How you can better personalize the start screen of your Windows Phone 8.1 smartphone

One of the nice features of Windows Phone is the capability that leave you to personalize the Start screen as you like. There are several sites that explains how to easily do it (e.g. and there is no limitation to your fantasy.

I general, there is no better way to design your Start screen: however, in this post I will try to explain how I decided to have it drawn and why. May be, my start page it is too long for you, because usually I temporary put (at the bottom) tiles of new apps I have just installed and I want to try, … anyway the upper tiles are the relevant ones for me.

May be some considerations of mine can help you to decide to create a better Start screen for you too! The general rules I followed are:

  • At the top I want to have both telephone specific features (it is a phone first of all, don’t it?) and the most relevant information I usually need to see frequently, without the need of any scroll.
  • There is no need to have large/wide tiles, unless they shows – only with that size – some useful information I would like to see at a first look of the screen.
  • I choose the black background to save the battery life and … I like it much more than the white one!

So, lets start from the first line:

  • Phone, Contacts, SMS, Internet.
  • Alarm always visible, displaying the first alarm hour, if set: this information is visible only with a medium tile, and I put the tile right in the middle for esthetical reasons ;-), surrounded by the most used Contacts.
  • Calendar as a wide tile, in order to have always visible the summary of the nearest commitment.
  • Here Navigator, Messenger, Emails and, in the next line, the navigator set to go to home, Here transit, Maps … so everything I need for localization, just not to loose myself 🙂

All the tiles mentioned till now, are always visible without the need to scroll the screen … and for me are the more relevant one, in order to see missed calls, new emails notifications, appointments, alarm set …

  • Photos, that scroll in a random way in order to have the screen updated from time to time, all photographic app I usually need (I have a Lumia 1020 and I like to take picture with it).
  • Store, just to see if there are some upgrades to accept, Setting (even thought now it is easily reachable also from the events bar) and an app where I store my passwords 😉
  • Apps to be updated to the Windows Phone news (Plaffo, #wpdev, WindowsBlogItalia) and facebook.
  • Bing News as a wide tile to have scrolled the main news of the day.
  • Weather forecast, as a medium tile in order to have always visible the situation in the live tile.
  • Cortana … may be in the future I will move it upper ward, but for now I located it here because the provided information are still not so relevant, by now.

I also used both the embedded way of grouping apps in WP 8.1 (e.g. grouping journals apps) and the Cartelle app (e.g. to have in one folder some apps related to some specific topic, like audiobooks or apps for my daughter).

wp_ss_20141222_0001   wp_ss_20141222_0002   wp_ss_20141222_0003

wp_ss_20141222_0004   wp_ss_20141222_0005

Last but not least, it is the use of a photo as a background: you must choose a photo with not many things inside, otherwise the front tile text won’t be visible in a proper way. Here you can download some of the last backgrounds I used recently (note: you need to select a part of the picture and size it appropriately): in the following screenshots you can see the results.

wp_ss_20140903_0001   wp_ss_20141014_0001   wp_ss_20141014_0002
wp_ss_20141014_0003   wp_ss_20141014_0004   wp_ss_20141014_0005 wp_ss_20141014_0006   wp_ss_20141014_0007   wp_ss_20141014_0008  wp_ss_20141014_0011   wp_ss_20141222_0001


See also the following links:

Informazioni su Enzo Contini

Electronic engineer
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