Phandroid’s Best Android Apps: 3D-Effect Live Wallpaper by Robert Tieber [Video]

Back in the summer of ’09, I was exposed to a design firm calling themselves The Astonishing Tribe (or TAT for short). Believe it or not, but these guys were actually involved in designing the basic Android UI we saw in the Cupcake days. On their YouTube channel, they uploaded some of their most impressive concepts and demos of TAT Mobile UI that made my jaw drop harder than the bass on a dubstep track. One of the demos they showed off was 3D Eyetracking UI. This demo gave us a look at a launcher with icons that moved independently of the background, creating a 3D effect like no other. No frilly, stereoscopic nonsense. I was impressed to say the least, but disappointed that the demo never made it out of the concept stage.

A few days ago, a friend of mine told me about an app called 3D-Effect Live Wallpaper, a live wallpaper that faithfully recreates the TAT UI 3D Eyetracking concept. Since it was a paid app, I was a little apprehensive at first. I decided to try similar free apps in the Play Store all were found lacking. Terribly. I finally ponied up the $1.26 and gave her a spin. What I discovered changed my life forever. Check out my video below for my full demonstration/walkthrough of 3D-Effect Live Wallpaper.

For you tinfoil hate types (or those of you that are just sensibly cautious), 3D-Effect Live Wallpaper requires no special permissions of any kind — your data, identity, and nudes are safe. You can pick up the app right now in the Google Play Store for $1.26. I’ve also gone ahead and linked to a zip file containing a handful of my favorite videogame wallpapers to compliment the pixely side effect of the app. Enjoy.

DeadEndThrills Video Game Wallpapers: Download

[Play Store Link | Wallpapers via DeadEndThrills]

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  • Jwhap

    Once again Chavez is out to make sure your nudes are safe!!!

    • Chris Chavez

      Just doing my part O_o

    • seretogis

      Chavez? Nudes? What? Where do I sign up?

  • Asimoalex

    Well im sold !
    Well fyi u guys
    He mentions it in the video… but man i am not sure weather im gonna keep it
    Everything is like croped in to like a corner even if you zoom out

  • Minja Miketa

    What is the battery life like?

    • Chris Chavez

      Should have mentioned that. Haven’t noticed any impact on my battery life what-so-ever. :)

      • Minja Miketa

        Sounds good. Would be great if you could update after using it for a day or two. It just seems like the gyroscope would wear down the battery a bit quicker.

      • Jason Farrell

        You might not have noticed it, but it’s there. Still, it’s such an awesome effect it might be worth up to… -3% battery :)

        Listening to sensors is a good way to eat up battery life, depending on how often the app asks for sensor updates.

        • JustTrollin69

          Thank you captain obvious.

  • Raveesh Bhalla

    Chris, knocking the phone on the table will NOT shift the wallpaper. I know the 3D’s convincing, but still, it isn’t actually there.

    • Chris Chavez


  • feztheforeigner

    “this wallpaper changed my life”
    Four Stars…

    As a developer I am always confused by things like this… If you love it, give it five stars…

    • Asimoalex

      But he clearly says why he didnt give it 5 stars …its not perfecr

    • Chris Chavez

      Good point. Stars aren’t representative of my love for an app, usually just the quality/feature set, etc.. But now that you mention it… maybe they should be?

      • feztheforeigner

        I think they should be how much you like the app and if you recommend it to others for download.

        Since you found it life changing and even gave it a post, I would think it should be five stars.

        • Chris Chavez

          You’ve changed my rating system, Fez. 5 stars it is! :)

          • feztheforeigner

            Great! Glad you came around! :)

    • Nathan Mcewen

      But if I give you all the stars I won’t have any for anyone else. anyhow app purchased, It reminds me if a DSiware game that was only released in Japan part puzzle game part mystery where you found clues by searching rooms looking behind 3d objects by tilting looked fun but never made it to the Americas…. somebody needs to make that for Android.

  • Jan Ƙstergaard

    Where do I put the backgrounds from the above download file?

    • Chris Chavez

      Unzip and place in a folder on your sd card. Or download on your comp, unzip, and place the files in your Dropbox folder (that’s what I usually do)

      • Paul Marini

        AndroZip allowed me to unzip on my galaxy nexus into any folder I wanted to.

