There are a couple of reasons why some mobile users oppose to installing customization apps, such as themes, screen locks, and live wallpapers. For one, they are not altogether safe since most of them require access to very sensitive areas of your device. Another reason is they may be glitch, or resource-hungry, or both. Some of them come with ads and unwanted or potentially malicious bundles. So, it takes a lot of time to find the one you would entrust your mobile device to.
Finding a decent wallpaper app on Google Play or iTunes is without a doubt one of the greatest challenges, for only the lazy haven’t tried their luck at earning an extra buck through a mobile app that offers ‘awesome’ wallpaper selection. While there is no denying the fact that there are truly decent apps that offer themes, wallpapers and icons, the magnitude of trash piling up on both marketplaces is discouraging.
Moreover, personalization nerds are always hungry for novelty, a condition modern psychology brands as neophily. You want a lot of wallpapers and you want them often, so chances are you end up installing more than one or two apps, which clogs up your device with bloatware. Some of that bloatware wants permissions to access the areas of your device you wouldn’t think it would need to download a picture. So, for the sake of privacy, security and satisfaction of your insatiability use this obvious, yet sometimes neglected tool.
Your mobile device, be it iOS or Android, already has one of the best wallpaper search and install apps of all times- the browser. Whatever the browser you use on your mobile device, it will give you more options than any app from Google Play or iTunes for free. Just remember to browse and download over Wi-Fi when you go wallpaper hunting. Here is our list of top wallpaper resources for mobile devices.
Note: some of them have mobile apps, too.
My personal favorite is this simplistic, uncluttered website, which also has an app (downloading from website is free, but the app is paid). Those who like abstract artwork will definitely enjoy browsing its galleries, and even though a way to filter images, or at least to display them by category would be a welcome addition. The gallery sports motion, minimal, Android-featured images, as well as Cyanogen, monotone, text-based wallpapers, or blurred parts of images that surprisingly make great backgrounds.
There is also a series of hexagon-based artwork, great compilation of abstract images, patterns, architecture, shapes, sci-fi, vintage and simply colors for those who appreciate simplicity. There are a few games-related images and plenty of sports-themed ones. Elegance, Gummy and Liberty series will appeal to the modern and eclectic style aficionados.
Wallbase [also on Google Play] is a comprehensive and neat wallpapers database featuring exhaustive filtering options – by screen resolution, device, purity (I’d say maturity), featured, top lists, tags, and a search option, so you can browse by keyword.
There are also user collections, so you can monitor someone’s collection, or sign up and add awesome artwork to your own collection. Just to test out the library’s capabilities, I tried out several searches, and the results were very impressive. The list of sci-fi themed wallpapers is superb and you can stock your device with images for the entire year ahead. Besides, the works are of different style categories – HD, sketchy, cartoonish, hand-drawn and so much more. Anime gallery is also worth mentioning, so any fan of the Avatar and Asian girls will lose focus for a while.
The cartoon selection is yet another treat with some of the popular themes, both simplistic and cartoonish. Of course, the Simpsons and Batman rule.
You can search by the movie title, actor, singer, event, or whatever interests you – wallbase seems to have it all, and no wonder since it’s community-driven.
4walled is also a great resource, provided you know what you are looking for. Tron wallpapers are awesome, but the lack of Top or Featured lists may slow you down a little. Nevertheless, you can find true gems in the depths of their galleries.
This resource is great for those who enjoy HD architecture and cities backgrounds. The website has a tag cloud full of city and location names, each featuring different amount of wallpapers. The most popular ones are highlighted, but navigation is easy since the tags are alphabetically organized.
If you liked one image, you can see more images by the same artist, or see his webpage. You can also register and post comments and add images to your favorites. Overall, Interfacelift is a great thematic resource and if big cities, villages and all sorts of geography-driven wallpapers are your favorite, check it out.
The website offers several download sizes and resolutions for each download, so you can choose your device – iPhone, iPad, netbook, BlackBerry, desktop and more. Even though there is no Android, most of the images are still applicable. After all, they are just images, even though most of them are pretty impressive professional photography.
Zedge also has huge collections, and you can search by keywords, or just hit featured, popular or recent. The resource also offers ringtones and themes, if you are interested. Abstract, paintings, branded, cartoonish, minimalistic – zedge has it all and more, so check it out.
This is the last entry on today’s list, but DeviantArt is by far one of the greatest places online where art folks are hanging around and showcasing their work, and believe me – it’s a gold mine of talents.
You can just browse any artwork, or visit Android or iOS-related groups and browse their galleries. If you stumble upon a particularly fine artwork, you will see its author and his other works. Also, many designers feature entire wallpaper packs, so all you need is a good Internet connection and plenty of time to enjoy the beauty.
Needless to say, all trends and art styles are represented exhaustively on DeviantArt, so if you have never browsed it before, go ahead and treat your device to some of the genuinely unique artwork.
Here are some suggestions:
Installing the new wallpaper from your browser is basically the same as downloading an image and setting it as a background on your desktop. Just load the image, long-tap it and select ‘Save Image.’
Once you are done downloading, and some would go on a downloading spree, you can choose your next wallpaper from your Downloads folder (where your downloads go by default in Android) or from your media player’s gallery, which is probably even more convenient if you want to take a look at them all and choose one for today.
Once you open the image, you can set it as wallpaper by tapping on the Menu button in the top right corner and choosing Set picture as -> Wallpaper.
You will then have to crop the image, so you can either choose a fraction of it, or drag the borders as wide as you can to embrace its greatest part. Tap Crop and you are done.
Voilà! No apps, no ads, no access permissions, no in-app purchases. Just pure art.
Let us know of any great art resources relevant to mobile wallpapers in the comments below.