It’s pretty damn amazing the difference a custom homescreen wallpaper actually makes.

Really, it is!

Maybe its because the iPhone now feels more like an iPad, with it’s extra-spaced homscreen icons and custom homescreen wallpaper, but now I kinda understand all those horrible Winterboard themes that used to pop up in the bad old jailbreaking days, when people were more obsessed about customizing their iPhones to within an inch of their lives.

Not that I’m against jailbreaking – nay, I had to jailbreak to get the custom wallpaper you see here. Apple, in their infinite wisdom, decided that 3G users weren’t cut out for custom homescreen wallpapers, or a frigging rotation lock – no multitasking I can understand, what with the iPhone 3G’s lack of RAM and all that, but it’s the 3GS battery percentage fiasco all over again – Apple denying features just because they want you to upgrade.

Thanks to my jailbreak, Apple’s so called “walled garden” is significantly lessened – I’ll have my custom homescreen wallpapers, Apple-implemented rotation lock, and damn battery percentage, thank you very much.

Downsides so far? There’s a (not unexpected, mind you) performance hit. What is surprising, however, is the fact that the main performance hit doesn’t come from multitasking (at least, not in my limited testing, more on this later), but from the custom homescreen wallpaper.

Yes, you read that right – running multiple apps has less of a performance hit than having a static image displayed behind your icons.

Multitasking on the 3G has proved to be not too bad – while I am rebooting my device more than usual due to applying the combination of custom homescreen with or without multitasking, running Twitter, Settings, Instapaper, and Articles as well as Messages saw no real performance decrease – it really was no different to closing and re-opening the app from the homescreen, ala 3.x, apart from the fact that all apps now seem to employ some kind of state-saving – perhaps this is due to the fact that no apps truly support multitasking yet?

Having a custom homescreen wallpaper, on the other hand, saw a more noticeable decrease in overall snappiness, particularly when swiping between homescreen, opening folders, and even unlocking the phone. While it was definitely noticeable, it wasn’t molasses-slow; for now, I’ll be keeping this feature on because it just adds so much more to the iPhone experience. It sounds kinda weird, but it’s true. Imagine if your iPad had a static black wallpaper…

Bonus points if you can name where the custom homescreen wallpaper comes from..

Posted via email from Benny’s randomly-updated Posterous