Wallpaper Designer by Alexandru Halmagean icon

Wallpaper Designer ($0.99) by Alexandru Halmagean is the finest wallpaper app I have found yet. It’s not your typical collection of stock photos that most apps offer. Instead, it lets you create your very own retina display backgrounds from a variety of cool elements. Do you like traditional, modern, industrial, celestial, colorful, or abstract? You can find all of those styles and more. Do you like to put your apps on shelves, in boxes, or on glow patterns? You can do that too.

Wallpaper Designer by Alexandru Halmagean screenshot

When you open up the app, you get a menu containing the following: Frames, Glows, Shelves, Colors, and Extras. I’ll go through each item on this menu, one by one.

Let’s start with Frames. First choose your background — you can tap the camera icon to take a photo in-app, or tap the stack o’photos icon to choose one from your photo library. Or, tap Background to choose one of theirs; nearly twenty options in a variety of colors and patterns. Next, tap Frame and pick one of the ten choices of a 4×4 grid of frames to individually “frame” each of your apps on the page. Now here’s the cool part: tap Photos to bring up a screen with the words Tap Me in each frame. Tap each one in succession to put one of your own photos in each and every one of those frames! If you are one of those people that likes the frame look but hates to have empty frames on your not-quite-full-of-apps pages, here is your solution. Instead of looking at blank frames, you can look at your favorite photos. And then of course tap Save to save your creation.

Now, let’s check out Glows. Again, select your background from your camera, photo library, or their Background choices. Next, pick from more than twenty different glow patterns. Don’t worry about the color for now, just pick the pattern you like. Now, here’s what sets this app apart from other glowing icon apps: go to Colorize. Move the slider to pick from a variety of gorgeous color combinations! There are endless combinations.

I think Shelves is pretty self-explanatory. There are even more choices for Background here. Of course you have the option to use your own photos, but the app provides dozens of choices, divided into categories: Wood, Walls, Stone, Plain, and Metal. Then choose from about a dozen different kinds of shelves.

Lots more to see in Colors. Background is divided up into Plain, Fabric, Stone, Metal, and Colorful. Tap Pattern for more than twenty totally different kinds of patterns, kitchy, comical, classic, contemporary — you name it. Again, don’t worry about the color just yet, for you will go into Colorize next to choose your palette.

If you don’t really want to create your own wallpaper, and just want some pre-made choices, go to Extras. There you’ll find dozens and dozens of wallpapers, divided into the following categories: Unique, Bars, Shelves, Squares, and Fancy. In this section, you can tap the screen to see what the wallpaper will look like with apps in it.

This app is really designed to make the most of iOS 4 and the ability to personalize your home screen wallpaper. Now, pre-iOS 4 users can’t make home screen wallpapers, of course, but you could still use the app to create some lovely choices for your lock screen.

If this app sounds like something you’d enjoy, let us know in the comments. Five lucky winners will get a promo code! Comment below and/or retweet this article for your chance to win. Contest ends October 19 at 1:00 p.m. EDT.