Apr 08 AT 2:14 PM Guest Blogger 11 Comments

Starfield 3D Live Wallpaper: Double-tap to engage warp engines

What dreamy-eyed boy hasn’t looked up at the stars and wanted to see them speeding past at warp? Well now you can! The once-popular screen saver for Microsoft Windows has made a comeback as a live wallpaper for Android. You can imagine you’re looking out the window of a Federation starship as it traverses the quadrant while you navigate your homescreens. As you swipe to a different homescreen panel, the perspective of the starfield changes letting you see a 180 degree arrangement of stars.

The app lets you add a fixed background behind the moving stars, which looks quite nice but can slow down performance quite considerably. You can also customize the number of stars in the field and also the speed at which they fly past the screen. You can also double tap on the screen to get the warp stretching effect as seen on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Live wallpapers are known for their detriment to your phone’s battery life, but I haven’t noticed any change in my battery life since having Starfield running. The app is also the best performing live wallpaper I’ve seen so far. It runs perfectly on my HTC Magic with absolutely no lag, even when swiping homescreens.

Final Verdict

I was a bit sceptical about the live wallpaper idea at first, and the ones that come standard with Android 2.1 didn’t do anything to change that. Since installing Starfield however, I’ve realized how awesome they really are. I will definitely be keeping this as the wallpaper on my phone since it just adds a little extra pizazz to the device. And since it’s free, you’re almost losing money by not trying it out.

The goods:

  • Customizable starfield with optional static background
  • Change viewpoint as homescreens pan
  • Great performance on lower end phones

Needs improving:

  • The only thing I have to criticize is the laggy performance when the background is enabled. In saying that, it probably performs fine on a faster phone such as the Nexus One.

Special Notes: Live wallpapers are only supported on Android 2.1, so you’ll need either a Nexus One/Desire or a Droid/Milestone, or you could take a trip over to xda-developers and hook yourself up with a custom ROM.

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Note: This review was submitted by James Finnigan as part of our app review contest.

From time to time we invite guest bloggers to contribute articles about various Android topics. This is one of those times...

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  • http://www.google.com/profiles/anakin78z anakin78z

    This was the first live wallpaper I absolutely loved. I’ve since replaced it, however, with Shake Them All! Much more of a battery draining live wallpaper, but so worth it :-). It has a bunch of dynamically interacting little Andy’s on screen which you can nudge and fling around. More fun than anything like that should be allowed to be, quite frankly.

    • http://www.google.com/profiles/anakin78z anakin78z

      Oh, and I never noticed any lag with the starfield wallpaper on the Nexus One.

  • http://Website Yorick

    Live Wallpapers aren’t even meant for low-end devices if I’m not mistaken, so the laggy performance when activated shouldn’t be complained about :)

    • http://Website James Finnigan

      Very true. I did make the comment with the caveat that it would probably perform much better on a faster device :)

  • http://Website jp

    awesome! windows 95 style!

  • http://Website kacee

    how do i get it to work? i may sound noobish but i downloaded it and its not in my app drawer.. i can pull it up to delete it but no launch or set it. thanks

    • http://twitter.com/tdh004 tdh004

      It’s a Live Wallpaper, so it’s technically not an “app.” Long press the home screen, and select Wallpapers. If your version of Android supports it you’ll see Live Wallpapers. You will find it in the list there.

      I used this for a while. It’s simple, doesn’t really distract, and doesn’t really encourage you to play with it like the stock Nexus One Live Wallpaper does.

      I ended up stopping the use of the Live Wallpapers all together after about two or three weeks. Could be placebo effect, but it seems like a marked improvement in battery life with out them running. But I do turn it on when I’m showing off the phone to friends. :)

  • http://Website luhvu

    I tried to look for this on the android market, but no luck. Where else can i download this for my vibrant?

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  • aves

    woot! starfield 2.0 with opengl 2 is out ! :)