Sick of Boring Tiles on Windows 8? Make Your Own!

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A lot of the MX style apps (or Live Apps) on Windows 8 include interesting animated graphic tiles that constantly update with new information so you can get some related data out of them without having to launch the whole program. Other tiles often have just a very boring normal program icon in a box.  Those don’t look so great.  They remind me of the old program icons that we used in the 20th century.  Luckily, there’s a way to design your own Windows 8 tiles and apply them to whatever program you want.

First you’ll want to download a free little program from XDA-developers, called OblyTileHere is the original thread where you can find the application download.  Next you need to make some of your own graphic tiles in PNG format with up to 120 x 120 pixel dimensions.  You also need to make a smaller version for the “All apps” listing on Windows 8.  The smaller PNG will be 30 x 30 pixels.  Then, simply run OblyTile, type the name for your new tile, select the program it will launch, add any attributes you might want, select the large tile image PNG file, select the small 30×30 PNG file image, and then click “Create Tile”.  OblyTile will pin a new tile with your preferred graphics to the start screen where you can then arrange and group it however you want.

Using this method, you can create all sorts of interesting tile mosaics and graphics to brighten up your start screen on Windows 8.  Does this give you any good ideas for redesigning your Windows 8 start screen?

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About The Author
Adam Z. Lein
Adam has had interests in combining technology with art since his first use of a Koala pad on an Apple computer. He currently has a day job as a graphic designer, photographer, systems administrator and web developer at a small design firm in Westchester, NY. His love of technology extends to software development companies who have often implemented his ideas for usability and feature enhancements. Mobile computing has become a necessity for Adam since his first Uniden UniPro PC100 in 1998. He has been reviewing and writing about smartphones for Pocketnow.com since they first appeared on the market in 2002.Read more about Adam Lein!