There was a time, a decade ago, when I was obsessed with customizing my phone's homescreen down to the tiniest details. Wallpaper, icons, widgets, everything had to match to perfection, and each few days I'd spend several hours putting together a new style from scratch. I don't have that much free time or patience now, and my homescreen setup is as simple as it gets: two rows of folders and the Google search bar on the bottom, plus the Pixel widget on top. I just slap a new wallpaper every now and then and feel like I've achieved something. The truth, though, is that barely any effort goes into it because I've been using the same wallpaper app for six years: Backdrops.
New wallpaper styles and colors every few days.
The app's design and philosophy hasn't changed much since it was first released in 2015, but that's fine because it still looks good and works well even by today's standards. Behind the app are a few designers who share their original creations for free. Every few days, like clockwork since 2015, there's been a new wallpaper waiting to be discovered in the app. Their style is very distinct and often minimalistic, but their topics range from patterned walls to material waves and shapes, graphical scenery, nature, and more. There's something here for everyone and, while I'm not a fan of every artwork they've released, I can always find a new one to apply every week or so.
Explore (new wallpapers by the team), Favorites, and Community (user-uploaded walls).
Backdrops makes it easy to download each wall or immediately apply it within the app. I love how the interface adapts its colors there to fit with the wallpaper you're previewing, and having lived with a slow and limited connection for years, I appreciate the mention of the wallpaper's size in MB. I can also like any wall in order to easily come back to it when I want to revisit old favorites. Plus, I appreciate the various ways I can filter through the app's now gigantic catalog: colors, categories, and tags all help narrow down the results to find what I'm looking for.
Previewing a wallpaper before applying or downloading it.
Besides the free wallpapers, Backdrops offers a few paid packs (AMOLED, Pro, etc...), but they're not that pricey and they contain original work too. And for those rare times when I'm itching to try something new and can't find it, the app has a user-submitted section where I can find artwork uploaded by various members of the community.
Special free and paid collections, including the Pro Pack and AMOLED wallpapers.
I've tried a few other wallpaper apps across the years, but there's a reason I keep coming back to Backdrops: To me, it feels a lot more cohesive and unique than the dozens of wallpaper apps that fetch their content from Unsplash or similar sites. There's a lot less noise in it too, because of the more original and selective collection.
Filtering and searching by color, tag, category, and more.
But I'm not the only one on our team who loves it — several of our writers and video team members like it and use it too. And anecdotally speaking, 99% of the time readers ask us where to get a wallpaper that they spotted in a hands-on photo or video, that wallpaper is from Backdrops. I'll take that to mean that many of you like its artwork too.