Too Much Clutter? Here’s 15 Minimalist Wallpapers for Your iPhone, iPad, Android, or Desktop

Busy wallpaper images don’t work very well on your iPhone, iPad, or any device where you need to have lots of icons on the screen. Here’s a set of minimalistic wallpaper images that won’t clutter up your desktop.
Since each device requires you enable the wallpapers differently, we won’t cover that here. For your iPhone or iPad, head into the Settings, and for Android you’ll want to long press on the desktop to access the Wallpaper settings.



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15 Minimalist Wallpapers

Here you are—click on each of them to head to the full-size image download. Since many of them are actually wallpaper packs, you’ll possibly have to download and then extract them to get to the images. We recommend 7-Zip for .rar files.

Got some better ideas for wallpaper? Let us know in the comments.

How to Record Your Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, or iOS Screen

Screenshots are great, but sometimes you need to create a video recording to really get your point across. You can record your computer’s desktop, your smartphone’s screen, or your tablet’s display.
This process gives you a video file, which you can do whatever you like with. Upload it to YouTube or email it to a friend. Put together a video tutorial or just capture a problem you’re having so you an demonstrate it later.

Record Your Mac, iPhone, or iPad Screen the Easy Way

Whether you want to create a screen recording, a video of something on your iPhone or iPad, or you need to create a full tutorial with high-quality editing, Capto is the best tool for the job.
You can record your screen along with audio to create instructional videos, you can capture video directly from an iPhone or iPad, or you can capture video from the webcam on your Mac. And once you’re done, you can use the high-quality video and image editing tools to make it perfect.
And they have a  free trial. So you don’t have to pay for anything unless it does what you need it to.
Download the Free Trial of Capto Today

Windows

RELATED ARTICLEHow to Record Your Desktop to a File or Stream It Over the Internet with VLC
Windows doesn’t include a built-in tool for creating desktop recordings. There are many tools for doing this, but make sure you avoid the junkware bundled into their installers if you go hunting for them. You can actually use VLC to record your desktop, and that’s a convenient option. There’s a good chance you already have VLC installed, and it’s a Swiss army knife that will allow you to quickly record your desktop without installing anything else.

RELATED ARTICLEHow to Record Your Desktop and Create a Screencast on Windows
For more advanced screencasts, we recommend OBS (Open Broadcaster Software). It’s very powerful, free, open-source tool that allows you to do more. Insert watermarks, embed a video of your webcam while capturing your desktop, choose specific desktop windows, and so on. OBS is widely used for video-game-streaming on Twitch.tv because it’s so powerful, but it works just as well for creating a professional-looking video of your desktop.
If you want something even more powerful that also comes with editing capabilities, you can pay for Camtasia, the best software on the market — but be warned, it’s not cheap. Luckily they do have a free trial, so you can test it before you buy.

Mac OS X

RELATED ARTICLEUse Your Mac’s QuickTime App to Edit Video and Audio Files
Mac OS X offers a convenient, built-in screen-recording tool. It’s one of the many useful functions hidden in QuickTime, which is more than just the simple media player it looks like on the surface.
To record your Mac’s screen, open the QuickTime application — press Command + Space to open Spotlight search, type QuickTime, and press Enter to do so. Click the File menu on the menu bar, select New Screen Recording. You can then click the little menu to the right of the Record button and choose whether you want to capture audio from your microphone in the video, too. This will allow you to narrate along with your actions. Click the Record button to start when you’re ready.

QuickTime will minimize itself to a small icon on the right side of your menu bar and start recording. Click Stop when you’re done, and you’ll be able to preview and save your video. QuickTime can also edit the video, trimming out any unnecessary bits.



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For something more powerful, you may want to try Open Broadcaster Siftware (OBS). It’s not just for Windows — it works on Mac, too. If you want something even more powerful that also comes with editing capabilities, you can pay for Camtasia, the best software on the market for both Macs and PCs, but like we mentioned earlier, it’s not cheap.

Linux

There are quite a few open-source screen-recording applications for Linux, and you’ll probably find many of them if you pull up your Linux distribution’s package manager and do a quick search. There’s even a way to do this with ffmpeg and other commands from the terminal, if you’re into that sort of thing.
One of the most popular and longest-standing open-source tools for this is recordMyDesktop, which you can install from the Ubuntu Software Center or your Linux distribution’s package management interface of choice.
Launch recordMyDesktop and use its options to choose video and audio quality levels. This tool can record your entire desktop or just a small portion of it. recordMyDesktop works well, provides a simple interface, and offers the most important desktop-recording options.

If you want something more powerful, try Open Broadcaster Software (OBS). It’s available for Linux as well as Windows and Mac OS X.

