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11 best free wallpaper apps for Android

Update: Two newcomers

Authored by: Gary Marshall — 1 month ago

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, you can do it simply by adding a pretty wallpaper. Here are some of the best free wallpaper apps for Android.

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Here's a list for when you tire of the admittedly very nice stock Android wallpapers. / © ANDROIDPIT

HPSTR: for trendy geometry

When a simple image isn't enough, HPSTR is there to add a filtered shape overlay. Images come from Reddit, 500px and Unsplash, and the selection can be filtered through a choice of categories. Then you get to pick your shape and filter. It's surprisingly fun.

With a paid upgrade, you get access to a host of additional features, mostly customization options. The free version offers plenty to play with though, and will get your phone looking cool enough to pull out at the next Tame Impala gig.

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Make your Android a little trendier with HPSTR. / © ANDROIDPIT
Hipster wallpaper - HPSTR Install on Google Play

Plastexo: for select minimalist variety

Plastexo is essentially a wallpaper gallery, and it's as clean and simple as the wallpapers it provides. The selection is not that extensive – it offer 110 wallpapers – but has enough variety to cater to anyone interested in some minimal designs for their device. The quality of the selection is top-notch too.

All the designs are created by Mowmo, a great Android designer, who is worth following on Twitter if you like his style.

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Minimalist designs from Mowmo through the Plastexo app. / © ANDROIDPIT
Plastexo - Wallpaper Install on Google Play

Tapet: for a taste of the infinite

'Tapet' is an archaic word for a decorative wall-hanging, but the Tapet app is anything but archaic. It generates endless wallpapers set to your device's screen size using a variety of patterns and colors. Using simple swipe gestures, you can change the pattern, but keep the colors, keep the colors but change the pattern, get a whole new design, or go back through previous designs.

You can customize how frequently you see certain patterns or colors in the settings, and once you've arranged things to your liking, you can set the app up to change your wallpaper on a regular basis, so you never have to worry about choosing another wallpaper again. It has a pleasing parallax effect when you scroll through pages, too.

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Patterns and colors, a simple but endless wallpaper selection. / © ANDROIDPIT
Tapet™ - Infinite Wallpapers Install on Google Play

Minima: for parallax lovers

The parallax feature on newer devices is a simple but pleasing addition to smartphones. Tilting the screen results in the background moving, making it appear three-dimensional. Minima takes full advantage of this feature, producing wallpapers designed to look great when the screen is tilted around. All the wallpapers are cleanly designed, and a lot of them have a hand-made feel.

The free version gives you 35 themes and most of the options, which is plenty. Upgrading gets you 90 themes, full editing options and lets you set automated wallpaper changing. Try the free version and see if you think the upgrade is worth it.

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A bit of tilting, and the moon appears to move beyond the mountains. / © ANDROIDPIT
Minima Live Wallpaper Install on Google Play

500 Firepaper: for slick, automatic wallpaper changes

500px is a website where some great photographers post their work. 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 decide which categories images are selected from.

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. 

androidpit best free wallpaper apps firepaper
Get the best shots from 500px photographers courtesy of Firepaper. / © ANDROIDPIT
500 Firepaper Install on Google Play

Wallmax: for niche wallpapers you won't find elsewhere

Alphawolf’s Wallmax is something of a hidden gem. It's had 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 that 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. 

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From Pokemon to planet earth, Wallmax has some impressive wallpapers. / © ANDROIDPIT
Wallmax Install on Google Play

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 – more than 11,000 – but also easy to navigate, and the extensive sort features make it easy to track down exactly what you’re looking for.

androidpit best free wallpaper apps zedge
Zedge has a huge array of Android wallpapers to suit any taste, and they look sweet. / © ANDROIDPIT
ZEDGE™ Ringtones & Wallpapers Install on Google Play

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.

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Backgrounds HD Wallpaper has more than 7,000 pictures to choose from. / © OGQ
Backgrounds HD (Wallpapers) Install on Google Play

Muzei Live Wallpaper: for art and live wallpaper fans

Feeling a bit arty? Fancy some Van Gogh on your Moto G or Gauguin on your Galaxy Alpha? Muzei Live Wallpaper gently refreshes your screen with famous works of art from Wikiart.org as well as high-quality photography. It keeps the images faded in the background to emphasize your icons and indicators but will show 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.

