As popular as the HP TouchPad has proven to be following its price crash (none of the Android tablet manufacturers has a larger market share), what it really needs is some good exposure.
One way of achieving this is to head out and use your tablet in cafes and bistros so people can see it in action. While you can no longer find the TouchPad for $99 those that are still available remain affordable, so it is worth spreading the word. The only problem with this is that by default, the HP TouchPad home screen looks a little dull…
Looking at a boring plain background isn’t going to pique anyone’s interest but fortunately there are various ways in which you can liven up the HP TouchPad with fun, attractive wallpapers. These devices have a selection of images stored natively which can be applied; there is also the option to add your own backgrounds.
Native Background ChoicesIn order to check what options for background images are available natively, you can open the Launcher (the arrow in the lower-right corner) and select Settings > Screen & Lock where you will find the Change Wallpaper option.
Using the Select a File dialogue box you can then browse through your collection of images. These might have either been saved to your tablet, downloaded from a website, synced via a social network or be one of those that are provided natively.
To select a native option, open the Wallpapers directory, then the appropriate sub-directory and tap one of the displayed options. This will now become the new wallpaper and lock screen image on your HP TouchPad.
Adding Your Own WallpaperDon’t be limited by the native options – there are plenty of ways in which you can source images to use as wallpaper on your TouchPad.
The following options all require that you use the steps described above to apply the wallpaper image.
First, you can take advantage of the tablet’s front-facing camera to create an image that can be used as wallpaper. This might not be wholly flexible as getting an idea of the item you’re snapping (assuming it isn’t you!) can prove tricky without a viewfinder, but it can prove a useful option. Photos are stored on your TouchPad in the Photo roll directory.
You might alternatively download an image from the web. To do this, open a web page, find the image you wish to use and long-tap (or tab-and-hold) the image to display the context menu. Here, choose the Copy To Photos option to save to your tablet (you can also use Set Wallpaper to apply it instantly).
A third way of adding your own wallpaper to your HP TouchPad is to select an image that has been synced to your device via a social network. For instance if you use the Facebook app then any images that you have saved on that service will be synced to your tablet, stored in a folder with the same name as that on the social network.
So, you have three great options for finding and applying new backgrounds to your HP TouchPad. Surely there can’t be any more?
Wallpaper Switcharoo LiteAvailable from the HP App Catalog (available only on webOS devices), Wallpaper Switcharoo Lite is a very useful free app that not only allows you to set a random wallpaper based on a preferred category (or group of categories) it will also change the wallpaper from time to time, thereby keeping the background and lock screen looking fresh!
After downloading, open Wallpaper Switcharoo Lite from the Downloads menu in the Launcher. Begin by browsing through the categories, where you will find images grouped into such options as Architecture, Space and Cute (and many others beside).
With your choice selected, flick the On/Off switch to make Switcharoo Active and then alter your timing – you can choose anything from a change of background every 5 minutes to once a week.
When done, tap the Switch Now button and enjoy the wallpaper!
A premium version of this app is available with a larger selection of images. However you should find that the lite version is more than sufficient.
ConclusionIt is good to see so many options for alternative wallpaper/lock screen images on the HP TouchPad. While the native options might be sufficient for most, the options Wallpaper Switcharoo features can really bring your TouchPad to life, particularly if you are a power user.
The flexibility of the web download option, creating images from the camera and third party options makes this yet another excellent reason in favour of the HP TouchPad.
Let us know if you have found any other webOS wallpaper apps that you would like to share.