Live wallpapers aren’t quite the draw that they used to be. Once fancied as “one of the features Apple products don’t have”, it’s since fallen into obscurity a bit. That isn’t to say that live wallpapers don’t have a fan base. The cult following is huge and definitely palpable. There are a ton of live wallpapers, and we’re going to take a look at the best live wallpaper apps for Android. Of course, it is entirely subjective so if there’s a good one you want to share with other readers, post it in the comments!
The best live wallpaper apps for Android
Cartogram is a fairly unique live wallpaper. 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 can also set this to a single location as a wallpaper instead of moving around 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 bunch 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 / Up to $5.00
Forest Live Wallpaper is a delightful live wallpaper for Material Design fans. It features a minimal forest scene that sways in the breeze. You can customize the colors to suit your theme or tastes. It also fades from day to night, has a parallax effect, and more. It used to do weather info as well. However, popularity got the developer suspended from his OpenWeatherMap account. That’s not great news. It’s still really good, though. Especially if you’re looking for simple live wallpaper apps.
Joko Interactive live wallpapers
Price: Free / $0.99
Joko Interactive is a developer on Google Play with several good live wallpaper apps. Some of the more popular ones include Paperland, Light Grid, and Minima, but there are a few others. The live wallpapers work well, don’t eat too much battery, and have the right mix of activity without being too busy. The only downside is that they haven’t been updated in a few years, so they don’t support things like high refresh rate displays. They are nice overall, and we’re especially fans of Paperland.
KLWP Live Wallpaper Maker
Price: Free / $3.49
KLWP Live Wallpaper Maker is among the best live wallpaper apps. It lets you make your own. It gives you a WYSIWYG 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. Going pro nets you 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 a ton of gorgeous live wallpaper apps. Some of the more popular ones include Space Colony, Supermassive Black Hole, Alien Shapes, Symphony of Colors, and more. Most of them are space themed. They also have some customizable elements, such as color. There are over a dozen live wallpapers available and most of them are good. The developer also has started re-releasing old live wallpapers with improved resolutions and graphics, like Shadow Galaxy Anniversary.
Muzei Live Wallpaper
Muzei Live Wallpaper is one of the iconic live wallpapers. It doesn’t move about and do a bunch of stuff like normal live wallpaper apps. Instead, it automatically replaces your wallpaper with classic pieces of art. You can also throw in your favorite photos. It comes with Android Wear support. Additionally, tons of other apps have Muzei support. It’s among the best without a doubt.
Price: Free / $3.99 per month / $29.99 per year
Reddit is a decent place to scope out 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 app and many other communities where people ask about live wallpapers and get recommendations from other members. You won’t find a live wallpaper you can download from there, but you can at least find some other good recommendations that may not be on this list.
Price: Free with ads / Up to $8.49
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 AMOLED, 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 yourself 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 only a 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’s relatively new, but it works quite well.
Water Garden Live Wallpaper
Price: Free / Up to $1.49
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’s 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.
Winterlight live wallpapers
Price: Free / Up to $2.00 each
Winterlight is a developer on Google Play with some truly delightful live wallpapers. Our favorite is, by far, Stalker Cat, which gives you a nice blue and black gradient background and a cute little cat that pops in to say hi every now and then. Some of the other good ones include Starlight, Starry Night, and Panda Booble Head. Like Joko Interactive, the only real problem with these is that they’re a little old and haven’t seen an update in a long time. Thus, they don’t have support for higher refresh rate displays. They do still work, though.
OEM live wallpapers
Price: Free / Varies
Joe Hindy / Android Authority
Some OEMs, like Samsung have theme stores which contain some live wallpapers. 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 click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists.
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