A wallpaper or background (also known as a desktop wallpaper, desktop background, desktop picture or desktop image on computers) is a digital image (photo, drawing etc.) used as a decorative background of a graphical user interface on the screen of a computer, mobile communications device or other electronic device. On a computer it is usually for the desktop, while on a mobile phone it is usually the background for the 'home' or 'idle' screen. Though most devices come with a default picture, users can usually change it to custom files of their choosing.
"Wallpaper" was the term used in Microsoft Windows before Windows Vista (where it is called the "desktop background"), while macOS calls it "desktop picture". (Previously, the term desktop pattern was used to refer to a small pattern that was repeated to fill the screen.)
Wallpaper images are usually copyrighted as many other digital images found on the Internet, and as such, most websites collecting and sharing wallpapers, as well as the users downloading from them are an example of mass copyright infringement, a phenomenon which challenges the meaning and illegality of digital piracy and the validity of current copyright legislation around the world.
The X Window System was one of the earliest systems to include support for an arbitrary image as wallpaper via the xsetroot program, which at least as early as the X10R3 release in 1985 could tile the screen with any solid color or any binary-imageX BitMap file. In 1989, a free software program called xgifroot was released that allowed an arbitrary color GIF image to be used as wallpaper, and in the same year the free xloadimage program was released which could display a variety of image formats (including color images in Sun Rasterfile format) as the desktop background. Subsequently, a number of programs were released that added wallpaper support for additional image formats and other features, such as the xpmroot program (released in 1993 as part of fvwm) and the xv software (released in 1994).
The original Macintosh operating system only allowed a selection of 8×8-pixel binary-image tiled patterns; the ability to use small color patterns was added in System 5 in 1987.MacOS 8 in 1997 was the first Macintosh version to include built-in support for using arbitrary images as desktop pictures, rather than small repeating patterns.
Windows 3.0 in 1990 was the first version of Microsoft Windows to come with support for wallpaper customization, and used the term "wallpaper" for this feature. Although Windows 3.0 only came with 7 small patterns (2 black-and-white and 5 16-color), the user could supply other images in the BMP file format with up to 8-bit color (although the system was theoretically capable of handling 24-bit color images, it did so by dithering them to an 8-bit palette). to provide similar wallpaper features otherwise lacking in those systems. A wallpaper feature was added in a beta release of OS/2 2.0 in 1991.
Due to the widespread use of personal computers, some wallpapers have become immensely recognizable and gained iconic cultural status. Bliss, the default wallpaper of MicrosoftWindows XP has become the most viewed photograph of the 2000s.
A 'live wallpaper' is a type of application that works on a mobile device using the Android operating system. The application works as a wallpaper – providing the background image for the home screen—but also works as a conventional application since it can provide user-interaction with the touch screen (allowing the image to change dynamically, for example) and access other hardware and software features within the device (accelerometer, GPS, network access, etc.).
Similar functionality could be found in the Active Desktop feature of Windows 98 and later versions. There is also third party software that provides this feature for various operating systems.
A mobile wallpaper is a computer wallpaper sized to fit a mobile device such as a mobile phone, personal digital assistant or digital audio player. The height is often greater than or equal to the width. Wallpapers can typically be downloaded at no cost from various websites for modern phones (such as those running Android, iOS, or Windows Phone operating systems). Modern smartphones allow users to use photos from the web; or photographs captured with a phone's camera can be set as a wallpaper.
macOS has built-in support, via the Desktop & Screen Saver panel in its System Preferences, for cycling through a folder collection of images on a timed interval or when logging in or waking from sleep.
Additionally, macOS has the native ability to run a screen saver on the desktop; in this configuration, the screen saver appears beneath the desktop icons in place of the system wallpaper. However, macOS does not come with a built-in interface to do this; it must be done through Terminal commands or various third-party applications.
In Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10
Similarly, Windows can also be set to cycle through pictures from a folder at regular intervals. It is supported on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10.
