Update: This issue now has a partial fix with iOS 7.1′s Perspective Zoom feature. Find out how to fix the wallpaper resize issue in iOS 7.1 here.
We wrote about a few iOS 7 tips and made a passing reference to iOS 7′s wallpaper zoom effect. It looks like people are really annoyed at this feature.
Any device that supports the parallax effect (iPhone 5s, 5c, 5, 4s and the iPads) in iOS 7 is going to give you some trouble as you try to customize the background/wallpaper. Here’s why iOS 7 auto-zooms / resizes the wallpaper after you set it and how to fix this issue.
The cause of the problem appears to be the parallax effect. Turning off the parallax effect has some impact on some devices. On the iPad, when we tried to set a custom wallpaper (from our own album instead of the stock wallpapers), turning off the parallax effect reduced the wallpaper “zooming in”.
The reason iOS 7 zooms the wallpaper as you set it is because the wallpaper has to be set for parallax. This means that the wallpaper should fit outside the iPad/iPhone screen.
You can turn this thing off by going to Settings → General → Accessibility → Reduce Motion → and turning ON the Reduce Motion switch.
When you do this, iOS 7 does not produce a parallax effect. This prevents it from automatically zooming in the wallpaper when it’s set.
Alternatively, if you want to set a wallpaper, have the parallax effect but still not have a zoom effect, all you have to do is make sure the dimensions of the wallpaper are more than that of the screen resolution.
Here’s the resolution dimensions. Make sure your wallpapers have dimensions much greater than the ones shown here (2x would be great).
- iPhone 5s/5c/5 – 640×1136 px (portrait)
- iPad 4/3 – 1536×2048 px (portrait)
- iPhone 4s – 640×960 px (portrait)
If the image isn’t big enough, you can even try to add a buffer space around the image (a white or black background will do) and put the image in the center. This will take a lot of trial and error though.
Readers have suggested a variety of apps that can automate the process for you. The apps will let you add a photo and automatically resize it to make sure it doesn’t get zoomed in when you use it as a wallpaper. We’ve not tried all the apps but they seem to be quite good at that: