I’m not the biggest wallpaper fanatic. My Mac’s wallpaper is the default one. It’s the same story on my Android phone. The last really good wallpaper app I tried on my phone was Chrooma. It generated cool Material Design wallpapers every 5 minutes. A while later I changed my custom ROM and stayed with the stock Lollipop wallpaper.
I’ve been testing TapDeck, a wallpaper discovery app for the past couple of days and the app tells me I’ve changed my wallpaper over 30 times. And I’ve “liked” five of the wallpapers. I’ll be coming back to them soon. So it turns out, it’s not me, it’s the wallpapers – or specifically, the process of discovering, saving and applying wallpapers is too much of a hassle for me to actively seek them out. And I’m sure I’m not alone here.
Ok so let’s talk about TapDeck. I tried TapDeck first a few months back when it was in beta. The app’s premise is simple, you double-tap on the homescreen to change the wallpaper and swipe up to view contextual information about the wallpaper (you can change the gesture from settings if it’s interfering with your launcher). When you first launch the app, you’re asked to select at least three wallpapers you like. TapDeck will then suggest more images like them. Yes, it’s not always accurate, and you won’t like every wallpaper that TapDeck suggest, but hey, trying new stuff is a part of the discovery process. And after a while, the double-tapping gets addictive.
TapDeck sources wallpapers from places like Reddit, Flickr, Imgur, Wikipedia and themoviedb. When you swipe up, you see contextual information like the comments from the Reddit thread, the map of the location where the photo was taken, the Wikipedia entry and more. Plus, there’s an option to, set it as current wallpaper, like it, share it and more. The most fascinating features are “Drop” and “Retap”.
“Drop” lets you quickly drop the wallpaper into one of your follower’s homescreen. And it works surprisingly well. I got a notification when one of the co-founders of the app dropped me a wallpaper of the GE building in Manhattan. I tapped the notification and just like that, my wallpaper changed. “Retap” is basically like retweet for wallpapers. When you Retap a wallpaper it will show up in your followers feed. From the sidebar, you can access all your liked wallpapers, plus view the history of all the wallpapers you’ve cycled through.
On the surface, TapDeck might look like a wallpaper switcher app but there’s a potential social network and discovery engine lurking behind. When you open the app, you’ll be presented with a feed of wallpapers. This is populated from people you follow, new wallpapers and things like that. Right now it’s wallpapers, but the founders tell me there’s potential for more content that they’ll be exploring in future releases – apps, books, movie recommendations – all on your homescreen.