Android

RELATED ARTICLEHow to Record Your Android Device’s Screen With Android 4.4 KitKat
Android allows you to capture a video of your device’s display and save it as an mp4 file. This feature was added in Android 4.4, and it still works on Android 5. To do this, you’ll need to connect your Android device to a PC and use the adb command. Apps on your phone can’t start recording your display on their own — this prevents apps from initiating a recording to capture you entering sensitive data.
Connect your Android device to a Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux PC with a USB cable and use the “adb shell screenrecord” command to start recording its display. If you have a rooted device, you can also initiate a screen recording with an app on your device — but that app needs root permissions.

iOS

RELATED ARTICLEHow to Record a Video of Your iPhone or iPad’s Screen From Your Mac
Apple now offers a convenient, official way to record an iOS device’s screen. This requires a Mac running OS X Yosemite and an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch running iOS 8 or newer. Unfortunately, this feature is only available for Mac users. It’s intended for developers to capture their apps in action, and iOS developers will need to have Macs anyway.
If you have a Mac and an iPhone or iPad, you can connect your iPhone or iPad to it and use the QuickTime application to capture its screen. Just select “New Movie Recording” instead of New Screen Recording, click the menu button, and select the connected iOS device instead of your Mac’s built-in webcam.


You can live-stream your desktop instead of recording it, too. On a desktop PC or laptop, OBS works very well for live-streaming. You can even live-stream your desktop straight from VLC!

Do Non-Windows Platforms Like Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux Get Viruses?

Viruses and other types of malware seem largely confined to Windows in the real world. Even on a Windows 8 PC, you can still get infected with malware. But how vulnerable are other operating systems to malware?
When we say “viruses,” we’re actually talking about malware in general. There’s more to malware than just viruses, although the word virus is often used to talk about malware in general.



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Why Are All the Viruses For Windows?

RELATED ARTICLEWhy Windows Has More Viruses than Mac and Linux
Not all of the malware out there is for Windows, but most of it is. We’ve tried to cover why Windows has the most viruses in the past. Windows’ popularity is definitely a big factor, but there are other reasons, too. Historically, Windows was never designed for security in the way that UNIX-like platforms were — and every popular operating system that’s not Windows is based on UNIX.
Windows also has a culture of installing software by searching the web and downloading it from websites, whereas other platforms have app stores and Linux has centralized software installation from a secure source in the form of its package managers.

Do Macs Get Viruses?

The vast majority of malware is designed for Windows systems and Macs don’t get Windows malware. While Mac malware is much more rare, Macs are definitely not immune to malware. They can be infected by malware written specifically for Macs, and such malware does exist.
At one point, over 650,000 Macs were infected with the Flashback Trojan. [Source] It infected Macs through the Java browser plugin, which is a security nightmare on every platform. Macs no longer include Java by default.
Apple also has locked down Macs in other ways. Three things in particular help:

  • Mac App Store: Rather than getting desktop programs from the web and possibly downloading malware, as inexperienced users might on Windows, they can get their applications from a secure place. It’s similar to a smartphone app store or even a Linux package manager.
  • Gatekeeper: Current releases of Mac OS X use Gatekeeper, which only allows programs to run if they’re signed by an approved developer or if they’re from the Mac App Store. This can be disabled by geeks who need to run unsigned software, but it acts as additional protection for typical users.
  • XProtect: Macs also have a built-in technology known as XProtect, or File Quarantine. This feature acts as a blacklist, preventing known-malicious programs from running. It functions similarly to Windows antivirus programs, but works in the background and checks applications you download. Mac malware isn’t coming out nearly as quick as Windows malware, so it’s easier for Apple to keep up.

Macs are certainly not immune to all malware, and someone going out of their way to download pirated applications and disable security features may find themselves infected. But Macs are much less at risk of malware in the real world.

Android is Vulnerable to Malware, Right?

RELATED ARTICLEDoes Your Android Phone Need an Antivirus App?
Android malware does exist and companies that produce Android security software would love to sell you their Android antivirus apps. But that isn’t the full picture. By default, Android devices are configured to only install apps from Google Play. They also benefit from antimalware scanning — Google Play itself scans apps for malware.
You could disable this protection and go outside Google Play, getting apps from elsewhere (“sideloading”). Google will still help you if you do this, asking if you want to scan your sideloaded apps for malware when you try to install them.
In China, where many, many Android devices are in use, there is no Google Play Store. Chinese Android users don’t benefit from Google’s antimalware scanning and have to get their apps from third-party app stores, which may contain infected copies of apps.
The majority of Android malware comes from outside Google Play. The scary malware statistics you see primarily include users who get apps from outside Google Play, whether it’s pirating infected apps or acquiring them from untrustworthy app stores. As long as you get your apps from Google Play — or even another secure source, like the Amazon App Store — your Android phone or tablet should be secure.

What About iPads and iPhones?

Apple’s iOS operating system, used on its iPads, iPhones, and iPod Touches, is more locked down than even Macs and Android devices. iPad and iPhone users are forced to get their apps from Apple’s App Store. Apple is more demanding of developers than Google is — while anyone can upload an app to Google Play and have it available instantly while Google does some automated scanning, getting an app onto Apple’s App Store involves a manual review of that app by an Apple employee.
The locked-down environment makes it much more difficult for malware to exist. Even if a malicious application could be installed, it wouldn’t be able to monitor what you typed into your browser and capture your online-banking information without exploiting a deeper system vulnerability.
Of course, iOS devices aren’t perfect either. Researchers have proven it’s possible to create malicious apps and sneak them past the app store review process. [Source] However, if a malicious app was discovered, Apple could pull it from the store and immediately uninstall it from all devices. Google and Microsoft have this same ability with Android’s Google Play and Windows Store for new Windows 8-style apps.

