Start Screen Background Apps

Spice up your Windows Phone 8.1 Start Screen with OneStart

No Cyan until September

Some phones in India not getting Lumia Cyan until September

Cortana for your interests

New video shows how to add interests for Cortana

Lumia Cyan Update

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

Windows Phone News

Here's a sneak peek at Lock screen apps on Windows Phone 8.1

General News

Microsoft launches new training portal to get you started on Windows Phone

Windows Phone News

Lumia Cyan comes to the Lumia 925 on O2 in the U.K. and to the Lumia 625 on Ireland's Meteor

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

Windows Phone News

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

Windows Phone News

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


Transparency Tiles updated, lets you pin clear Instagram, Foursquare, Facebook and more to your 8.1 screen

Since Windows Phone 8.1’s preview release this week, you folks can’t enough of the new Start screen backgrounds. And here you thought you’d hate them ;)

We covered a cool little app dubbed Transparency Tiles earlier this week, as it’s used to re-create Tiles for your 8.1 Start screen for native and popular apps. On first release it covered just Xbox Games, Music and Video, but we told you more apps would be coming. Since that time, the app has had a few updates, with the latest just going live a few moments ago.

The app now is brimming with new apps, so many that it’s hard to list. You can now pin clear Tiles to your Start screen for these apps:

  • Evernote
  • Facebook
  • Finance
  • Food and Drink
  • Foursquare
  • HERE Drive
  • HERE Maps
  • HERE Transit
  • Instagram
  • Lync
  • MetroTube
  • MyTube
  • News
  • Nokia MixRadio
  • Nokia Xpress
  • Pandora
  • Podcast Lounge
  • SmartGlass (Xbox One only)
  • Spotify
  • Sports
  • Tapatalk
  • Travel
  • TuneIn Radio
  • Twitter
  • Viber
  • Video
  • Vine
  • Waze
  • WeChat
  • WhatsApp

You can create small, medium or wide Tiles using this app, but remember that these *will not be Live Tiles* as they are shortcuts to the app, not the actual Tiles. So if you can live without the Live Tiles, then definitely grab this app until if and when those apps are updated to support Transparency.

Update: Well, at least for a few of us, the Instagram Tile won't work. Chalk it up to a bug that will probably be fixed in the next release!

Pick up Transparent Tiles version 1.2 here in the Store. Windows Phone 8.1 only.

Thanks for the tip, vikrant6

QR: Transparency Tiles



There are 137 comments. Sign in to comment

Nice gj by the dev for speedy update

DennisvdG says:

Ikr! I asked for mytube and Spotify and here they are! :D
EDIT: damnit I shouldn't count my chickens before they hatch, the spotify icon is the outdated one from 2012 not the newer version, I hope this gets fixed :P
EDIT2: The mytube icon on the small tile is waaaay too small :(

sholokov says:

Good job but I have noticed that it caused my son's Lumia 520 show signs of lag.

Roun says:

Why Whatsapp? That tile is already transparent...

no idea...maybe some want it NOT live, ever?

When will we have transparent AND live tiles?

EffEll80 says:

Some apps already have. The german wparea app have a transparency livetile

Yeah I asked myself the same.. 

arkhale says:

Eagerly waiting for Rich to update the WPCentral app and add a transparent tile.

arkhale says:

Damn, I'm sorry. Jay Bennett it is! The British guy from the podcasts. What was I thinking?

Jay is our developer, and that's due next week.

josonjoy1986 says:

Isn't it already transparent ???

Blacklac says:

Sweet, thanks for the tip.

JCtheGreat says:

It is already transparent.

ImSoWade says:

Only if you disable the live tile

2tomtom says:

I have it transparent and it is live/updates. Using the large tile. Yep, just as writing this got a toast message, checked tile and new article showing, yeah!!!!

jwinch2 says:

What setting did you use for that?  I tried to make that happen without any luck.  