Windows does not natively support animated backgrounds. However modern 3rd party software can be installed to have full support for GIF and AVI files.
GNOME 2 also can be set to cycle through pictures from a folder at regular intervals, similarly to Windows 7.
In KDE 4
KDE 4 provides this feature as well (slideshow).
Enlightenment v17 supports image sequences, animated and interactive desktop backgrounds in its default configuration.
Live wallpaper have been introduced in Android 2.0 (Eclair) and later versions. The live wallpaper is an animated, interactive background that can react and change to input, like touch or data.
Dynamically animated backgrounds have also been introduced in iOS 7 and later versions, however they are restricted to the ones provided by Apple. Jailbroken iOS devices can download other dynamic backgrounds.
Other systems or window managers
This article needs to be updated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information.(June 2017)
For other systems, a third-party software is required (* in development).
|Typical wallpaper sizes|
|Aspect ratio||Width × height||Phone models|
Most mobile phones
MPx200, V80, V300, V400, V500, V600
- ^Robert R. Wiggins, "All systems go. (Software Review) (System Tools 5.0 with MultiFinder.)", MacUser (1 March 1988)
- ^Franklin N. Tessler, "Mac OS 8 arrives," Macworld (1 September 1997)
- ^Gus Venditto, "Windows 3.0 brings icons, multitasking, and ends DOS's 640k program limit," PC Magazine (1 July 1990)
- ^Charles Petzold, "Working with 24-bit color bitmaps for Windows," PC Magazine (10 September 1991)
- ^Wendy Goldman, "New version may tiop scales in IBM's favor over DOS, Windows: A look at OS/2 2.0," Computer Reseller News (24 June 1991)
- ^Sweeney, Cynthia (March 26, 2014). "Say goodbye to 'Bliss'". St. Helena Star. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
- ^"Live Wallpapers (Technical Article)". developer.android.com. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
- ^Set a Screen Saver as the Desktop Background | Terminal. Mac OS X Tips (2006-11-09). Retrieved on 2013-07-21.
- ^lunemec/wpchanger 路 GitHub. Github.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-21.
- ^"iPhone Screen Resolutions". iphoneresolution.com.
- ^"HTC One (M8) Specs and Reviews - HTC United States". HTC.
- ^Mat Smith. "LG G2 review". Engadget. AOL.
- ^"Sony Xperia Z Rivals and Competitors". Phone Arena.
- ^John Howell. "World beating 1080p high resolution HTC J Butterfly phone - Science Fiction World". sciencefictionworld.com.
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Original computer wallpaper pattern, as used in Xerox's Officetalk and Star
Getting into an elite college has never been more cutthroat. Last year, Harvard’s admissions rate dipped to a record low, with only 5.3% of applicants getting an acceptance letter. Stanford’s rate was even lower, at 5.05%.
These days, it takes more than impressive grades, a full roster of extracurriculars, and a deep commitment to community service to get into a well-ranked school. Experts say that a stellar essay is the linchpin that will win the admissions department over. But what is less well known is that different colleges favor particular topics and even specific words used in essays.
This is a key finding from AdmitSee, a startup that invites verified college students to share their application materials with potential applicants. High school students can pay to access AdmitSee’s repository of successful college essays, while college students who share their materials receive a small payment every time someone accesses their data. “The biggest differentiator for our site is that college students who share their information are compensated for their time,” Stephanie Shyu, cofounder of AdmitSee, tells Fast Company. “This allows them to monetize materials that they have sitting around. They can upload their file and when they check back in a few months later, they might have made several hundred dollars.”
Shyu says that this model has allowed AdmitSee to collect a lot of data very rapidly. The company is only a year old and just landed $1.5 million in seed funding from investors such asFounder.org and The Social + Capital Partnership. But in this short time, AdmitSee has already gathered 15,000 college essays in their system. Many are from people who got into well-ranked colleges, since they targeted these students first. The vast majority of these essays come from current college students who were admitted within the last two or three years.