Does Linux Get Viruses?

RELATED ARTICLEWhy You Don’t Need an Antivirus On Linux (Usually)
Malware authors don’t tend to target Linux desktops, as so few average users use them. Linux desktop users are more likely to be geeks that won’t fall for obvious tricks.
As with Macs, Linux users get most of their programs from a single place — the package manager — rather than downloading them from websites. Linux also can’t run Windows software natively, so Windows viruses just can’t run.
Linux desktop malware is extremely rare, but it does exist. The recent “Hand of Thief” Trojan supports a variety of Linux distributions and desktop environments, running in the background and stealing online banking information. It doesn’t have a good way if infecting Linux systems, though — you’d have to download it from a website or receive it as an email attachment and run the Trojan. [Source] This just confirms how important it is to only run trusted software on any platform, even supposedly secure ones.

What About Chromebooks?

RELATED ARTICLEHow a Chromebook is Locked Down to Protect You
Chromebooks are locked down laptops that only run the Chrome web browser and some bits around it. We’re not really aware of any form of Chrome OS malware. A Chromebook’s sandbox helps protect it against malware, but it also helps that Chromebooks aren’t very common yet.
It would still be possible to infect a Chromebook, if only by tricking a user into installing a malicious browser extension from outside the Chrome web store. The malicious browser extension could run in the background, steal your passwords and online banking credentials, and send it over the web. Such malware could even run on Windows, Mac, and Linux versions of Chrome, but it would appear in the Extensions list, would require the appropriate permissions, and you’d have to agree to install it manually.

And Windows RT?

RELATED ARTICLEWhat Is Windows RT, and How Is It Different from Windows 8?
Microsoft’s Windows RT only runs desktop programs written by Microsoft. Users can only install “Windows 8-style apps” from the Windows Store. This means that Windows RT devices are as locked down as an iPad — an attacker would have to get a malicious app into the store and trick users into installing it or possibly find a security vulnerability that allowed them to bypass the protection.


Malware is definitely at its worst on Windows. This would probably be true even if Windows had a shining security record and a history of being as secure as other operating systems, but you can definitely avoid a lot of malware just by not using Windows.
Of course, no platform is a perfect malware-free environment. You should exercise some basic precautions everywhere. Even if malware was eliminated, we’d have to deal with social-engineering attacks like phishing emails asking for credit card numbers.
Image Credit: stuartpilbrow on Flickr, Kansir on Flickr

How to Stop YouTube from Automatically Playing Videos on iOS, Android, and the Web

Over at YouTube, they love it when you watch more YouTube. If you’re sick of YouTube automatically queuing up more videos for you, however, it’s easy enough to turn the autoplay feature off and go back to watching your videos at your own pace.
RELATED ARTICLEHow to Stop YouTube From Autoplaying the Next Video on Chromecast
On both desktop and mobile platforms, YouTube will automatically play a suggested “Up Next” queue if you don’t intervene–as seen in the screenshot above where a clip from Last Week Tonight with John Oliver automatically plays when the previous one completes.
While, fortunately, turning off autoplay is pretty easy, unfortunately, the option is not linked to your Google account, so you’ll need to toggle the setting on every device you use. Let’s take a look at how to do so now. (Note: this article deals with YouTube’s web interface and mobile apps. If you want to turn it off for Chromecast viewing, it’s in a completely separate place.)



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Turning Off Autoplay On YouTube’s iOS and Android Apps

The method for turning off autoplay on iOS, Android, and other mobile YouTube incarnations is pretty straightforward because the toggle itself is, relatively, front and center. To disable the function, simply load a video, then look for the “Autoplay” toggle, as highlighted in the image below. The toggle looks the same and is located in the same place on both iOS and Android.

If you do not see this toggle on your mobile YouTube app, then the app most likely needs to be updated. In one rare case on one of our devices, we didn’t see the toggle until we completely uninstalled the app (despite updating it) and then reinstalled it.
As a small aside for readers who found their way to this article searching for a way to halt autoplaying video on the Apple TV (which uses the YouTube App for tvOS, a branch of iOS)–you won’t find an on-screen toggle like you do with the mobile apps, but you can turn autoplay off by launching the YouTube app on your Apple TV and looking in Settings > Autoplay.

Turning Off Autoplay on The YouTube Website

Just like the mobile applications, there is a toggle on the browser-based version of YouTube, albeit not quite as prominent. In the screenshot below you can see the video we’re watching plus the long list of “Up Next” videos that will keep playing if we don’t intervene.

If you look closely at the upper right corner of the “Up Next” queue, you’ll see the toggle.

Flip it off and the “Up Next” queue just becomes a suggested playlist and not an unending rotation of videos.


That’s all there is to it–flip the autoplay toggle across all the devices you use YouTube on and the annoyance of autoplaying videos vanishes.