Christmas Ornaments

After you worked through some of the ins and outs of Android 5+ Lollipop’s new Priority mode in last week’s Android customization post, I promised we would keep things super simple this week. We are heading back to one of the most core of Android tweaks, changing your Homescreen wallpaper.

Changing wallpapers is a tutorial for the beginning Android users out there. If you’ve already got the hang of this, be sure to at least check out our free collection of Christmas and winter themed wallpaper at the end of the article. They are not entirely special, just a little piece of my world for you.

As always, we are working from a vanilla Android device, your chosen Launcher may offer a slightly different set of steps, but the idea remains the same.

Before we begin

You do not need anything to get started today. Android, and the various manufacturers and Launcher apps, have a decent collection of wallpapers built right into your device. However, if you are looking for a truly custom look, or have a specific image that you would like to use, now would be a good time to copy it into the internal storage or microSD card of your device.

I hope to floor you with how easy this is.

Set Wallpaper

Find an empty space on your Homescreen and long press.

On Android 5.0+ Lollipop, you will jump right into a Wallpaper chooser menu, on previous versions of Android, and most other Launchers, you will see a menu with a few options, including Wallpaper.

Once inside Wallpapers, you can simply select the desired image from the default set and tap Set Wallpaper.


Set Wallpaper from file picker

If you would like to use your own photo, tap the Pick Image tile to launch the file chooser, navigate to your image and tap to set.

Another alternative is to find an image on your device using a file explorer, or in your Google+ Photos cloud storage using the, you guessed it, Photos app. In the menu of a photo, select Set as… then choose Wallpaper.

Live Wallpaper

Don’t be fooled into thinking that Live wallpaper require any extra steps to put in place. A live wallpaper is a very unique and fun thing to use, bringing animations and even touch interaction to your Homescreen background. However, as I am certain you had seen in the screenshots above, all you need to do is select Live Wallpaper in place of Wallpaper in the steps above, then simply choose a design and save.

What’s next

There are not a great many things we can look at doing here. Wallpapers are pretty simple to add and change and a wonderful way to change the look of your device. That said, the hardest part sometimes is finding that perfect wallpaper, perhaps one of these one of the images below will work for you. As previously mentioned, these are not premium images made by a professional, just a few pictures from my own collection, I hope you enjoy.

Live wallpapers are actually Android apps, not just images, so you’ll need to scour the Google Play Store to find new options.

Lastly, there are apps and systems out there that can hook you up with great wallpapers. One of the top options is an app called Muzei. Muzei will automatically refresh your wallpaper on a daily basis, pulling from a database of famous works of art. Info on the art is included, if you want to know more about the piece.

Next week

Next week on our Android customization series is another day to celebrate, as it will be the first day of 2015! Nothing rings in the new year for your Android device like a factory reset, so we’ll… I’m kidding. You don’t want to have to completely reset your device on a day like today, so we’ll look at a quick trick that will clear some storage space and possibly speed up your device – we’ll look at clearing your device cache.

What do you say, have any awesome Christmas/winter themed wallpaper that you’d like to share?

Merry Christmas! (If you do not celebrate Christmas, please simply take this as a greeting and best wishes to you and yours.)

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