Treo Wallpaper Randomizer With Visual Arts
In my Treo 680 Review of the new Phone 3.0 application a few months ago I pointed out that although I naturally love the fact that I can select any single image that I want as my wallpaper I am quite frustrated that neither Palm nor another third-party developer have yet found the energy or imagination to create a Wallpaper application that could randomly select (every hour or day) any one of the images in a particular image folder so that the display is not _always_ the same.
I am therefore delighted to say that one imaginative and resourceful developer (ToySoft) was challenged enough by my suggestion to come up with a terrific and very simple solution. He has just released an application called Visual Arts [thanks for the tip Robin] that now allows you to do exactly what I had previously described – select any image folder on your SD card and get your wallpaper to change regularly instead of remaining static all the time.
Just as it should be, once installed setting up Visual Arts as your new wallpaper organizer on your Treo 680 is as easy as 1, 2, 3… [UPDATE: Visual Arts is now also fully compatible with the Treo 650 and Treo 700p.]
1. First you’ll need to Enable the application and select a Picture Folder (above) that contains the images that you would like to use as wallpaper. [Note: ideally your images will already be resized to fit either the 320pixels width or 240pixels height of the wallpaper space on the Phone application. Large multi-megabyte images are not recommended.]
2. Next you should tick the Use Visual Arts JPG Library (which speeds the loading of your wallpaper) as well as choose whether you want your images to be shown at random (by ticking Randomize Picture) or in order and finally select whether you would like to Change Wall Paper “On Launch” every time you open the Phone application or “On Timer” by setting an interval of XX minutes.
3. Finally, Visual Arts also includes a fun little bonus “Sounds” functionality which allows you to assign a small MP3 sound file (included in the application) to play when you access each tab screen in the Phone application – for example when I select the Favorites tab I hear a woman’s voice saying “Favorites”. I’m not yet sure if I will keep this function enabled but it certainly made me smile when I first used it.
Once Visual Arts has been enabled and set up the wallpaper in my Phone application (above) now beautifully cycles randomly through my Art picture folder and collection of images such as those of Ansel Adams (above right) every time that I access it. To say that I am absolutely thrilled to have this new functionality enabled on my Treo 680 would be an understatement.
The entire episode of how Visual Arts came to market clearly continues to demonstrate to me that the biggest barrier to more original applications on our Treo is not a lack of technical abilty but one of imagination – I can only encourage and challenge developers to make better use of both.
[Please Note: my review is based on a preview copy of Visual Arts 1.1 which should become available within the next few days. The current version 1.0 (free 14 days trial) has nearly all the same functionality to the exception of the JPG Library and Randomizer. Please give it a try and add your own suggestions for improvements in the comments below.
UPDATE: Visual Arts 1.1 has been released and the great news is that it now also works with the Treo 650 and Treo 700p]
Treonauts never lack imagination…