One of the best things about Android is the fact that it can be customised so freely by the user. We show you how easy it is to change the wallpaper and screensaver on your Android smartphone, and spruce up that boring old home-screen. See also: How to remove TouchWiz from a Samsung phone
Do phones have screensavers?
The screensavers on modern smartphones are a little different to the ones you may have seen on older PCs. This is because one of the single biggest drains on a device’s battery is the display, so normally this will be shut off as quickly as possible when you’re not using the handset.
Android does offer an in-built screensaver that only activates when a device is charging and has the screen turned off. This can then instantly turn your Samsung Galaxy S8, OnePlus 5, or any other handset into a picture frame for all your snaps.
See also: Best Android Phone 2017
How to set up a screensaver on your Android device
Turning on the screensaver is very simple. Open up Settings then tap on Display. Scroll down through the menu until you find Screensaver or Daydream (depending on which version of Android you’re currently running). Tap on the button to the right of the name and this will enable the feature.
You’ll see under Screensaver that the word Colours has appeared. This is just one of the types of saver available. To take a look at the others tap on Screensaver.
A new menu will now open up with Colours, Photo Frame, Photo Table, and Photos all listed. There might also be others options, such as a clock, again depending on what version of Android you're running.
Colours is the default option and, unsurprisingly, displays various colours on your screen that transition gently.
This is fine, but the photos options are the ones that really make a device more personal. The three options differ slightly in what they offer.
Photo Frame displays one image at a time, while Photo Table slowly adds different images to create a collage. Photos allows you to access all of your Google Photo library images, streaming them from the online servers. You can also include photos stored on your device too.
Once you’ve selected the type of screensaver you want, tap on the settings to the right of its name (the icon that looks like a gear). This takes you to a list where you can choose which sources you want the photos to come from.
These will include (dependant on what apps you use on your phone) WhatsApp, Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, alongside your Camera, and Downloads folders.
Once you’ve finished choosing which sources to use tap the back button and then the three dots in the upper right corner of the Screensaver page. This will open two choices – Preview, and Select when to use. Tap the first option to test out how the screensaver looks on your device.
If you’re happy with the results, tap on the three dots again but this time choose Select when to use. You’ll see three options – While docked, While charging, and Both.
This can be a bit confusing as docking a phone is akin to charging it. We’re assuming that this setting must apply to a car dock, or the various music speaker systems available, where you might not want the screen to suddenly start showing images.
Select the option that best suits your needs, and that’s pretty much it. Now, when you have your phone on charge, you should see a few memories filling the display.
Changing the wallpaper on your Android phone
The long way around
Wallpapers are a simpler affair than screensavers. To change the background on your device go to Settings>Wallpapers & Themes.
Depending on the manufacturer of your handset you may well find various linked services offering wallpapers you can buy, as well as theme packs and icons.
These may appeal to some, but you can always use images you’ve taken yourself or those that come with the phone. At the top of the screen should be a section called My wallpapers. This is where all of your free options are kept. Tap on the View All option to get a good look at them.
There will usually be a number of choices that have been included by the manufacturer, and any that you have purchased or downloaded. Tap on the one you want and another little menu should appear asking where you want the wallpaper to be displayed, either on the Home screen, the Lock screen, or both.
Choose the option you want and that’s it. All done.
The quick route
There is also a quicker way to change the wallpaper. All you need for this is a bit of clear space on one of your screens. Tap and hold anywhere on the empty area until you see a menu appear that offers the choice of Wallpapers, Widgets, and Settings.
Tap Wallpapers, select an image from the scrollable menu at the bottom, tap Set wallpaper, choose where to display the image, and bingo! Your walls are now decorated in a splendid fashion.