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Android Live Wallpaper Of The Earth

Application Name: Earth Live Wallpaper

Description: Animated live wallpaper of Earth and other astronomical bodies, real and imagined.

Publisher’s website: Earth Live Wallpaper

Cost: Free version 1 (donationware); newer version 2 offers faster performance for about $2.75.

Version/date reviewed: v.1.3.9  /  10-31-10

Phone/OS: Droid X / Android 2.2


Android Market link (mobile app only) – main app
Android Market link (browser)


Android Market link (mobile app only) – map data
Android Market link (browser)

Note: You should download the app first, then the data. Some Android phones may not support live wallpaper.

Earth Live Wallpaper lets you show an animated image of the Earth as a background in your Android home screens. It also offers options to display other solar system objects like the sun, planets, moons, etc., as well as fictional/imaginary astronomical objects (e.g. planets from the Star Wars universe, Star Trek, Futurama, Avatar, etc.). You also have a huge number of options you can set:

  • Show the moon rotating around the Earth
  • Choose from a variety of background images, and how they’re animated
  • Add an animated starfield
  • Have the globe spin on its axis, rotate freely; interact with you as you swipe
  • And more …

Access the app from the Settings => Wallpaper => Live Wallpaper list, where it’s shown as EarthRot. For real geography, your map choices are:

Realtime Earth + Clouds => Shows the Earth with actual cloud patterns (updated every 3 hours), and day/night shading with city lights
Static Earth => Globe image fully lit with an arbitrary cloud pattern
Earth => Fully lit globe with no clouds
Earth city lights => Globe at night, with artificial lights from human activity.

I prefer the realtime earth, since it shows up-to-date data like the cloud patterns and night/day terminator line. But it will use about 70 kB of data every time it refreshes the cloud data, which changes every 3 hours or so; that’s close to 17 MB of data in a month, which might be an issue if you’re on a limited data plan.

Issues: None. My phone supports live wallpaper; if yours doesn’t, this wallpaper won’t be terribly useful. Live wallpapers also consume a little bit of extra battery power, so if battery life is a critical issue, you might want to think twice.

Final thoughts: Looks cool, and the realtime Earth view offers useful information. Not an essential app, but if you can live with the slight power drain, worth having.

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