So you’ve managed to get your hands on Apple’s newest must-have gadget? It’s faster, better connected and that screen is to die for – but there’s only a handful of bundled wallpapers available to show off that awesome display.
Luckily there are already a lot of retina-sized wallpapers online and we’ve got a bumper collection of resources to get you started here. The backgrounds featured are free for personal use so don’t forget to direct your thanks to the artists who have taken the time to make and freely distribute these.
Applying & Creating Wallpapers
To use any of the images featured in this post first visit the full-sized image in Safari then tap and hold the image. Select Save Image from the options that appear and the image will be saved to your Camera Roll. Finally open Photos from the home screen, choose your image and hit the Share button in the bottom left then choose Use as Wallpaper.
The ideal iPad wallpaper is 2048×2048 pixels in size. Despite the screen being smaller than this, the larger than required square image will ensure that your wallpaper displays properly in both landscape and portrait orientation. If you have an iPad 2 or earlier the ideal background resolution is 1024×1024, so scaling these images down will provide the perfect wallpaper for previous generation devices too.
Note: Click on any of the images featured here to be taken to the full-size image or source gallery.
Michael Toye (Photographer)
As of writing, photographer Michael has uploaded 40 images to his Flickr photostream that are specifically designed to be used as Retina wallpapers. All images are free for personal use, though if you do fall in love with any of the designs I’m sure Michael would love to hear about it.
Alex Hopkins (Photographer)
Another photographer, another beautiful set of 2048×2048 wallpapers for your brand new iPad. Alex has assembled 64 photos so far in his collection which is heavy on architecture, landscapes and patterns.
FiftyFootShadows Retina iPad Wallpaper Pack
Featuring obscure close-ups, classic cameras, lenses and a lot of bokeh, these Retina wallpapers from FiftyFootShadows are a fantastic treat for free. There are 48 available in total, all of which are the artist’s original work.
MacRumors Forums: Retina iPad Wallpaper Thread
The MacRumors forum members have been busy scaling, collecting and even making their own Retina quality wallpapers to share. Being a forum thread it might take some time to get through the lot, but it’s worth it for the gems (like the space images below, created by forum member FiglioPerduto).
Simon Page’s CUBEN 12 Wallpapers
What better way to show off the clarity of your screen than with an extremely detailed background? Simon Page (portfolio) has converted 6 geometric masterpieces into 2048×2048 iPad backgrounds and the results are pretty impressive.
Each wallpaper is derived from a 24″ print, and Simon has even provided photographs of the backgrounds displayed proudly on the new iPad. Surprisingly, even in a photograph the design looks pretty damn good.
The ball’s only just started rolling and we’re going to be seeing a lot more retina display-friendly wallpapers over the next few months. Feel free to leave your thoughts, favourites and recommend some more resources in the comments, below.