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September 23, 2014

Making the most of Live Tiles

If you have a new Lumia or have upgraded to Windows Phone 8.1, Live Tiles gives a snapshot of key information on your Start screen.


One of the most visually striking features of Lumia smartphones is the Start screen. You can personalize it by changing the theme color to match your shirt or mood.

You can also set your personal photos as your Start screen background to further enhance your Lumia experience. And thanks to transparent Live Tiles, you can see the image each time you scroll up or down.

You’ll be amazed by the limitless variety of Live Tiles available to add color and detail to your Lumia’s Start screen. Here are some of the must-haves.


The built-in calendar is a neat way to view your first pressing task. One tap and you’re led into your weekly and monthly meetings and appointments. However, if you’re a stickler for particulars and want a detailed daily schedule, let Simple Calendar simplify it for you. Pin it to your Start screen and view your daily plan at a glance.

Weather start-screen-more-tiles_InvariantCulture_Default

Who doesn’t like waking up to a sunny morning? The Weather app alerts you in advance if you need that umbrella or not. With real-time weather updates, see the app in action with a change in your surrounding conditions.

People Hub

Don’t mistake this as your digital address book! This is your one-tap stop that lets you stay connected with the people you care about the most.

People Hub lets you view the information at a glance. When you pin the People Hub live tile to your Start screen, it will shuffle and show you photos of people from your contacts list as well as their latest activities. You can also pin a contact or group and the corresponding live tiles will show you updates and messages from that person or group.


We don’t need to tell you how amazing our beloved Cortana is. See for yourself: Cortana can compile a quick look at your day, with things like weather, traffic, and the latest news headlines.

She can also alert you on traffic on the way to work and flight updates without you having to ask her. See how intelligently she finds your travel itinerary and monitor the best deals for you!


Chances are, you don’t even remember how many photos you’ve clicked on your Lumia, let alone the many photo albums you’ve created. Let your photos show up on your Start screen, giving you a tour of your collections. It will liven things up and make your memories come to life.


Social media plays an important role in our lives. Here is a neat way to pin the individual or most-accessed groups on your Start screen. This way, you will never miss any updates and will be hands-on with the happenings in your favorite communities.


Stay on top of things by getting your daily news dose on your Start screen. Follow breaking news and get access to local developments by choosing your favorite news sources. Let the News Live Tile flip over and display the photo of the top story and headline.

start screenE-mail

The size of your email Live Tile gives you different types of notifications. As a full-size Live Tile, you can preview the latest email information, such as who sent the messages, the subject line, and number of new messages. Set the tile to the smallest size and you will see the number of unread emails.


If you’re an avid reader who wants a seamless reading experience even when on the go, then pinning your favorite e-book on your Start screen is a must. Make full use of Lumia’s clear display to flip through your selected purchases. Who needs another device to read books when you can have them right on your smartphone?

Bing Health & Fitness

Leading a healthier lifestyle just got simplified with your own personal fitness manager. Keep track of your daily walks, workouts and diet. Browse through useful articles, news updates and videos to manage your health. Don’t forget to input your daily diet intake and get your calorie consumption at a glance.

Internet Explorer

What’s the need for an Internet Explorer Live Tile? The answer lies in color, detailing and customization. Imagine the colorful icon of your favorite website appearing as the mini-version of the webpage you frequent most. You can access it easily and will know at a glance which site you’re opening.


While the built-in Battery Saver feature in Lumia lets you conserve your smartphone’s battery, it also tells you which app is consuming the most power.

With Battery pinned to your Start screen, you can view the status of your battery percentage–handy when you quickly need to know how much juice left is in your Lumia!

Have you brought your Start screen to life? Which apps with Live Tile notifications do you use the most?