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10 best free wallpaper apps for Android

Update: Two newcomers

Authored by: Gary Marshall — 4 weeks 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, simply installing a pretty wallpaper can do that. Here are some of the best free wallpaper apps for Android.

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A list for when you tire of the admittedly very nice stock Android wallpapers. / © ANDROIDPIT

Tapet: for a taste of the infinite

'Tapet' is an archaic word for a decorative wall-hanging, but Tapet, the 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 comes with 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

If you haven’t heard of 500px, it’s 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. 

androidpit best free wallpaper apps wallmax 2
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.

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

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, as well as share wallpapers via social networks or email.

Cool Wallpapers HD: Wallpapers that are cool and also HD. / © Kappboom Inc.
Cool Wallpapers HD 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 something arty on your Galaxy Alpha? Muzei Live Wallpaper gently refreshes your screen with famous works of art from 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.

Install this on a Moto G and the 'G' stands for 'Gallery'. / © Roman Nurik
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.

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.

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.

androidpit best free wallpaper apps whatsapp
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? Let us know 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.


Write new comment:
  • John S 1 week ago Link to comment

    Awesome list, but I think you have missed Waller, it's automatic wallpaper chaining app.

  • Cool, awesome apps... I'm going to try it now

  • 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.

  • Thanks

  • Mark S. 4 weeks 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.

  • Muzei is just awesome, new image every day or choose from countless plugins like 500px, that support Muzei, for just about any type of images you like...
    its brilliant simple stuff like the ability to dim and blur the image, have your own gallery as a feed, not to mention it's free and very stable.

  • Moussa 7 months ago Link to comment

    I agree, Muzei is still the best!

  • Kishin 7 months ago Link to comment

    I'm surprised the wallpaper app Wally didn't make the list

  • Muzei is the best, ever.

  • Kuoyhout 10 months ago Link to comment

    I'm currently using a wallpaper app name "WallStore"

  • The selection of Android wallpaper apps continue to increase and it's because of the strong growing of new Android smartphones. These apps gives a new look and feel for your mobile and it also mirrors you personal style and taste.

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