Live wallpapers are one of Android’s most unique and wonderful features. Available for anyone on Android 2.1 or above, they are one of the best ways to customise your Android experience. Today we will be going through some of the best live wallpapers for your Android device, so sit back and enjoy the ride. Where possible I have linked to the free/lite version; as always, if you love it, we encourage you to support the developers and buy the full version.
Be cautious, many of these live wallpapers can drain your battery.
For each wallpaper that had one, I’ve included the developer’s official video below the screenshots.
Galactic Core (£0.61)
I wanted to start this roundup with one of my favourite live wallpapers, Galactic Core. This is simply one of the most stunning live wallpapers available and is purely amazing to watch. Whilst it may be very powerful I have found that it did not drain my battery very much, and while I did notice occasional lag on my Desire HD I think it is expertly created to use as little energy as possible. Think of it as the Pro version of Galaxy, which comes stock on Android 2.1 and above.
aCircuit Board (free)
This live wallpaper quite ingeniously displays what looks like a circuit board onto your home screen. It shows different setting adjustments like Wifi, Bluetooth, and GPS, and buzzes and flashes just like a real circuit board. It even has a cooler fan that adds to the great effect and is perfect for the inner geek.
Seeds of Life (£0.50)
Not for the weak-stomached this is an amusing simple live wallpaper that portrays hundreds of little human seeds swimming across your screen. With settings that allow you to change the speed and density as well as background image, it is customisable to your, ah, biologically-curious needs.
City at Night Live Wallpaper (£0.61)
I love this sort of live wallpaper and when I found City at Night I kept it for a good while. It is an elegant wallpaper that has cars zooming by and other city-like features as well as the ability to customise features like time of day. Overall this app is for those who like to relax and have a smooth, mellowed-out wallpaper.
Aurora Live Wallpaper [apk]
Ported from the Samsung Galaxy S, this wallpaper is visually great and is a rather simple app that is like the traditional Mac background but with a few extra features — like small firework effects when you tap and a nice subtle background.
The APK file is the direct link to the application/wallpaper download. It is often used when apps aren’t accessible in the Android Market and they can easily be installed directly on your device with something like ASTRO.
Mario Live Wallpaper [apk]
Though removed from the Market because of copyright issues filed by Nintendo, there was no way the Android community was going to let this epic wallpaper go to waste. This beautiful wallpaper shows Mario making his way through different levels and is great fun to watch, in fact you feel like you are actually playing the game yourself. This wallpaper is however fairly resource intensive and will drain your battery quickly, though it does have adjustable frame rates that can reduces its power consumption.
You’ll need an account on XDA-Developers forum to access the download link.
aniPet Koi LiveWallpaper (free)
A wonderful wallpaper that shows Koi fish swimming around in a pond. You can look after your fish, feed them, watch them grow, and even see the mature ones have babies.There are also many other little features that you can change in the environment; what more could you want? Overall it’s an amazingly well-designed wallpaper that looks great running in the background.
Very similar to aniPet Koi, with even more features and over 100 fish types, it allows you to look after a whole array of fish in the same wonderful way as above. Overall if you like fish these two live wallpapers are the ones for you.
Snowfall Full Live Wallpaper (free)
All right, so maybe it’s the wrong season, but this just couldn’t be left out. I had this for a long time and absolutely loved it. It’s a wonderfully mesmerizing scene in the background with several different settings that can change the time of day and quantity of snowflakes.
Thunderstorm Live Wallpaper (free)
With it being described as “a spectacular backdrop of storm clouds, lightning, and rain!” it does exactly what it says on the tin. This is a cool background to have that provides an entertaining visual effect that will look great on any phone. Perfect if you’re a bit of a moody so-and-so, too.
Original Flurry (free)
This Mac-styled flurry wallpaper is freakishly cool with a myriad of different settings that allow you to put this on any image of your liking. Nothing hugely special about this but its a sweet app to have nonetheless.
wp clock light (free)This useful live wallpaper actually has a core functionality, something that most other live wallpapers lack (though that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as they are mostly for entertainment purposes), in that it tells the time and date along with other information like battery and Wifi status. Along with several other changeable preferences, in the paid version you can alter the background of the wallpaper to personalise it even more.
