Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Developers: Make Tiles Transparent for Windows Phone 8.1

  1. #1


    Posts : 22,581
    64-bit Windows 10

    Developers: Make Tiles Transparent for Windows Phone 8.1


    As you have likely seen by now, Windows Phone 8.1 is full of many amazing new features, but perhaps one of the most visually striking is the new Start Background feature, which allows people to set their Start screen to have a background image displayed behind the tiles.



    Figure 1Start Background in Windows Phone 8.1


    There’s just one thing though… in order for users to see the image behind the tiles, the app’s tile needs to have a transparent background, so if yours doesn’t have this yet, here’s how to do it.

    [Do note that if you used a transparent image asset for your tiles in Windows Phone 8.0, (which many did, since this is how you would have achieved a tile that respects the users’ accent color choice), then your tile will automatically support Start Background.]

    1) Use a transparent .png for your tile

    2) For those of you already targeting Windows Phone 8.1, update the ‘Background color’ setting in your package.appxmanifest file, (on the “Visual Assets” tab), to ‘transparent.’ There are, by the way, many different free image editors out there to assist you in this, my own personal favorite is Microsoft Expression Design).



    Figure 2For WP 8.1 XAML Apps, set Background color to 'transparent'


    3) For a dynamically generated live tile, you’ll need to take an extra step: make certain that whatever mechanism you are using to generate your tile is building a transparent .png, (libraries like WriteableBitmapEx support this). Start Background is one of the most popular new features of Windows Phone 8.1, and adding this capability can greatly improve your users’ experience. If you haven’t yet, we highly recommend that you take advantage of this feature today.
    Source: Developers: Make your Tiles Transparent for Windows Phone 8.1

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 835
    Win 8.1 Pro


    I concur.

    However, not all tiles need be transparent,
    but I think that all apps should provide the option for transparent tiles.

    Would love to see Transparent tiles in Windows 8 as well.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    As a skeptic of image backgrounds in Windows Phone, I love them.

    On Windows, I think it would get too cluttered looking if there was an image background and then another for the Start tiles.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Not sure if this is coincidental or not, but my Windows EightForums tile got live and semi-transparent today. It's dark like the rectangle in the "Kids" tile. It looks darker here than what it really is. It flips about every 5 seconds. Of course this is a pinned favorite of IE. The Widows NineForums did not change though. They're in the lower left corner.

    The transparent tiles made all the difference to me. I don't think I'd want them all transparent, though. Having a choice as Tepid mentioned is a good idea.

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 22,581
    64-bit Windows 10


    Quote Originally Posted by HippsieGypsie View Post
    Not sure if this is coincidental or not, but my Windows EightForums tile got live and semi-transparent today.
    Yep. John (z3r010) just added it a few hours ago to have our live tile relay off the RSS feed at EF.

    Support a Live Tile for your website on Windows and Windows Phone 8.1 - IEBlog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by Brink View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by HippsieGypsie View Post
    Not sure if this is coincidental or not, but my Windows EightForums tile got live and semi-transparent today.
    Yep. John (z3r010) just added it a few hours ago to have our live tile relay off the RSS feed at EF.

    Support a Live Tile for your website on Windows and Windows Phone 8.1 - IEBlog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs
    I also noticed on my Surface tablet that the EightForums tile is now alive... Finally!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by Brink View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by HippsieGypsie View Post
    Not sure if this is coincidental or not, but my Windows EightForums tile got live and semi-transparent today.
    Yep. John (z3r010) just added it a few hours ago to have our live tile relay off the RSS feed at EF.

    Support a Live Tile for your website on Windows and Windows Phone 8.1 - IEBlog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs
    Thanks for that info, Shawn.

    Class act, John!

    Will we get that for Nine Forums as well?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by Coke Robot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Brink View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by HippsieGypsie View Post
    Not sure if this is coincidental or not, but my Windows EightForums tile got live and semi-transparent today.
    Yep. John (z3r010) just added it a few hours ago to have our live tile relay off the RSS feed at EF.

    Support a Live Tile for your website on Windows and Windows Phone 8.1 - IEBlog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs
    I also noticed on my Surface tablet that the EightForums tile is now alive... Finally!
    You have the RT, correct. Just for grins I redid my tile on my tower 8.1 Pro tile, but it's a no go.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by HippsieGypsie View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Brink View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by HippsieGypsie View Post
    Not sure if this is coincidental or not, but my Windows EightForums tile got live and semi-transparent today.
    Yep. John (z3r010) just added it a few hours ago to have our live tile relay off the RSS feed at EF.

    Support a Live Tile for your website on Windows and Windows Phone 8.1 - IEBlog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs
    Thanks for that info, Shawn.

    Class act, John!

    Will we get that for Nine Forums as well?

    TBH I only did this as a test and I didn't think anybody would notice, as people have I'll see what I can do about making the other sites do the same.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by HippsieGypsie View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Coke Robot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Brink View Post

    Yep. John (z3r010) just added it a few hours ago to have our live tile relay off the RSS feed at EF.

    Support a Live Tile for your website on Windows and Windows Phone 8.1 - IEBlog - Site Home - MSDN Blogs
    I also noticed on my Surface tablet that the EightForums tile is now alive... Finally!
    You have the RT, correct. Just for grins I redid my tile on my tower 8.1 Pro tile, but it's a no go.
    I did notice it only works if IE is your default browser.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Developers: Make Tiles Transparent for Windows Phone 8.1
Related Threads
How do I make the taskbar 100% transparent while keeping the icons untouched? Also, is there a way to remove the white thingy that is behind the icons on the taskbar when they are open? Screenshot of what I want (actually it's a picture of Chrome OS, but it explains what I want) is...
How to Install Preview for Developers App for Windows Phone Pre-release Updates If you are registered with App Studio (anyone can) OR a registered Windows Phone developer, then you can receive pre-release OS updates on their dev phone, directly from Microsoft. You can use the Preview for...
I'm using windows 8.1 Pro x64 and I've installed custom theme, and I've made all the tweaks necessary for the theme to work (Uxtheme patcher, Black Glass Enhancer, etc). But I have noticed that the Startisback+ start menu isn't fully transparent. I have seen many other custom themes out there...
Make transparent tiles?? in Customization
I have a Windows phone running WP 8.1 and one of the things it has is the ability to make some of the icons transparent so the background can be seen somewhat muted within the tile. It looks very slick! But I cannot figure a way to do it with Windows 8.1. Is there a way or an app that will...
Windows 8 Start Screen Customizer worked well for this in W8. However, it doesn't work with 8.1. I've already emailed the developer, but without a response. Is there an alternative method to getting no tiles show on the start screen or if possible, just one tile and the rest unvisible until...
Eight Forums Android App Eight Forums IOS App Follow us on Facebook