Sunday, March 20, 2011

Why use an Android Live Wallpaper?

A well written Live Wallpaper for Android livens up your wallpaper and makes your phone more than just a smartphone. Live Wallpapers are a great way to personalize your phone.

So then, its not just a mere smartphone, loaded with cool apps. Its YOUR smartphone, loaded with cool apps!

Read more to find out about how Live Wallpapers affect your phone's battery life...

Choose yourself a Live Wallpaper that YOU like. Its not just about showing off your phone to your iPhone friends (although that is fun). Its also about customizing your phone so that its right for you.

Maybe you need a wallpaper that will give that WOW factor to your phone.

Or, maybe you need a wallpaper that just makes you smile every time you use your phone.

What about a wallpaper that gets noticed when you're on the bus, or at work? One that your friends will want to have too.

Whatever your choice of wallpaper, Live Wallpapers are a great feature and there's really only one reason why you might want to avoid them...battery life.

So what affect does a Live Wallpaper have on your phone's battery life? Will it need charging before the day is out?

Well, not all Live Wallpapers are created equal. Some will run at a minimal frame-rate, using as little of your phone's resources as possible (while still looking great), while others make your phone run at full speed, chewing up precious cpu cycles while you stare at the home screen.

A good Live Wallpaper will not use much of your battery at all. In practice, with normal use, a good Live Wallpaper should only consume less than 1% of your battery each day. That's right, LESS THAN 1%. The reason is that the wallpaper only runs when you can actually see it. When you start an app, or if you phone screen turns off, the wallpaper will freeze at that point, until you turn it back on or revisit the home screen.

I have recently made improvements to FishBowl Live Wallpaper in the area of CPU usage.

I lowered the frame-rate to around 20 frames per second (it can be adjusted even lower if you like), and optimized the code to be as efficient as possible. The result was a massive reduction in CPU usage. It now barely affects your battery life at all.

I run FishBowl Premium LWP on my own phone (a Samsung Galaxy S), and in a typical day it uses just 0.4% of my CPU capacity.

With numbers that low, why wouldn't you run a Live Wallpaper on your Android phone?

You can find out more about FishBowl Live Wallpaper by clicking here.