Android live wallpapers are exciting, eye-catching, and a conversation starter. These often feature animations or a looping video displayed on your home screen. In addition, some live wallpapers are interactive, responding to your touch. Live wallpapers aren’t new, as they stretch all the way back to Android 2.1 Eclair. Android has come a long way since then, and live wallpapers have evolved to be more complex and more efficient. We’ve gathered some of the best live wallpaper apps in this list.
Good to know: learn how to create custom app icons to make your Android stand out even more.
Cartogram allows users to transform their device’s screen into an interactive and visually stunning map experience. Live wallpapers created using the app incorporate real-time maps that showcase the user’s location and move as the person moves around in the environment. Alternatively, the app offers a “Random” option that shuffles live wallpapers featuring locations from around the world.
The app also offers customization options, like the ability to add labels to Live Wallpaper, making navigation easy, and removing the need to open Google Maps.
When it comes to the maps, they are highly customizable. Several styles are available to choose from, and most elements are also editable, so you can easily create your own unique alternative to someone else’s design. You can also change the color of the location dot so that it stands out better in the environment.
2. Device Info R Live Wallpaper
Price: Free / $0.39
Device Info R Live is an interesting live wallpaper app that collects data about your phone and displays it as a background on your home screen.
It allows you to view a number of things at a glance, such as battery levels, temperature, CPU and RAM usage levels, and storage information.
It’s possible to customize this wallpaper in various ways. For example, you can select animation speed or change or style the clock (12-hour with AM/PM or 24-hour). However, to have access to more advanced options, such as background, foreground, and layout customization, you will need to pay for a subscription (which also gets rid of the ads).
Tip: want to make another screen your home screen on your Android device? We show you how.
3. Live Wallpapers, 4K Wallpapers
Price: Free / 0.99 per month
Live Wallpapers, 4K Wallpapers offers a robust library of both live and static wallpapers. To start browsing options, switch to the “Live” tab in the app. Alternatively, try “Categories” and check those that are tagged with “Live Wallpapers.”
While there are many live wallpapers to choose from, to access some of them, you’ll need a Pro subscription (which also removes ads). Even some of the free ones require that you watch an ad to unlock them.
On the bright side, if you’re the type to get easily bored with your wallpaper, the app offers an automatic wallpaper changer feature so that you can enjoy more variety when looking at your screen. You can even double-tap the screen to change between live wallpapers.
4. Pixel 4D Live Wallpaper
Price: Free /
Pixel 4D Live Wallpaper is an interesting option. While its user interface is not the best we’ve seen, it offers a unique type of live wallpaper that responds to movement. The images feature a parallax effect that creates a realistic 3D illusion as the wallpapers shift and move with the device’s orientation. This adds depth and dynamism to the wallpaper, giving the illusion that they are coming alive on the screen.
The app offers a vast collection of quality wallpapers arranged into categories for easier browsing. Unfortunately, not all are available to use for free. If you want to have access to the entire library, you’ll need to pay for a subscription (which also removes the many annoying ads).
Pixel 4D supports “Double mode.” When enabled, it allows you to apply two different wallpapers to the lock and home screens. Additionally, an auto change option is available. Moreover, users can control the strength of the parallax effect, as well as the animation one.
FYI: your Android lock screen is also customizable. This guide shows you how to get started.
5. Chroma Galaxy Live Wallpapers
Price: Free / $3.25 (one-time purchase)
If you prefer abstract wallpapers, you should check out the Chroma Galaxy Live Wallpapers app. It boasts a minimal interface that’s easy to navigate. Just swipe downward to check all the collections of live and static wallpapers, each based on a different theme or style.
There’s a catch here, as the majority of these wallpaper compilations require a Pro subscription, except the first one. Titled “Sneak Peak,” it features 30 wallpapers that can be set as still or in motion.
All options are extremely tasteful and striking, so switching to the paid version could well be worth it.
6. Vortex Galaxy
Are you one of those people who like to marvel at the magnificence of the galaxy or dream of exploring the galactic nebula, just like in those Sci-Fi movies? If yes, Vortex Galaxy is the perfect live wallpaper app for you.
The app is quite minimalistic, as you don’t have the option to set different themes for the galaxy. But once the wallpaper is enabled, you will feel like you are flying and lost in space. With stars and nebula flying past you, it is truly a beautiful experience and a sight to behold.
There are a few settings you can tweak, including an option to have the stars visible or disable the galaxy texture.
