So it has come to my attention that Live Wallpapers are not actually images but more of like, applications that are active in the background. This causes it to be a bit of a battery hog. So I was thinking, if I can just use a GIF instead (like how I did on older Nokia dumbphones), then that would at least decrease the battery usage while still having my wallpaper do some activity.

When trying to set a sample GIF as wallpaper, it is asking me to crop it which I guess, in turn, removes its animation. How do I make it so that a GIF of my choice is used as the wallpaper on my phone while still retaining its animation?

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    Why would an animated GIF use less battery than a well programmed application? Something will have to animate the GIF! – Michel de Ruiter May 11 '12 at 22:16
  • Because if the OS supported it by default, it would require less processing power than a whole new 3rd party application? – Propeller May 12 '12 at 15:07

There is no native way to do this, as Android simply does not support it. Any wallpaper which is not a live wallpaper will be displayed as a static image. Specifically, Romain Guy notes in a comment on the Android issue tracker that all regular wallpapers are saved as PNG images after cropping. There is no way to change this behaviour aside from modifying the Android source code.

There are some third-party apps that will allow you to use an animated GIF as a wallpaper, such as AnimGIF Live Wallpaper. The downside, though, is that I believe all of these will be live wallpaper applications, which sort of defeats the purpose.

  • Oh, well that's a downer.. :/ It's amazing and at the same time, sad how some simple things aren't readily available on such an advanced environment. – Propeller May 10 '12 at 16:12

If your still wondering I figured out a way. Download the app live wallpaper maker free, and it allows you to select gifs saved in your gallery and add them as your wallpaper.

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    Can you provide a link to that app? – Matthew Read May 13 '15 at 0:56

Strangly enough I was able to use a live wallpaper on my old phone, the Alcatel One Touch Fierce, but not on my newer Moto X pure edition. Maybe it was because I had a third party program downloaded on the side but I never used it. On the Alcatel I was able to set full mp4 files as my wallpaper. Probably something in the phone's unique GUI allowed this idk, wish I knew

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