I wouldn’t normally go to the trouble of making an entire video about iPhone wallpaper sources but enough people asked me about my iPhone backgrounds on YouTube that I went ahead and made it. Actually it was kind of fun (and I thought it turned out really well). Sometimes these off the cuff videos end up doing really well and it blows my mind — the initial response to the video has been great. In any case this is the accompanying article which will let me spell things out in a bit more detail.
If you’re interested, I also recently made some recommendations for the best Mac wallpaper sources as well (so check that out if you haven’t already).
The reason I said I normally wouldn’t make a video about iPhone wallpaper is that it seems, well, boring I guess. That is, compared to all the gadgets I’m constantly reviewing. But still, I realized changing your iPhone background is — while a rather mundane task — keeps your phone from getting too familiar. Other than adding a case, installing or rearranging apps or… I can’t think of anything else, actually, getting new wallpaper is the easiest way to change things up. I do it constantly.
Here’s a video I made about my favorite iPhone wallpaper sources:
So where do I look when I need some new iPhone wallpaper? 3 main places as it turns out. I’ve tried several different wallpaper apps but wow, most of them are horrible. I hate it when apps are filled with junky ads or have horrible interfaces that look like it was a class project (and whoever made it got a D). So the wallpaper sources I gravitate toward tend to be ultra high quality.
WLPPR: My “GOTO” iPhone Wallpaper App
If you’re into beautiful satellite images you’ll love the oddly spelled WLPPR app. Right off the bat one thing that’s really great about this app is it’s depth and organization. Every image in this app is really (really) high quality and there are categories that make finding what you want easy. Mars, drones, winter, water, simple or universe are great examples of the categories you’ll find.
But what good would an iPhone wallpaper source be if it got stale? Fortunately the WLPPR app is updated frequently. I’ve been using it for a long time now and I’m always delighted when I open it up to find some alerts for each category saying new wallpapers have been added.
There are some other ways in which this app goes above and beyond lesser wallpaper apps. You can bookmark favorite images, for one, so you can easily keep track of your favorites, you can preview wallpapers on both a sample lock screen and sample home screen and you can blur images a bit to make it easier to see your apps (which is a nice option to have).
Background: My Alternate Source for iPhone Backgrounds
But if satellite images aren’t you’re thing, I bet you’ll like what the aptly titled Background app has to offer. Here you’ll find a curated feed of really high-quality photography from Unsplash — the popular free stock photo website.
The app is simple and straightforward, which is nice (basically it has a well-designed interface). All you need to do is scroll down through the most recent photos, tilt your phone left or right to see the full picture and hold down with your finger to save it to your phone.
This app’s greatest strength could also be considered it’s greatest weakness, though. It doesn’t have a theme or focus (like WLPPR which is all about satellite images of Earth). Instead it’s pretty random: there are people, places and things and I personally probably end up really liking about 1 in 20 images. Still, when I find one I like I get pretty excited, though, because it’s something I wouldn’t have found anywhere else.
If you’re just looking for good photography you can use as an iPhone background then this app is probably you’re best bet.
Shredr: For When I’m Feeling Creative
My next pick is simply a website — but don’t worry, it works great on mobile. It’s called Shredr and it’s unlike anything else on this list (and probably unlike anything else you’ve ever seen, period). It’s all about beautiful glitch art wallpapers. Shredr has a bit of an artsy or techie vibe going on and I have to say I’m definitely into it.
The site is pretty new and that means that the selection is a bit smaller than the other two apps I already mentioned (although there’s no lack of cool wallpapers to look through already, seriously). But the difference is that basically every single image here is awesome (unlike Background where I only like one every now and then, as I mentioned). The good news, though, is that Shredr should be seeing regular updates which should keep your home screen looking nice and glitchy far into the future!
I have a feeling creative people like designers are going to be drawn to Shredr.