Beautiful Widgets (£1.74)
This live wallpaper actually comes built within an app, rather than as a standalone wallaper itself, but that doesnt make it any worse! This gorgeous wallaper displays the weather in a simliar way to the Grass wallpaper that comes on stock Android and is an awesome way of displaying the information. Not the mention the fact that the app itself is great and one I would recommend for those of you wishing to customise you device.
Blue Skies Live Wallpaper (free)
Some things, like flames, you can just stare at for hours on end. This is one of those things! You float aimlessly through the clouds as if you were a bird yourself, soaring through the heavens. Sorry for the poetic rant, but I am sure you will feel the same. This app just takes your breath away and can quite literally leave you just watching it for several minutes. Besides the beauty, it has wonderful features like a customisable time of day display and balloons that notify you of text messages. Its free and highly recommended; you won’t regret downloading it.
A must-have for music fans, this will show your album artwork in the background. With a few different settings like size of artwork and how frequently they flick through your collection, as well as the Now Playing section up top, this wonderfully simple app is what every music lover needs.
Google Maps live wallpaper (free)
Again not a separate app, but rather one bundled with Google Maps, you know a live wallpaper is bound to be good when its made by the big G itself. This will show your location on a map in the background with a choice of the usual Satellite, Normal and Terrain. Be warned; this bad boy works best with GPS turned on, and that will suck your battery dry.
Earth Live Wallpaper (free)
While it may look like this was also made by Google, it is not, but it sure won’t disappoint you. Showing a spin around of not just our planet, but several others as well — including the Moon (and yes I know the Moon is not a Planet :P) and Jupiter. This is a pretty cool one that you can just play around with when fiddling with your phone and one that I am sure you would enjoy.
Asteroid Belt Live Wallpaper (free)
On a similar theme we have another space live wallpaper, but this one will take your breath away a bit more. Showing essentially our solar system with some asteroids floating around this is simply an awesome sight. The rendering of the graphics is pretty amazing here and with options like asteroid count and different wonderful backgrounds this is one epic wallpaper
Fireworks Live Wallpaper (free)
This app is great fun to play with, just simply tap on the screen and a firework will be launched to that point and explode in a way that will make you feel somehow powerful. I dont know why or how, but give it a go and tell me otherwise.
Having always been a big fan of the original Nexus live wallpaper I immediately jumped on the opportunity to get this app. The same principles apply here, but with a few extra features like speed, density, and background image choice (with the paid version). Altogether it just does what you would expect; it is a super charged version of Nexus Live and since it’s free theres no reason not to get it if you liked the original.
Stonerview Live Wallpaper (free)
This is a completely different wallpaper to what we have seen before. These 3D objects just swirl around on your phone in a hypnotic, yet intriguing way that will make you just stare obliviously at your phone. It’s a funky app that will surely make you smile whenever you look at it. And as the name suggests, I would avoid looking at it when in an intoxicated sate: it probably won’t end well
Starfield 3D Live Wallpaper (free)
Get ready to jump into hyperspace! This app is like the classic Windows screensaver in that it is just a stream of stars flying past you, with a different perspective depending on which screen you are viewing it from. With a simple double-tap you can engage “warp engines”, as the developer puts it, and fly through space at tremendous speeds. An incredibly soothing app that will be at home on the phone of any Star Wars fan (or, really, any male).
Coca-Cola Holiday Wallpaper (free)
Another wallpaper a tad out of season, but nonetheless fashionable, is the amazing live wallpaper inspired by Coca-Cola’s great advertisement last Christmas. It is very accurate and great fun to play with, a giant snowglobe that reacts just like a real one would to motion, causing a snowstorm. Tilting it causes objects like the shopping trolley to slide from one side to another.
Clearly a great deal of work went into this and, although it’s no longer winter, it still is a great app to have, if just to show off to your friends the huge capabilities that you phone has, as this takes full advantage of Android.
