Parallax Error

No, not that Parallax error, it’s another, more frustrating kind. I still get asked when I will release another pack of images for the new iPhones and I am finally one step closer in the right direction to make that happen. I simply could not bring myself to charge anyone for a pack of images if they were the wrong resolution. That said, I am pretty certain I have confirmed the default iOS wallpaper size for the 6+ to be 2706×2706. Unfortunately this is not the end of the story.

The benefit of having the default Apple resolution has been obvious since the release of the iOS 7 when they added the parallax effect. There is an apparent shortcoming or bug in iOS for the 6+ that is making any user set wallpaper look pretty bad when the home screen is rotated. To that end, the horizontal layout on the home screen seems odd to me, why does the lock screen not rotate as well? It feels like they were just trying to show off that the screen is bigger for some reason, I feel the OS and many apps still have a lot of refinement to do before it feels at all natural on this screen size but I digress, back to wallpaper.

When you set a wallpaper, iOS makes a copy of the image and saves it internally, this way if you delete the original, you won’t loose your wallpaper. The problem is that the file it saves is only adequate for a vertical orientation so when you rotate your home screen the image blows up and becomes horrible looking. Troubling! Apple’s default images always rotate perfectly because they are stored internally within iOS and maintain the correct resolution for the longest side of the screen when rotated horizontally, a technique first seen in the original iPad.

So I am banking on 2706×2706 as the resolution to use on the 6+ as it stands today. In my testing, which I will get to in just a second here, the amount of play while setting a wallpaper allows no wiggle room vertically when setting the perspective zoom to “on” any time I cycle that preference after moving the image while setting it I see it drift back to the same exact place vertically on the screen. This, to me, is indication that the resolution is in fact Apples preferred size though my testing methods are hard to pinpoint to an exact pixel size because of the high resolution of the screen itself. Still though, based on my digging online, this is the resolution Apple uses for their own wallpapers.

There is another, similar resolution that has made the rounds, 2662×2662, which is oh so very close to the results I have come up with while digging for copies of default iOS in images. Oddly, there is also a resolution out there which is not only totally wrong, but also the most commonly used, 1242×2208 (the displays scaled, working resolution). Then again, the same thing happened last time with parallax wallpapers on iOS 7 where one wrong resolution was spread as correct simply because it was the first viable option shared. Only until Apple fixes the bug will I be able to really sort out the problem fully but until then, I will stick with my instinct.

I have included a short video below to illustrate the points made here.

The music in the video is by DJ Q-Bert.


  1. A fan - December 16, 2014 at 10:08 am

    Always love your photography. I have to ask – what is that case you have on your iPhone? I love Flip Cases but I could never find one I liked for iPhones.

  2. To "A fan" - December 16, 2014 at 10:24 am

  3. Joe Darnell - December 16, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Thanks for breaking this down! I’ve been designing wallpapers for the 6+ without hands on experience with custom wallpapers. I need to update what I have for downloads on my site.…

    Really helps to see the video. What’s the camera you used to shoot the video?

    I love that phone case. I’ve been very tempted to get it for my 5s, but I’m also very happy with my Apple brown leather case, which I’m sticking with.

  4. dliwski - May 19, 2015 at 8:30 am

    I can’t wait to see Dust wallpaper for iPhone 6 Plus! ;-)

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