Feb 08 AT 11:26 AM Clark Wimberly 60 Comments

Live wallpaper roundup, testing 12 animated home screens


One of the biggest surprise hits of the Nexus One seems to be the live wallpapers. Everywhere I go with this thing someone is asking me to show them the live wallpapers. To that end, Taylor and I have rounded up a dozen live wallpapers available in the Market and filmed them all.

Interested in making your own live wallpaper? Romain Guy recently posted some helpful information over on the Android Developers blog.

What are your favorite live wallpapers? Are there any you can’t live without? Some awesome ones we missed? Sound off in the comments.

Clark is a developer living in Austin, Texas. He runs ClarkLab, a small web firm with his wife, Angie. He's a big fan of usability, standards, and clean design.

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  • http://Website lordhong

    I really don’t get the idea of live wallpaper. Wasting battery life and distraction. Google Android team should spend time fixing bugs and make a better virtual keyboard, instead of wasting time and resources on these crappy features like MS did to Windows.

    • http://Website Nithin Jino

      LOL. That is like saying “HTC SENSE on the HD2 is a waste. It is a battery drainer and blah blah blah. I’m saying this because I’m mad that my current phone doesn’t support this and I’m to cheap to buy a better phone.”

      Live Wallpapers is there to show off the phone. It shows off the software because it can support it and it shows off the hardware because the phone can run the Live Wallpapers without stuttering or slowing down.

      If you don’t want the Live Wallpapers then don’t use them. Not that hard.

    • http://www.ellianth.com Anthony

      Just use a static wallpaper then. I for one am glad that they spent the time making these. Sometimes it’s okay to have things for the sake of fun and beauty.

      • http://organizedfellow.com OrganizedFellow

        In fact, I use a plain black background on mine.
        It matches the black notification bar I use. Looks slick.

    • http://Website joit

      dude, instead of the original keypad, use SwiftKey beta, it is incredibly efficient and better than the original, hope this helps

  • http://Website Todd

    That roll-in is waaaaaaaaay too long!

    Needs to be like one second or less, like the old Playstation and Sega TV commercial roll-outs.

  • http://Website rob p

    haha, lets check out Uranus.

    • http://www.jploureiro.com Deoki

      ahaha. You can hear him trying not to laugh after saying that.

  • http://Website Beige

    I have to say, I like some of them. I know it’ll tax battery, but I don’t care, digital rain will give me some huge cred amongst my friends XD

  • http://Website txasbubba

    I read a forum post somewhere that looked at the resources used for the live wallpapers: they were negligible.

  • http://Website Chris

    How about some accelerometer based wallpapers like a snow globe or a thousand little pachinko balls falling in a grid and they would gather on the bottom when you hold the phone upright. Or maybe a weather/time based wallpaper that would show sunlight, precipitation, wind blowing the trees with various intensities. Imagine when there is a thunderstorm, huricane or tornado watch. Those would be cool animations.

    Will these live wallpapers run on the cliq when 2.1 is released?

    • http://Website kathi17

      You have some very cool ideas for live wallpaper, you should try making some, you might pick up a few extra dollars!

      I’m running LWP on my hacked G1, and they are pretty cool!

    • Sinanovski

      Nice ideas. ;)

  • http://Website tom p

    toys and games

    live wallpapers look nice but give me more RAM and CPU and network bandwidth…for the stuff that really counts, like rdp’ing into my home computer, watching live tv, uplaoding live video to ustream or something, hey maybe even real 2-way video chat!

    what am i gonna sit and stare at my wallpaper? that gets old in about 5 seconds

    toys and games

  • http://www.novoda.com Kevin McDonagh

    It’s understandable that some may feel an absence of logic in the decision to develop a resource draining aesthetic. The truth is that reconciling differences between kernel level locks and framebuffer drivers will not win the hearts and minds of the general public. Elegant design is sought as a luxury above all other apart from one… explosions. Bam! Live wallpaper.

