TECH TUESDAY: smart home screen FOR people who ARE likely TO lose THEIR PHONES

“I’m prone to losing things,” said a mother I sat next to yesterday at the park, and then she proceeded to tell me about driving away with her cell phone on the roofing system of her car. I can relate, and I’m quite amazed that I have not lost a cell phone yet. except in my own house for a couple hours at a time.

My spouse has a smart home screen set up on his phone. It shows a picture of us and reads “Ryan’s phone. If found, call 510.555.1837 for rewardz”, where the 555 number is our home phone number.

When Heather and I went to the Disney social media mothers celebration last week, I was concerned about losing my phone on the road, so I made a new home screen for myself and put her phone number on it because she and I were together without our partners. She did the same, and fortunately neither of us lost our phone, even with all that getting on and off of rides at a theme park.

Please excuse the obscuring of our phone numbers, Internet.

I used the app Over, which allows you to open an image and type text on top. Here’s how to do it

Install the app Over on your phone. ($1.99 and worth it. See how I used it on Valentine’s Day.)

Open the app and choose a photo from your phone that will become your background. select one that has enough negative space that you can put text on it. An area with sky, grass, or concrete works well.

Click add text and then double tap to type your text.

Once you’ve typed the message you want to display, “If found, please call XXX-XXX-XXXX”, you can drag the text to place it and pinch it to resize. Don’t place your message too high or too low on the photograph.

Rotate the navigation wheel on Over to get the save button. Your edited image will be in your video camera Roll. (I’m choosing iphone terminology here today.)

Now, go into settings on your phone and find Wallpapers.

Select “Choose a new Wallpaper” and select the image you just created with text on it.

Scale the image as required to place the text in the visible area of the phone. It might take you a couple of takes to get the size and placement of the text right. A portrait-oriented image makes this easier.

If you are a Photoshop expert and want to create a customized wallpaper for your phone on your computer, and then email it to your device, here are the dimensions:

iPhone 5, iphone 5s, iPod touch 5th gen – 1136 x 640

iPad Air, iPad 4, iPad 3, iPad small with Retina display – 2048 x 1536

iPad 2, original iPad small – 1028 x 768

iPhone 4S, iphone 4 – 960 x 640