Gold Master

iOS 7 Wallpaper Crop GM

Now that I have that wallpaper pack out of the way I can get back to other things here on the site. Many were curious to hear more about how I settled on the resolutions I chose to use to take advantage of the “parallax” effect in Apples iOS 7.

The short answer is more or less a lot of trial and error. Before iOS 7’s official release I remember seeing a twitter message (here, then here) posted by illustrator David Lanham who had done his own testing and come up with a general rule of thumb that a 200px padding on all sides of an image would be enough to over the effect.

Given the chance to finally test it on an iPhone 5 I quickly noticed the shortcomings of this approach which was made more or less as an educated guess in the early days of iOS 7 being in developers hands. No fault to David really on this, it did make perfect sense at the time. Problem was the OS seemed to be cropping too much of the image and did not let me set a vertical adjustment when deciding how the image should sit on the screen. The 200px padding approach seems to make sense on the surface but it eats up far too much of the image in practice because of the way Apple handles the process. When cropping a wallpaper for a device I want to have as much control over the end result as possible.

As far as I know his mention of this theory was the first time it was brought up and since then has been widely adopted as being the best image size for the effect. Un-satisfied after my own testing, I took to the net in search of other opinions and came across someone that had ripped the original apple images out of the iPhone version of iOS 7. While the resolutions seemed completely arbitrarily size wise, as soon as I tested it I quickly realized it was in fact the ideal resolution.

I tested this by cropping images to Apples default wallpaper resolution then drawing a red box on top the pixel size of the iPhones screen resolution. I then loaded the resulting image into my iPhone and checked to see where the edges of the red box fell on screen. After trying a number of different cropped resolutions I discovered if I made any changes to the resolution set by apple the box would no longer line up ideally on the screen at a neutral position.

When it came to the iPad the same issues arose and while no one was out there talking about ideal iPad resolutions for parallax I was able to find someone sharing Apple’s included images online and sure enough the resolutions matched up better than any others I had tested.

All in all it seemed obvious to me that whoever at Apple was working on the effect found the ideal amount of give to the parallax panning to get a natural feel and set the dimensions of new desktop images to fit this ideal down to the pixel. Therefore, to get the most natural fit for your wallpaper images in accordance to their current programming I highly recommend you crop iPhone wallpapers to 744x1392px and iPad wallpapers to 2524x2524px.

My only question at this point is weather or not apple will end up tweaking that ratio in the future. I would imagine testing was thorough enough so that these resolutions will be just fine for a good long while.

So for all those “maybe 200px padding is best” tinkerers out there, think again. I can safely say that apples own set resolution is the clear winner for accuracy in their new iOS design.

If you are in the need of some nice wallpapers cropped, zipped and ready to roll then by all means take a look at my latest pack of wallpapers for iOS devices here.


  1. Lauren - November 12, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    Thanks for the info! Much appreciated. :)

  2. iOS 7 Wallpaper Size | Ryan Markel - November 13, 2013 at 10:18 am

    […] John Carey at 50 Foot Shadows: […]

  3. An update to creating IOS7 wallpapers - November 17, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    […] been looking into this on and off since, and I ran into this post at fiftyfootshadows talking about the subject. His experimentation indicates the optimal sizing of an image for iPad […]

  4. Paul Anthony Webb - December 2, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    Sweet, thanks for the info! I’m redesigning my portfolio right now and it is sure useful to have this information.

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To whom it may concern,



• Enjoy the images! It’s a labor of love, thanks for your support!
• Share with friends.
• Send me a quick mail if you are interested in using an image for commercial or personal use other than wallpaper.


• Post desktops elsewhere online.
• Share links directly to images.
• Pass them around in mass.
• Make prints.
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• Use them in commercial work.

If you help me out with these I will be able to keep doing what I love to do. Thanks again, really, for your support and understanding. -J


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All of the images contained within this website,, are property of, John Carey unless otherwise posted. The images are distributed as freeware but they are available for personal use only on your personal computer, tablet, or smartphone as your wallpaper image. Any use of these images for any purpose other than this is a violation of these terms and anyone found using said images will be asked to either compensate the creator for doing so or be asked to stop using them immediately.

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These rules also apply for any artwork or imagery submitted and shown within this site which was created by an artist aside from myself. Any images submitted and shared as wallpapers are the property of the artist who created them and in the same manner as my images, you are asked to receive permission before using them in any way aside from their intended use. Any use of these images outside of for your own personal use as a desktop wallpaper image is prohibited without permission from the author of the image. Commercial licensing is available upon request. Please write with any inquiries.

When sharing images via your personal blogs I kindly ask that you link back directly to either the post the image was taken from or the base of the website at and give a credit to Do not re-post full resolution desktop images anywhere without permission. If you would like to use an image for your blog background or something of the sort simply write to ask first. Support the artwork you admire! Also, it is greatly appreciated if you do NOT link directly to the zip files. This is more or less the same as re-posting them as it circumvents the tiny bit of support I ask of you which is to simply link back to the original post for others to enjoy the site.

It’s not fair to artists if you do not credit their work and link back to the original content creator. It is theft plain and simple and blogs that attempt to somehow be mysterious by not giving credit to the creators are simply hurting the artistic community as a whole. If you love it so much then please, support it! The artistic community on the Internet is based on trust. Without trust then what do we have? are you going to be one of the responsible users out there or will you be among the bottom feeders, stealing content and passing it off as your own to make a quick buck in ad sales.

Use your best judgement and we will get along just fine.

Thank you for your understanding and support!

John Carey (curator, owner)