10 Live Wallpapers to Gussy Up Your Android Device
Recently I fell in love with Android. I should say, I fell in love with Android again. We broke up for a while when I got an iPhone, but then I bought a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, and Android started seducing me. Next, I ditched my iPhone and switched to a Samsung Galaxy S4, and I am loving it. Now that Android has matured, I'm ready to recommit.
Android wallpapers, on the other hand, don't require the same level of commitment, which means I won't need to break up with my smartphone if our relationship ever feels stale. There's a wallpaper for every mood, which is why I decided to install a collection to cover more than a week full of moods, from practical and productive, to playful and cute.
DeviceInfo is a clean wallpaper that gives you the lowdown on your device. The paid version is only about a buck and gives you options to tweak settings, but the free version does plenty. It shows the date and time, your battery level, the device temperature, your storage usage, and more. Device Info even tells you the angle at which you are holding your device and provides a compass (you know, in case you get lost in the forest, but you still have an Internet connection).
TerraTime is a little more spendy than other live wallpapers, but it's also pretty awesome. For the wallpaper, you can choose a globe or map satellite view of Earth. Under settings, you adjust how often the app updates and the center of the display (the default is your current device location). And if you really want to control the planet, you can choose whether to display the cloud coverage, see the polar sea ice, cast a night shadow on the night side of the Earth and moon, and display city lights, among other options. Launch the TerraTime app for more exciting Earth action.
The app includes a cool clock that shows night and day, and then some. For example, from my location in Lawrence, Kansas, on October 11, 2013, the app shows that the length of day is 11 hours and 19 minutes. Tomorrow will be 2 minutes and 27 seconds shorter. The app also shows when the sun will set and rise, what stage the moon is in (and when it sets and rises), and my global coordinates. This is the most expensive live wallpaper app I downloaded, but it also stands out as a personal favorite.
Moonlight Live lets you see a full moon or the moon at its current phase. Under settings you can pick weather for your location, choose to display a clock, and change the foreground scene and animations. This app is visually appealing, but also offers practical perks. For example, double-tap the screen to get a white screen that works as a light. All this for the affordable price of free.
If you just love the look of binary code, Binary Live Wallpaper is the live wallpaper for you. But you get motion sick easily, skip this one. All this wallpaper does is display changing values, but if you touch the screen the number of bits decreases. As the developer explains, “If the number of known bits gets too low, CHAOS ensues.” In summary, this is a fun, free, and geeky live wallpaper.
I purchased the $.99 version of Space Battle Live, which has more settings options, but the free version is also highly rated and probably has all the bells and whistles you need. When you aren't playing the game, an old-school video game à la Galaga displays in the background. Use your fingers to hit the invading space ships, or click on your space ship to send out a beam that blows up all the bad guys. You can reposition your ship by tilting your device.
This wallpaper won't help you get your work done, but it might help you decompress on your break or keep you busy during a drawn-out conference call.
Go ahead and tell yourself that FooCat Notes is a productivity app, but really it's just a fun, cute live wallpaper that also allows you to take notes. If you hate fun, cute, or cats, skip this one. Under settings you can pick your cat (I chose one with stripes) and adjust the background settings. Then double-click on the cat to open up the notes screen. When you save your note, you return to the desktop and see the cat scrawling out your note with a pencil. Then she drags herself around the screen, taking naps, kind of like cats do in real life (minus the handy ability to take notes). Don't feel like typing your note? Double-click the cat again and choose the voice option to speak your note. Then, again, watch the cat write it out. Ok, maybe this is my favorite new live wallpaper app.
Whether you had a rough day at the office or a bad break up, I Love U Not wallpaper offers an alternative way to release stress. When it's not providing a cute (albeit a bit morbid) background, the I Love U Not wallpaper lets you torture a rag doll, which even lets out gratifying grunts. Be forewarned that you can easily torture the doll by accident when clicking on other app widgets, which can be startling when the doll grunts unexpectedly. This app is ideal for those angry moods.
With a plethora of photo wallpaper apps to pick from, how do you choose? Start with Photo FX Live, to which almost 24,000 users have given a five star rating in Google Play. Photo FX offers options for changing the slideshow settings, and if you upgrade to the ad-free pro version, you can select your background photo, adjust the photo size, tweak transitions, and more. The pro version includes Camera Zoom FX app effects, which means you can do lots of artsy things to your photos, such as add frames or give them a vintage look. Actually, you will want to spring for the pro version because the ads are pretty obnoxious in the free version.
Why would anyone want a live wallpaper of a pug licking the inside of a device's screen? Nearly 34,000 people give the Dog Licker Live wallpaper a five star rating. The wallpaper won't show you the time, weather, or do a single useful thing other than look cute. Personally, I found it to be too distracting after a couple of minutes, but give it a try if you need a chuckle – and you are a dog person.
SwampWater is a live wallpaper that simulates swamp water, and all the microscopic critter action in it, under a microscope slide. That's it. That's all it does, and it's awesome.