Android has supported live wallpapers for over a decade, but the OS only allows you to set a single live wallpaper for both the home screen and lock screen. Android 14, however, may change that. The upcoming OS is preparing to support setting a separate live wallpaper for the lock screen.
Android 14 will launch a long-awaited feature for live wallpapers
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In the source code for Android 13 QPR2, there are several code changes that prepare for the new feature. One change adds a new method to Android’s WallpaperManager class called setWallpaperComponentWithFlags(). This method can be in use by system apps, such as Android’s Live Wallpaper Picker app, to set the live wallpaper component for the home screen, lock screen, or both.
Another change adds a method called isLockscreenLiveWallpaperEnabled() to WallpaperManager to check if the new feature is enabled. In Android 13, this method always returns false. In Android 14, it will return true if the lock screen always uses a wallpaper service and not a static image.
The feature is not yet available in the Android 14 Developer Preview. The Live Wallpaper Picker app needs to be updated to support the new API to set a live wallpaper for the lock screen. When the feature is enabled, the lock screen will support showing live wallpapers that implement the standard API.
The feature will be available to accommodate new devices like the Pixel Tablet, which will double as a Nest smart display. It’s a welcome change that many users have requested for years. Google is working to add new customization features, but this one is not Pixel exclusive.
It’s unclear if this feature will make it into the final version of Android 14. Some in-development features never make the final cut. We’ll have to wait and see. We hope to finally be able to switch different live wallpapers on the hole and lock screens.