"We all want to escape our circumstances, don't we?"
Benedict Cumberbatch may have been talking about acting, but the sentiment rings true for all of us at some point or another. Whether it's work, school, or just boredom at home—we all wish for an escape sometimes.
I may not all have loads of cash to travel the world, but I do have a smartphone. With just a few taps, I can immerse myself in images of overwater bungalows in Bora Bora, or videos of white sandy beaches and turquoise water off the Thailand shore—any time I want.
Now, thanks to KittehFace Software, I can make my escape even simpler by putting these exotic places right on the homescreen of my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 using their free Photosphere Live Wallpaper app for Android.
PLW integrates Photo Spheres right on your homescreen, which are composed of multiple pics stitched into a 360-degree panorama. Currently, only Android devices running Jelly Bean 4.2 can take Photo Spheres, though there are ways around it. For me, that defeats the whole purpose—I want to go somewhere exotic, not my backyard.
Once you start PLW, you'll be prompted with a popup that asks you if you'd like to set a wallpaper. Tap on that button, and you'll be taken to the app's one preloaded wallpaper—a beautiful beach sunset. After you set the wallpaper, you can enjoy paradise on your homescreen.
The wallpaper is sensitive not only to touch, but also to the movement of your phone—when you pick up the phone, the picture scrolls upwards; when you put the phone down, the picture moves with it.
You can also upload your own custom images onto PLW and change other settings, such as accelerometer behavior and 360° rotation. If your device can't capture Photo Spheres, you can surf through the ones taken by other users online like I do. You can find and download them via Google Maps or through the #photosphere hashtag on Google+.
If Google doesn't do it for you, you can download pictures from sites such as Sphereshare, which has a few thousand user-submitted Photo Spheres. If you can't save them directly to your phone, you can download them onto your computer and transfer them to your device.
Now, you can escape the drab moments in life by simply unlocking your phone and gazing at your homescreen. I've already spent way too much time scrolling through my Galaxy Note 2's homescreen.
I need a life.
Want to help support Gadget Hacks and get a great deal on some sweet new tech? Check out all the deals on the new Gadget Hacks Shop.