By combining Shortcuts with the Unsplash stock footage website, you can automate iPhone and iPad to change your home screen wallpaper every day.
When it comes to personalizing your iPhone or iPad, customizing the wallpaper is common practice. Some use a recent photo, others use one of the default built-in options, and there are plenty of wallpaper apps that you can download for free.
All of those options require some action on the part of the user, but iOS 14 added a new Shortcuts action that can change your wallpaper automatically and as often as you like. We have also combined this shortcut action with the free image website Unsplash to use unlimited high quality photos as wallpaper.
If you want to download the shortcut directly without creating it yourself, you can use the link below. Make sure to enable external shortcuts on your iPhone or iPad by going to Settings> Shortcuts> turn on “Allow untrusted shortcuts”.
Creating the shortcut to the wallpaper
- Open the Shortcuts app on your iPhone or iPad. If you don’t see it, you can download it for free from the App store.
- Tap the + icon to create a new shortcut
- Tap in the search box and type “URL”. Tap the Action titled “URL”.
- In the new action, tap the box with “apple.com” and paste the following link: https://source.unsplash.com/featured/?mountain
- Tap on the search box again and type “Get content from URL”, then tap on that action to add
- Tap in the search box and type “Get images from post”, then tap to add
- Then find “Set Wallpaper” and add it as a final step.
- Expand the “Show more” drop-down menu below that action and uncheck the “Show preview” option.
Now you can press the “Play” button on this shortcut and your wallpaper will change automatically. In the “Set wallpaper” action, you can customize whether to change the home screen, the lock screen, or both at the same time.
It would be useful for reference later to name your shortcut with something unique. Tap the three dots icon at the top of the screen when you see a shortcut and enter a custom name.
Using the Unsplash URL above, the shortcut will search for images tagged with the word “mountain”. You can customize this by changing that part of the URL to any one-word term, such as “ocean”, “texture” or “abstract”.
Automate wallpaper shortcut
Now that you have created this shortcut, you can add it to your home screen as an icon. Each time you touch the icon, your wallpaper will change. Users can also automate this shortcut by time of day, location, or many other factors.
- Open the Shortcuts app and tap the “Automations” tab.
- Tap the + icon and choose “Create a personal automation.”
- You can now choose any number of triggers to run your shortcut. For this example, choose “Time of day”
- Set the “Time of Day” to 7:00 am, or your preferred time. Then you can choose to repeat Daily, Weekly, or Monthly. Then, tap “Next”
- Tap in the search box and type “Run shortcut.” Add this action.
- Tap the box on the new action and a list of your shortcuts will appear. Find and select the wallpaper shortcut you made in the previous steps.
- Tap “Next”, then turn off the “Ask before running” option. Confirm by tapping “Don’t ask”. Then touch “Done”.
You have now set this shortcut to change your wallpaper automatically at a certain time of the day. If you ever want to delete this automation, you can swipe left and tap “Delete.”
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