Get Ready For iOS 7 – Make Your Own Parallax Wallpapers [iOS 7 Tips]

iOS7 Wallpapers

While we’ve noted that you can use panoramic photos as wallpaper on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch in in iOS 7, we haven’t spent a lot of time talking about the other major visual wallpaper and lock screen facelift: parallax.

In iOS 7, the background behind your Home screen apps is just a little bit 3D-ish, moving slightly as you twist and turn your iOS device around. Personally, I figured it was some fancy special effect that only Apple could create, but I was wrong.

Here’s how to make your own parallax wallpapers.

First, you’ll need some sort of image processing app. I love Pixelmator on my Mac, but I’ve also had great success with the free, online image editor, Pixlr. You fancy folks can use Photoshop or any other image app you want.

Now, all you need to do is add an extra 200 pixels on each side of the wallpaper. Using your image processing app, increase the image size to one of the following, depending on the device you’re targeting:

iPad 2 and iPad mini: 1,424 x 1,424
iPad 3 and iPad 4: 2,448 x 2,448
iPhone 4S: 1,360 x 1,040
iPhone 5: 1,536 x 1,040

Note that the iPhone 4 will not support parallax wallpapers, so no need to bother with making them for it.

Now you can have all the fun of a parallax wallpaper without having to stick to the photos Apple provides. Because a parallax photo of your best friend wiping out on a skateboard is way cooler than some blades of grass up close–just sayin’.

Related
  • dcompiled

    Hi Rob – good tip. I have a question though: where did you get those dimensions / the idea to pad the dimensions by 200 pixels? When I use the default Apple wallpapers, I don’t have the option of moving and scaling the photo to fit within the boundaries. When I use your dimensions, I am prompted to move / scale to align the part of the image I want to see.

    This suggests to me that the above dimensions are larger than the usable dimensions for the parallax wallpapers. I also noticed that when using a photo with these larger dimensions, it doesn’t create a wider parallax effect than when I use the Apple’s smaller default parallax wallpaper dimensions (744 x 1392 on my iPhone 5).

  • BlueLightAlarm

    seems the panorama wallpaper option has gone from my iPhone 5 on iOS 7 GM

  • roblef

    Hi Rob – good tip. I have a question though: where did you get those dimensions / the idea to pad the dimensions by 200 pixels? When I use the default Apple wallpapers, I don’t have the option of moving and scaling the photo to fit within the boundaries. When I use your dimensions, I am prompted to move / scale to align the part of the image I want to see.

    This suggests to me that the above dimensions are larger than the usable dimensions for the parallax wallpapers. I also noticed that when using a photo with these larger dimensions, it doesn’t create a wider parallax effect than when I use the Apple’s smaller default parallax wallpaper dimensions (744 x 1392 on my iPhone 5).

    Good point – I found that tip at the source link listed at the end of the post. Have you tried making a wallpaper with the same dimensions as the ones in iOS 7 and tried them out?

  • mdben

    I’m not sure why adding the extra pixels is required. The parallax effect seems to work on any image that is selected from the Photos library (at least on the iPhone 5 and iPad 2)

  • Brockthomp

    These dimensions aren’t right. They aren’t the size of the stock parallax wallpapers.

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Culture Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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