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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.]

 Treo Wallpaper Visual Arts 

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

Posted by Andrew on February 22, 2007 at 10:21 AM

Treo Software | Utilities

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by cindie | Feb 22, 2007 12:26:06 PM

Will it work with the Treo 650?

by Ken | Feb 22, 2007 1:36:13 PM

Nice, very nice indeed.

by Andrew | Feb 22, 2007 3:45:10 PM

Cindie - unfortunately at present Visual Arts will only work with Phone version 3.0 found on the Treo 680. However, the developer may have plans to release versions for the Treo 650 and Treo 700 at some point.

Cheers, A.

by Ben | Feb 22, 2007 5:08:37 PM

Why - oh why - must the author charge for this software? It's such a simple thing, just release it for free! It seems like every little thing on the Treo has to cost money!

by Andrew | Feb 22, 2007 5:21:46 PM

Ben - Visual Arts may be a 'simple' application but without any revenues this particular developer and many others like him would have very long ago have had to professionally develop Treo applications.

I don't feel that it should be free but at the same time $5.95 really is more of a 'token' payment. At the same time I also believe that a better option would be for Palm to actually implement this functionality in ROM on all Treo smartphones...

Cheers, A.

by Will | Feb 22, 2007 5:53:40 PM


Can you advice/suggest, what free application for Treo 680 which good and useful (productivity and multimedia). Also does Treo 680 have push email capability?


by danny | Feb 23, 2007 3:40:27 AM

Hi all, the latest version of VA now supports the Treo 650/700p and 680.

here is the beta. You need xviewer.prc if you want to use the VA custom JPG lib.


by Ed Bacchus | Feb 23, 2007 1:38:28 PM

This is fantastic. I installed this yesterday and love it already. Great find and suggestion on your part.

by Dave | Feb 24, 2007 11:01:40 AM

Will you please design a website for me? It's such a simple thing. Oh, and I dont want to pay you for it.

by d3xlabs | Feb 25, 2007 10:41:58 AM

perfect timing! I was just surfing to find out what other wallpapers I can use on my treo 680. This app will be handy!
kudos to Andrew on the review, AND to ToySoft for the "imagination".

by tgwaste | Feb 28, 2007 7:26:44 PM

you know.. the person who writes this stuff is usually pretty good and knoledgable and what he says and recommends. This case is definately the exeption. this program is horrible and buggy.. the newest version 1.1 is even worse than 1.0.

by Andrew | Mar 2, 2007 8:52:58 AM

tgwaste - Visual Arts has been 100% stable for me and I therefore do not understand your comment about it being "buggy" at all. I have had no problems whatsoever with either version 1.0 or 1.1 so perhaps it is another of your installed applications that is actually at fault.

Cheers, A.

by Scott | Mar 8, 2007 2:10:48 PM

Thanks for the review of this product. I have one comment/complaint of the product. I am using the trial version of 1.1 on a Treo 650.

The program seems to chop the background picture in strange ways. I am using the blank jgp and visual JPG library to speed up loading. I have the phone app to only show one line of the speed dial area. VA appears to expect one to have 2 lines of speed dial and therefore chops the picture early leaving a line of white at the bottom of the page right before my 1 line of speed dial. I am also not sure if the program does any resizing of the picture to fit the Treo's screen. If this is true, it would be nice if the manual discussed picture size so one could resize the photos to better match the size that VA shows them in. (i.e. Photos that would show nicely in the regular background mode, now appeared to be cropped on the sides when using VA.)

Otherwise, I love the program and it is something that I have wanted for a long time. Good Work.


by Scott | Mar 8, 2007 5:12:40 PM

I was informed by Toysoft that there is a new version of this software that fixed my concerns. Look for version 1.2.


by createmo | Nov 2, 2008 7:14:33 AM

Thank you for your website ;-)
I made on photoshop backgrounds for myspace or youtube and ect..
all the best and thank you again!

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