Does life imitate art? Who knows. But when it comes to technology, it’s safe to say it emulates both, as evident from the vast archive of Apple wallpapers.
Sleek, modern, stylish, artsy – and, perhaps, a bit bland. Whether you pick an iPhone, a Macbook, or the latest AirPods, they sure don’t look quite as futuristic as Apple products used to. White plastic, grey aluminum, and some pastel colors here and there have become the staples of Apple design, cementing the brand’s aesthetic language comparable only to generic office buildings.
Long gone are the times of pioneering visual ideas that gave us the iMac G3 with translucent and neon-hued plastics or the dual-screen workstations that resembled computers from science fiction movies of the 1960s.
At Apple, utilitarianism reigns supreme these days. Luckily, the tech giant’s endeavors in the area of wallpapers are still adventurous to this day and remain a feast for the eyes, as you can see in the digital Apple wallpaper archive. The extensive collection has been compiled by a Reddit user Nucleam and holds visual material that spans from System 7, a 1991 OS for Macs, to the latest releases.
There’s computer-generated psychedelia from the turn of the century as well as nature-oriented photographs, some of which were taken by Steve Jobs himself. The noughties then introduced artworks by van Gogh, the French Impressionists, and even Russian Constructivists to the mix. But the evolution of Apple wallpapers didn’t stop there and transitioned to flower images inspired by the American photographer Irving Penn or abstract sceneries resembling AI-generated visuals.
The online album also contains what could be labeled as Apple wallpaper apocrypha: illustrations released to promote various Apple events or products, and even photos that were dropped from the final release of macOS 10.8 Mountain Lion.
Still hungry for more? Then you can also dive into the collection of past iPhone wallpapers. The vault contains not only the iconic imagery featured in the very first version of iOS but also recent live wallpapers and strange-looking promo pictures that never made it to the final release.
The author was so kind that you can download all items in the depository in the highest possible resolution, given the age of some of the resources. Rich in detail and color, providing stimulating sensory experience, many of these wallpapers are artifacts from the times when technology was not as mundane as it is today and aimed to compete with fashion, furniture, and other works of design.