Android 101: How to change your wallpaper
Jun 11, 2013 12:21 PM –
Welcome to the latest Android 101 in our series of easy-to-follow tutorials which are ideal for new Android users. In this article, we are going to look at how to change your wallpaper.
An Android phone offers a wealth of customisation options unrivaled by other mobile operating systems. Perhaps the simplest and more primary of which is your wallpaper, that is, the background behind your icons, widgets and shortcuts.
Initially, you start with your basic homescreen, like this:
From here, press and hold down on a a clear area (in other words, not a widget or an icon). When you do this, a menu will come up that looks something like this:
Now you need to select where you get your wallpaper from. For simplicity sake, we’ll go with ‘Wallpaper’ first, which will then display the native Android wallpapers that are already on your device. In the latest version of Android 4.2, that will look like the picture below, but depending on your device, there are lots of variants:
On this screen you can scroll horizontally to find the wallpaper you like, touch ‘Set wallpaper’ and you will be taken back to your homescreen which will now display your new wallpaper.
If we back up a little the initial menu we saw, you’ll notice there is an option for ‘Live Wallpaper’. This gives you animated and occasionally interactive backgrounds which are also optional. When you select Live Wallpaper, you get a menu like this:
This menu displays all the live wallpaper on your device, whether that be one of the native Android ones or those which you have downloaded. Selecting a live wallpaper brings up a preview, much like this:
Simple wallpapers will just have a ‘Set wallpaper’ button at the bottom, whereas customisable live wallpapers will have an additional settings menu to play with. This is usually quite easy but it will help you personalise your wallpaper more.
Another option you have from the wallpaper menu is to take a wallpaper from your gallery, this will include any pictures you might have saved on your device or perhaps have taken yourself. When you select this option, the device needs to make sure the image you have selected will fit your screen properly. To do this, you may have to crop the image. If that is the case, you’ll get a screen like the one below:
All you need to do in this case is expand the size of the central rectangle using the blue circles on each side. Once you’re happy with your image, select the small ‘OK’ button located in the top right hand corner and your wallpaper will change your cropped image.
Changing wallpapers is a great way of changing the look of your device and there are thousands and thousands of choices out there. Dedicated apps such as Wallbase and Zedge, which can be downloaded from the Google Play Store for free, give you loads of wallpaper choices.
One word of caution, however, with wallpapers is how they affect battery life. If you ever want to check out the things that drain your battery, your screen will usually be the most significant. Here’s mine right now:
As you can see, the screen uses the most battery. If then, for example, you select a wallpaper that pumps out a lot of bright colours, the battery will arguably drain faster than a wallpaper which is darker and so emits less light. The same applies to live wallpapers which, because they are ‘active’ whenever you are using your device, will perhaps drain battery life faster than a static image.
However, different devices will respond in different ways, so definitely play around with these settings and find a compromise between what you really like and what your daily battery demands are. That said, if you’re sat at a desk all day with access to a charger, feel free to use whatever wallpaper you like!
I hope you have find this useful. Here at AndroidTapp we occasionally review live wallpapers. Feel free to check some of them out:
Paperland – Your own paper world on your homescreen.
Bus Stop – A highly original wallpaper with hand drawn characters
RLW Live Wallpaper – Customisable futuristic circles
Wave – Like the PS3 or Sony Xperia backgrounds
Fresh Leaves – Just about the crispest and realistic wallpaper you can find!
As usual feel free to leave comments below whether that be a future tutorial request or perhaps even your favourite wallpaper, it’s great to hear from you.