One of the most popular things to do with any phone is customization. This is usually accomplished through wallpapers and sounds on “dumb phones” and through themes, skins, widgets, and custom shell applications (home screens) on smart phones.
In my previous article I wrote about personalizing with custom System Sounds and Ringtones, today we’ll talk about Wallpapers, after that we’ll talk about Widgets.
Wallpapers in Android come in a few different flavors. On Android 1.5 and 1.6 you can use any picture in your image folders or from the built-in “Wallpaper gallery” as the wallpaper of your home screen. Other image apps such as Flickr Searchr may add additional wallpaper sources to the wallpaper picker, to let you choose an image based on a Flickr search. Android 2.x users may have a “Live wallpapers” option which are animated, interactive images.
Though I haven’t heard Google officially announce anything, I expect that we’ll begin to see developers creating new and “interesting” Live Wallpaper in the not-too-distant future. In the meantime, we’re stuck with the few that come with Android 2.1
To choose a new image to use as your wallpaper go to your home screen and long-press on an open area, tap “Wallpapers”, select your wallpaper source, browse through the images, and tap the “Set wallpaper” button. If you are using a picture you’ve taken you’ll have the chance to crop it to the correct proportions before you “save” it as your wallpaper.
When taking pictures to use as wallpaper, keep in mind that the landscape orientation works better than portrait.
Wallpaper is a fairly basic way to customize your phone, but one of the easiest ways to give it some of your personality.
Next up we’ll talk about Widgets as a means of customizing the look of your phone while adding near real-time information to your home screen.