Space Junk Live Wallpaper (free)
This is a really cool wallpaper styled like a cartoon from the ’90s, and as you can see it looks great. The amount of junk in space in phenomenal (seriously do a Google of it) and this little trooper is set on a mission to destroy it. A free app that looks pretty and is worth giving it a shot if retro cartoons are your thing.
Fireflies Live Wallpaper (free)
This is a really cool live wallpaper that is one of those really realistic experiences. As you can see it essentially is a room full of lightbulbs that attract fireflies. You can turn different lights on and see the flies swarm to it and they swing in a realistic way depending on the accelerometer. Its really amazing how a great developer can turn simple ideas into a wonderful experience.
Growing Mosaic (free)
Ah, mosaics. One of art’s more difficult forms. But fret no more because Growing Mosaic can now create those stunning artworks that have left you baffled in seconds, on your background. This is very soothing to have on your background and creates these mosaics in a way that makes it look handcrafted, rather than in a computer generated simple way. Very cool!
Dream Cruise (free)This has got to be one of my favourite live wallpapers. It is a rather simple idea of a cruise floating down a river, looking onto what I presume to be New York and is very idyllic. But then even more starts to amaze you, such as the option for dolphins and fireworks, yet the greatest part I think is that the app can select pictures from your phone and then display them on the Billboards as you float by them. Truly epic.
Jumpgate Live Wallpaper (free)
One for the die-hard Android nerds, this one. You are an Android figure with a jetpack on, flying through what must be some sort of time travel portal, I don’t really know exactly. But what i do know is that it’s great fun, but like I said its more for the Android lovers rather than the average Joe.
Ocean Waves [apk]
Ported from the Galaxy S, this app is a credit to Samsung in itself. I am not a big Samsung fan when it comes to Android phones/tablets but this changes everything (Again! :P). A truly stunning wallpaper here that displays a birds eye view of shallow water gently flowing with wonderfully detailed wildlife below. This is definitely one that I would strongly suggest.
It may seem a bit odd from the screenshots, but these are actually normal pictures, with a twist. It is a panorama that can be adjusted in several ways such as a small planet on the left, or a confusing never-ending sphere on the right, to give you a scrollable picture that can be seen from pretty much any angle.
Striker Live Wallpaper (free)
This uses a very cool concept of players running around playing a game of good old football (or soccer if you are from across the pond). Like an old Gameboy game it shows these players having a great time, playing like children scrambling after the ball, and is one for the sporty geeks among us.
Timester is described as the lazy hamster that powers the clock on your phone, and that he does surprising well. Like a traditional hamster on his week this little rodent will just keep on running and powering your phone it seems. Although sometimes he gets a little lazy and just has a little break. Yet somehow the clock continues to tick; this application really must be magical.
Dandelion [apk]Yet another port from the Samsung Galaxy S, this is slightly less spectacular but no less high in quality. A bit more gentle and soothing than other wallpapers, this shows dandelions floating around the screen, very groovy! It makes you wonder whether if Samsung spent all the time they did on these wallpapers actually creating phones they could actually be a market dominator.
Honeycomb Live Wallpaper (free)
You may have heard that Google isn’t releasing the Honeycomb code any time soon, but that doesn’t stop you from feeling as if you have it. This Tron-like wallpaper resembles the new treat from the big G very well, and includes the iconic new digital clock. Congratulations to the developer for making it possible for us to experience just a bit of the Honeycomb sweetness.
Heart Blossom (Free)
We haven’t really had that many for the ladies in this round up — most of these have been more stereotypically male designs like Space and Video Games — but this one I believe makes up for it. This great app will build (or Blossom) a heart from flowers on your background. With customisable speed times and flower types this is the ultimate background for anyone in touch with their feminine side.
So as you can see there are a vast range of awesome live wallpapers available for your Android device. Of couse there are thousands of other choices out there but we’ve tried to pick the best of the best. As usual, if you think there are some epic live wallpapers that we have missed out, tell us in the comments below.