Make it Your Own
Our mobile devices can be constant companions, accompanying us anywhere we go, so it's only natural that we customize their appearance to our liking in order to soothe, relax, show off our personality, or simply make the device easier to use. Here are a bunch of home screen customization apps, wallpaper galleries, and live wallpapers to make your Android or iOS devices your own.
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Pimp Your Screen
Apalon's Pimp Your Screen is a favorite when it comes to iOS screen customizations. The app allows users to choose from a wide variety of home and lock screen backgrounds and themes, app shelves, and numerous other visual tweaks. Sort through combinations by category, new entries, or recently popular combos, with landscape and portrait options available for the iPad.
Verdict: Numerous customization options, regular content updates, and more make Pimp Your Screen a great customization app.
Rather than mixing and matching individual combinations, iTheme uses a themed approach to customizations. Each theme consists of a matched pair ofhome and lock screen combinationsand there are more than 400 themes for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. A Theme Editor feature for tweaking themes and adding extras (such as such ascalendars and other overlays, app shelves, and more) is also present if you want to add a personal touch.
Verdict: A good library of well designed themes, as well as additional options for customizing them, all for under a dollar. iTheme is a fairly neat iOS screen customization tool.
Retina Wallpapers & HD Home Screen Backgrounds
The Retina Wallpapers & HD Home Screen Backgrounds app (what a mouthful) provides users with a choice of thousands of Retina quality wallpapers, divided into numerous searchable categories such as art, space, etc. Daily wallpaper updates, a popular wallpapers category, lock screen wallpapers, and more are icing on the cake for a free wallpaper app.
Verdict: A large selection of wallpapers divided into easy, searchable categories. For the grand price of zero dollars, it's a pretty good deal.
Download Zedge (Android) (iOS)
The Zedge app for Android and iOS allows users to customize their phone appearance, with the iOS version allowing users to choose from a large selection of free backgrounds, wallpapers, and lock screens. The Android version also offers ringtones, notification sounds, and live wallpapers, as well as game recommendations and a game launcher widget.
Verdict: The iOS app provides a good selection of wallpapers, but its the Android version that really shines with its extra customization options.
Score: 4/5 (iOS) 4.5/5 (Android)
Cool Wallpapers HD
Download Cool Wallpapers HD (Android) (iOS)
Kappboom's Cool Wallpapers HD, also available on both iOS and Android, features the usual galleries of wallpapers, arranged into convenient, searchable galleries, and more. In this case, the iOS version offers more than the Android counterpart, with a collage option that lets you stitch together wallpapers and your own images, app shelves and other customizations.
Verdict: The Cool Wallpapers app delivers, with numerous galleries of high quality HD wallpapers, regularly updated content, and some neat extras in the iOS version.
Backgrounds HD Wallpapers
Download Backgrounds HD (Android) (iOS)
Backgrounds HD Wallpapers (available for Android and iOS) by Stylem Media provides a pretty baseline experience for a wallpaper app, with the basics covered by categorized searchable galleries and regular content updates. Still, there are some technical glitches. The Android app doesn't use all available display space on a large screen tablet, and the iOS version requires a change in privacy settings to enable image saving.
Verdict: An okay, regularly updated wallpaper gallery app for iOS and Android. It does nothing spectacular, but does have a cycle of wallpapers for you to work with.
PicSpeed HD Wallpapers
PicSpeed HD Wallpapers for Android provides numerous free wallpaper galleries with daily updates, category and color searching, and an automatic wallpaper switcher that cycles between your favorite wallpapers. A wallpaper crop function allows you to tweak which part of the image that will become your wallpaper, recognizing the fact that not all Android screens are laid out in the same way. Extras include a recommended games page.
Verdict: PicSpeed covers the basics, features regular updates, and includes a wallpaper switcher. It's a pretty good deal for a free app with minimal ads.
Filkie Wallpapers HD
Wallpapers HD for Android delivers numerous wallpapers to Android device users, covering the basics with searchable categorized galleries of images and a Lucky! button for random images. The Colors selection also allows you to filter images by color, allowing you to keep a dominant color (though the resulting selections can be somewhat random.
Verdict: Neat image galleries with a baseline wallpaper app feature set. Nothing particularly stunning, save for a good selection of wallpaper-worthy images.
Photo Wall FX - Live Wallpaper
Photo Wall FX - Live Wallpaper is an Android live wallpaper with a neat twist. The app takes images from your internal storage and puts them together to create an animated, customized live wallpaper. The wallpaper also doubles as an image gallery. Double-tapping on an image allows you to view it in gallery mode. The paid version includes various special effects, the ability to create multiple live wallpapers, and other extra customization effects.Verdict: Photo Wall FX - Live Wallpaper creates neat photo collages/galleries of your favorite photos, making for a very neat home screen customization.
Season Zen Live Wallpaper
DualBoot Games has released a lot of high quality live wallpapers for Android devices, such as Season Zen. The free version provides users with a beautifully rendered view of spring in an outdoor park or garden. The paid version includes numerous other customizations including changing seasons, and the addition of other elements to the view (like leaves, flowers, a birds nest, and more).
Verdict: A very soothing live wallpaper that is, for lack of a better term, zen.
Koi Free Live Wallpaper
A well-maintained pond of koi fish can be a beautiful sight to behold, but it can also be an expensive hobby to have. Luckily, you can share a small piece of that joy with a live wallpaper koi pond. Koi Free Live Wallpaper lets you keep a virtual koi pond in your Android device. You can even feed the 3D-rendered carp swimming around your home screen by double tapping the screen. The wallpaper includes a neat ripple animation when you tap or swipe, and can be further customized in the full version.
Verdict: A soothing wallpaperand a cute piece of software if you don't have the money, space or inclination to keep a real koi pond.
Ocean HD, also by DualBoot Games, provides users with a customizable underwater scene replete with marine life, coral, and other oceanic artifacts. The settings menu allows you to customize the scene to your liking, adding or removing elements like coral reefs, shipwreck artifacts, and tweaking the amount of sea life onscreen.
Audio Glow Live Wallpaper
Audio Glow Live Wallpaper serves as a wallpaper and music visualizer all rolled into one package, animating your home screen with a visualization of your music, as well as artist and track details, with tweakable color and shape options in the settings menu. It doesn't support every music player out there, but it does work with Google Music, Amazon MP3, many built-in players, and more.
Verdict: A neat music visualizer and live wallpaper, though it might not be compatible if you use a more obscure media player.
Gyrospace 3D Free
Gyrospace 3D is a 3D live wallpaper with literally stellar views. The free version gives you a planet and its moon, while the full version allows you to customize the scene, adding nebulae, rings, asteroids, and numerous other features. The app reads your phone's gyro, adjusting the view as you tilt or move your device, which can give neat views and pan shots, but can also devolve into a dizzying, jiggling mess.
Verdict: A visually neat live wallpaper with some awesome, customizable space views, though the gyro feature can be variably stunning, or glitchy.