BlackBerry PlayBook Wallpapers and Sizing Explained

BlackBerry PlayBook Wallpapers
By Kevin Michaluk on 9 May 2011 01:54 pm EDT

How to Properly Size Custom Wallpapers for the BlackBerry PlayBook

One of the slightly confusing things about the BlackBerry PlayBook is the way it displays wallpapers on the homescreen. Knowing that the landscape resolution of the PlayBook is 1024 pixels wide by 600 pixels tall, you'd think a 1024 x 600 wallpaper would display perfectly on the device in landscape and get scaled down in portait to fit the width (and show bars above/below), but  currently that's not the case. Instead, right now if you set a 1024x600 sized image to be the homescreen wallpaper, you'll find the image you get on the homescreen in landscape is sort of zoomed in and cut off, as if it's been scaled up. That's because it has been scaled up. Keep reading for the explanation and how to.

The reason for this is that the wallpaper canvas that the PlayBook currently utilizes is actually 1024 x 1024 pixels, which is the max width and height of the wallpaper in both landscape and portrait rotations. In landscape, the displayed portion is the 1024x600 region centered in in the 1024x1024 canvas. And in portrait, you see the centered 600x1024 region of the 1024x1024 canvas.

So if you want to make a custom wallpaper that looks perfect on the homescreen in landscape orientation, you'll need to size the desired image you want displayed on the homescreen to 1024x600 pixels and then extend the canvas on either side up to 1024, so that the actual full size of the wallpaper is 1024x1024. In landscape the image will fit the homescreen perfectly. When rotated you'll lose some of the image from left to right and see your canvas on the top and bottom, but at least for landscape you're good to go. The image above that explains exactly what you'll see of the 1024x1024 canvas in either orientation. The image in the middle is 1024x600, set on a 1024x1024 canvas.

Since landscape is the orientation used the majority of the time on the PlayBook when on the homescreen and navigating, I'm hoping RIM will tweak up the way it handles wallpapers. Personally I think it would make more sense to be able to use a 1024x600 image as a wallpaper, which would display perfectly on the homescreen, and from there when rotated into portrait that image would be scaled down to the 600 width (no image cut off) and then black borders would be placed above/below the image to fill in the remaining space. 

Create and Discover BlackBerry PlayBook Wallpapers: We've re-started our BlackBerry PlayBook Wallpaper Gallery fresh for the 1024x1024 dimension since the 1024x600 wallpapers we were doing previously don't display all that nice. You can now use our Wallpaper Maker tool to create your own PlayBook wallpapers and download others from the free user-contributed gallery. Let's get that gallery loaded up!

If you need some extra help making your own wallpapers for the BlackBerry PlayBook, be sure to check out this thread in the CrackBerry forums. Included is a PSD file for Photoshop that will show you just how your wallpaper will display. 

Create your own BlackBerry PlayBook Wallpapers
Download Free BlackBerry PlayBook Wallpapers

Reader comments

BlackBerry PlayBook Wallpapers and Sizing Explained


So I collect 350+ wallpapers after your PlayBook wallpapers post :D hope we had 1024x1024 sizing before :)

Definitely needs to accept wallpapers at 1024x600 without messing around. Think of how many wallpaper worthy pics you find out on the tubes. No one has time to tweak each and every one of them.

Come on RIM!

Yeah rim should really look into being able to do both.
Allowing those who have a standard 1024x600 to have a bar on either end (colour) of their choice or to have it upscaled as well as 1024x1024.

Why isn't there an option to have two separate wallpapers depending on orientation?

I think that would make the most sense ever

I can deal with wallpapers. What annoys me more is that the photos app doesn't rotate photos when you turn the device. It's so strange because the video app does!

I think it's fine, but adding a few options would be a good idea (think.. windows has let us stretch, tile etc our wallpapers for deacdes!!)
-rotated 1024x1024 (as is)
-added bars on top and bottom for 1024x600 or reverse for 600x1024 (no stretch)
-sepparate ones (multiple wallapaers) for each orientation (morph, or switch)
-option to select which bar (near the top or bottom, or left right) is displayed in a 1024x1024 square (effect will look cool when not just rotatiting, but shifting to the correct area).

and Kevin says, "don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry" (Nice Graphic, lol)
Who's that little man being crushed in Hulk Kevins massive right hand..(rhetorical?)

I'm glad to be helpful with my PSD contribution!

I've gotten enough free apps from CrackBerry, only fair to give some back to the community XD!

Why not just use a good looking 1024x1024 image? Then you see a nice view either way. That is what I've been doing.. No need for any extending of the canvas.. Just crop a nice view with the focal point centered horizontally and slightly above center vertically, to avoid the focal point being cut by the icon bar. Then scale it to 1024x1024 and you're good to go... Looks great in landscape or portrait..

Unfortunately the CB Wallpaper Maker is now using 200X200 which is too small. 1024X1024 is the best size to use and it would be great if the CB Wallpaper Maker would do this!

I hope there is now a way to delete the pre loaded BlacKBerry Wallpaper Gallery folder from the Pictures Gallery wish is already poorly implemented and woefully disorganized.

hi how about if the pic is 1024x600 but i want the full image as my wallpaper - i tried the ratio's above but they cut out some of the content ___ about to pull my hair out, please help.

wallpaper maker still doesn't size the picture properly, just saying. still has that zoom effect.