Screen Life, be developer Jeffrey Mejias, bills itself as a one-stop app for all your iPhone and iPod Touch wallpapering needs. What Screen Life actually is, at least with the current update, is a decent idea with extremely limited functionality and a host of missing features.
Design and Functionality:
The basic idea of Screen Life is simple: The app offers a wealth of custom backgrounds for your iPhone, most of which feature large blank spaces that can be filled with your own photos. To do this, the user simply selects one of the stock backgrounds, adds a photo from the device’s photo reel, and then pinches and zooms the picture to match available white space. Once aligned, another quick tap finishes off the processes by auto-cropping the photo and overlaying the foreground. The end result is a complete wallpaper that can be added to the iPhone’s photos for use later.
And while all of the aforementioned features work—and for the most part, work well—Screen Life’s execution leaves a great deal to be desired. Pinch and zoom was extremely picky, and I found myself accidentally stretching my photos out of proportion at the slightest provocation.
Also advertised is the app’s ability do download new wallpapers from the developer’s site. There’s even a button for this on the app’s home screen, which when clicked, launches mobile Safari and the specified destination. However, there are few wallpapers to be found. This is tremendously upsetting, and a definite drag for the app, as having a vast library of online images would be quite the boon.
Even the stock wallpapers left a lot to be desired: Most of the two-dozen images are shelf-like themes with very little originality. Two of my favorites were shown in the App Store preview, but were not present in the actual app. Perhaps these features are coming in future updates, but any app that’s missing advertised functions is a tough sell to recommend.
It is worth to mention, however, that upon crafting of this review, the developer wrote to advise that they have apparently performed a server-side update, thus populating more content for the end user and rectifying our largest complaint.
The more I pushed Screen Life’s buttons and played with its features, the more I felt like the app was in Beat. Combined with several “coming soon” notices on the developer’s website—Screen Life felt only half-done. When compared with existing iPhone wallpaper sites available on the web—most of which can be had for free—any benefits the app has to offer simply pale. If you absolutely need an easy-to-use crop function with basic shelf backgrounds attached, then Screen Life is a dollar bargain. Otherwise, your App Store money is probably best spent elsewhere.
Screen Life iPhone app [ iTunes Link ] requires iOS 3.1.3 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.
The iPhone app review rating: