Feb 14 AT 2:47 PM Brooks Barnard 40 Comments

5 killer ways to find wallpapers that make your Android device yours

Make your Android device yours

One of the things that makes Android a truly beautiful platform is customization. I’m not talking about custom ROMs or root mods; I’m talking about how no other major mobile platform out there lets you customize your device the way Android does. There may be some caveats, but you have the ability to make your Android device completely unique. My wife hates using my Nexus 5 because it’s so different than her Galaxy S4. Maybe that’s a bad thing, I’m not sure. But what I do know is that I have my Nexus 5 set up exactly the way I want it and I love it. I think my home screen looks awesome, and not only is it super functional, it’s also fun to use. The beauty is that I can change it tomorrow if I get a new idea. My home screen isn’t going to look like everyone else’s iPhone (although I could make it look like iOS if I wanted) or Windows Phone; my device looks like no one else’s because it’s Android.

This is the third post of a recurring series about making your Android device yours. Today I’m going to cover some of my personal secrets in regards to finding killer wallpapers. My goal here is to offer customization ideas that will work for all Android devices, whether you’re still running Gingerbread or you’re on the latest version of Android, Kit Kat. You don’t need to be rooted. You don’t need to be running a custom ROM. All you need is a little bit of time and an itch to change things up a bit. If that sounds like you, read on my friend. We’re going to have fun diving into the world of customization and making your device truly unique.

Last week we covered some really cool custom icon packs. Wallpapers are a very important complement to icon packs, and for me, they have a large effect on how my homescreen is organized. I think wallpapers are an easy way to put your personality/interests/nerdiness on display, and it’s really fun to have some good resources for finding the right one. So without further ado, here are my wallpaper finding pro tips:

Screenshot_2013-12-30-22-18-56_gtenexus520131230_2219221) Apps

This may be an obvious answer, but sometimes obvious answers are the best. Also, there are so many dang apps out there (I’m not complaining) that sometimes it’s hard to find the really good and useful ones. One of my personal favorites is 500 Firepaper by the world famous Android developer chainfire. 500 Firepaper allows you to automatically rotate through popular images from 500px right on your homescreen, You have tons of control regarding what kinds of images you can get on your homescreen and how often. You can get some beautiful images on there, and it’s always changing which is super fun.

A similar brand new app that will rotate classic art on your homescreen is Muzei. Other honorable mentions are Minimal Wallpapers (which has tons of walls from simpledesktops.com), Fuzz, Zedge and Wallbase. I’m sure there are a ton more, so be sure to let us know what wallpaper apps you’re using if I didn’t mention yours.

2) Icon packs

The themers out there that are hooking us up with beautiful icon packs do us a huge favor and typically combine wallpapers along with their icon packs. I’d say the majority of the wallpapers I end up using on my devices are from icon packs. Most of the time they’re very simple and complement the themer’s beautiful icon theming work. With their powers combined your homescreen can look awesome. For example, Stark by kovdev has some of my favorite wallpapers that I use all the time.

3) Google image search

Using Google image search is a great way to get wallpapers tailor made for your device. You don’t *need* to have images that are the exact resolution of your display, but if you want to guarantee that the whole image will fit well on your homescreen, this is a great way to do it. Look up your device’s screen resolution (The Nexus 5′s is 1920 x 1080), go to Google’s image search, click on Search Tools > Size > Exactly… > and enter your resolution. Then, search whatever you’re interested in like flowers, androids, cars, dinosaurs, whatever. You can find walls that look and fit great on your device.


4) Google+ communities

Google+ communities like Android Wallpapers are an awesome way to find and share great wallpapers. I don’t have much else to add regarding this wall finding method. It’s a community. We work together to make our Android devices awesome. You can join and contribute and make the Android community more awesome.

5) Take awesome pics

Last, this isn’t really a method to find wallpapers, but to create them. Take lots of pictures and/or follow people who take awesome pictures. It’s the best way to get original and meaningful content on your homescreen. If you don’t think you can take your own pretty pictures, follow someone like Romain Guy.

So, where do you get your wallpapers? Which ones are you sporting on your device? There are probably lots of other great ways or apps to find wallpapers. If I’ve left out something that you feel is worth mentioning, please comment below and let us know what you’re using and why you think it’s awesome. You can also use the HTML <img> tag and show us your homescreen. We’ll continue to share other wallpapers in the future. Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to let us know what topic you’d like to see covered in an upcoming edition of “Make your Android device yours.”

Brooks is an engineer living in the Bay Area recently dislocated from the Great Northwest. He's an Android enthusiast who decided to start doing something (productive?) with his countless hours Android modding and theming. He has a hot wife, is a father of three, an avid F1 fan, and enjoys watching sports when he can. His current devices include the Nexus 6 and 7 (2103) both running stock roms and may or may not be rooted. You can follow Brooks on Twitter @Brooks_Barnard.

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  • mk

    what is the name of that icon pack? the transparent one. i looked for it on the play store couldn’t find it.

    • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard
      • Eric Rodriguez

        What a bout the first screen with the snow background. what’s the whole setup ? Icon pack, launcher, etc. Thanks.

        • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

          Launcher: Action Launcher Pro
          Widget: DashClock
          Icon Pack: Stamped White Icons
          Wallpaper: Image from the 500 Firepaper app

          • Matt

            Is that what hot the day of the week in script on the second phone or is there a way to get that with the default launcher.

            I tried dash clock but to get all that info, you have to swipe down. That really didn’t save me any time or steps. It does seem like many heavy Android users just like changing things for sake of change, especially in terms of aesthetics.

      • Eric Rodriguez

        What widgets are being used?

    • bry68

      glo icons

  • ranwanimator

    Just a heads up. Unless the sole developer comes back, wallbase is going away sometime this month. There was an app in the play store, but it just pulled from the website so it’ll be useless too. There are two replacements in development: wallgig.net and wallhaven.cc

    • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

      Thanks for sharing!

  • Kylee

    Every single wallpaper that I have ever used is a photo that I took myself. You don’t need to be a pro photographer. The secret is capturing a moment that you want to remember.

    • Matt

      Also if your fave photo makes it hard to see the icons etc, try using the app Blur… But even if you don’t take great landscapes, a simple internet search will let you download for free pretty much any image you desire

  • Gilad

    What is the name of this luncher or wall paper at the pic in 4??

  • renyo

    I like clicking pictures and putting them as my background… But they would distract from the icons and blurring and/or dimming the photos was a pain… Enter Muzei… The answer to my problems…

  • donger

    LOL take awesome pictures.

  • Rana

    What is the navigation bar u are using?
    Is it some theme?

    • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

      I the second Nexus 5 render I’m using SoftKeyZ root app to change the nav buttons. The app offers lots of alternatives to the stock look.

  • Ari

    I tried Muzei which you’ve been hyping for days and the wallpapers never changed daily as promised

    I still never understand the obsession with huge clock widgets when the time is on the top right of every single screen. Is that too hard to see? I also have battery level (why that’s not standard I can’t figure out) and the current temperature on my status bar … All available on every single home screen

  • Albin

    I’m with those who want to use my own pics and don’t want homescreen clutter. What I haven’t found is a simple lightweight wallpaper switcher that would simply rotate through my own photo album folder and change the image every few hours, without a lot of unwanted extra stuff.

    • al

      Wallpaper changer on play store

  • Aaron L

    “Blur” is a good app that deserves mention. It basically allows you to take any photo and make it appear out of focus by applying an adjustable blur effect. I often find a good wallpaper that is a little too ‘busy’. Blur lets me fade some of that detail, making your icons and widgets pop,making them easier to see/find.

  • jamal adam

    I really like this series that you are doing, Brooks. Currently, I’m using Muzei and am loving the blur effect. Also, Kovdev has some amazing wallpapers from both the Stark and Nox icon packs.

    • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

      Thanks Jamaal! I’m enjoying doing the series! I think it’s fun being a part of helping the Android/AAM community have awesome phones.

  • Anthony Johnson

    That’s cool! I love the Live Wallpapers on my Nexus 5 device but the main problem arises is about battery consumptions. All android users here are quite familiar that Live Wallpapers consumes much power. But to overcome this problem I recently purchased Wireless Charger for my Nexus 5 and its working fine.

    • Jt

      How does that help? Unless you just mean you’re charging more frequently

  • Kaz

    Is there any other way I can get the wallpaper with the snowy trees

  • shaan haider

    hello. i have designed several home screens for android and have many ideas for home screens but i dont know where can i share my stuff. please provide me any link for the same.

  • Mohammad Elsayed Gazar

    How can I do ly own signature ?

  • Mohammad Elsayed Gazar

    How can I creaty my own signature on the wall paper like that. ?

  • lg lte2

    i really like the wallpaper with the sunset man. really appreciate it if you could share that to me :) :)
    pls make a link where i could download it..

  • jeremiah

    What soft key mod is that?

  • dharmeendr


  • gaurav

    i want that wallpaper

  • singh

    http://Www.hdwallpaper4pc.com is a good website for pc and mobile hd wallpapers

  • Vishnu Mohan

    What is the wallpaper/font/theme you have used in the picture shown above google + communities.??pls share

  • Enrique

    Hello! Could you he so kind and tell me what custom app you are using in picture #2 to get the Tuesday in cursive? Beforehand thank you!

  • cvigti

    Hi, love your date/time Calligraphy style and the picture too! Where can I get that Calligraphy style? I’ve searched and searched and can’t find it!
    Also, if you could, could you post a link to that wallpaper of the sunset? I know it was your brother-in-law that too it but could you post it for us? It looks great with that Calligraphy style date and hour :)

    Best wishes!


  • Koen de beuker

    The wicked nature wallpaper is downloadable from this website http://www.wallpapersforandroid.us/ depending on the model of your device offcourse.

  • James Carter

    As discussed earlier, own clicked photos makes my screen cluttered. I myself always drop the idea. My fav site for downloading wallpapers is http://hqmwallpapers.com They have this cool feature of writing text on wallpapers.

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