Will Apple allow Custom Dynamic Wallpapers in iOS 7? Here’s a proof of concept


One of the major new features in iOS 7 in the looks department is the dynamic or live wallpaper.

As of now, iOS 7 betas come with just two dynamic wallpapers with a bubble design, and with slightly different colorations. The animation in these wallpapers is quite subtle, however, bubbles also move based on the device’s accelerometer. So you can move the bubbles in any direction by titling your device.

It looks pretty cool, but it is unclear if Apple will allow third-party developers to create custom dynamic wallpapers.

Developer Hamza Sood has created a proof of concept custom dynamic wallpaper using iOS 7 SDK. He explains:

Dynamic wallpapers are stored in bundles which get loaded into SpringBoard, located at /System/Library/ProceduralWallpaper.

A bundle declares the class name for each dynamic wallpaper it contains via the key “SBProceduralWallpaperClassNames” in its Info.plist file (The expected value for that key is an array, so bundles can contain multiple dynamic wallpapers)

Each class representing a dynamic wallpaper must conform to the “SBFProceduralWallpaper” protocol, which is declared in a private framework called “SpringBoardFoundation”. The view returned via this protocol is what is actually displayed on screen. For convenience, SpringBoardFoundation contains a class called “SBFProceduralWallpaper”: a UIView subclass which returns itself for the view to be displayed.


Sood says it’s a “completely ridiculous” proof of concept, but it reminds us of the potential of the feature. It is quite possible that Apple will launch a new section in the App Store to allow users to download paid or free dynamic wallpapers, though there are no clues available at the moment which indicate it, as even Sood has used private APIs in his proof of concept.

Jailbreak developers could use this private framework to create live wallpapers, and release them on Cydia. We had already seen quite a bit on interest on that front for tweaks such as LiveWallpaper, LivePapers even before iOS 7 was unveiled.

We really hope Apple opens it up to third-party developers either ways as it would really help in unlocking the potential of the feature. It would be a pity that hundreds of millions of iOS users will be stuck with just the bubble dynamic wallpapers. And more importantly, live wallpapers have been available on Android for quite sometime.

Let us know what you think in the comments.