Mayur says:

Yes, Iconic is, but it has mind of its own, keep changing between transparent and accent colour :/

DJCBS says:

Not really. It's really a question of luck. For example, I have it transparent on the L1020 but on the L920 with the exact same settings, the Tile isn't transparent.

aaa6112 says:

Here's what I concluded...if you open the app and close it, its no longer transparent. Let out update on its own (background update) and its transparent again.

Sunnyk says:

Waiting wp central to get live tile.

KjBleau says:

Oh Mr. Bennett, could you eliminate the glaring white "post" balloon from the bottom of the comments window too? It is so harsh at night :)

Broomcorn says:

I'll second that

Chris Yahya says:

Already transparent... Why you ask?

Now I want to be able to rename the tiles to wherever I want. Why? I want the Xbox tiles to be named in my language (Jogos, Vídeo e Música).

CJ Thunder says:

I've wanted to rename apps since WP7. Doubt it will happen, but I hate that some apps are named "Cool Voice recorder" or whatever and I have to remember to go to C instead of V to record a voice or go to R for record...or whatever...

DJCBS says:

Then you should grab Skinery Themes. You can create the tiles and while currently the transparent ones aren't available, the developer is already working on it.

Marco Gomes1 says:

I bet your happy just like me that the swipe keyboard doesn't support Portuguese language :-)

DJCBS says:

*You're ;)

And are you surprised? I'm not. I mean, I'm not sure if Brazilians don't have swipe keyboard. Maybe they do. I wouldn't be surprised if, as usual, Microsoft would treat Brazilian as an autonomous language while ignoring Portuguese altogether.

Errr. I'm Brazilian and swype is working really great with the portuguese layout.

Albene says:

I like how this app has helped me make my Music, Games, Here Drive and Here Maps tiles transparent. But don't the Nokia Express and Whatsapp tiles support transparency natively?

vikrant6 says:

Wohoo my tip :) I hadn't liked this background stuff when the first wp8.1 leak had surfaced.. But now I'm in love with this so much that I'll never go back to plain accent tiles :D

I don't want all the app become transparent.. :(

It's an OPTION that devs can make

Yeah, but i just want they still keep the original colour but when i use my background image it becomes transparent.. .__.

Flavio76 says:

Can't get on tapatalk

Flavio76 says:

No , it's ok, great app

OsamaAdam98 says:

Vine's also not working.

dorelse says:

tapatalk doesn't work for me either...just spins trying to launch the app.  If I use the 'real' tapatalk tile, it launches immediately.  something's not quite right on it.

aaa6112 says:

Store description mentions that the dev is working on a fix.

dorelse says:

cool, thx.  need to get used to being able to check there for app info with the store upgrades.

Nakazul says:

Skype and its a complete list.
...and yes. New startscreen and custom notifications easily the best of this update.

Nakazul says:

Oh, and how about a WPC tile guide?

Roun says:

Yeah still waiting for Skype and trying to figure the WPC tile out. It's pretty unpredictable, but Jay says they're working on an update so here's hoping.

gamo62 says:

Instagram tile is not working on the 1020. Also, ones for ⛽ Buddy, Skype and Office would be nice.

NIST says:

Office would be nice

EJP86 says:

Instagram & foursquare opening then closing immediately. On Lumia 920.

Also Pandora on 920.

These tiles are slow to open apps!

neonspark says:

blame it on MSFT. their restrictive API forces the tile app to open first and then launch the app you actually wanted to open. If MSFT provided a proper API as they do on windows to create any shortcut to any program with any look, this type of thing wouldn't happen.

Jandieg says:

It is because they are opened through a different protocol, which exists to perform other kind of linking between apps and might not be optimized for app launching. Also live tile is not live, just an image/icon.

BonzeUK says:

Should be Sport, not Sports. But thanks for the updates ;-)

I'm not in that much of a rush lol... Let them update... They will eventually. Considering they have like 2 months left to do it at least

kamaelxiii says:

I think it's time for WPCentral to update their app as well? It's sitting the bottom of my start screen because it's not transparent. Or rather give your users ability to opt in for transparent or accent color live tiles like vieather.

