Skip to main content

Android’s ‘Always-On Display’ will soon support wallpapers, check it out in action on Pixel 3 XL

It’s not uncommon for an Android OEM to debut a feature, only to see it brought into Android natively down the road. One handy feature that made this move is the ambient/always-on display. Now, it’s looking like Google is planning to improve that feature with wallpaper support.

Through a bit of source code in Android Pie, Google has quietly revealed that this feature is eventually arriving as first spotted by XDA-Developers. This feature does pretty much what you’d expect in giving users the option to apply a wallpaper to the always-on clock. It’s not something particularly new either, as Samsung offers this on its devices, even letting users apply a GIF.

Interestingly, Google’s take on this feature won’t allow the wallpaper to remain there constantly, though. Rather, a timer will be applied which, once expired, will revert back to the standard always-on display look. By default, that timer is set to one minute.

There’s not much else known about this feature, but there’s a pretty good chance it’s something Google has in store for the Pixel 3 launch. In fact, a recent Pixel 3 XL leak even shows off the feature in action, displaying a wallpaper of sorts on the always-on display. Unfortunately, there’s no indication in any direction on if older Pixel devices or other Android devices will be able to do the same thing.

You can see the feature (briefly) in action at the 3:53 mark in the video below.

Video Credit: Android Police

Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Google — experts who break news about Google and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Google on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel



Avatar for Ben Schoon Ben Schoon

Ben is a writer and video producer for 9to5Google.

Find him on Twitter @NexusBen. Send tips to or encrypted to

Ben Schoon's favorite gear