Here's how to set an animated GIF or an MP4 video as a homescreen wallpaper (Android guide)

Here's how to set an animated GIF or an MP4 video as a homescreen wallpaper (Android guide)

GIF files were introduced back in 1987 and they have played a small yet prominent part in the Internet subculture ever since. You've certainly come across such an image at least once during your web-browsing endeavors, and if you're sailing the virtual waters on a daily basis, you're probably stumbling upon loads of GIFs, MP4, and WebM (one of the standards that are supported with HTML5) images.

Okay, so far so good, but how do GIFs and MP4s mix with Android, in particular? Turns out the flexibility and openness of Android once again prove their worth - thanks to a couple of apps, you can set almost any GIF or an MP4 file as a wallpaper for your homescreen. What's not to like, there are billions of GIFs on the web, and a portion of them are suitable for the portrait homescreen layouts of our mobile devices. 

"But why not use one of the many live wallpaper apps on the Play Store," some may ask. Of course, you have a point, but imagine that come across a super terrific GIF that is not available as a separate app for Android, thus requiring you to manually set it as a dynamic background.

True, the apps that allow you to do so normally take their toll in the from of increased battery usage and possibly lower performance on the homescreen, but regardless, they are a cool way to customize yet another aspect of your Android experience. Okay, without any more ado, let's get down to business!

Solution #1: How to set a video (WebM, MP4) as a live wallpaper


Here's how to set an animated GIF or an MP4 video as a homescreen wallpaper (Android guide)
Videos can be easily set as looping live wallpapers on any Android device as easy as abc, provided that you have the right set of tools. 

First things first, you need to find a decent short video in either the MP4 or WebM formats. We suggest that you look for a neat cinemagraph and using it as a wallpaper. 

But what's a "cinemagraph", precious? Simple - high-quality looping videos that feature as little moving elements as possible and usually make great wallpapers. The very first GIF at the top of this post is actually a cinemagraph, but these come in all shapes and sizes.

We wouldn't go into great depths to explain to you how to find or create a decent wallpaper-worthy video on yourself, but you should know that Gfycat is a great source for such material. 

There are a bunch apps that will show up if you type in "video wallpaper" in the Play Store, but the one we actually recommend is called Video Live Wallpaper. It's a super straightforward app that enables you to choose set a video as a looping wallpaper and even meddle with a few essential settings like enabling audio, disabliing background playback, and others. It simply works and lacks the added fluff of other similar apps of the same ilk, making it 

Of course, it's a "bring your own file" type of app, so you should prepare accordingly. We'd also advise against enabling the "Play video offscreen" option as it will use up way more battery than usual.

Download Video Live Wallpaper here

                                                                                                                             
Video Live Wallpaper is quite straightforward and easy to use
Video Live Wallpaper is quite straightforward and easy to use

Video Live Wallpaper is quite straightforward and easy to use



Solution #2: How to set up a GIF as a live wallpaper



Here's how to set an animated GIF or an MP4 video as a homescreen wallpaper (Android guide)
We don't actually recommend using a GIF as a video wallpaper. 

This file format is morally outdated at this point, being surpassed by MP4, WebM, and other video file formats like GIFV. 

All of these are higher-quality files that allow for significantly better bitrate at the fraction of the size of a similar GIF. 

Generally, we'd suggest referring to the first part of this article and following our pieces of advice on how to employ a MP4 video as your wallpaper.

However, if you absolutely want to use a GIF as a live wallpaper, you have a few options ahead of yourself. 

We recommend using GIF Live Wallpaper, since it's simple and does exactly what it's supposed to without straying off-topic.

Download GIF Live Wallpaper here


First, make sure you have a compatible GIF at your fingertips. After that requirement has been met, simply fire up the app, choose your GIF from the storage picker, and... that's about it if you don't want to invest any more time! However, the app has a powerful selection of tools that allow you to resize your GIFs, reposition them on your homescreen, change the playback speed, rotate them, and so on. After you're happy with your adjustments, you will be brought straight to the default Android live wallpaper picker, where you will have to set your creation as a looping live wallpaper.

GIF Live Wallpaper is easy to use
GIF Live Wallpaper is easy to use

GIF Live Wallpaper is easy to use


Solution #3: Use your phone's built-in live wallpaper feature


Many Android manufacturers these days have their own implementations of this live wallpaper feature, allowing you to set an animated background to your homescreen. Samsung and Huawei, for example, let you do that to some extent, though it should be noted that you have to interact with the screens in some way to enable the motion. Google has also employed its Pixels with Live wallpapers of its own, which are also quite calming and nice to watch for a while. This makes the manufacturer methods way more energy-efficient, though as a downside, the sheer amount of available animated wallpapers is not that impressive. Still, it's nice having a built-in option of enabling an animated live wallpaper. As an added bonus, Samsung's Galaxy phones can easily set a looping 15-second video as a lockscreen wallpaper, which is another great option for customization freaks.

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