Appledystopia: Independent Technology News

The Best iOS 16 Wallpapers of 2023

published by Rachel Gold
January 9, 2023 at 4:37 p.m. PST
  • Apple’s newest iPhones feature remarkable displays capable of 120 Hz refresh rates and resolutions up to 2796-by-1290.
  • With a new Always-On display, your iPhone’s screen is always active, showing its wallpaper continuously.
  • iOS 16 allows users to add different wallpapers to the lock screen and Home screens.
  • All of the wallpapers featured in this article are absolutely free.

Why You Should Care About Your iPhone’s Wallpaper

Your iPhone is expensive, and you probably want to use it to its fullest. Apple’s default wallpapers are gorgeous, but they tell the world that you don’t know how to use your iPhone. Anytime I see someone with an iPhone that has the default wallpaper, I figure they’re clueless about how to use an iPhone beyond texting and social media. If you want to show the world how smart you are, your iPhone wallpaper is an excellent way to start.

You also invested some serious cash in your iPhone. The newest iPhone 14 Pro Max costs well over $1000. It’s the BMW of smartphones. If you’re going to buy the best, it makes sense to give it an impressive look.

Your wallpapers also say a lot about your personality. If you have a dog, you can turn a favorite snapshot of your pup into an iPhone background. Those who are into surfing can use images of big kahunas conquering big waves. Religious people can praise the Lord every time they open their iPhone.

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You can change your iPhone to suit your personality, and wallpapers are an easy way to do so. With iOS 16, you can swipe between user-defined “skins”. They made it just as easy as switching between Apple Watch faces.

Wallpapers are also a convenient way to look up information quickly. For example, you could take a screenshot of a travel itinerary or shopping list and use it for wallpaper. With an Always-On display, you won’t even need to open your iPhone to view vital information.

Change Your Wallpaper Often

At Appledystopia, we want you to get the most out of your iPhone. This means enjoying it to the fullest. One of the easiest ways to freshen up your iPhone is to change its background wallpaper. We suggest doing this often.

When you’re starting to feel bored and blasé about your shiny, new iPhone, change how it looks. Get a new wallpaper, change the fonts, and replace some widgets, and your iPhone is like a new device.

Let’s take a look at how to change the wallpaper on your iPhone. Then we’ll look at Appledystopia’s top choices for the best iOS 16 wallpapers of 2023.

How to Change iPhone Wallpaper – iOS 16.2

Over the past few years, Apple has taken customization more seriously. For a long time, Android smartphones outclassed the iPhone in terms of UI modification. They still do. As Apple focused on performance and multimedia, iPhone users enjoyed better gaming and content creation capabilities than competitors. iPhone alternatives offered greater customization to contrive Android superiority.

Although Apple’s customization has improved, Android still offers more options. What Apple offers is enough, and I’m glad the company focuses on deeply useful features like Emergency SOS via Satellite. If you’re lost in the woods and can’t get cellular coverage, a pretty Home screen won’t save you. Apple’s priorities make sense! They’ve achieved a perfect balance of customization and optimization.

With iOS 16, you can customize your iPhone in many ways, and it’s effortless to do so. Apple even added an entirely new Settings screen for managing wallpapers and a new workflow to swipe between multiple designs.

iOS 16 gives you two options for changing the wallpaper. You can do it through the Settings screen or directly from the Lock screen. Let’s look at both methods.

Here’s how to change your iPhone’s wallpaper through the Settings app:

  1. Launch Settings. The Settings screen appears.
  2. Scroll down and tap on Wallpaper. The Wallpaper screen appears.
  3. Tap on the “Add New Wallpaper” button. A wallpaper gallery appears.
  4. Browse through the collection of wallpapers and tap on one that you prefer. A preview screen displays your chosen wallpaper.
  5. At this point, you can edit the screen’s date, time, and widgets by interacting with the user interface elements.
  6. When you’re satisfied with your wallpaper configuration, tap the “Add” button on the top right. A set of options appears at the bottom asking you to choose between “Set as Wallpaper Pair” or “Customize Home Screen.”
  7. If you want the Lock screen and Home screen to have the same wallpaper, choose “Set as Wallpaper Pair”. iOS will return you to the Wallpaper screen. You can exit the Settings screen and enjoy your new wallpaper.
  8. If you prefer a different Home screen wallpaper, tap “Customize Home Screen”. Tools to customize your Home screen appear.
  9. Tap on “Pair” to un-pair your Lock screen from the Home screen. You can now set a different Home screen wallpaper by tapping on Photos and selecting a background from your photo library.
  10. Another cool option is the “Blur” button. If you use it with a paired Lock Screen and Home screen wallpaper, the Home screen background will be a blurred version of the lock screen. It’s an excellent option if the Always-On display has you wondering whether you locked your phone.
  11. Tap “Done” when you’re finished customizing your iPhone’s wallpaper. The Wallpapers settings screen appears.

