Adding a new wallpaper is the easiest way to personalize your phone. There are loads of great wallpaper apps in the Play Store — whatever design you’re looking for, it’s certain you’ll be able to find it.
But instead of downloading an existing wallpaper, how about making your own? It sounds like it could be hard work, especially if you aren’t particularly artistic. But it isn’t. Some apps enable you to create beautiful abstract wallpapers with minimal effort, giving you something that not only looks awesome, but is totally unique to your phone. Here’s our pick of the best.
Mixt is the ideal app for anyone who wants a classy, ultra-minimalist background. It creates a gradient between two or three colors, in a vertical, horizontal, or diagonal direction. All you need to do is choose your colors.
You can do this by playing around with the color wheel until you stumble upon a scheme that works. Or, if you’re more serious, you could use a tool like Adobe’s Kuler and then enter the hex codes for your chosen colors.
For something so simple, Mixt is surprisingly addictive, and whatever wallpaper you produce, your icons and widgets will always remain fully readable.
Blur takes a similar approach to Mixt, but goes one step further. It also produces wallpapers based on color gradients, but it builds these gradients from your own photos.
It works like this: pick a photo (one with plenty of contrast works best), crop it, apply a level of blur (to reduce the image to areas of light and dark), and then move the red, green, and blue sliders until you find a color that you like. You can also add one of a choice of eight textures to your background, for an extra level of detail.
Orb.it doesn’t give you much control over your wallpapers, beyond choosing a basic color scheme or pattern, but it does promise an infinite number of possibilities.
They’re mostly radial styled and Material Design-themed, and you simply keep tapping the Play icon until you find one that you like. When you do, you can save it and continue with your search, or apply the wallpaper directly from within the app.
Another app that claims to offer an infinite number of wallpapers, Tapet gives you more control over your look than Orb.it, and it grows even more with in-app purchases.
Tapet comes with an assortment of pre-configured patterns that each of its wallpapers are based on, and you can unlock more if you choose to pay. Although it is built around randomness, the app does give you enough control to home in on a design that you like.
The main control is through swiping gestures. An upwards swipe generates a whole new wallpaper, swiping left creates a new wallpaper with the same color scheme and a different pattern, and swiping right keeps the pattern but changes the colors. Tapping thumbs up and thumbs down icons as you go helps the app learn what you like and improve its suggestions. As always, the results are mixed, but it doesn’t take long to find a beautiful wallpaper you’re happy with.
One of the most comprehensive apps here, Polygen helps you design wallpapers in the poly art style, using geometric shapes to create minimalist backgrounds. It won’t just make them for your phone screen, either. Polygen can output wallpapers large enough to fit the Retina Display on a 15″ MacBook Pro.
What sets Polygen apart is that it allows you to use your own photos as the basis for your creations, as well a building your own designs from scratch.
You choose the colors, the size of the crystals in use, and if you’re particularly ambitious, you can edit your wallpaper down to the pixel level. Or, if you prefer, you can hit the Randomize button and let the app do all the work for you.
As the name suggests, Ditalix produces live wallpapers that react to your screen taps. It uses abstract styled backgrounds (many of which are user-generated designs that you can download), and then leaves you to configure how it works — what the animations do, what the colors are, and so on. The number of ways to customize your wallpaper is much larger than it first appears.
Live wallpapers are fun, but are frequently over-designed and not always practical. The ones that you’ll make in Ditalix are cool and understated, and they’re an effective but non-intrusive way of breathing some life into your home screen.
Wallpaper Generator gives you six categories of design — including Material, gradient, and geometric — each containing multiple patterns. Your job is to pick a pattern you like, then tweak the design to come up with something unique.
This isn’t just about changing the colors: each of the elements in the patterns exist on their own layer, so they can all be rearranged and moved into different positions. You can create literally hundreds of wallpapers from a single pattern.
Once you’ve found the right app for the job, it’s easy to produce your own steady supply of great looking abstract wallpapers. They’ll keep your phone looking fresh and unique at all times.
These are the best apps we found for creating wallpapers, but we’d love to hear your suggestions. What does your phone wallpaper look like? What apps do you like for making wallpapers? Let us know in the comments!