There are tons of great animated GIF images around the web these days, but being able to set them as a wallpaper on your Android device isn’t something you can currently do using the stock Android OS, although this may change with KitKat 4.4 or Android 5.0 when it hits. However, there are some great free apps available on the Play Store that will enable you to do this and AnimGIF Live Wallpaper 2 Lite is one of the best one out there.
The app itself is free, can handle GIF files of any size as well as allowing you to select multiple GIF’s so that you can have your wallpaper shuffle randomly. It consumes very little power, and supports all Android operating systems from 2.1 onwards. There is a PRO version of the app as well which doesn’t display a watermark (hardly noticeable) on your GIF’s, or show ad’s in the settings area.
For this article I am running the PRO version of AnimGIF Live Wallpaper 2 on my Nexus 4 running Jelly Bean 4.3
Firstly, download the app via The Play Store, or if you wish you can download the .apk directly from the publishers site. Once you have installed the app, open it up and select AnimGIF LWP 2 (at the top) to start adding your favourite GIF files as Live Wallpapers.
Next, select the arrow at the top to get to the main settings area.
Now to select your GIF of choice, choose Select GIF Files at the top which will access your SD card, or in the case of the Nexus 4, your internal memory.
Now browse to the location where you have your GIF images stored (in my case I created a folder for them called GIFs) and simply select one.
By default the size of the GIF will be set to Fit Best. If this looks OK to you then just hit Set Wallpaper.
If you wish to change the fit of the GIF though, then head to Image fitting mode and select the option that suits your file.
Now if your GIF image has a background colour that isn’t black, which is the default background colour for the app, you can change that in the main settings area. Simply select Background color to access the colour sliders.
The RGB sliders will allow you to match the background of your animation as best as you can to make the Live Wallpaper look as good as possible.
You can also set the GIF file to act as the Live Wallpaper for your lockscreen as well by checking the Other GIF on lock screen box.
There are also quite a few other settings that can be changed in the options area including speeding up or slowing down how fast the animation plays, scaling up low resolution GIF files thru to how long each GIF should play for until the next file (if you are using multiple ones) starts.
Below are some of the main functions for the app:
- Consumes very little power and CPU, thanks to a custom built, highly optimized native GIF-decoder library — much improved from AnimGIF Live Wallpaper 1
- All Android 2.1 (and later) devices are supported that can use live wallpapers
- All GIF files – including very large ones – are supported, no exceptions!
- You can select multiple GIF files to be played after each other, or to be shuffled randomly
- You can choose from a couple of image scaling modes to fit the images onto the screen
- Enhanced GIF file picker with thumbnail images to quickly find your favourite GIF-s
If you want some test animations to have a play with I have added some of them below for you to download and use on your device, or just find one from around the web.
Here are some Harry Potter GIFs created by Jeca Martinez that look great on the Nexus 4 screen if you wish:
That’s it. As I said there is a free and paid for version of the app, but both work perfectly fine and can help you have some great looking wallpapers.