Five top live wallpapers for Android [April 2013]

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Live wallpapers are one of the most unique features to Android, and for good reason. Sometimes still pictures get a little boring, so why not spice your home screen up with something flashy and interactive? We’re going to go over a few of the best live wallpapers available for your device in this guide.

As a disclaimer, live wallpapers will likely drain your battery a bit more than a static wallpaper, and some phones can get a bit bogged down by the more intense wallpapers. It’s best to experiment and see which ones work for you to give you a nice balance between form and function. Lets get started.

nexus-live-wallpaper

The Nexus live wallpaper was one of the first live wallpapers introduced by Google. It’s not too over the top, but it’s definitely eye-catching and shows off what the inside of your Android device looks like. Unfortunately, the Nexus live wallpaper doesn’t come preloaded on too many devices anymore, but that’s where this app comes in.

The Nexus Revamped wallpaper stays true to the original Nexus neural network but throws in a ton of extra customization options. You can change the colors and speed of the particles, the color or image of the background, set different reactions for when you touch the wallpaper, etc. Just about anything you want to change about this wallpaper, you can. There’s even a few performance options you can tweak to make it work on just about any phone. The pro version, which is only $1.50 in the Play Store, adds in a few other tweaks, such as turning the live wallpaper static when your battery drops past a certain level, changing particle custom colors, and changing the particle behavior based on your phone’s battery level. If you’re a fan of tweaking your device, this live wallpaper should be right up your alley.

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Play Store Download Link

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Play Store Download Link (Paid)

nexus-4-live-wallpaper

The Nexus 4 Dot live wallpaper is a modernized version of the original Nexus LW. It comes preloaded on the Nexus 4, but that doesn’t mean the rest of us shouldn’t be able to enjoy it, right? The wallpaper is made to mimic the glassy finish on the attractive Nexus 4, and does a pretty good job.

Like the Nexus Revamped wallpaper, this app also offers quite a few customization options to make sure your wallpaper matches whatever setup you’re currently using on your home screens. The default black/grey/white color screen looks fantastic, but if you’re in the mood for something a little more colorful, there are plenty of options to pick from. You can also change the speed of the twinkling effect of the shapes, and you can even change the glistening squares to circles. And, if you really want to get into nitty gritty controls, there are options for controlling the FPS of the live wallpaper. Plenty of options make this a great live wallpaper.

The app is free in the Play Store, but has some ads in the settings menus. You won’t have to worry about the ads leaking onto your homescreens, but if they really get in your way, you can use an in-app purchase to permanently remove the ads.

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Play Store Download Link

anipet aquarium live wallpaper

The aniPet Aquarium Live Wallpaper is definitely one of the busier live wallpapers you can use, but if you like eye candy, you’ll definitely want to give this one a go. This wallpaper lets you manage your own virtual aquarium behind your app shortcuts and widgets and is probably the best conversation starter on this list.

The app supports up to 20 fish in your aquarium, with the full version offering 180 different species across 20 categories of fish. There are even customization options for controlling the size of each individual fish, which is some pretty incredible attention to detail. In the paid version of the app, which only costs $2, feeding the fish (which is done by tapping the screen to disperse some fish food, a very neat feature) will cause them to slowly mature and grow up and get larger. Mature fish can even have baby fish, and there’s an option you can turn on where the fish will die if you don’t feed them often enough. If you’ve been wondering if you’re responsible enough to take care of a pet at home, that option is a great way to find out.

This live wallpaper blurs the line between wallpaper and game, but that’s definitely not a bad thing. If you’re itching for something ridiculously customizable and interactive, this LW should be at the top of your list.

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Play Store Download Link

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Play Store Download Link (Paid)

bubbles-live-wallpaper

Sometimes, you don’t want something too flashy on your homescreen. Simplicity can be a good thing, and the Bubble Live Wallpaper fits that category nicely. This live wallpaper features a handful of floating bubbles on the screen (surprise, surprise) which you can tap to pop, or just watch them float around behind your widgets.

