By Joe Levi | September 4, 2013 5:07 PM
Regardless of what kind of smartphone you use, one of the main ways to customize it and add a touch personality is through the application of a wallpaper. For those of you who have been living under a rock, “wallpaper” on your smartphone or tablet is much like that for your desktop computer — an image that sits behind your icons. Finding good-looking wallpaper can be a challenge. Tastes vary and images range from “huge” to “tiny”. Just where can one go to get beautiful wallpaper for their phone? Here’s what the staff at Pocketnow has to say.
Wallpapers (and I’m putting “lock screen” into this category too) to me are overrated.
By definition, if I’m looking at a wallpaper, I’m not really using my phone, so to me it’s barely worthy of my attention. I never actively go out seeking wallpapers. Most often, I’ll set a wallpaper from an image I make, take or randomly come across. My wallpapers have traditionally been my kids, or logos I’ve made or cool photos I’ve found on the internet.
I don’t use wallpaper websites, or wallpaper changers or anything like that. That’s like getting an app for when I’m not using my phone and that seems counter-intuitive.
Besides, I’m an old man. GET OFF MY LAWN!
I make my own! I take my own photos and use them as wallpaper. Sometimes I’ll create a custom collage or my own design in Photoshop to use as wallpaper as well.
On Windows Phone, usually I use my own photos or designs for the lock screen wallpaper, but sometimes I’ll switch it to one of the lock screen apps.
Bing often has some amazing wallpaper images that it can load automatically everyday.
It’s funny but wallpapers are one of those things that I care about a lot, but that I haven’t really found a place that really gives me the things that I like. I usually stick with stock wallpapers, and that doesn’t necessarily mean the stock wallpapers that come in each phone. For example, I use Apple’s iOS 5 water wallpaper on my Galaxy products, simply because I love how it blends with the UI.
I’m also a big fan of the stock Nexus wallpapers, and most of the HTC wallpapers over the years. I guess my biggest issues with giving external wallpapers a try is that they are mostly just photos, and not really images that were designed to blend with user interfaces.
When it comes to preferences, I like patterns the most when it comes to home screens. When it comes to lock screens, it’s funny, but even before the time that I started running as a sport, I’ve always loved the photo of an open road to be there. I guess it gives you a sense of discovery for when you unlock your device.
Like some of the others have already mentioned, sometimes wallpaper can “get in the way”. To many, your smartphone is a place where you go to get things done, then get out again. A “busy” wallpaper can detract from that — not just visually, but by obfuscating icons and widgets, camouflaging them from being quickly seen, recognized, and acted upon.
On the other hand, wallpaper can be used to make using your phone a beautiful experience.
Probably due to my Paiute (Native American) ancestry, I find an almost spiritual connection to nature. I work behind a desk for 10+ hours every day, too, so I try and find wallpapers that bring a bit of Nature into my life. If you’ve seen any of my videos, you’ve probably noticed that my wallpaper is usually a forest, a beach, a sunset, or something from Nature.
Many times my wallpapers come from my own smartphone’s camera. I’ll snap a picture of something that I see and set that as my background and lockscreen image. Other times I’ll find an image I like while browsing, and set that as my wallpaper. When I feel the urge to get creative I’ll usually head to Deviant Art and expand my creativity.
Chief News Editor
I like wallpaper on my phone or on my computer desktop about as much as I like it on the walls of my house – that is to say, not at all. Bold, solid colors all the way.
When I was younger, I’d always be playing around with different wallpapers, making my own or downloading some, but at some point, and quite abruptly, I just decided, “done with this.” It really didn’t make any sense, anyway. I spent most of my time in apps, not staring at my desktop, and when I was looking for something on the desktop (counts for: home screen), it was the icons I was interested in, not whatever picture they were obscuring.
I like my phone clean, simple, and utilitarian. That means giving as little attention to wallpaper (and window dressing in general) as possible.
I get asked about this a lot. Wallpapers are pretty important to me – they can seriously compliment a theme or setup you have on your phone, and finding the perfect wallpaper is a delicate task. I’ve got a super special way of finding all my wallpapers: Google Image Search. Generally, I start with a broad term of what I’m looking for, such as “Geometric wallpaper,” and narrow it down with various qualifiers, like size, color, different patterns, etc.
Some of my favorite wallpapers are made by the artist Simon C. Page. Google search his name and you’ll find some that I commonly use in videos. Interfacelift.com is also a nice place to find some beautiful wallpapers, and it’s usually where I look if Google fails me.
The Pocketnow Reader
We want to hear from you! Where are your favorite places to get wallpapers for your smartphone? Do you go to the same sources for your tablet? How often do you change your wallpaper? What kind of wallpapers do you typically lean toward?
Share your experiences (and links to your favorite sources) in the comments below!