AdmitSee has a team that analyzes all of these materials, gathering both qualitative and quantitative findings. And they’ve found some juicy insights about what different elite colleges are looking for in essays. One of the most striking differences was between successful Harvard and Stanford essays. (AdmitSee had 539 essays from Stanford and 393 from Harvard at the time of this interview, but more trickle in every day.) High-achieving high schoolers frequently apply to both schools—often with the very same essay—but there are stark differences between what their respective admissions departments seem to want.
What Do You Call Your Parents?
The terms “father” and “mother” appeared more frequently in successful Harvard essays, while the term “mom” and “dad” appeared more frequently in successful Stanford essays.
Harvard Likes Downer Essays
AdmitSee found that negative words tended to show up more on essays accepted to Harvard than essays accepted to Stanford. For example, Shyu says that “cancer,” “difficult,” “hard,” and “tough” appeared more frequently on Harvard essays, while “happy,” “passion,” “better,” and “improve” appeared more frequently in Stanford essays.
This also had to do with the content of the essays. At Harvard, admitted students tended to write about challenges they had overcome in their life or academic career, while Stanford tended to prefer creative personal stories, or essays about family background or issues that the student cares about. “Extrapolating from this qualitative data, it seems like Stanford is more interested in the student’s personality, while Harvard appears to be more interested in the student’s track record of accomplishment,” Shyu says.
With further linguistic analysis, AdmitSee found that the most common words on Harvard essays were “experience,” “society,” “world,” “success,” “opportunity.” At Stanford, they were “research,” “community,” “knowledge,” “future” and “skill.”
What the Other Ivies Care About
It turns out, Brown favors essays about volunteer and public interest work, while these topics rank low among successful Yale essays. In addition to Harvard, successful Princeton essays often tackle experiences with failure. Meanwhile, Cornell and the University of Pennsylvania tend to accept students who write about their career aspirations. Essays about diversity—race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation—tend to be more popular at Stanford, Yale, and Brown.
Based on the AdmitSee’s data, Dartmouth and Columbia don’t appear to have strong biases toward particular essay topics. This means that essays on many subjects were seen favorably by the admissions departments at those schools. However, Shyu says that writing about a moment that changed the student’s life showed up frequently in essays of successful applicants to those schools.
Risk-Taking Pays Off
One general insight is that students who take risks with the content and the structure of their college essays tend to be more successful across the board. One student who was admitted to several top colleges wrote about his father’s addiction to pornography and another wrote about a grandparent who was incarcerated, forcing her mother to get food stamps illegally. Weird formats also tend to do well. One successful student wrote an essay tracking how his credit card was stolen, making each point of the credit card’s journey a separate section on the essay and analyzing what each transaction meant. Another’s essay was a list of her favorite books and focused on where each book was purchased.
“One of the big questions our users have is whether they should take a risk with their essay, writing about something that reveals very intimate details about themselves or that takes an unconventional format,” Shyu says. “What we’re finding is that successful essays are not ones that talk about an accomplishment or regurgitate that student’s résumé . The most compelling essays are those that touch on surprising personal topics.”
Of course, one caveat here is that taking a risk only makes sense if the essay is well-executed. Shyu says that the content and structure of the story must make a larger point about the applicant, otherwise it does not serve a purpose. And it goes without saying that the essay must be well-written, with careful attention paid to flow and style.
Shyu says that there are two major takeaways that can be taken from the company’s data. The first is that it is very valuable for applicants to tailor their essays for different schools, rather than perfecting one essay and using it to apply to every single school. The second is that these essays can offer insight into the culture of the school. “The essays of admitted students are also a reflection of the community at these institutions,” Shyu says. “It can provide insight into whether or not the school is a good fit for that student.”
A final tip? If you want to go to Harvard and write about your parents, make sure to address them as “mother” and “father.”