At the end of last year, Google promised a big Play Store reorganization during which the 8 existing game categories would be cleaned up and expanded to 18. Two of the categories (Widgets and Live Wallpapers) weren't even games at all - they somehow ended up there and bothered everyone who noticed ever since.
If you were a kid during the 80s, or you just happen to spend too much time watching Cartoon Network, then you've seen claymation - the art of stop-motion video with molded clay and any other odd objects laying around the house. It's time to recall those days with Plasticine Jungle and Plasticine Ocean by developer Kolesov & Mikhaylov. These live wallpapers bring us back to our youth with brightly colored shapes and uncanny textures.
Back in the day, I used to use Samurize or RainMeter on my Windows machines to output the current system info on the desktop. That way, if something started acting funky, I would have an idea of where to start looking – if RAM was starting to get full, closing a couple of larger programs would usually fix the issue. If the CPU was peaking, then I could easily fire up the Task Manager and kill the culprit, proving that violence sometimes is the answer.
Android 4.2 brought a nifty, albeit it somewhat useless, new feature called Daydreams. In a nutshell, Daydreams is just a screensaver, which might be useful in some situations - specifically on tablets. For the current time, though, there are only a few different stock options for Daydreams: clock, colors, Currents, Photo Frame, and Photo table. There are also a few apps out there that have incorporated the feature - like Beautiful Widgets, for example - further increasing Daydreams' usefulness.
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.
Despite what its name suggests, DualBoot Games actually makes some of the best live wallpapers around. We've featured several of their offerings before, and the newest one to hit the LWP realm could be the best one yet.
It's called Ocean HD, and as you've probably already guessed, it takes you down into the deep blue for a beautifully elegant and serene aquatic scene. Since it's a live wallpaper, it's fully customizable and interactive.
Do you like live wallpapers? Do you use live wallpapers? If so, then here's a new one for you: it's called Digital Embers, and it's just downright pretty.
See? It's quite fun to watch, tap, and fondle. Okay, maybe fondle is a bit much.
While the free version is entertaining enough in itself, the full version of the wallpaper offers the ability to:
Generally speaking (and apparently like most Android owners), I love the idea of live wallpapers, but in practice, the cost (on the phone, not the wallet) is too high to stomach in return for a bit of show. For quite some time (probably about 6 months of my nearly 2 years with Android), though, I ran the absolutely awesome Mario Live Wallpaper. Until recently, that is - after roughly 3 months straight with it, I switched to a static wallpaper (specifically, this one) once more.
That Android supports live wallpapers (LWPs) is a cool feature, no doubt about it. But to many people, it's no more than an impractical novelty - something that looks cool but kills performance and battery life. Still, they remain popular on the Market, presumably among more casual owners who don't notice (or care) about the performance hit, or just don't know better...
When it comes to my Android devices' home screens, I'm fickle. It is rare that a wallpaper or layout will last more than a few days. That being said, I find that live wallpapers tend to have a much longer shelf life than their static counterparts, perhaps because they are – generally – so much more dynamic. Taking the concept of a truly dynamic LWP to another level entirely, Central Core Studios has introduced RadiantWalls HD – PlanetScapes to the Android Market, making your device "a window looking out onto the surface of the planet Avalon."
The wallpaper comes in two flavors – free and paid.