Aaron Pearce, the developer behind some of my favorite HomeKit apps like HomeRun, HomeCam and HomePass, has a new utility available today for iPhone and iPad called HomePaper, which solves a very specific problem: boring wallpapers in Home apps. Apple Home’s room and home settings allow you to assign a photo or one of the nine colored backgrounds as wallpapers. The problem is that photos of a camera in your home are often too fun to serve as wallpapers, and Apple’s other options are too limited and similar to each other. That’s where HomePaper comes in.
The Pearce app combines the best of both types of default Apple wallpapers, taking a photo, desaturating it, and overlaying a colorful gradient. You can do something similar in a photo editor, but HomePaper automates the process with a simple application that allows you to experiment with different looks, reaching for one that you like quickly and easily, the hallmark of an excellent utility. The result is an image that helps to visually differentiate the houses and rooms from each other, as a standard photograph would do, but with an additional explosion of color and style.
HomePaper makes creating great-looking wallpapers effortlessly with a huge set of pre-built gradients that you can associate with an image from your photo library or by taking a photo with your iPhone or iPad. You can also choose the two gradient colors yourself using the iOS color picker. Once you’ve chosen or created a gradient that you like, tap the download button in the lower left corner of the screen to save it to your iCloud photo library, where it’s available for addition to the Home app.
HomePaper is by far the simplest of Pearce’s applications, but it’s no less useful. I had settled on a single generic background offered by Apple, which was the same for all my rooms, because the choices did not inspire me to mix them and there was too much friction in my creation. With HomePaper, however, I spent a few minutes taking photos around my house and then applying gradients, getting results that look great with minimal effort. The Home app looks nicer now when I open it, but it’s also easier to tell one camera at a time, which makes HomePaper a great addition to my HomeKit apps.
HomePaper can be downloaded for free, allowing you to create a single wallpaper. An in-app purchase of $ 0.99 unlocks the creation of unlimited wallpapers.