One of our favorite things about Android is how customizable it is. But you don’t need to start installing themes or messing around with rooting to make your phone looks great, simply installing a pretty wallpaper can do that. Here are some of the best free wallpaper apps for Android.
500 Firepaper: for slick, automatic wallpaper changes
If you haven’t heard of 500px, it’s a website where some great photographers post their work - and with the 500 Firepaper app, you can see their art on your phone. One of the most impressive aspects of 500 Firepaper is that you can specify how often the images change, and you can select from which categories images are selected.
To give you an idea of 500 Firepaper's capabilities, you can set the background image to change every time you unlock your phone, or whenever you tap an image with three fingers; it's great functionality, just watch that your internal storage space doesn't run out.
Wallmax: for niche wallpapers you won't find elsewhere
Alphawolf’s Wallmax is something of a hidden gem. It has a relatively low number of downloads, but provides some stunning wallpapers. It’s not the smoothest app: images take a while to load, and there are bugs galore, but this the price you pay for a cool, free, “underground” app which none of your friends have.
Quick-tip: Wallmax’s default wallpaper selection menu doesn’t load much - you need to set the search criteria yourself first to view anything. Just select to search by views, date added or something else, and the list will populate.
Zedge: for one of the biggest and best wallpaper selections on Android
Zedge doesn’t just offer wallpapers: it has themes, ringtones and notification sounds too, although the wallpaper library is why it’s in our list today. The wallpaper collection is massive - there are more than 11,000 - but easy to navigate, and the extensive sort features make it easy to track down exactly what you’re looking for.
Waterfall Live Wallpaper: for waterfall lovers
There has been a downpour of waterfall-themed live wallpapers flowing through the Play Store recently, but just to wet your appetite we’re only featuring the one we consider to be the best. It’s awash with lush imagery, and is incredibly stable, but be prepared for the torrent of ads accompanying it. Though there are a ton of imitators, download the Creative Factory Wallpapers version and everything will go swimmingly.
Backgrounds HD Wallpapers 50M+: for a professional app and large community
Backgrounds HD offers free wallpapers for Android from artists all over the world, and it features more than 7,000 high-quality wallpapers to personalize your phone. You can crop and set wallpapers to fit your screen or just highlight the best bits, share on social networks and submit your own backgrounds for others to admire.
Cool Wallpapers HD: for smartwatches too
Cool Wallpapers HD doesn’t just work on your Android phone or tablet: it works with Android Wear too, so you can use it to send wallpapers to your smartwatch. Browsing the huge gallery is fast and you can search by category or keyword, and you can also share wallpapers via social networks or email.
Muzei Live Wallpaper: for art and live wallpaper fans
Feeling a bit arty? Fancy some Van Gogh on your Moto G or something arty on your Galaxy Alpha? Muzei Live Wallpaper gently refreshes your screen with famous works of art from Wikiart.org and high quality photography, keeping the images faded in the background to emphasize your icons and indicators but showing them in their full glory when you double-tap. Like Cool Wallpapers Muzei supports Android Wear too, so you can wander around with a masterpiece on your wrist as well as in your pocket.
Premium Wallpapers HD: for simple, high-quality wallpapers
Premium Wallpapers HD is another huge repository of wallpapers with more than 10,000 wallpapers in HD quality and new additions each and every day. It’s a nice app to use and the images are both good to look at and easy to navigate.
Shake Them All! Live 2 Wallpaper: for those who want something quirky
This one’s a lot of fun: Shake Them All! Live 2 Wallpaper features tumbling androids and a physics engine that means they react to gravity, shakes, touches, light and sound. We like to imagine that they’re real people, that our phone is a tower block and that we’re angry giants who laugh as we throw them around like dolls, jab them and generally make them feel like rush hour commuters.
Transparent Screen: for those who want something unique
Okay, this isn’t strictly a wallpaper app. But it’s related, because what Transparent Screen does is make your phone’s screen transparent by showing you what the phone’s camera sees. If you’re the kind of person who gets so engrossed in your phone that you don’t notice the world around you, this app could prevent hilarious-sounding yet potentially lethal encounters with public transport, cliffs, opened mineshafts, bear pits and so on. Just watch the battery life: live-viewing your camera isn’t great if it’s going to be a long time until you’re next near a charger.
Honorable Mention: WhatsApp Wallpapers
To compliment the best Android messaging app around, WhatsApp Inc has created a pretty fine wallpaper collection to spruce up your conversation backgrounds. They’re slick, unobtrusive, and will make your friends say “how does your WhatsApp look so gosh darn funky?!” Give it a try.
Have you found a best wallpaper app for Android or just a live wallpaper that made you laugh? Let us know in the comments!