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Microsoft already released Windows Phone 8.1 as part of Developer Preview programme, that means, developers having Windows Phone store account and/or App Studio account can try this before it comes out for general public to experience.


Windows Phone 8.1 has some cool new and enhanced features set and among them Start Screen and Themes are there. In this post, we are going to discuss on this today.


Enhanced Start Screen in Windows Phone 8.1 ( you are a Windows Phone developer and want to experience it as part of Developer Preview programme (Early Adopter), you can follow this post to configure your device to get the latest update before it comes up to general public. Though the said post is quite old, but this is applicable for Windows Phone 8.1 update too. Make sure to read the “Important Notes” section before proceeding with this update.


One of the most amazing experience you will fell with this update is the new Start Screen. You can now set either Accent color or an image as the background of transparent live tiles. This will only work to those apps which has a transparent icon as it’s live tile. The developer of that app must provide that in the app.


The new start screen also allow you to set additional one medium sized column, where you can accommodate one medium sized tile or four small sized tiles. Thus allowing you to organize your start screen in well manner.


Here is a screenshot of my new Start Screen in my Nokia Lumia 1020. You can see that, it now has a transparent background with an image shared across the tiles. Also, you can notice extra column(s) in my Start Screen which brought a new life to my phone. Did you like it? Don’t forget to experience it in better way and share us the screenshot of it.


How to configure the new Start Screen in Windows Phone 8.1?

If you are willing to configure your Windows Phone 8.1 device to use the new Start Screen with background image of your choice as Live Tile background or accommodate more tiles in the screen, navigate to the Settings app and click the first settings item (might change in different device) named “start+theme”. This will open the start+theme settings page into the screen as shown below, where you can now choose the theme type (dark or light), Accent color and/or background image of your Start Screen:


Windows Phone 8.1 System Settings (    Windows Phone 8.1 start+theme Settings (     Windows Phone 8.1 start+theme Settings (


If you are willing to accommodate more tile icons in the screen, just scroll down the page where you will be able to find a toggle button to add support for more tiles. By default the toggle button value is OFF and thus it will show the default layout with slightly bigger tiles in the screen. To add support for more tile icons in the screen, slide it to ON and you will now have additional one medium sized column where you can add one medium tile or up to four small tiles as shown in the below screenshots:


Windows Phone 8.1 start+theme Settings to accomodate more tiles ( Phone 8.1 start+theme Settings to accomodate more tiles (


I hope, you will now like to play more with your Windows Phone Start Screen and share your creativity with us. Don’t forget to upload them on OneDrive and share the link in the comments section below.


Stay tuned to know about more features part of Windows Phone 8.1. I am available on Twitter and Facebook. Connect with me and get all the updates I share over there. Enjoy with your Windows Phone.


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