Quick Tiles Tips #3, Custom Backgrounds

Although quick tiles comes with some good default backgrounds and effects, it may not have that perfect background you want. That’s you can add custom backgrounds from your phone’s media library. There are two quick sources for tile backgrounds, either images downloaded from the web, or pictures right from your camera.

To add a picture from your camera:

  1. Snap a picture with your phone’s camera
  2. Open up Quick Tiles, and select the “Backgrounds” option on the home screen.
  3. Tap the “Add Background” button and select “Camera Roll”.
  4. Select a photo.
  5. Scale and crop to the desired size, then tap the checkbox to save it.

After this, your custom background will be available as a background image. Custom backgrounds will appear at the bottom of the list of images when you choose the “Background Image” setting.

To add a saved picture:

  1. Open up the phone’s web browser and surf the web for some pics to use. A website like flickr.com is a good place to start.
  2. Once you find an image you like, tap and hold to get a context menu. Select “Save Image” from the available options.
  3. Open up Quick Tiles, and select the “Backgrounds” option on the home screen.
  4. Tap the “Add Background” button and select “Saved Pictures”.
  5. Select a photo.
  6. Scale and crop to the desired size, then tap the checkbox to save it.

Using these steps you can import any image you like into Quick Tiles. Here’s an example of some of the images you can add with this feature.

Photo credits: katof, Allie_Caulfield,Tomas Sobek, downhilldom1984, 55Laney69, Evandro Sudre

Quick Tile Tips #2, Etched Text

Another neat trick for Quick Tiles is creating an etched text effect. This is available because of the Shadow Text settings you can apply to tiles. To create an etched text effect you need to properly choose the background color, text color, and shadow color. Specifically, you must pick a text color darker than the background color and a shadow color lighter than the background color.

In this tip we will create a some etched text on a blue background. First, set the background color to a fully solid blue color of #3D81EE. Next set the Text Color to a solid dark blue color of #32527A. Finally set the Text Shadow Color to a light blue color of #C3D9FF with 75% opacity. And that’s it, you now have created an etched text effect. *Note All the colors used are quick colors and can selected using the color picker. Here is a screenshot showing the used colors.

Quick Tiles Tips #1, Tinting Images

This is the first in a series of posts that will highlight some neat tricks you can do with Quick Tiles. The first tip we’ll cover is a method to tint images different colors. This lets you match a photo with the theme color of the rest of your pinned tiles. The first thing to cover are the Title Area Color and Text Area Color settings. These are two separate rectangles that are drawn right underneath any text. Here is an image showing what the two settings control.

These colors can be set completely solid, or semi-transparent. Using the scaled background we can create a yellow tint to the top of the image and a red tint to the bottom of the image.

The best use for these settings is to make text drawn over an image more readable. In the first image the white title has a low contrast with the snow in the photo which makes the text very hard to read. By applying a black Title Area Color with 70% opacity, we can make the text much more readable.

One thing to note is that the colors will blend with the colors of the photo. So if the photo you are using is very colorful, you may not get the desired effect. To help correct this you can convert the image to black and white before tinting it. By applying the Image Effect -> Grayscale to the image before applying the Text and Title Area Colors, you can get the best results. The following image shows the original photo, the black and white version, and then some tinted versions.