How to use Cinematic Wallpaper on Android 14

Using the Backdrops app in conjunction with Google's Cinematic Wallpaper function on the Pixel Fold
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Cinematic Wallpaper isn't a new feature, in case you weren't aware. Google rolled it out as part of the monthly Pixel Feature Drop a few months ago. If you didn't know already, Cinematic Wallpaper on Android 14 enables you to select any image of your choice and adds dynamic effects to it using AI. You can then set that moving image as your phone's wallpaper.

This Pixel-exclusive feature works with any image, whether it's captured with your phone or downloaded from an app like Backdrops. We tested it out on a Pixel Fold and were blown away by the results. If you want to achieve similar results, here's what you need to do to use Cinematic Wallpaper on Android 14.

How to use Cinematic Wallpaper on Android 14

1. Press and hold anywhere on your phone's home screen.

2. Tap Wallpaper & style.

3. Tap More wallpapers.

(Image credit: Namerah Saud Fatmi / Android Central)

4. Choose any image from your phone.

5. Tap the sparkles button in the upper-right corner.

6. Enable the toggle to Create cinematic wallpaper.

(Image credit: Namerah Saud Fatmi / Android Central)

7. Tilt and move your phone to preview how the 3D effect will look.

8. Tap Set Wallpaper if you like the preview.

9. Select either Home screen or Home and lock screens.

(Image credit: Namerah Saud Fatmi / Android Central)

You can choose the same cinematic wallpaper for both your home and lock screens, or set separate ones. It's entirely up to you.

Play around with different subjects for best results

The results differ significantly based on the sort of image you select as the base for your cinematic wallpaper. Pro tip: Portrait shots work best for cinematic wallpapers, especially images with distinct subjects such as humans, animals, and objects.

For example, I didn't get an amazing dynamic effect with the BMW shot, but a picture of my cat looked a billion times better. It's not that objects can't look good; the picture needs to highlight it distinctively. A still of my latte delivered decent results, as you can see below.

Cinematic Wallpaper on Android 14

(Image credit: Namerah Saud Fatmi / Android Central)

If you apply the same wallpaper to your lock screen as well, the cinematic effect is even cooler, especially while unlocking your phone.

The Cinematic Wallpaper feature was first introduced as part of the June 2023 Pixel Feature Drop. Unfortunately, it is not available on non-Pixel devices, even if you have one of the best Android phones.

Namerah Saud Fatmi
Senior Editor — Accessories

Namerah enjoys geeking out over accessories, gadgets, and all sorts of smart tech. She spends her time guzzling coffee, writing, casual gaming, and cuddling with her furry best friends. Find her on Twitter @NamerahS.