Now we are going to discuss another way to customize desktop wallpaper – using a multi-platform application called Wallcast.
Wallcast will allow us to create your own desktop wallpaper with our photos, upload the photos remotely to the wallpaper, and share those photos to selected family members and friends within our personal network.
The Social Wallpaper
The idea of using personal photos for desktop wallpaper is nothing new. So is sharing photos to friends and family. But building a small closed social network around desktop wallpaper to share and enjoy personal photos is a nice idea that I’ve never seen before. That’s exactly what Wallcast is.
To start using Wallcast, click the “Get Started” button on the Wallcast website to register. You can also watch the introduction video to familiarize yourself with the service.
After the registration process is finished, you’ll get an email telling you your personal Wallcast email address – usually in the form of “firstname.lastname@example.org“. You can send your photos to this email address and they will be automatically uploaded to your wallpaper.
This address is also private, meaning that even though everybody knows about it, nobody can send any picture to your wallpaper unless they’ve been invited and accepted by you. This privacy is important to prevent some weird person from sending you strange pictures.
The next step to create your own wallpaper is adding photos to it. You can do that easily from the web interface.
Wallcast suggests you add at least five photos to create your first wallpaper. If you add less than five, you’ll get a confirmation window asking you to add more.
Press the “Upload Photos” button and wait. The process shouldn’t take long, but it depends on how big your photos are and how fast your internet connection is. To speed up the process, you can resize the photos before uploading them.
The next step is to invite family and friends to your small network so that they can send you their pictures and vice versa.
The Desktop Application
The last step in the setup process is to download and install the Wallcast application to your computer. Wallcast is available in both Windows and Mac versions. You will also get your wallpaper code. Keep the code safe as you will need it when you set up your application later.
After the download process is finished, install the app.
Then insert the wallpaper code. The code will tell the client which Wallcast account to connect to.
Your Wallcast wallpaper is now up and running. Please note that in order for the client to automatically refresh the photos, you need to be connected to the Internet.
The desktop application will reside in the System Tray (Windows) or in the Menubar (Mac). To access the Settings, click on the icon.
The “Settings” allow you to customize the intervals to refresh the wallpaper.
You can see a preview of your desktop in the main interface of the application. You can also refresh the wallpaper manually and pause the auto-refresh. Clicking the “Manage Wallpaper” will bring you to the website interface of your Wallcast account.
The iOS App
Webcast is also available in the iOS version (the Android version is currently under development). This means that you can access and manage your Webcast account when you are on the go using iPhone, iPod Touch and/or iPad.
Use the App Store to find and download the Wallcast app. You need to log in with your Wallcast account before you can use it.
From within the app, you can preview the wallpaper, send photos to your wallpaper and to your family and friends, and view the uploaded photos – yours and the ones sent to you.
This is what the wallpaper will look like. It’s like having a personal photo gallery on the computer desktop.
The wallpaper will automatically be refreshed with other photos in your collection within the intervals that you’ve specified before. Adding photos to your collection and sharing photos to your friends’ wallpaper is also easy. So the next time you are on vacation, just upload your holiday photos to your friends’ wallpaper.
What do you think of Wallcast? Have you tried using it to create your own wallpaper? Do you know of other similar applications? Share your thoughts and opinions using the comments below.