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Muzei is the wallpapers app for art fans. / © ANDROIDPIT
Muzei Live Wallpaper Install on Google Play

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.

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We just want to shake, shake, shake, shake, shake them all, shake them all. / © Mobile Co Studios
Shake Them All 2 Install on Google Play

Transparent Screen: for those who want something unique

OK, 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 and bear pits.

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.

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Make your phone something you can see through with this clever app. / © Sascha Affolter
Transparent Screen Install on Google Play

Honorable Mention: WhatsApp Wallpapers

To complement 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.

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Just think of this article as an umbrella for all your Android wallpaper needs. / © ANDROIDPIT
WhatsApp Wallpaper Install on Google Play

Have you found a cool wallpaper app for Android or a live wallpaper that made you laugh? Tell us about it in the comments.

Former lion tamer, Girls Aloud backing dancer and habitual liar Gary Marshall has been writing about technology since Google was two guys in a garage. He's written for many fine magazines, newspapers and websites, written a range of how-to-books and a novel, co-written a BBC documentary series and dishes out weekly tech advice on BBC Radio Scotland.

27 comments

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  • Veasler 3 weeks ago Link to comment

    Very cool, I like it

  • Yeah, nice list of best wallpaper apps.
    I suggest you to add website on your list: www.bestwallpapers-hd.com

  • Helpful. Good work team. But you guys missed WALLROX. It would be better if wallrox would be part of list. Thanks!

  • Why no Interfacelift? I mean, it costs money, but it's a professional photo app and it has some of the best wallpapers at high resolutions. There is also a free site. Search up Interfacelift on Google. (The website is not letting me comment a link.)

  • sylsau 1 month ago Link to comment

    I love Matrix Effect Live Wallpaper a live wallpaper that brings me matrix effect on my Android smartphone. Downloadable here : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ssaurel.matrixeffect

  • My favourite is Wally; smooth, amazing and quality wallpapers!

  • Where did you guys found the wallpaper in zedge? that wallpaper that is shown in the article title? because I can't find it in zedge app. Thanks!

  • A great list of wallpaper app but some app Doesn't work in india

  • Paolo 2 months ago Link to comment

    Walloid has stock wallpapers from almost EVERY major new phone (Oneplus 2 + X, LG V10, EVERY 2015 tier one Samsungs + Apples, Nexus,) it's ridiculous.

  • 王晓玮 2 months ago Link to comment

    Hi, I come from CM Launcher, an APP that focus on improving people's Android phone using experience. Now we published a music theme in which users can play piano music on phone.In the meanwhile, this theme could beautify and faster android phone. Now, we noticed that you are an excellent in AndroitPit. I wish you could write an article about this new theme. I know this may looks a little offence but I hope that we could talk more about this issue. Looking for your reply. Thanks! You can email me : wangxiaowei@conew.com

  • Muzei should be installed by default....

  • Nice, list..
    didnt know some of them on the list.

  • Ryan 2 months ago Link to comment

    Tapdeck is by far and away the best wallpaper app.

  • John S 2 months ago Link to comment

    Awesome list, but I think you have missed Waller, it's automatic wallpaper chaining app.
    play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.brotherpowers.waller

  • XeBii Mj 2 months ago Link to comment

    Cool, awesome apps... I'm going to try it now
    wallpapers.youthkorner.com

  • Good selection of wallpapers here, maybe my own one day will be popular enough to make a list like this won't post the link that kinda feels rude

  • Glad I found the site so I can be trendy. Also the info will allow the device to be more useful and keep me smarter than the smartphone :) Lastly, my 14 year old girl will continue to think I'm a cool mom.

  • Hi, please check this Wallpaper app. It's awesome. If you like it, then please consider adding it on your list.

    www.play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.appygammy.wallpapers.backgrounds

  • Thanks

  • Mark S. 3 months ago Link to comment

    Thanks for the list - I've been using Zedge since the beginning and haven't really paid attention to any others.

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