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Create dynamic wallpaper on iOS without banner notifications


As we noted in our previous hands-on looks at iOS 14.3, Apple has brought back the Set Wallpaper action to the Shortcuts app. With this handy action, users are able to create dynamic wallpaper that can be triggered using automations, such as when connecting an iPhone to power, or at certain times of the day. In addition, this tutorial shows you how to (temporarily) disable the annoying Shortcuts banner notification for that uber-clean look.

Note: please keep in mind that some of the parameters mentioned in this tutorial are just personal suggestions. Shortcuts brings forth the ability to create tons of customization, so feel free to experiment and make it your own.

How to create dynamic wallpaper in iOS 14.3

Step 1: Create a new album in the Photos app called Wallpaper and place your desired wallpaper inside.

Step 2: Open the Shortcuts app and create a new shortcut with the Find Photos action. Use the following parameters with Find Photos:

  • Find [All Photos] where
  • Album is Wallpaper
  • Sort by Random
  • Limit to 1 item

Video: Dynamic wallpaper tutorial

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Step 3: Add a second action below the first action using the Set Wallpaper action, which is found in iOS 14.3. Use the following parameters with Set Wallpaper:

  • Set [Lock Screen, Homescreen]
  • Wallpaper to [Photos]
  • Disable Show Preview
  • Perspective Zoom (up to the user and iOS 14.4 beta only

You basically don’t have to change anything about Set Wallpaper outside of disabling Show Preview. It’s simply taking whatever output it gets from the first Find Photos action, and sets that as the wallpaper.

Tap Next and give your Shortcut a name (I named mind Random Wallpaper) and tap Done.

Step 4: Create a new automation by tapping the Automations tab at the bottom of the main page of the Shortcuts app. Tap the + button in the upper-right-hand corner and select Create Personal Automation.

Step 5: Select your Automation trigger, which can be location based, time of day based, etc. In this tutorial, I set my automation trigger to Charger, so whatever I charge my iPhone the wallpaper changes. Ensure that you have Is Connected selected and click the Next button in the upper right-hand corner.

Step 6: Tap Add Action and search for and select Run Shortcut. Tap the Shortcut variable, and select the Random Wallpaper shortcut that you created in the previous section from the menu that appears. Tap the Next button in the upper right-hand corner to continue.

Step 7: On the confirmation page, disable Ask Before Running, and select Don’t Ask when prompted. Tap the Done button in the upper right-hand corner to finish creating your shortcut automation.

Step 8: Connect your iPhone to power (or use whatever automation trigger you selected) to test out your dynamic wallpaper shortcut.

A basic dynamic wallpaper setup in iOS 14.3

The cool thing about this setup is that you can easily swap out the photos placed in the Wallpapers album that you created in step 1 to have fresh dynamic wallpaper whenever you want. Now let’s talk about how to limit those pesky notification banners.

How to disable Shortcuts banner notifications on iOS 14

When your shortcut automation executes, iOS will display a banner notification at the top of the screen to indicate that the shortcut has been triggered. Unfortunately you cannot permanently disable the notification, as it will be restored upon reboot. Perhaps there will be an option to disable the notifications permanently in the future.

However, you can temporarily disable the shortcuts banner notification that appears, which will result in a cleaner and more seamless appearance. To do so, simply perform the following steps:

Step 1: Go to Settings → ScreenTime and tap See All Activity on the Daily Average graph.

Step 2: Scroll down to the bottom of the screen to view the Notifications graph. Tap on the graph to view all apps that have sent notifications.

Step 3: If you don’t see a section for Shortcuts, tap the Show More button. Tap the Shortcuts section, and it will take you to a page to manage notifications for Shortcuts. If iOS won’t allow you to tap Shortcuts, tap the Notifications graph again. Be sure to watch our hands-on video walkthrough above if you need additional guidance on this.

Step 4: Disable notifications for Shortcuts by turning off the Allow Notifications switch.

Temporarily disabling Shortcuts banner notifications

Conclusion

Shortcuts is an absurdly powerful utility for iPhone users, and this example is just scratching the surface of what’s possible. You can even take it a lot further with Set Wallpaper alone, by incorporating time of day automations to transition between light and dark mode wallpaper similarly to how it is on a Mac. What are some of your favorite Shortcuts-based automations? Sound off down below in the comments with your thoughts.

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