    • http://www.nashvilletn-real-estate.com Dean Williams

      Sadly, that’s exactly right. The general public decides how successful a phone is and the public wants “pretty” and the ability to show off to their friends. Especially because for so long people have heard “Hey, look at what my iPhone can do that your phone can’t.” And 9/10 times its some stupid “lighter” app that is meaningless, but “pretty.”

  • http://Website Steve

    Cool and all but unless they use almost no resources their just useless gadgets. From watching the video, some of them seem to require a 2 GHz Dual core with dual video card… Seriously, when the phone comes to Canada, I’ll probably run one of those like the sperm one or the starfield since they don’t seem to use a lot of resources. But the plasma globe, pretty but your phone juste comes to a crawl… Look at when the screen is locked. 10 FPS maybe. Kind of pathetic on such a powerful device.

  • http://www.moleminer.com Little Fluffy Toys Ltd

    Please check out Social Wallpaper, our Facebook/Twitter active wallpaper that we developed as part of Google’s ADL2010 – the beta’s live on Android Market now. Please email our support address with any feedback – thanks!

    • http://Website Peter

      Tried it out but I have too many icons and widgets to make this more useful then the widgets themselves.

  • http://Website CJ

    He said “lets check out your anus”. Ha, ha, ha….

    • http://Website rky

      Wow. Explaining an obvious joke. How sad.

      • http://Website Cj

        How sad for you that you didn’t get the point that I was being obvious by pointing out an obvious joke. #fail

        • Seth Sawyer

          You’re still a chode…

  • http://Website BlkBear

    Live Wallpaper is nothing more than screen savers. Dumb phones have had moving wallpapers for some time now. The best thing about them is their quickie type programs and you have the option not to run them if you don’t want to. Be a whole different story of there were no way to turn them off.

  • http://www.cogspace.com/ Katie

    I can’t bring myself to stop using the default “Nexus” live wallpaper. It’s just so perfectly balanced. Matches everything well and has a distinctly Google, distinctly Android feel to it.

  • http://Website Horrible


    How about showing the DEFAULT view of the wallpaper before going in with your pudgy hands and tweaking all of the options?

    Did you do any preparation work for this video or were you completely flying by the seat of your pants (doesn’t look like it)? How about next time, instead of going in and fucking with everything, you just show us the default setup? Thanks in advance.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      There are already a ton of videos that show the default live wallpapers. We avoided them on purpose to show custom ones that developers had made.

    • http://clarklab.net Clark Wimberly

      I’m sorry you were forced to watch our terrible video. Oh wait you came to our site and watched it on your own accord.

  • http://Thanks! StarMom

    I enjoyed seeing all the different live wallpapers. I am using the Earth Rotation one, but with Jupiter on the screen for now. Thanks for the demo!

  • http://Website Scott

    i am using the Earth rotation- with real time earth map which is awesome, as well as the rotating moon around the earth.

    My favourite would be the waterpaper one where you can choose a photo and the wall makes it look like there is water on it and it moves however you move/tilt the phone. If only it had a slideshow option where you could choose the folder you want the photos to come from… when it does it will kick butt…

    Live Walls are just something different- if you don’t like it use a standard wall- Cyanogen has a good new one in his new rom :D

  • http://n/a Brian

    Thanks so much for this video, I’ve found some of these on my own, and it’s great to find even more!

    You guys are doing a great job with this site and I really encourage you to keep up the good work. The ONE thing I’d like to mention is about the guy who criticized your video. Obviously, he/she lacked a great deal of tact, but I do think he had a good bit of constructive criticism that was lost in his attitude: I, for one, would have loved to see what the default settings were before we were shown all of the options in the settings. I kept watching the video wand wanting to see what it looked like in the standard version, before the ways we could augment it.

    Anyhow, I just say that because I’d love to see another live wallpaper video in a month or two, once the number of them has grown. It’s an idea to take down for later! Thanks for everything guys!

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  • http://Website J.Doe

    Thanks for the video. I tend to agree that live wallpapers (at least those that I’ve seen) would get old and sorta pointless after a few minutes, but to each his own, eh? A little off-topic, I really like the design of your site – but then again, I’m partial to green.