We've tweeted about that already. We're not dumb, lol.

dorelse says:

ok, I'll bite.  the WP app is transparent for me...has been since you posted the article about updating it to use the Iconic or transparent tile...


what should I be complaining about Daniel?  :D

dorelse says:

Nevermind...saw the response farther up the comments.  Live tile isn't transparent...coming next week.

Reinstall wpcentral for transparent tile and dont touch live tile option inside wpcentral app.

aussiedog61 says:

Thank you. That did the trick.

migueli2 says:

Does the tiles that this app create get the count notifications?

Roun says:

Nah, they're static.

I need Skype, OneNote and OneDrive :/
Vine doesn't work, though

Hector Cantu says:

vine doesnt work on other apps like Cool Tiles for example

reda igbaria says:

What's app is already have a transparent tile

chad08er says:

Instagram tile crashed and burned.

dante501 says:

Well the Facebook app is broken anyway ever since 8.1 but the beta one works just doesn't it do sync to phone. That's the only bad part.

Edwardlb20 says:

Really? My Facebook (8.1) works fine...

mccasive says:

It is the original facebook app which is broken, you have to go the peoples hub to download the new Facebook app and you'll be fine.

dante501 says:

Let me try that. Because the beta facebook app works fine minus no phone sync. I will delete the normal facebook and download it through the Hub. Thanks.

Update: It still gives me we having trouble getting data when I check on the notification tap. App is broken.

jmerrey says:

If we aren't using a live tile for an app, will it still get notifications in the pull down shade?

DJCBS says:

Yes, you still get the notifications. Only the live tile won't work. Everything else will still show in the Notification Centre as long as you don't have it disabled.

Susmit257 says:

what about skype ??? Pls update once more , bring skype

Hector Cantu says:

the big win with this update is on FOURSQUARE tile, and the annoing notification. 

Not such a big win for Foursquare on my phone.  It crashes 100% of the time when using transparency tiles to launch... :(

Hector Cantu says:

i actually didnt updated my comment, i cant make foursquare work also. :( 

hoping to get an update. 

chad08er says:

Waiting for Microsoft to update the Bing apps for WP 8.1

omullins says:

Great to see this continually getting updated! Unfortunately 3/4 apps I requested can't be done... hoping the devs actually get around to it.

Hector Cantu says:

i think that A LOT of this tiles are crashing :(

Might as well wait for the devs to make their apps naturally transparent tile capable, if they're not live.

WPC App for Android- Lenovo IdeaTab A3000

Aesthetics over functionality? If only it supported live tile it would be a great app for me

Duduosf says:

Exactly. I use the news app and MyTube with large tiles just to glance at new headlines and new videos. Therefore, unusable to me...

neonspark says:

I like it how the biggest hit to hit the WP UI has been basically to do away with the flat flourescent colors. yet another proof that MSFT needs to refresh its entire UI with more customization options.

i wish the Kindle app, Xbox games, One Note, Nokia Camera, Xbox Music, Photosynth. Phototastic and InstaSquarer had transparent tiles... I need them to be to finish up my home screen. 

josh_zombie says:

Turning in to one of my favorite apps.

Duduosf says:

MyTube and News are useless for those who use the live updates on the tiles. It doesn't support live updates... Yet?

F3rzz says:

it probably never will as long as there's no API for it.

jtshorns says:

Instagram and vine make the apps crash!

suniltamboli says:

The first line in the app description "Are you tired of the UGLY colour !" LOL :D

neonspark says:

Skype and OneDrive a huge omissions.

transparency tile for Tapatalk isn't work on my lumia 820

imLou says:

Instagram, Foursquare, Vine and Tapatalk dosent works

PablosOne says:

With shortcuts4all you can also create shortcuts with transparent backgrounds and has much more options

dortyboy says:

Nit all the tiles work. They keep crashing

jpkjpk says:

This is hotness!! Thanks!!