  • BigCiX

    I wonder if this is battery hog

    • Chris Chavez

      It’s not. At all. Not even a little bit. :)

  • IrishSid

    Very good app.
    Never found deepend working well in the iPhone, but seems great now. Gs3 btw

    Best settings I’ve found so far… 20 – 16 – 40

    • Chris Chavez

      Best I found were 36-24-36. Oh, wait- you were talking about the app? O_o

      • YamiYaiba

        I see what you did there

      • jbo1018

        Only if she’s 5’3″

  • Bret Yates

    Well shux if my nudes are safe then sign me up

  • Tommy Thompson

    that’s trippy.

  • Michael Thompson

    I don’t hate tin foil. I find it useful as hell!

    As for the nudes…they’re on their own.

  • Robert Tieber

    First of all thanks a lot for featuring my app. I really appreciate it.

    And thanks for all the constructive criticism. If I do release another update (which I can’t promise since I have very little free time ATM) I’ll try to incorporate some of the suggestions you made.

    Drop shadows would be one of the easiest, but sadly Android doesn’t give live wallpapers any information about the icons which makes it impossible for the wallpaper to give them shadows.

    • Chris Chavez

      Hmmm.. I’m thinking maybe a generic squarish drop shadow (very faint) with super blurry edges, I think it could work :D

      Back in the day, video games used a similar technique before we got dynamic shadows and all that.

      • Robert Tieber

        The problem is that the wallpaper doesn’t know where the icons/widgets are.

        • Chris Chavez


        • Del373

          Perhaps you could make it so that users have the option to place shadows on the wallpaper manually in the settings. I don’t know how that would work for home-screen scrolling but it would allow users to place the shadows exactly where their icons are…and perhaps incorporate re-sizable shadows for widgets as well.

          My apologies if that would be difficult/impossible; I don’t know the first thing about writing apps for android but I thought I’d toss that suggestion in anyway.

          • feztheforeigner

            It would be a lot of work that may or may not work without much return. Since he does not have much time to work on this, he will probably focus on other features.

    • Marc Peters

      Are you going to update this for the razr maxx in the future? I was going purchase this but alas, my device was compatible.

    • Alberto_jr

      Make it happen Robert… I just purchased the app knowing that you “might” update and add some of the features. Please do so.

  • Jason

    I bought it and tried to use it on my Galaxy Nexus i9250. Every time I choose a wallpaper it force closes on me no matter what I do. Sad because I liked the idea of it.

  • Marsg

    what are your settings? mine looks all jittery, also if you Photoshop shadows of the apps directly onto the wallpaper it creates a really cool effects

  • BlueLetter

    WHO TOLD YOU ABOUT MY NU- highly classified data? I WANT ANSWERS!
    No seriously, nice looking app, but I don’t think it’s enough to actually make me pay for a live wallpaper.
    edit: appears it’s not compatible with my phone anyway

  • Dana Garner-Johnson

    I went to buy it, and it says that the app is not compatible with my Doubleshot (mytouch 4g slide) Why? It is a dual core device….

  • DavidB23

    hmm; play store says incompatible with Razr Maxx! :(

  • Jason Allen

    All I see is a sliding background, no 3d effect that I could see after changing the settings around multiple times. Sadface.

    • Bald_Sasquach

      Yeah, same on my GS2. :/ Looks kind of cool with certain backgrounds but not 3D at all

  • Christian

    Nice, but reminds me of an “old” iPhone jailbreak hack – especially the naming:

  • Ronnie Beck

    I tried this app. It looks awful. It is not at all 3D like. It is also picky about the images you select for the background. None of the photos I took with the Galaxy nexus would work. The app complained that the res is too high (wtf?). This app seems to me like a cheap trick. It is a waste of money and doesn’t at all deserve a blog entry glorifying it.

  • Hellyo Luce

    Wow! These are nice photos! :) Nature is really the best inspiration for art. Well, that is of course my opinion. :) Desktop Wallpaper, HD Wallpaper, Wallpaper BackgroundComputer Wallpaper

  • Hellyo Luce

    If you want to make love to the person who sent this to you, forward this comment back to them. The twist is you have to send this message to everyone on your buddy list and see who sends you back the message “let’s make love.” Computer Wallpaper

  • Hellyo Luce

    Wow! These are nice photos! :) Nature is really the best inspiration for art. Well, that is of course my

    opinion. :) Desktop Wallpaper, HD Wallpaper, Wallpaper Background Computer Wallpaper

  • phinn

    It would appear this is ICS/JB only… my 1 year old phone is sitting on a 2 year old OS (gingerbread) as CM9/10 just doesn’t run well on it and HTC sucks at releasing source code. (Incredible 2)

  • Chris Utoobe

    This is cool and all but I’d rather not have some frilly app draining on my battery.