Jul 30, 2023

Download pretty wallpaper inspired by ... cable management?!?

By David Snow • 7:50 am, August 10, 2023

Mac maven and designer Basic Apple Guy pumps out intriguing desktop wallpaper you can put on your Apple devices like Mac, iPad and iPhone.

But the latest one, “Flow,” which he put out Wednesday, came from a truly surprising place — his obsession with cable management in his home office and computer setup.

Cable management is the usually the bane of folks working to put together their computer setups in ways that won’t get laughed off the social media stage for exhibiting unsightly cable spaghetti.

So it’s surprising to see it inspiring art, rather than just popping up as a constant source of users’ frustration in our Setups coverage.

As usual, the new wallpaper is available for free download at the Basic Apple Guy website. So don’t ignore the tip jar! Offer him a little support his unpaid work.

Other recent wallpaper from the same source include three striking and diverse examples released in July. They took inspiration from space travel, Edward Hopper’s iconic painting Nighthawks and a closeup photo allegedly shot by Steve Jobs.

The previous month, Basic Apple Guy released cool iPhone 14 schematic wallpapers.

When it came time to write my recent post about my office cable management, I wanted a wallpaper to serve as the desktop image across my shots. With a few of the wallpapers that I’m cooking not quite ready for prime time, I turned, once again, to Midjourney to generate a vibrant image to serve as my background wallpaper. A simple prompt and a couple of variations later, and Flow was the result.

The exported image out of Midjourney was a paltry 1024×1024. That’s 41% the resolution of an iPhone mini. and Stretched across a display, that resolution looks ghastly. To help it look passable on a larger display I used Pixelmator Pro to create the 6016 × 3889 image available here. Pixelmator’s Super Resolution was used to upscale the image, which was followed up with a few passes with the deband processor. After that, the texture and clarity of the image were reduced to help produce an image that looked as smooth as possible. Finally, a subtle grain was reintroduced and a few final edits were made to polish off the wallpaper.

The final result is an image that by no means is the crispest wallpaper you’ve ever seen, but it should look respectable enough on an iPhone or most sized monitors. I’ve been using it on my Studio Display for the past week and felt it looked good enough that I felt comfortable posting it. Flow is available on the iPad, Mac, and iPhone. Enjoy.

iPad | PNG | 9.2MB | 2732 × 2732

Mac | HEIC | 11.7MB | 6016 × 3889

iPhone | JPG | 1.2MB | 1290 × 2796

For iPhone downloads, he adds this tip:

If you are using iOS 16 and get a ‘dirty’ looking wallpaper when applying the iPhone version, try adjusting the exposure a single point and re-setting the wallpaper. This appears to be an iOS issue.