Having a photo as your background image is all well and good, but live wallpapers on Android devices give you the opportunity to make your device truly eye-catching while some can be pretty useful.
Unfortunately, it comes at a cost, as it’ll drain your battery at a reasonably fast rate.
New devices, like the Nexus 6P, have quick charging capabilities. If you have the extra battery life to spare, here’s a couple of methods that show how to get live (animated) wallpapers in a few easy steps.
Method 1: Pre-Installed Live Wallpapers
If you want to get a feel for what live wallpapers look like on your device, the easiest way is by using the ones that are pre-installed on your Android phone.
To find your live wallpapers;
Go to your Home screen, and tap and hold any empty space to bring up your wallpaper settings. Tap Wallpaper.
(This image was taken on a Sony Xperia smartphone. Your menu may look a little different, but the wallpaper options should be exactly the same.)
(Alternatively, tap Display in the main Settings menu and tap Wallpaper to get the same list of options.)
From this menu, tap Live Wallpapers.
You will now be able to see all of the live wallpapers installed on your device. (This is also where you will find any wallpapers that you have downloaded and installed on your device.)
Make your selection, and tap Set as Wallpaper to complete the process.
(This method should work for nearly every modern Android smartphone, as long as they are capable of running animated wallpapers.)
Stock wallpapers are usually pretty generic, but it’s a good way to gauge how much it’ll affect the battery life of your device. However, different live wallpapers use different resources, so some will affect battery life more than others. Basically, videos will use more power than slideshows.
Method 2: Wallpapers from Google Play
Pre-installed wallpapers are all well and good, but it’s easy enough to download an animated wallpaper from the Play Store, and it doesn’t take much effort to get them installed and ready to go.
There are lots to choose from in a wide range of themes, and they come with a number of different features. For example, you could download the Weather Sky Live Wallpaper app from the Play Store for a live wallpaper of the sky that synchronizes with the actual weather. It uses World Weather Online as its primary source.
Another great example is Meter, which is an Android experiment (produced by Google) that displays information such as the battery level in a simple onscreen visualization. (It’s also free.)
Some users appear to be unhappy after a recent update made a few changes, but the core concept has stayed the same, and it’s a great example that shows how useful live wallpapers can be.
Of course, there are also lots of wallpapers available that make your device look good.
(Some animated wallpapers in the store are paid, but there are pages filled with free ones to choose from if you’re not willing to spend any money.)
To download and install one from the Play Store;
Open the Google Play app on your device.
Search for Live Wallpaper.
You will be presented with a list of free and paid live wallpapers, so pick one that you like the look of.
Tap Install and wait for the download to finish.
Once completed, tap Open to see the wallpaper on your phone. Tap Apply if you’re happy with it.
That should be all you need to do to get live wallpapers from the Play Store.
It’s also worth remembering that you can search the top live wallpapers by going to Apps in the Play Store, and clicking on Live Wallpaper in the Categories tab.
Method 3: Wallpapers from the Internet
If you want an even wider range to choose from, you can download numerous live wallpapers online. There are quite a few websites that have pages of content to choose from, and most will link you to the Play Store where you can directly download the wallpaper using the steps listed in methods 1 and 2.
Method 4: Making your own Live Wallpaper
If you can’t find what you’re looking for, it’s possible for you to make a live wallpaper yourself. (As long as it’s just a basic slideshow or video mix.) The easiest way to do so is probably to download an app from the Play Store.
Live Wallpaper Maker Lite is a free version of a paid app that you can use to make basic live wallpapers. You can use videos, .GIF files, images and words to create the ultimate wallpaper. It has decent ratings on the store, and the app is updated fairly regularly, so new features should be added in time.
It’s fairly easy to use if you have a vague idea of what you want to make, so why not have a go yourself?
(Processing high-quality images and video can take a while, so don’t worry if your device starts chugging.)
Here is a demonstration video so you can get a feel for what it’s like.
Method 5: Troubleshooting Live Wallpaper/Live Wallpaper Picker
It’s rare, but some users have run into issues while using Live Wallpaper. Most end up receiving an error message that says ‘Unfortunately, Live Wallpaper Picker has stopped.
Solution: If you’re having these problems, wiping the system cache might help, or it could possibly be caused by one of the wallpapers that you’ve previously downloaded online or from the store. Deleting the wallpaper could potentially solve your issues if so.
The only sure-fire fix is to factory reset your device, but that means all of the data stored on your handset (such as contacts, photos, and videos) will be wiped. Back up your important files before you get started as you won’t be able to get them back otherwise.
(You can backup your important data in some different ways. You can use apps or a computer to copy most of your files.)
If you continue to have problems, here’s the method for factory resetting your Android smartphone.
You should now be able to use live wallpapers, but be careful when reinstalling ones that you’ve had in the past. One factory reset is bad enough, so try to avoid having to do another in the future.
It’s not too difficult to make your wallpaper interactive, and the sheer amount of free live content online and on the store means that you’re spoiled for choice. If you go a step further and make your own, the possibilities are endless.
If we managed to help you get a great live wallpaper for your Android device, or you have any questions, let us know in the comments below.