Personalizing your smartphone wallpaper is an effective way of cementing your smartphone’s home screen as an integral part of your life. An attractive static home-screen wallpaper background can make your handset experience more positive, upbeat, and exciting to use. Live wallpaper — which moves like a GIF as you tap and hold — makes your Android or iPhone user experience even more interesting. Some smartphones come with built-in live wallpapers, but it takes just a few minutes to make your own custom live wallpaper from any video you have. Think of how inspiring it would be to watch that hummingbird you filmed flitting its wings whenever you launch your phone.
Sound tempting? We explain how to make live wallpaper for iPhone and Android. We show you how to do this natively on the iPhone, without needing to download live wallpaper apps. We also cover how to do this with third-party apps on Android — the only way to accomplish this on Android.
How to create live wallpaper on iPhone
If you have an iPhone 6S or later, you can make a live wallpaper on iPhone natively, without having to download an app. This is because the iPhone 6S and later models (not including the first-generation iPhone SE) allow you to take Live Photos and also enable 3D or Haptic Touch. Live Photos are very short snippets of video that allow you to edit and choose the perfect frame for your photo. However, they can also be used as live wallpaper. Here’s how to do it in iOS 13 and iOS 14.
Step 1: Go to Settings > Wallpaper.
Step 2: Tap Choose a New Wallpaper. Scroll down and tap Live Photos.
Step 3: Select a photo. Make sure that you have Live Photo: On activated.
Step 4: Tap Set. Choose either Set Lock Screen or Set Both. Set Home Screen, is not critical since the wallpaper won’t actually move on the Home screen.
Once you’ve done this, you’ll have a live wallpaper that animates on the Lock screen when you tap and hold the image. You can also use a number of iOS apps to save a GIF or video as a Live Photo, which you’ll then be able to set as a live wallpaper. For example, IntoLive is a popular iOS app that can convert your videos into Live Photos, as can Giphy.
How to create live wallpaper on Android
To create a live wallpaper on Android, you must download a third-party live wallpaper app. There are several of these currently available, with some of the most popular including Idutchsolutions’ Video Live Wallpaper, KLWP Live Wallpaper Maker, GIF Live Wallpaper, and Walloop’s Live Wallpapers HD & Backgrounds 4k/3D.
There is also a wide range of automated live wallpaper apps that make and set different live wallpapers for you. For example, Muzei Live Wallpaper updates your Android smartphone every day with a new live wallpaper based on a famous work of art. Meanwhile, Forest Live Wallpaper provides you with forest-themed live wallpapers.
However, if you want to make your own live wallpapers on Android, here’s how to use Video Live Wallpaper to do so.
Step 1: Open the app, then tap Gallery. Select the video you’d like to set as a live wallpaper.
Step 2: Choose the settings you like for the live wallpaper. There’s an option to Play Audio, which probably isn’t the best idea if you want to save battery or be discreet. You can also choose to loop the video, so it plays repeatedly. You can even choose to Play video screen, which keeps the live wallpaper running even when you’re in an app.
Step 3: Once you’ve chosen your desired settings, tap Set Live Wallpaper.
That’s it. While there are plenty of similar live wallpaper apps out there — Video Live Wallpaper is worth checking out — they all work more or less the same way. Experiment and — above all — have fun.