Generally speaking, I'm not a fan of live wallpapers. I love the idea, but in practice I've never found one that suits my taste and is compelling enough to stay on my device for more than a few minutes. That changed today with Cypher Cove's release of Audio Glow to the Play Store.

Audio Glow is actually a stand-alone app with a similarly named LWP companion which also launched today. The app is a music visualizer, which in itself is not so exciting. What makes this app exciting is that it isn't just a music visualizer – it's one that's beautiful, functional, and extremely customizable.

Basically, the app (or LWP, as the case may be) reacts to sound from any other app on your device (though its main target is music). It does this with colorful bars and little glowing particle specks that float around and can react to your touch. The app is simple in concept, and executed brilliantly with a ton of customization options. (Don't believe me? Just look at the screenshot on the far right below.) Users can change bar shape, color, particle density, whether bars and particles react to touch, the app's zoom level, its default music app target, and so much more.

In use, the colored bars bounce up and down as you'd expect, the particles drift lazily through the screen, and the artist name and song title smoothly slide together and apart.

Screenshot_2012-11-06-14-23-23 Screenshot_2012-11-06-14-38-17 settings

This is a fun app, and an even better live wallpaper – one that can stand on its own even when no music is playing. Did I mention that Tasker and Locale users can use their saved visualizer themes and set them to trigger in response "to almost anything you can imagine"?

The app is free in the Play Store, and the LWP is only $0.99, so there's no reason whatsoever not to try them out. Just hit the widget(s) below.

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    Instant <3.

    I've been talking with the dev for a few weeks, giving suggestions and feedback. Originally it was just the LWP, but I thought a separate dedicated app that doesn't take over the LWP would be even nicer. Voila - here it is.

    • Justin W

      You should talk with him again - DROID Bionic and Nexus 7 invert how the volume affects the visualizer, meaning, when volume is at it's highest, the visualizer views it at it's lowest and vice versa. It's a beautiful visualizer, but that should be fixed.

      • Darren Keese

        Justin, thanks for your feedback and the extra detail by email. I just posted an update that allows you to adjust how the app reacts to volume, since different Android devices apparently report volume on varying scales. The update should be available very soon.

        • oneillperson

          Was having the same issue on the Razr HD. I'm super impressed by the dev support!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.seltenreich John Seltenreich

    how can you review this and not cover the apps effect on battery life? my experience is that live wallpapers are the fastest way to needlessly drain you battery. is this app different?

    • disqus_GEzxWntYAq

      Needlessly? Sure if you're enjoying it, it's not needless. :)

    • Steve

      That's just ridiculous. Most live wallpapers, at least the properly coded and optimised ones, won't even appear in your battery stats. LWPs having a high battery drain is just as much of a myth as wiping battery stats to calibrate your battery is.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      FYI, this is not a review.

      • tjennhw

        What is this?

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          It's an announcement of a new app?

    • Darren Keese

      It is true that all apps use battery, and OpenGL apps will use a bit more than the average app. But in most cases, the extra battery drain is negligible in relation to the battery drain from your screen being on, and live wallpapers don't use battery while the screen is off. Audio Glow uses a bit more battery power than the average live wallpaper, because it's also crunching a lot of audio FFT data, but this is kept to a minimum. It comes down to whether you're willing to use a little more battery so you can have more fun with your device. :)

  • http://twitter.com/psych2L Joseph Lee

    Very nice, please add the option for custom colors. I need more ICS blue ;)

    • ha33an

      There is the option to customize the colours segments in the settings. Quite a bit of customization in fact including changing the segments designs themselves, reflection brightness number or particles etc. That's for the live wallpaper at least.

  • Jon Garrett

    Garbage app. crashed constantly. when I uninstalled it--it left the icon behind which makes me wonder if its really uninstalled or is it still there somewhere collecting my data.

    • Darren Keese

      There's nothing unusual about this app that would cause the homescreen shortcut to stay behind, but this can occasionally happen due to a bug in the launcher app. If Android says the app is uninstalled, it's uninstalled and will not be in the list of all apps in the settings. This app does not collect data, and it has no Internet permission.

      • Cypher Cove

        There was a bug related to applying non-existent built-in themes, but I fixed it in the first update, just uploaded.

  • Mark M.

    I'm floored by this app. Exactly the sort of stuff I'm looking to move to Android for. Stunningly beautiful!

  • MixMaster

    Already bought the LWP. No testing. Watching the video and reading the comments was enough for me. I'll check it out at home in the evening when i have time. Anyway it looks great and i'm sure i won't be disappointed. Keep it up dev.

  • gfacekilla01

    Excellent app. I have only one suggestion, how about a widget that can float.Also, can this work with the various apps that stream music from the clouds, like DI Radio, Tune In Radio, etc? I'm getting the LWP also. Thanks

  • Al05

    Anyone else having an issue with using this with Tasker, keeps crashing.

  • Matthew Fry

    Very cool! I like it so far. Wish there were more customization options though and it feels like it's slightly lagging behind the sound...

  • bl_nk

    Check out ProjectM:


    It brings the best-in-their-field Milkdrop2 visualisations to Android and also comes in LWP form - *and* you can draw awesome multi touch lasers (try it out to see what I mean) :)

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Nice find! I adore Milkdrop.

  • Justin

    Crashes on my Verizon GS3 running JB 4.1.2 Paranoid Android ROM. Cannot even get it to open after installing.

  • Matthew Blackwell

    Is there any known bugs for this app on Kyocera Rise? Have not been able to get this to work on mine...