Your wallpaper is set. Close the Settings screen and enjoy!

As mentioned, you can access wallpaper settings directly from the Lock screen. Even better, much like an Apple Watch, you can create multiple Lock and Home screen “faces” in iOS 16, and swipe between them. Let’s first look at adding wallpaper directly through the Lock screen.

  1. With your iPhone locked, tap on the screen once. Your iPhone’s screen will brighten.
  2. Hold a finger down on the Lock screen until you feel a slight click. A customization screen appears.
  3. If you want to swipe between different wallpaper configurations you’ve already created, swipe left and right and tap once on the one you want to set. That’s it. You changed your wallpapers instantly, just like an Apple Watch face.
  4. If you would like to add a new wallpaper, you can also do it through this workflow. Tap on the Lock screen once. After the screen brightens, hold your finger down until you see the Customize screen.
  5. Tap on the “+” button on the bottom right. The Wallpaper gallery appears.
  6. Browse through the wallpaper collection until you find something you like. The Wallpaper will appear in edit mode.
  7. At this point, you can customize the date, time, and widgets. When you’re done, tap “Add” at the top right. Options appear at the bottom, giving you a choice between “Set as Wallpaper Pair” or “Customize Home Screen.”
  8. If you choose “Set as Wallpaper Pair” you’re done. iOS will return you to the customization screen. Swipe up from the bottom or press the side button to exit.
  9. “Customize Home Screen” takes you to a screen where you can un-pair the Lock screen wallpaper from the Home screen background. From there, you can select a photo from your collection or display a blurred version of the Lock screen on your Home screen.

That’s how you change wallpapers and customize the Home and Lock screens in iOS 16. My favorite feature is the ability to swipe between different iPhone faces directly from the Lock screen. That’s an Apple Watch feature that they added to the iPhone. It shows Apple’s intelligence in porting a great feature from one product to another.

Best iOS 16 Wallpapers of 2023

Now that you know how to change wallpapers on your iPhone, let’s look at some of the best wallpapers of 2023. These are all best suited for the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max; however, they’re appropriate for just about any iPhone that’s still running.

We don’t intend for you to download the images displayed on this page. That would be unfair to their creators. Instead, we’ll show you a gallery of excellent wallpaper images.

Clicking on the pics will open the original wallpaper from the creator’s website unless it’s a stock iOS 16 background. Apple has a huge advantage with its first-party wallpapers. Many are animated or can display weather conditions or transform during the day. Since they have yet to create a developer API to code dynamic wallpapers, Apple’s are some of the best around.

The wallpapers don’t appear in any particular order. They’re all excellent backgrounds. Ranking them makes no sense. Please enjoy the best iOS 16 wallpapers of 2023:

Apple Weather Wallpaper: This one is both gorgeous and useful. Enjoy real-time weather visualizations on your Lock screen, Home screen, or both. This is a stock iOS 16 wallpaper, so have at it!

Apple Weather Wallpaper

At Appledystopia, we believe the Dynamic Island is hype. But a few wallpapers take advantage of the notch in a cute way.

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Pikachu wallpaper:


Pikachu Wallpaper

Patrick wallpaper:

Patrick wallpaper

This oil painting is worthy of the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s display:

Oil painting wallpaper

Here’s some modern art for your iPhone:

Modern art wallpaper

This one is simple, yet alluring:

Modern linear wallpaper

This one would go well with a green terminal-style font for the date/time and widgets:

Modern green angular wallpaper

This one is adorable. I love the snaggletooth:

Adorable Snaggletooth Bear Wallpaper

A bit of perspective:

Earth From Space Wallpaper

For Apple fans:

Neon Apple Wallpaper

For Apple fans who like flowers (and probably hiking):

Flowery Apple Wallpaper

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