How to download, install and set great new parallax wallpapers for iOS 7

The best places to download parallax wallpapers for iOS 7 for iPhone or iPad

Get a great look for your iPhone or iPad by downloading a new iOS 7 parallax wallpaper. Here's how to select a new iOS 7 parallax wallpaper, where to download a parallax wallpaper, and how to set a new iOS 7 parallax wallpaper on your iPhone or iPad.

A key part of iOS 7's new visual look is the Home screen parallax effect, which creates the illusion that your app icons are floating above the background image, as you tilt your iPhone or iPad. iOS 7 comes with a selection of wallpaper images that work well with the parallax effect, but if you're after something different, there are plenty of places you can get more images from.

If you want something other than Apple's standard set of parallax wallpapers for iOS 7, there's plenty of choice on the web.

Where to download free iOS 7 parallax wallpapers

There are some great free iOS 7 parallax wallpapers out there, but before we start listing good sites to download them from, please bear in mind that many contain a little bit of iffy material. Depending on your definition of iffy, you may or may not be put off by images of ladies with not much on, pictures of guns (or people holding guns) and the odd expletive. None of the sites we recommend here contain anything horrible by any means, but Parallaxize in particular does have some stuff you probably wouldn't show the vicar.

Anyway, with that warning dispensed, here are the sites we'd recommend for downloading free iOS 7 parallax wallpapers for your iPhone or iPad.

To find more iOS 7 parallax wallpapers for your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, start by heading to Parallaxize, which has one of the biggest selections of parallax wallpapers on the web. Don't miss Free iOS 7 either, which boasts a range of options, from nature to art and architecture, or there's a big collection of arty options on Shay Atik's website.

Also have a look at the bright and colourful compilations at The Next Web for the iPhone 5/5s/5c, and the iPhone 4S and iPad.

Jordan Huxley's website, Bowling Googlies is home to a growing number of parallax background images, mainly for the iPhone. You'll find further backgrounds on iPhone Hacks, while a thread on the iFans forum has got a few fancy options as well. Lastly, have a look at the selection on Zinx.

The internet isn't the only place to find parallax wallpapers for your iPhone or iPad, of course. There are plenty of apps on the App Store that bring together selections of background images. Of the free options, have a look at Parallax Wallpapers and Wallpapers HD for iOS 7 & iOS 6.

Note that because some of the parallax wallpapers you'll find come in ZIP files, you may need an unzip app for your iPhone or iPad, such as WinZip, to access the images and save them to your Camera Roll.

How big does an iOS 7 parallax wallpaper need to be?

Not every image works well as a parallax wallpaper - the best are pictures with depth, and they ideally need to be bigger than the size of your iOS device's screen, if you're to avoid having to scale them above 100 percent. Quite how much bigger the perfect parallax wallpaper for iOS 7 needs to be is a matter for debate. The screens on Apple's iPhone 5s and 5c measure 640x1136 pixels, and Apple's wallpapers measure 744x1392 pixels.

However, many are suggesting that the ideal parallax wallpaper needs to extend 200 pixels beyond each edge of your screen, meaning an iPhone 5/5s/5c wallpaper would need to measure 1040x1536 pixels. For the iPad, you'll ideally want a square image, because the Home screen will rotate between portrait and landscape. If you've got an iPad with Retina display, aim for 2,440x2,440 pixels, while those with an iPad mini or iPad 2 should look for wallpapers that measure 1,424x1,424.

An app such as Simple Resize will enable you to check the dimensions of an image once you've saved it to your iPhone or iPad.

How to set a parallax wallpaper on your iPhone or iPad

Once you've found an image you'd like to use as your wallpaper on the web, make sure you tap through to the full-size version - many sites display smaller thumbnails initially. Then tap and hold on the picture and tap 'Save Image'.

Now tap the Home button and open the Settings app, followed by 'Wallpaper & Brightness', then 'Choose wallpaper' and tap your Camera Roll. Tap the image you'd like to use, move and scale it to the position and size you'd like, and then tap 'Set', followed by 'Set Lock Screen', 'Set Home Screen' or 'Set Both'.

Once you've found a parallax wallpaper, first save it to your Camera Roll, then set it as your iPhone or iPad background image.

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Laurence Cable

Macworld U.K.
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