update is available for Lumia 520 here in India

rockstarzzz says:

Look at all this Nokia love! Only if Nokia knew how much love it gets from such a small community :)
So I tweeted Nokia_UK then ;)

ddialogue says:

Cool app but once I installed and configured it, the Peek/Interval options stopped working and the Glance screen was on all the time.

Lumia 1020

gajomau says:

jumpo to  and report the bug.. help the developers on this..
and btw, some time you will be talking to the developers from this app..

this is why i love nokia beta labs..

srslykev says:

At first I thought ''so? who needs it?'' But now that I've tried anyway, I am in love :D
Looks stunning!

Loving it! Installed and using!

Arpit Mittal says:

photos in my album is coming in black & white.
please give color options also.

gajomau says:

there is a color option in the app..

Arpit Mittal says:

i mean simple photo without any effects or color like same photo looks in album

skshandilya says:

Awesome, too good, enabled. I remember people used to ask me when I had enabled this on my N8

philharmonik says:

This looks awesome! Can't to get my Amber update!

aliahad says:

I cannot download it...I am using 810

joeynox says:

Wtf!!! Failed to I initialize glance error!

david90531 says:

Super cool!! Kudos nokia

TrustySnooze says:

This is awesome! I wonder how much it affects battery life.

2brun4u says:

If you want to "Advertise" your 920, I modified the Nokia Logo with 920, it looks pretty cool with the reduced pixel thing too

Now people know what phone this is!

feeked says:

This is ridiculously cool and fun

neel07 says:

Well now ,my lumia ROARS'

Great idea but it looks pretty ugly. Better with just the clock and upcoming notifications.

I suppose this is cool for those who want it, I guess I just don't see the purpose? I already have an image on my lock screen, why would I put one on the screen that's supposed to be blank?

md_minhaj says:

What man?? Don't know when will Microsoft and Nokia innovate. What will you do with boring glance screen??

monotheist says:

Wow this is wonderful, now MS please open up the APIs so that there can be cool app innovations using the Glance feature. It will surely be the envy of many if apps are allowed to control the glance screen like the lock screen.

Douglaschili says:

Does anyone has the background that comes with L720. One that's a freeway with lights. I can't find it anywhere since I updated Amber.
That's the one.

Not working on my L920! :(

Has anyone got an idea why? Besides none of my tiles are updating from Facebook either. Especially pictures of the people pinned on my screen! *agitated*

pippyo03 says:

Ok mine was working but when I changed back to a pic that worked once the background went away and the time #'s came up red???

Suedezu says:

Massive battery drain: during the night it went down from 100% to 38% just sitting in stand-by.

gdgates says:

I don't really see the point of the special effects as the chosen image is washed out on the glance screen anyway. The black and white images are the only ones that make any sense to me.

Isn't the battery draining because of this... I feel so..