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Make your own custom EVO or Nexus One wallpaper

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We get a lot of questions about our HTC EVO 4G wallpapers because we’ve all taken the extra step to customize our wallpaper. Last year, we reported on simple and free ways to save your HTC EVO battery life and one lesser known way to save battery life is to have a black or dark wallpaper.

Your smartphone is like a series of tiny light bulbs on a dimmer- white backgrounds require all bulbs to be on and black backgrounds require them at minimum dimness. The dimmer the light, the less battery (or watts in the light bulb scenario) they require. Beyond that, custom wallpapers are fun. You can use the following tutorial in a variety of ways, even turning your company logo into a black pattern with these steps.

Step one: find your shot


Go to Flickr.com or Images.Google.com to search for images. You can find one that is already dark (“black texture” as seen above) or we’ll show you below how to make it dark. Searching for “texture” is helpful.

Don’t worry about creative commons rights as you are not publishing your new wallpaper anywhere, just using it on your phone (it’s akin to printing a web image and putting it in your wallet).

Select your image, then copy the URL.

Step two: open Picnik


Go to Picnik.com/app, you don’t even need an account to use this photo editor. Click the “Library” tab, and select “Get from Website.”

This is where you will paste in your URL and click the “Open!” button.

Step three: resize


Next, it will open the image in the “Edit” tab. Click the “resize” button and keep the “keep proportions” button selected unless warping doesn’t matter. The size for all EVO and Nexus One wallpapers is 960 x 800 pixels which is what you’re aiming for.

On the image above, we told it to be 960 wide, but it was smaller than 800 tall, so we had to tell it to be 800 tall and move on to the next step…

Step four: crop


Click the “crop” button while still in the “Edit” tab. You’ve adjusted the size but you just need to crop off a bit, so drag the markers until the numbers above say 960 first and 800 second.

Step five: turn black & white


Click the “colors” button and take the saturation all the way to zero, making it completely black and white.

Step six: darken


Click the “exposure” button and take the exposure down as far as you can while keeping the image or texture still intelligible. Play with the contrast too if you wish, but remember that if your texture or image has white in it, a white background contrasted with black can make your app icons difficult to see which is why making it as dark as possible is ideal.

Step seven: save


Click the “Save & Share” tab on the top right, select a 10 compression quality on the slider and click save.

Click here to see a sample of a finished product.

Step eight: get the image to your phone

  • Turn on your HTC EVO or Nexus One and open a browser.
  • Enter the URL of your edited image (hint: upload to Flickr or your own website, get the URL and shorten it with bit.ly. Trust us, it’s necessary).
  • If you want to use the sample we created for testing this step before you make your own, in your phone browser, type https://agentgeni.us/wall (see, a shortened or easy to remember URL allows you to manually type it in if you want, simplifying this step).
  • When you see the large image, hold your finger down on the image until a menu pops up (then you can stop pushing down with your finger).
  • Select “set as wallpaper” and you’re done!

Show us what you come up with!

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Jason Matthews

    July 9, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    I'm assuming these backgrounds work on my tablet as well?

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Smartphones

LG G Flex will have a curved display: why it even matters

The LG G Flex is exciting as it is curved, but there are much deeper implications of this announcement that your company should take note of before your competitors do.

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LG G Flex to feature curved display

You may have heard that Samsung will launch a smartphone with a curved display (although they’ve so far fallen short on their plans to produce their smartphone prototype that is completely flexible), but did you know that LG is hot on their heels, with rumors of the LG G Flex launching this November?

As depicted above, what is believed to be called the LG G Flex is similar to a standard smartphone in shape, with just a slight curve, using plastic OLED screen technology

CNET reports that sources close to the project say the G Flex will have a six-inch display and November is the projected unveiling, but that could always be pushed back (although to be in time for the holiday shopping season, we suspect it will be a November launch).

Samsung will likely unveil their curved display phone this month, and there are rumors that the Galaxy Note 3 could feature a curved display as well.

Curved does not equal flexible

So why develop a curved display? Analysts point to the device actually fitting around your face naturally for making calls, and others note that it fits in a rear pocket more comfortably with a curve.

Curved does not equal flexibility, though, as the devices are still stationary, but the reason the LG G Flex being curved matters to you is that mass production of this type of technology is the precursor to what’s coming next – flexible devices.

Looking into a crystal ball

LG already introduced a curved 55-inch OLED tv panel, and was first to the finish line with the ability to mass produce fully flexible plastic screens, announced last year with their electronic paper display (EPD) product, sold overseas.

