This week, a site called Nextrift got their hands on a pre-release version of the Pixel 4 XL, likely from the same shop that was pawning off units to multiple Vietnamese YouTubers. There’s not much we can say about their hands-on posts since the two 2019 Pixel phones have leaked so much already. What’s notable about this leak, though, is that they were willing to share many more files from the device than just the new Google Camera app. In fact, they sent the new Google Recorder app, Pixel Launcher app, Pixel Themes, and Pixel Live Wallpapers app to 9to5Google. The part that I’m sure most of you were looking forward to the most—the new Pixel 4 live wallpapers—sadly don’t work by sideloading the new APK. However, that hasn’t stopped one developer on our forums.
You may recognize Pranav Pandey, an XDA Recognized Developer who ported the live wallpapers from the Pixel 2 and Pixel 3. As soon as the new Pixel Live Wallpapers leaked from the Pixel 4 XL, he started to look into porting them for all of us to enjoy. While the original APK targets Android 10, the developer says his modified version should work on any 64-bit Android device running Android 7.0 Nougat or later. Here are screenshots showing off some previews of the new Pixel 4 Live Wallpapers:
Screenshots courtesy of Pranav Pandey.
The “Doodle” wallpaper is one you’ve likely seen before if you’ve been following the flood of Pixel 4 leaks, and according to its description, you can play around with the objects on screen like you can with the new Android 10 Easter egg. The “Compass” live wallpaper shown above asks you to pick a location (presumably on a Map), which then results in the compass pointing towards that location. Lastly, the “Living Universe” set of live wallpapers has been expanded to show new locations in Saudia Arabia, Australia, and Switzerland.
The live wallpapers that are currently available in the APK.
What’s interesting about a lot of these live wallpapers is that they support the system-wide dark mode toggle in Android 10, but of course, there’s no dark mode toggle if you aren’t on Android 10 or Android 9-based One UI. To get the Pixel 4 live wallpaper port working on older Android versions, Pandey said he had to disable the WallpaperColors API that’s responsible for this behavior. That means the live wallpapers in the modified APK won’t react to changes in the system theme, but Pandey said he’ll try to make a separate version with this behavior intact for supported Android versions. Furthermore, the unique features for some of the wallpapers, like setting the planet for “Sights from the sun” or the color for “Doodle,” require integration with the Pixel Themes app and hence haven’t been fully ported. Lastly, the live wallpapers that were unlocked may not reflect the entire set of live wallpapers on retail units, though we’re getting close to the launch date so we won’t have to wait long to find out.
If you’re interested in trying out the new live wallpapers from the Google Pixel 4 on your own device, you can download the modified APK from the link below. The original, unaltered Pixel Live Wallpaper APK is available on APKMirror, but again, they won’t work on Pixel or non-Pixel devices even if you sideload them. For further updates to this port straight from the developer, we recommend you follow Pandey’s forum thread.
If you have a rooted device running Android 10 (only tested on Pixel), then you can get the above and the Pixel Themes app and the live wallpapers customization as shown here by downloading one of the below Magisk Modules. Thanks to XDA Senior Member paphonb for the tip on how to get it fully working.
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