7. Forest Live Wallpaper
Forest Live Wallpaper is a beautiful nature-inspired app that wants to help you feel relaxed each time you look at your phone’s screen. It seems like a simple app at first but offers a surprising number of customization features.
You can personalize your experience by selecting different forest themes or colors for each element and modifying the level of animation. The day/night cycle feature enables colors to fade between day and night, through sunset and sunrise. Most interesting, the app can pick up local weather data from weather providers and translate the information into visual elements (clouds, rain, etc.)
The Forest Live Wallpaper app also includes a parallax effect that creates a sense of depth and immersion within the forest scenes. As the user tilts or moves the device, the wallpaper forest scene shifts and moves in response.
Tip: if you need more live wallpaper apps with a weather twist, check out this list.
Price: Free/in-app purchases
Walloop offers a nice collection of live papers that are organized into categories for your convenience. However, to set a live wallpaper on your device, you’ll need to spend “keys” to acquire one.
This is an in-app currency you can obtain by watching ads, rating the app on the Play Store, or sharing the app with others. Of course, there’s also the option to pay real money to buy keys and presumably get rid of a ton of apps.
Walloop doesn’t have additional features to allow you to fine-tune your live wallpaper experience, but if you need a quick wallpaper or two, it has many options to choose from.
Price: Free / in-app purchases
Zedge is a well-known app for custom Android elements, such as wallpapers, ringtones, and notification sounds. You can find the live wallpaper collection under the category of “Video Wallpapers,” which appears on the left side once you press the hamburger menu.
Like Wallop, Zedge features an in-app currency (called Z coins) that allows you to unlock live wallpapers. You can acquire 10 free coins in exchange for watching an ad or purchase them.
Zedge is known for its active community, where users can share their own creations and wallpapers with others. This offers an opportunity to discover unique and creative live wallpapers.
Tip: find out how you can empty the trash on your Android phone.
Price: Free / starting at $1.30
Asteroid is a unique live wallpaper app. As its name suggests, it creates beautiful backgrounds using the image of an asteroid.
It’s possible to customize some elements of this wallpaper by selecting an asteroid or nebula type and generating various colors for the composition. You can also disable shadows and meteors.
The app has a gyroscope function that can be turned on/off. It allows the app to offer a more interactive and realistic user experience. It adds a layer of responsiveness, as the wallpaper adapts to the user’s actions and creates a sense of virtual depth. You can adjust the gyroscope speed, as well as the graphic quality. Asteroid has additional options in exchange for a fee.
Doodle offers live wallpapers that are heavily inspired by Material design. The options you’ll find here are much more subtle and tasteful than we’ve seen so far.
All live wallpapers here feature gentle parallax and zoom effects when you swipe through your home screen and unlock your device.
The app also enables you to perform a few customizations by allowing you to play with colors, increase or decrease the swipe effect, or enable a tilt effect. In addition, you can opt for a different app color theme.
Tip: want to curb your smartphone use? We show you how to control your screen time on Android.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I find live wallpapers on my phone without needing an app?
Yes. Depending on your phone model, you may be able to find a few built-in options. For example, on Google Pixel phones, long-press on the home screen, then go to “Wallpaper & style -> Change wallpaper,” and open the “Come Alive” folder. You will find the available live wallpapers for your device. Alternatively, on Samsung Galaxy phones, you can access the “Themes” section by long-pressing on the home screen. Even if you don’t have a Pixel or Galaxy device, you can perform the same action on your phone and check whether there are any live wallpaper options.
Can I create my own live wallpapers?
Yes. On Samsung or Xiaomi phones, you can use native options to turn a video into a live wallpaper. Alternatively, you can use a third-party app. If you want more detailed instructions on how to make a live wallpaper on Android, read on.
How do I set a live wallpaper?
Most live wallpaper apps allow you to also set the live wallpaper on your home screen, lock screen, or both. Alternatively, long-press on your home screen until options appear. Select “Wallpaper & styles” (or any related option on your phone). Check the “Live wallpaper” folder for the live wallpapers you’ve downloaded from your live wallpaper app and set the wallpaper from there.
Do live wallpapers consume more battery?
Live wallpaper apps can consume more battery compared to static wallpapers, although the actual impact may vary depending on factors like the amount of CPU/GPU usage, refresh rate, and background processes. Many modern Android devices have built-in optimizations to minimize the impact of live wallpapers on battery life. These include power management features that limit animations when the device is idle or reduce resources allocated to live wallpapers when battery levels are low.
All screenshots and images by Alexandra Arici.
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