MATTEO DALL'OMBRA

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The Endless Search For The Perfect Wallpaper

September 24th, 2012

If I’m really writing this, it probably means I’m finally declaring to be a crazy person! With a new device like the iPhone 5 I had to inevitably start to look for a new wallpaper. Partly is because I very much dislike Apple’s default offering and partly is because I’m never satisfied with my current wallpaper.

This “compulsion” started in the early days of being a PC user, especially when I finally decided to clean my desktop organizing my documents and all my stuff in a better way. The subsequent question was: how do I fill all this empty space? Certainly not by using a default wallpaper. I’ve also tried using simple plain colours, but they annoyed me quite quickly, leaving me once again with a hard choice to make.

The next step was to try using random pictures download from the internet that could possibly match the mood of the day. As you may guess it didn’t last for long.

In the past three years I’ve started a serious hobby as a “photographer” and this helped me a bit with my choice for the wallpaper because I could choose between personal and familiar images, something that has the opportunity to make me feel better. This wasn’t still an ideal solution for me because I’ve so many pictures I would like to use that one desktop is not enough! So I’ve tried using the auto rotate function built in OSX and for now it’s working fine.

The real problem is with my iOS devices. The iPad but also the iPhone 5 with its bigger display demand for some great wallpapers to enrich the overall experience of the daily usage. I’ve tried every possible combination but now iOS6 makes it even harder to find a good solution. I don’t know if you noticed it, but when you select a picture to use on the background, the system will apply a dark layer over it that start from the bottom of the screen and grows past the dock to then softly disappear. This is true both in the lockscreen and the springboard.

This means that everything that have a light tonality will be destroyed by iOS once it’s applied in the system. Also, I don’t think it’s wise to choose a background that it’s too light because you won’t be able to easily read the icons’ label below since they are written using a white font with a slight drop shadow (that looks really bad on a white background).

So you should choose a darker wallpaper. Then there’s the complexity problem. The background should have a fairly easy pattern because otherwise it will look ultra-messy and it will be impossible to read anything on the springboard.

All those dilemma are making me change backgrounds almost every two day and I’ve yet to settle with something really good.

To sum-up everything, my ideal wallpaper should be something very minimal, with an easy pattern and dark tonality (for necessity because I would like a lighter picture). Thankfully the web is full of resources to keep me quiet for a while and I think that the best place you should look at is by far deviantART.

The easiest way to find something is to put the resolution of the screen you want to décor in the search field and the first result will match exactly your device. For the more famous devices you can also simple insert the name even if this query could also result in mock-up or Photoshop reconstruction of the device itself.

Now I’m going back to my search, if you find something interesting please share it with us on Twitter. You can find me there as @matteodallombra.