Unlike Google, Samsung will digitally watermark wallpapers and images made with AI

The new AI features of the Samsung Galaxy S24 series, demonstrated on the Galaxy S24 Ultra
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • You can create custom wallpapers with generative AI on the Samsung Galaxy S24 series.
  • Samsung is adding the feature now, after Google debuted a similar tool alongside the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro last year.
  • Notably, Samsung's version adds a watermark to each image and limits how the custom graphics can be used. 

Samsung's launch of the Galaxy S24 series of flagship phones was closely linked to a slew of brand-new artificial intelligence features. They're under the Galaxy AI brand, and one key feature allows users to generate custom wallpapers for their devices. 

This isn't exactly new, as Google released a similar feature with the Pixel 8 series at the end of last year. Before that, it was previewed at Google I/O 2023 last May. But while the idea of using generative AI to make wallpapers is far from new, Samsung's implementation adds a new element to the feature.

The company added AI wallpapers to One UI 6.1, which is limited to the Galaxy S24 series, at least for now. The feature lets you choose a theme and refine your preferences before your selections are used to create an original wallpaper. However, Samsung's version of the AI tool seems to have more limits than the one found on Google Pixel flagships.

The new AI features of the Samsung Galaxy S24 series, demonstrated on the Galaxy S24 Ultra

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

The differences start with how you can store the AI wallpapers on Galaxy S24 phones. Well, you can't. Google's AI wallpapers can be added to a user's library, but there's no way to save AI-created wallpapers on a Galaxy phone.

Another shift is that Galaxy wallpapers made with AI have the Galaxy AI icon watermarked in the bottom left corner of the image. You can't turn this off; it appears on the home or lock screens whenever an AI-generated wallpaper is set. Although it's pretty tiny, the watermark will surely frustrate some One UI users.

It's easy to see why Samsung chose to watermark the AI-generated images, though. Transparency is a big issue regarding AI-created media, especially photos and videos. Samsung's AI wallpapers are less of an issue because they mostly create abstract art or replicate nature scapes. However, deepfake images are on the rise, and both Google and Microsoft have started using watermarks to identify what has been created with AI.

Samsung's watermarking of AI-generated content expands beyond just AI wallpapers. There are a bunch of ways that Galaxy S24 phones can alter photos with what the company calls the ProVisual Engine. In extreme examples, a tool called Generative Edit can do as much as move the subject of an image after it has been captured to keep it in frame, similar to Magic Editor on the Pixel. All these cases will result in a watermark being applied anytime generative AI is used and within the metadata, according to Samsung's press release.

This is clearly intended to prevent people from using it like an AI image generator. This implementation, including watermarks and the inability to save generated wallpapers on the device, can be perceived in multiple ways. On one hand, Samsung is using AI responsibly and transparently. On the other, the limits might ultimately annoy end users.

Brady Snyder

Brady is a tech journalist covering news at Android Central. He has spent the last two years reporting and commenting on all things related to consumer technology for various publications. Brady graduated from St. John's University in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. When he isn't experimenting with the latest tech, you can find Brady running or watching sports.