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The best live wallpaper apps for Android
In the ever-evolving world of mobile personalization, live wallpaper apps have emerged as a dynamic way to breathe life into our smartphone screens. These applications offer users a mesmerizing array of animated backgrounds, transforming static displays into dynamic canvases that reflect our moods and tastes. Join us as we delve into the realm of live wallpaper apps, exploring their features, and the creative possibilities they bring to our digital lives.
We’d also like to give an honorable mention to Google Photos (Google Play link) as it has a live wallpaper option now. Additionally, Android 13 added new APIs for interactive wallpapers. You can read more about those here.
The best live wallpaper apps for Android
Cartogram is a unique live wallpaper app. It uses your current location and a stylized map as your background. The map changes as you move to different places so it’s always something different when you’re driving around town. There are a range of customization options, including various colors and an OLED mode if you like it darker. You also have the option to set this as a static wallpaper for a single location, rather than having it continuously move like a live wallpaper. We’ve seen a few gripes, but nothing substantive and the app worked great in our testing.
Chroma Galaxy Live Wallpapers
Price: Free / $3.49
Chroma Galaxy Live Wallpapers is a live wallpaper from Roman De Giuli, an artist with a bunch of abstract 8K animations on YouTube. The app has a lot of his work and most of it looks really good. The free version includes 30 live wallpapers and the pro version ups the number to 250. Most of the wallpapers are basically video loops that last around 20 seconds or so. In addition to those features, the developer promises to add more live wallpapers over time so don’t be surprised if you check and the number is greater than 250. There is a lot to like with this one and the wallpapers definitely look nice.
Forest Live Wallpaper
Price: Free /In-app purchases ($1.00 – $5.00 per item)
Forest Live Wallpaper is a great live wallpaper app. It features a minimal forest scene that sways in the breeze. You can customize the colors to suit your theme. It also fades from day to night, has a parallax effect, and more. While the design may appear simplistic, it effectively minimizes the visual clutter often associated with live wallpapers. It used to do the weather. However, the developer’s weather API was suspended for overuse, so we don’t recommend this one if you want weather as well.
KLWP Live Wallpaper Maker
Price: Free / $5.99
KLWP Live Wallpaper Maker is among the best live wallpaper apps. It lets you make your own wallpapers. It gives you a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor. It’s fairly easy to use. Some of the customization features include a clock, Google Fit data, weather, system info, and even your RSS feed. There are also some nifty graphics settings that you can play with. The free version comes with most of the features. Pro version comes with ad removal and some advanced features. It has a few bugs. It’s nothing too serious, though. This one is also free via Google Play Pass if you use it.
Maxelus live wallpapers
Price: Free / Varies
Maxelus is a developer on Google Play with a ton of gorgeous live wallpaper apps. Some of the more popular ones include C:Simple, Shadow Galaxy, and Supermassive Black Hole. Some of them haven’t been updated in a while, but they still work pretty well. What makes these nice is that they’re lightly customizable but just look cool right out of the gate. C:Simple is the latest one, released in February of 2023, and it makes use of Android 13’s interactive live wallpapers API. These are quite good, although some of the older ones may not work great on modern devices.
Muzei Live Wallpaper
Muzei Live Wallpaper is a popular Android app that transforms your smartphone’s home screen into a dynamic art gallery. It periodically updates your wallpaper with famous artworks or your own photos, giving your device a fresh, captivating look each time. Muzei offers customization options, allowing you to adjust blur and dim settings to maintain icon readability. Its simplicity enhances the user experience, offering a visually pleasing yet unobtrusive way to enjoy art and personal memories as your device’s background.
Price: Free / $5.99 per month / $49.99 per year
Reddit is a decent place for live wallpapers. There is a subreddit dedicated to live wallpapers, but it seems to be mostly for desktops and not phones. However, there are Android apps and many other communities where people ask about live wallpapers and get recommendations from other members. This can give you an idea of where to look for really cool stuff. You can usually find some unique suggestions, although it seems a lot of people gravitate toward the simpler designs.
Price: Free with ads / Up to $9.49
Walloop functions a lot like a traditional wallpaper app. It’s not just a single live wallpaper, but a repository of sorts for a whole bunch of them. You can browse various categories, including seasonal, nature, anime, abstract, and various others. The app also supports a host of resolutions up to 4k, making it one of the few good sources for 4k live wallpapers. The app has ads as well as in-app purchases, but the ads aren’t that bad and the in-app purchases aren’t either. It’s a good place to browse for some live wallpapers.
Price: Free app / $3.99
Wallpaper Engine is technically a companion app for the very popular Wallpaper Engine on Steam. You do need a PC to use this one. Basically, you buy the app on Steam for $3.99, create a wallpaper, and then use this app to port it to your Android phone and use it there. It’s a bit of work, but this is one of the few apps capable of letting you create your own live wallpapers. Plus, with the PC app, you can import live wallpapers made by other folks. It works quite well, and along with KLWP, is one of two ways to do this yourself.
Water Garden Live Wallpaper
Price: Free /In-app purchases ($0.99 – $2.99 per item)
Water Garden Live Wallpaper is a good one for fans of water. It features excellent water rippling effects, pretty fish, and various nature scenes. The water splashes can be a little excessive. However, a lot of that stuff is customizable. It also has tablet support. There really isn’t much to this one. It’s just a pond with some fish and some splashes. It’s just really smooth and looks really good. You can pick it up for free. Additional features are available as in-app purchases.
Wave Live Wallpaper
Wave Live Wallpaper is a take on a classic live wallpaper from Android’s early days. The wave animation plays in the background as you interact and scroll with your phone. It comes with support for Android TV screensavers, various color and wave shape customizations, and more. We like this one because it’s animated enough to be interesting, but not so complex that you can’t see your icons. Plus, it’s inexpensive and one of the few live wallpapers still in active development these days. This makes it quite a good option.
OEM live wallpapers
Price: Free / Varies
Some OEMs, like Samsung have theme stores. Usually, those theme stores have some sort of live wallpaper selection. These options are great if you have them because the wallpapers are designed for the specific device that you’re holding. However, the downside is that many of the wallpapers are pretty simple and don’t include super unique interactive elements like you would typically find in a standalone app. It’s worth checking out if you want something easy and simple that doesn’t require a separate app download.
If we missed any great live wallpaper apps for Android, tell us about them in the comments. You can also check out these steps for creating your own live wallpaper.