As mentioned in previous posts, I’m in love with live wallpapers. As the weather turns chillier and people start putting up pumpkins and witches and change their menus to include carmel apple flavorings, my home screen and lock screen take on a creepier look. To be real, I will also come up with a creepy look at Easter, mid-July, or whenever it suits me, but especially around Halloween, I like to spook it up a bit.
Android Market Google Play Store has a lot of Halloween Live Wallpapers. The last sentence had a link to the Google Play Store with the search criteria “Halloween Live Wallpaper.” If you go through the search results, you will find Halloween Live Wallpapers, but you’ll also get just Halloween stuff and just some live wallpapers. Depending on how the creators of the programs put things in the store, you could, in fact, get some really odd responses. For whatever weird reason, I have found the search option for the Google Play Store to be less useful than the search option available through other stores that sell Android programs.
This means I often surf a lot of different places to get Android applications, especially spooky live wallpapers. My three “favorites” so far are Google Play Store (in my opinion, what it loses in search it makes up for in integration with the OS, automatically loading itself onto your phone and making it easy to keep your apps up to date), the Amazon App Store (definitely makes up for the search issues in Google Play store, includes a bonus free game daily that would normally cost $$, but requires some additional work to acquire apps and keep them up to date) and the AppBrain App Market (despite the redundancy in the name, it occasionally has things the other two stores don’t have, allows you to organize apps from its market and Google Play Store–but, sadly, not the Amazon App Store–and it has a decent search; like Amazon, it requires some additional work to acquire apps and to keep them up to date).
There are a lot more markets and stores out there–feel free to use Google and take a look around. Note that a lot of folks who mean you harm will set up fly-by-night places, where you can upload viruses, or folks who mean well don’t check for suspicious code. Don’t go to strange URLs without anti-virus protection, and don’t download anything to your phone without having an anti-virus and/or anti-malware/spyware program analyze it.
That said, Android is, by default, set to try to protect you from third part applications. In order to use the AppBrain App Market, Amazon, or any other store besides the Google Play Store, you’ll need to make a change to your device to allow you to download applications from 3rd parties.
On Grace, my Samsung Galaxy S3–who is all decked out for Halloween–in order to access Settings, you click the purple alien with it’s tongue sticking out (courtesy of Monster Widgets, a free widget app available through Google Play). The Icons on the screen are Furry Monsters available for free, non-commercial use from Aleksandr Obuhov on DeviantArt. The live wallpaper is called Haunted House HD, available on Google Play for $1.99. It pans through the interior of a haunted house, or the exterior, and has lots of customizable options, from putting your own picture in the frame above the fire, to whether or not you want the picture to turn into a zombie as the camera moves away, to whether you want a floating candelabra to lots of other cool stuff.
From Settings, if you, too, have a Galaxy S3, you’ll want to click “Security.” Otherwise, you’ll likely want to click “Applications.” Scroll down. You’re looking for the heading “Device Administration” or the top of “Applications” and check the check box next to “Installation of Non-Market apps.” You’re likely to receive a (somewhat scary) message indicating “Your phone and personal data are more vulnerable to attack by applications from unknown sources. You agree that you are solely responsible for any damage to your phone or loss of data that may result from using these applications” when you do this. You’re welcome to not do this if you don’t want, to, but, if you do, click it and then click the home button (or save if your version of the device requires it), and you’re done! Now you can download from places other than Google Play Store. As noted in my previous stories, even apps you can get from the Google Play Store can compromise your phone, so be careful out there.
For instructions on how to get the Amazon App on so you can access their app store, you can visit their page here. It covers a lot of what I mentioned above. For instructions so you can access AppBrain, you can visit their page here. Most sites will have a few additional steps beyond allowing third party applications. For example, both Amazon and AppBrain require you to have an account (even if you’re just downloading free stuff).
Now the fun part: go looking for cool Halloween live wallpapers, widgets, and games!
Here are some that I enjoy that are in theme with the holiday:
- Ghost Stories – This app loads written ghost stories for you to enjoy on your phone.
- Paranormal Investigation – This is a puzzle solving/hidden object game involving the paranormal. The first level is free.
- Colorful Flashlight – …is a colorful flashlight. It is dark out there. At night. On Halloween.
- Witches of Halloween — This is a live wallpaper featuring–you guessed it!–witches. Lots of them.
- Halloween ScreamScape — This is another live wallpaper. It pans slowly across several spooky scenes. It’s free, but, if you want bats, ghosts or witches added to your brew, they are available for an additional $.99
- Carnival of Horrors — This is a really fun tower defense game, in the way that Plants v. Zombies is a really fun tower defense game. It’s silly. It’s fun. It’s a little creepy. It’s an amazing deal for $.99
Hope you enjoyed this week’s installment. I will not be posting next week (boo!) because I will be celebrating my 10th anniversary with the man of my dreams, instead. I will not think of you guys fondly until I am back at the keyboard again the following week. You are welcome, and Happy Halloween!