Everyone loves their iPhone. Whether you’ve gotten one for Christmas, have had one since launch, or are just sporting an iPod Touch, Apple’s pocket portable has quickly become a part of your digital identity. And yet there are so few ways to let your personality shine through to passers-by. Sure ringtones say a lot about who you are, but what about the wallpaper you choose? As soon as you hand someone your iPhone to check out, it’s the first thing they see. Make it count.
If you’re having trouble coming up with an idea for a unique image for stand-by time, look no further as we dream up 5 fresh ideas for iPhone wallpaper. And be sure to check out our comments for even more ideas from our readers!
The Space Age – The 1950′s was a special time. World War II had ended, business was booming across America, and for the first time ever the world was on the brink of reaching the stars. This lead to a boom in popular discussion and popular culture about what the future would look like. Flying cars, houses on the moon, jetpacks — nothing was impossible! And while the fantastic world we dreamed of more than 50 years ago never came to pass, artifacts of that idealized future can still be found strewn across the internet. Why not check out some images of what we thought the future would look like and shrink them down to 320×480?
Telephones – The iPhone is many things to many people. Email, GPS, Facebook, video camera… the list goes on and on. But how many of us actually use the thing as a phone? Maybe you should choose a wallpaper that reminds you of its intended use. The neat thing is, thanks to the long and storied history of the telephone, there are limitless possibilities for a hip photo opportunity. Hand-crank phones, rotary phones, big ol’ 1980′s-style mobile phones — you name it, there’s a picture online.
Comic Book Covers – As a big comic book nerd growing up, it’s pretty easy for me to link great art with great comics. Few things are as iconic or as personal to a comics reader as a favorite cover, so why not share yours with the world? Getting good scans of old comics covers used to be hard, but since 2006 one website has made it easy to find any comic cover you might be looking for – CoverBrowser.com. With nearly half a million covers to choose from, I had very little difficulty in tracking down a specific Detective Comics cover that’s been haunting me since I was a kid. Thanks CoverBrowser!
The Cold War – It may sound like a strange notion at first, but the Cold War brought to life some of the most unique imagery of the last 100 years. Gas masks. Soviet propaganda. ICBM’s. If you grew up any time before the fall of the Berlin Wall, you no doubt remember the daily threat of global thermonuclear war that quietly hung over all our heads. Despite the terror it invoked at the time there’s a real kitsch nostalgia to the era and a rich photographic history to go along with it. A quick search can find anything from Mickey Mouse breathing apparatuses to rusty old fallout shelter signs.
Video Game Art – I know what you’re thinking — using the latest screenshot from the hottest game just feels overdone and tacky. But if you’re a gamer at heart and want to show some street cred, why not try and track down some tasteful shots or stellar fan art to show of your love of all things playable? The screen above is a clip from 2008′s indie darling World of Goo (now available for Mac!) and offers up a great vibe without ever really feeling too fanboyish. If you’re looking for fan art instead, you should do some searches on DeviantArt (here’s a personal favorite by NoBullet).
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As you have probably guessed by now, these are just one geek’s ideas and clearly cater to my own personal tastes. Maybe you loved these suggestions, maybe you hated them. No matter how you felt I just hope it got you thinking a little bit more about the personality that can be added to every iPhone with just a simple image search on the web.
You’ve seen our ideas, but we’d love to see yours! Tell us what you like to put on your iPhone standby screen. Link to wallpapers you’ve used and loved. Tear down that curtain and show us how cool your iPhone can be!
A Few Words About iPhone Wallpaper: Setting your wallpaper is as easy as choosing an image from your Photos app and selecting wallpaper, but formatting it isnt always so easy. You can always zoom and crop on the device, but if you want something thats going to really shine youll probably want to do some fiddling in a proper program. Whether you prefer Photoshop, GIMP, or some free web-based alternative, you just need to know one thing: iPhone wallpaper is 320Ã—480 pixels. Work within those dimensions and youre good to go no matter what image you choose. (On a side note: all of the wallpapers featured in this articles have been sized to 320×480, so they’re ready to use.)
Resources – While we’ve mentioned DeviantArt and CoverBrowser, there are a number of other simple but prolific options out there for finding great images. Flickr is a terrific resource, as is the simple Google Image Search. Check out different online communities and see what’s out there in the world of photography and art!