Of course, no Android app worth its salt isn’t without a few customization options. Bubble lets you change the theme of your entire wallpaper, from the colors of the background to the colors of the bubbles. If you’re in a really creative mood, you can select a specific picture to put inside your bubbles. You can  even enable rotation to speed up or slow down the bubbles floating on screen, and there’s a few battery saving tweaks, including 3D hardware rendering and adjusting the amount of bubbles on screen.

If you want some wallpaper that’s a bit more serene, I’d suggest giving this app a whirl. It’s ad-supported, so it won’t cost you anything.

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Play Store Download Link

photo-fx-live-wallpaper

Maybe you like the thought of live wallpapers, but you like to keep a personal touch on your homescreens with pictures of your friends, family, or possibly your favorite cat. This is the internet age, and we completely understand the importance of cat pictures, so we’re here to show you Photo FX Live Wallpaper. The developer has also made popular apps like Color Splash FX and Camera Zoom FX, so they’ve had quite a bit of experience with creating quality applications that focus on your photos.

As the name suggests, this live wallpaper consists of displaying slideshows of your personal pictures as your background, complete with different animations, frames, and slideshow options. The pro version of the app adds in 100′s of effects to filter over your photos in the slideshow, as well as different photo slideshow appearances, like collages and photo grids, and even some custom gestures for the wallpaper. Best of all, the pro version of the app only sets you back $2. It’s a pretty nifty, flexible app that consumes surprisingly little battery.

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Play Store Download Link

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Play Store Download Link (Paid)

The Play Store is full of live wallpapers, so there’s plenty more to pick from than just these. These are just a few that top my list. Are there any of your personal favorites that didn’t make the list? Let us know.

» See more articles by Jared Peters


  • http://www.facebook.com/marc.adam.12 Marc Adam

    Nexus 4 dot does not come on the Nexus 4

    • Rob

      Yep. It’s not on my Nexus 4

  • aquaman

    Real Fishes live wallpapers are brand new and they´re gorgeous!

  • gobblenutz

    phase beam is a nice simple live wallpaper

  • nomad

    Need to add SimAquarium and remove anipet. Probably the best aquarium live wallpaper available atm.

    • Romdude

      Check out marine aquarium and see if you don’t change your opinion.

  • Roleesun

    Try a live wallpaper called Ditalix.

  • Kuttootta

    Try Forest HD, Fresh Leaves, Paperland Pro, Samurai rider, Water Pro…

    Once u try u will forget the rest of the wallpapers…

  • AnonGuest

    I would love to see a list of ‘top’ LWPs that are functional-in-use and not just more eye-candy screen savers. Is there anything out there like that?

  • Maverick

    @e1122ae05f12a75ca02d4b93eca56f11:disqus – Try the Device Info Live paper… its not at all flashy and it gives the details i.e. phone temp, CPU usage, memory usage, CPU speed, etc etc

  • rock

    try sky birds live wallpaper from mev2, itz really good and live animation.

    • carl

      i tried it excellent app. uses very less battery. great animation

  • paul

    My preffered is clockbulb its 3d..very nice!

  • phillatio

    Electricsheep
    Digital Beam
    Galactic Core

    Your list is terrible, did you research or just name the first 5 you found?

    Electricsheep is even good on the battery when the settings are tweaked.

  • Tim
  • kkl

    Check this out too… Kinda cool live wallpaper with HD leaves

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.kisionlab.tapleavesfree

    • Romdude

      It’s nice but butterflies aren’t to scale. I guess I could always remove them and just have the beautiful leaves.

  • Pradeep

    My Top 5 live wallpaper – Ocean HD, Fluid, space colony, galaxy s3/s4 dandelion, aquarium 3d . gives ur mobile a beautiful look.

  • Romdude

    Nice but koi live wallpaper and marine aquarium are better.