Pulak Vatsya says:

Even the facebook tile is not showing ghost notifications.common no point of a tile without notifications ;(

Marco Gomes1 says:

No, not for me. I'm glad that you're all happy but one of the best features of WP is the live tiles, imo. If you take that away, together with the sudden death of the hubs (photos, music, games) all the best things that made out phones unique and different from the android/iPhone mob, then it's just another boring OS.
I'm really hoping for a serious improvement when the general version is launched. My 920 lags practically in every thing, the swipe keyboard doesn't support Portuguese, Cortana is a near to useless gimmick (give it time and you will get over it), especially outside US... Very disappointed at this point.

F3rzz says:

I love Live tiles, but not all my startscreen apps are live cuz they don't need to be. in those cases a developer ugly custom color ruin it.

Don't use this for your live tiles, use it for the static ones.


Give one less star on the reviews and write you will give one more when transparent tiles are available. 


dougolupski says:

I can confirm my instagram and pandora app tiles dont work on my 1520. I have to launch from the app menu. Or screw up my perfect start screen by putting the old tiles back on, yeah right thats not happening.

Large app devs such as vine and instagram know that when they do update their tiles to be transparent (and I do believe they will eventually), they will both have to provide features and bug fixes to bring the apps on par with the android and IOS versions. Neither would feel they could get away with tiny updates merely making their tiles transparent. I believe their respective owners (twitter and Facebook), although giving updates, have possibly not followed suit so a to not draw attention to vine and instagram. Just my theory.

terrokkinit says:

What a cool app!!

Daniel Meek says:

excellent, now we just need Office, OneNote, Skype, and Hulu and the transformation will be complete!

jpkjpk says:

Pandora doesn't work, and Lync is super slow. Got a few others to work, though. (1520)

sManowar says:

I wonder if it was possible to create semi transparent tiles. If you hold down a tile until you get the ability to move or resize, you kinda a stained glass effect. It's pretty.

F3rzz says:

Some apps already has semitransparency in its icons (transparency tiles actually has it, music wallpaper and contacts hub too)

dalydose says:

Transparent or live?  New decisions.  :) 

Facebook is now transparent because I can see new posts in Action Center.

TJWINS says:

Please add weatherbug!

The instagram pinned app keeps closing

TechFreak1 says:

Some of these will have already have "sort of" transparency support already. For example WhatsApp is already transparent and live for me. As a rule of thumb any app that shows your accent colour in the app list may be transparent I have come across four apps that aren't transparent being cellular live tile, WiFi live tile, Bluetooth live tile and Buses Due. They shows the accent colour in the app list but when you create the tile they are not transparent. The three apps apart from buses due just need to be updated whereas the Buses Due app shows its one unique colour scheme when pinned (its about 5% transparent - on the small tile at the bottom).

what is the use of unified colour system when your own app(office ,onedrive,music )dont follow the convention .

what is the use of unified colour system when your own app(office ,onedrive,music )dont follow the convention .

F3rzz says:

yeah, that's annoying as hell


Give one less star on the reviews and write you will give one more when transparent tiles are available. 


Starbane says:

I sent a request for Mint, One Note, Office, and 9gag. He said they weren't possible though. So you can't have everything.

Broomcorn says:

That's a good list, meh...

cybermoose89 says:

Still need a fair few more but its awesome so far keep em coming

mclarke74 says:

When is wpc going to be transparent?

F3rzz says:

sometime next week the fix will be released. my "Dead" tile is transparent at the moment btw.

purevibz says:

No live tile so I can't use them for news, sports and finance.

"Dead" tiles save battery, someone might want that

QilleRz says:

For Windows Phone 8.1 but still can be downloaded on Windows Phone 8 :p

Anyone else Instagram tile not opening on the 920?

DarwinPurol says:

I hope they add skype for next update. Anyone knows if the tiles shows notification count?

Ali J KSA says:

How can I have the WPCentral app transparent live tile? I tried it but doesn't work as a live tile, only shortcut to app.

jmerrey says:

What is the "video" tile a link to? It has my videos, but not the video store. Its half the app. Strange.

onlysublime says:

without any software used, on my 521, the Facebook app is transparent.  on my Icon, the Facebook app is the solid blue color.  I have no idea how the 521 got a transparent tile.

transparent home screen supported slide show of multiple pics????