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With Win­dows Phone 8.1, you can now use a photo for the Start screen back­ground. But since there’s sig­nif­i­cantly less space in be­tween tiles and around them on the phone. What Win­dows Phone 8.1 does is to tog­gle the tiles’ trans­parency, so that the im­age ap­pears in them. The end re­sult re­sem­bles some­what like a mo­saic, with a pretty cool par­al­lax ef­fect that makes the back­ground im­age look like it’s also mov­ing when you’re scrolling the Start screen. In ad­di­tion, you can now en­able three col­umns of tiles re­gard­less of screen size. Pre­vi­ously, this was re­stricted to screens 5-inches and larger.

The new Start screen now al­lows a third col­umn and a photo as the back­ground.

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