We worked with the Android team to create a collection of live wallpapers showcasing Earth's beauty while using Google's smarts. The ‘Live Earth’ collection features high fidelity imagery from Google Earth and user interactions optimized exclusively for the Pixel.
Wallpapers serve as the very first touchpoint for users. It helps establish a premium experience and builds an emotional connection. For the Pixel, we wanted to design an experience that was both inherent and unique to Google. We created three types of live wallpapers, as part of the collection.
Your world, Solar System. Inspired by Apollo 17’s Blue Marble, this live wallpaper views Earth from space based on your GPS location with real-time clouds updated directly from Google Earth. We wrote a custom shader to work on the GPU, using GLSL to avoid excessive battery consumption.
Scenic shifts. Playing with scale and motion, we created six dioramas using some of Google Earth’s best imagery. Each one features a separate location that animates dynamically on phone unlock and swiping through your homescreen. These were created using 3D models and textures extracted from Google Earth, and rendering them in OpenGL.
Look to the horizon! The sun rises as your phone charges, and lowers as the battery is consumed. A visualization of battery life that involved careful gradient selection to avoid banding and composing images on the GPU using a custom shader.
It was truly a pleasure working with the team at Google and having our live wallpapers natively implemented within Android on the Pixel.