The LG EPD is not just flexible, allowing the screen to bend up to 40 degrees from its center, it is a 6 inch, 1024 x 768 e-ink plastic screen. The technology used mimics the way traditional ink appears on paper, which many prefer over the backlit flat panel displays of tablets and computers. The EPD is only 0.7mm thick, weighs 14 grams (that’s 1/33 of a pound) and is said to be scratch resistant when dropped.

Flexibility is next, and it is relevant for your brand not just for the novelty of having a flexible device, but because the way people interact with your website or app could be changing sooner than you might suspect.

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Smartphones

iPhone 6 concepts beginning to emerge

With all the hub-bub about iOS 7 and iPhone 5, several iPhone 6 concepts have emerged. The most prominent feature is the wrap around screen.

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Looking into the future

Whether you are an Android lover or an Apple fanatic, people love to fantasize about what the newest phone release will bring, from hologram keyboards, an added projector, and so forth. As for the iPhone 6, the most common feature designers and fans think it will have is the wrap around screen. AGBeat has featured this concept several times, and while it has yet to become reality, there seems to be high hope for the iPhone 6 release.

Dribble users have designed and shared several concept models, all of which have the wrap around screen, also known as the infinity screen. This design allows a more engaged user experience, by removing the side casing. The sides have a flat, touch-responsive volume control and a much thinner design overall. And some additional revisions (based upon Cladio Guglieri’s original) have included wifi, Bluetooth, do not disturb, airplane mode, and rotation lock icons, right on the side.

These additions give you instant access to your most used controls, without the need to tap through to gain access to the settings screen. Also, with the extra features, the opposite side of the phone shows your message status, emails, and music controls. DeviantArt also has multiple postings of the infinity screen design. This is absolutely amazing to me because there is so much information in such a limited amount of space. The thickness of the phone in the concept states 0.30 inches; it is really hard to believe an email icon can fit and be legible, but it does.

Other futuristic possibilities

There are also several versions that include aluminum plus carbon fiber casing, in many different variations. Although most still remove the edges from the iPhone 5 design. Behance users have also created several examples of this design concept. With touch sensors wrapping the display edge, concept designers believe no borders means nothing between your hands and the display. And they hope accidental gestures can be prevented with the sensors, although this is just a concept. You certainly would not want to pick the phone up to answer a call from your boss and accidentally start your iTunes playlist.

The only problem I see with this beautiful design is protecting the edges, despite designers touting the durability of the new technologies. As someone who frequently drops their phone, and attempts to keep it safe by using a protective case, I wonder how you can utilize the edges, but still keep the phone safe. Also, I would be interested to see, how often holding the phone triggers the side sensors. Otherwise, I think the wrap around design is both beautifully functional and a long overdue, welcome feature.

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Smartphones

Contacts+ app adds productivity to any Android

Android users: Contacts+ is a great new way to manage your contacts, making a potentially frustrating process simple and streamlined, adding productivity to your phone.

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Contacts+ is more than a contact manager

Contacts+ is more than just a contact manager though, it is also a dialer app and combines photos with information from all your connected services: WhatsApp, Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. Contacts+ is a welcome alternative to the Andriod favorite Smartr. Since Smartr was recently acquired by Yahoo!, Contacts+ could not have come at a better time.

You can send free and regular messages without switching apps, sync pictures to your contacts, including cover photos, from Facebook and get birthday reminders.

How the app works

With optimization for both Android phone and tablets, you have the ability to sort your contacts in a variety of ways without worrying if you will be able to see all the data. You can sort by groups, favorites, smart contact (prioritization by frequency or A-Z), and search message history of your contact from one place. If you happen to have the same contact in your phone more than once, Contacts+ will sync them together to save you any confusion.

One tap opens a contact card, and then you can tap again to make calls or email them. Once the contact card is open, you can also catch up on their social media life. Leo from Contacts+ writes, “they have a sync process with Facebook and Google+, essentially users connect their accounts (authentication is performed securely through the respective service) and once an account is connected, Contacts+ links and syncs contacts based on unique identifiable information, enabling them to automatically connect your contacts and their identities.”.

New features have been added

The newest features include high res picture sync, a new black theme, T9 search in the call log, Dialer+ shortcut that can be opened over your call log/contacts screen, the ability to call back directly from the incoming message pop up and ignore accents improvements.

The only drawback is that some of the “sorting” features are a bit harder to find. You will need to tap through a couple of different options to find the ability to sort by last name, for example. But, once you get used to it, it really is a nice way to manage your contacts. Contacts+ is free in the Google Play store.

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