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It’s the thing you look at most often on the screen, whether it’s your phone or your computer. Aesthetics matter in the feel of a gadget, and the wallpaper plays an integral part in that. So let’s find some brilliant backgrounds for your screens.
A surprising number of sites ask you to pay to download wallpapers above a certain resolution. It seems a little silly. Of course, finding images that make for good wallpapers is not as easy as it seems. These pictures need to highlight the icons and text that appears on them, so they aren’t lost in the background.
But you still don’t need to pay curators to find such images. We located a few free apps and sites for a wonderful wallpaper experience.
1. Pixtory (Android, iOS): New Wallpapers, New Stories [No Longer Available]
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But often, you have no idea about the context of a wallpaper you download. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to hear the story behind your wallpaper image? Then check out Pixtory.
The app, free for Android and iOS, has a wonderful new take on wallpapers. It gives you a little background about the photo, written by the photographer. With one tap, you can read a larger caption as well. It’s an introduction to new photographers, new parts of the world, and new styles of wallpapers.
Pixtory also changes the wallpaper periodically, so you are always finding new things. Plus, you can contribute your own Pixtory and share it with the world, so they can marvel at your pictures.
Download — Pixtory for Android (Free) or for iOS (Free) [No Longer Available]
2. Splashify (Windows, Mac): Browse and Apply Beautiful Backgrounds
The current system of changing your desktop wallpaper is kind of broken. You search for images or browse through them online. You find one you like, and check if it’s available in the resolution you want. You download it, and then go through another few steps to change the wallpaper.
Splashify makes the whole process much simpler. Fire up the app to see a variety of background images. The app’s developer hand-curates favorites, so you know the cream of the crop. Otherwise, check the latest images in the feed, or browse through the most popular. Once you find an image you like, with one click, it will be set as your desktop background in the correct resolution. It couldn’t be easier.
Splashify works only for Windows and Mac right now, and requires an active internet connection.
Download — Splashify for Windows or Mac (Free)
3. World View Wallpaper (Android, Windows, Mac): Wallpapers That Change by Time of Day
When you’re stuck in a cubicle, away from any windows, time can kind of slip by. You lose track of what it looks like outside, whether the sun is still shining or dusk is settling in. Get a clue with World View Wallpaper, while you check out other places around the globe.
The software features images Jerusalem, the Caribbean, New York City, and a few other places. The beauty is that the actual image itself changes based on the time of the day in your location. So the bright image of a statute in Austin’s heat will slowly have its sun set, as the actual sun sets in your own location. The lights will come on in the image, just as the lights in your time zone are coming on. It’s quite cool.
You can also set the software to use the image’s own time zone. So, if you work with someone in New York City while you live in London, a quick look at your wallpaper will show you what it looks like in NYC right now.
Another cool option is to set a real-time photo of the Earth as your desktop background with some help from the Himawari satellite.
Download — World View Wallpaper for Android, for Windows, or for Mac
4. Psiu Puxa (Web): The Best of the Universe
The universe is massive. Just imagine, if our earth has so much natural beauty, what marvels must the world hold? NASA, European Southern Agency, and other organizations train their telescopes towards the skies, hoping to capture the best of what deep space has to offer.
Psiu Puxa goes through the thousands of images released by such organizations to find wallpaper material. It shows some photos in their entirety, and crops some others to focus on its main aspect. In the end, each picture here would make for a brilliant wallpaper. Plus, Psiu Puxa handily categorizes them into three orientations to choose your download: desktop, tablet, and smartphone.
The images also come with short captions explaining what you are seeing, so it’s a nice way to learn a little bit more about the universe. All the pictures are free to download, so go nuts. You can even download them all and set up auto-changing wallpapers.
5. HD Wallpapers (Web): The Big Repository of Wallpapers
When you know what you’re looking for, just head to HD Wallpapers. It’s one of the premium destinations on the internet to find all types of wallpapers, for desktops or mobiles. The collection is massive, and updated regularly.
Obviously, you can search to find what you’re looking for quickly. But you might want to spend a little time browsing nonetheless. HD Wallpapers is easy to browse because of its design, so you can check out categories (like TV and movies, games, nature, space) or popular tags (black and white, Batman, illustrations, purple).
From abstracts and patterns to illustrations and movie posters, if the wallpaper is on the internet, you’ll find it at HD Wallpapers.
What’s Your Current Wallpaper?
Let’s go, folks. If you’re proud of your current wallpaper, we want to see it. Find a link or upload it to Imgur, and share it below!
Image Credit: grmarc via Shutterstock