I got into the habit of regularly changing wallpaper on my phone. Below is the list of services and descriptions of processes I use to explore interesting images, some of them end up as wallpapers on the phone. On semi-regular basis I update my tumblog with these images.
In Google+ Android client they have clear option for every image to set it as a wallpaper. This is very convenient. Interface to explore photos from one’s circles is also very convenient both in desktop browser and in the Android client.
From the very beginning the service became popular amongst photographers. Some of them specifically collecting images suitable for backgrounds. Have a look at wallpapers of Romain Guy, or geometric background of Tim Bray (he has more in other folders).
Recently, they also introduced search in posts. One of the searches rich on images is #potd (Picture of the Day).
Flickr also recently introduced an Android app. “Set as wallpaper” feature is unfortunately missing. Nevertheless it is still gives a nice interface to explore photos and favorites of others. Since this feature is missing this is a little not straightforward to set an image as a wallpaper. If the image is licenced with some Creative Commons license, it may be downloaded and set as a wallpaper with standard Gallery app. Otherwise it may be shared in Tumblr, the post then is opened in a browser and image is set as a wallpaper from there–not straightforward at all.
Viewfinder.io was a webapp by Steve Losh (it is currently offline). It provided a nice way to discover interesting images on Flickr. Only a single image was shown, you could either add it to favorites, skip it, or downvote it. Authentication with Flickr was done with OAuth. Using it, I have accumulated a few dozen of interesting images in my Flickr favorites. Supposedly with time it used some machine learning algorithm to suggest images that fit one’s tastes better.
Now I am exploring favorites of others in the mobile app or on the site and selectively and systematically adding some of them to my favorites.
In Tumblr I have subscribed to a few dozen tumblelogs rich on visual content. Just a couple of images looked good as mobile device wallpapers, still it is nice to take a peep at liberal arts world from time to time.
Appbrain is a web and Android app to keep track of installed applications and discover new ones. They recently introduced wallpaper functionality where one may set a wallpaper on a phone from a desktop browser. It is not clearly mentioned in site navigation, the best way to get into it is to search for “wallpaper” and it will suggest the link.
In recent years 500px site emerged as a destination for high quality photography. On the site they replaced behaviour of right mouse click, it now mentions copyright. One still may get a link with developer tools in Chrome or Firefox and paste it into Tumblr image post. I still have not formulated for myself what would be a fair use of images. Any image that I use and post to the tumblelog has clear attribution mentioned. It seems to me at the moment that this is fair use, but it may change in the future.
Last week Flickr surpassed 200 million images licensed with Creative Commons licenses. So in the situations where one cannot allow hesitations Flickr may be a good starting point for images that may be re-used. In this blog I am trying to illustrate each post with an image in the beginning, all of them are Creative Commons licensed images from Flickr. I personally license all my images and videos that are posted online under Creative Commons licenses, typically CC-by.