Given how catastrophic and traumatizing a dead smartphone can be, Ben Vessey has created a better alternative to the tiny, easy-to-miss battery icon in the corner of the iPhone’s screen: a set of colorful wallpapers that dynamically change based on how much battery life the device has left.
Those struggling with battery anxiety may have trained their brains to be extra attentive to when that tiny icon turns red, but for others, it’s easy to miss until it’s too late and their smartphone suddenly turns off unexpectedly—immediately inducing a state of FOMO. But when your phone’s background image is a constant and obvious reminder of its battery life, and a warning of when it’s time to seek power, a dead iPhone is no longer a concern.
Vessey currently sells two collections of the Dynamo wallpapers on their website which each include three different designs. The Apple pack features designs inspired by the company’s easily recognizable designs and color palettes, including the Mac’s Finder face, while the Faces pack features cartoony characters as well as a trio of wallpapers loosely based on Harvey Ross Ball’s iconic black and yellow smiley face.
How do they work? Each collection, which go for about $5.50 each, includes video and PDF instructions for setting up four separate automations using the iOS Shortcuts app that automatically changes your iPhone’s background based on how much charge is left. There’s no jailbreaking involved and the setup is promised to take about 10 minutes. iOS 14 is required, but the dynamically changing wallpapers should work on devices dating all the way back to the iPhone 6S.
The wallpapers automatically switch out to a design warning low battery life when the iPhone’s charge level hits 20%, and each collection also includes a version that clearly indicates when the device is charging, to avoid those times when you think you’ve plugged in a power cable correctly, or have positioned it properly on a wireless charger, when in fact you haven’t and you return a half-hour later to find your device completely dead.