  • http://Website devid

    My favorite live wallpaper is aniPet Goldfish from anifree.com which was recently released on Android Market. Naturally simulated goldfish in a pond, many setting options, and you feed goldfish with application icons!

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  • http://Website LoveToText

    i love the “little guys” live wallpaper, made me laugh here at work.

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  • http://Website mradke10

    Is this gonna be available for the htc hero when the new 2.1 update is released?

  • http://Website Mambu

    Thanks for the video Clark!
    You should make a new one every month with the new releases.


  • http://Website But where are the promised links ?

    Sounds like he said (very qulckly) “links at enterderme.com” ??

  • http://facebook.com Lil Wayne Solomon Ayarega

    Live Wallpaper is nothing more than screen savers. Dumb phones have had moving wallpapers for some time now. The best thing about them is their quickie type programs and you have the option not to run them if you don’t want to. Be a whole different story of there were no way to turn them off.

  • http://www.shake-them-all.net Yougli

    No ShakeThemAll? :(

  • http://Website Raffe

    Yeah i know this is a bit late…
    But I just got my HTC Desire two days ago and I love the live wallpapers.
    Been looking on market for the Seeds of Life one but I can’t find it. And in the (awesome) vid there was a mention about links but I can’t find those either… HELP!!! :-)

  • http://Website Hkk


  • http://LiveWallpaperonHTCWildfire... Denil

    Hi.. I am using HTC wildfire (android 2.1) system… can any one guide me how to set live wallpaper in ths phone.. i tried all my options of installing it but no success… Thanks in advance for your help…

    • http://Website daniel

      soorry i have a htc wildfire to get live wallpaers on htc wildfire you need to root and flash a custom rom, but i slows it down loads! i dont recommend it but i can tell you how to root and install a custom rom of your choice. : )

  • http://Website this.onEnterFrame

    These bacon and beach live wallpapers are pretty cool too http://www.appbrain.com/search?q=builtclean

  • http://Website paquillo40

    Me encantan los live wallpapers….pero en mi samsung galaxy Spyca con la 2.1. No soy capaz de instalarlos…. de hecho en el menu de inicio solo me aparece la opcion de fondos de pantalla, la pulso y solo salen 3 fondos que vienen en le movil…..
    ¿Como podria solucionar esto? Quiero tener fondos animados!!

  • http://Website Sharath

    Haha it seems he says that “lets check out ( your anus) uranus”

  • http://Website Tim

    I like this one- Stars Runner Live Wallpaper – it’s like a fly into space

  • http://www.popboxstudio.com/wp robert

    Hey if you have a chance can you review Original Flurry, here is some more information about it:


  • http://Website neith
  • http://splabs.blogspot.com splabs

    Try FishBowl Live Wallpaper: Turn your phone into a mini aquarium!


    Version 2.0 released – with new backgrounds and better graphics!
    Very low cpu usage means it wont drain your battery!

    LIKE our facebook page and you could get FishBowl Premium LWP free!

    • http://www.splabs.net splabs

      FishBowl Live Wallpaper – now at version 3.2

      More fish, baby fish, improved backgrounds, low cpu usage, low memory usage.

      Bring your phone to life with this innovative cartoon fish wallpaper!


  • http://www.kacaudah.com Gary Shimkus

    I seriously like your writing style, wonderful information , appreciate it for posting : D.

  • Andy Kennedy

    For those who think live wallpapers are a waste of time/resources etc, I can see your point but if you had a teenage daughter with an Android phone you’d understand that looking cool is more important than functionality!

  • https://market.android.com/details?id=org.anddev.wallpaper.motion.timer Paul

    Nice roundup.

    Check out my motion timer LWP at: https://market.android.com/details?id=org.anddev.wallpaper.motion.timer


  • http://www.blendblogger.com Umair

    Live wallpaper is the best feature that android have, Its fun searching for different live wallpapers for my phone. Check it out

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  • Sandberg Sound

    I just released this live wallpaper. If you’re into music or audio gear, I bet you’d like it.