One of the many benefits of using an Android device is the fact that you can fully customise any Android phone. While many of us are content with changing wallpapers and ringtones, some users love adding a more personal touch to their Android devices.
Doing so will not only make your device stand out from the crowd but also help you get over the boredom of using a gadget for several months/years. Considering the fact that we check our phones more than 80 times a day, wouldn’t it be interesting if you customise your phone as per your taste?
All you need is an Android phone or tablet and some creativity. To help you customise, we have listed 10 ways to aid your creativity in adding that unique flavour to your phone.
1. Install a new launcher
This is the by far the most important and one of the easiest method to change the way your device looks. Every phone has a launcher provided by its manufacturer but the fun part is to find a custom launcher that suits your taste.
A custom launcher will not only allow for a customised grid size and sorting your app drawer but also add support for custom icon packs and gesture controls.
Irrespective of the Android version, launchers add functionality featured in the top tier phones powered by the latest Android OS.
There are several launchers one can choose from but the one that triumphs is Nova Launcher. From adding gesture-based app drawer pull up, as seen in Google Pixel phones, to support for every icon pack on the Play Store to UI themes and advanced widget control, this launcher is a one-stop shop for customising your phone’s UI.
2. An icon pack, or theme, adds flavour
If you have a launcher that supports icon packs, you are in for a treat. The Play Store is loaded with free and paid icon packs. Browse through the ones that suit your style and apply them through your launcher settings.
Pro Tip: Change your icon packs with your wallpapers and/or widgets to add a customised taste.
If you use a device that supports themes, you can stick to your launcher while trying several themes from the theme library hosted by your device’s manufacturer. Some devices also support customised themes based on wallpapers from one, icons from the other and much more.
3. Wallpaper that suits your mood
With phones increasing in size, the most significant aspect of a home screen is its wallpaper. Choosing the right wallpaper for the right mood will sync your personality with your phone. The best part about android is the support for live wallpapers. Try a 3D Parallax wallpaper and add layers of depth to your home screen (à la iOS).
Also, with screen resolutions increasing year after year, the need for high-resolution wallpapers has increased. Try apps like MySplash for some interesting high-resolution images and also check out Plastexo if you love material design wallpapers.
4. Widgets look cool and are useful
Widgets are active apps that can be added to your home screen. The best of which has to be the Zooper Widget Pro. There is a free version as well but this is the one you must invest in if you really want to unleash the potential of your creativity.
From cool clock widgets to several utility based widgets, Zooper Widget Pro will add functionality with style.
5. Lock screen apps
Most of us check our notifications while our phones are locked and adding a lock screen app will ease this process while adding customisations. From setting shortcuts to your most used apps to wallpapers that can change each hour and gesture controls, these apps offer a new dimension to your lock screen usability.
Be careful while granting permissions to these apps for security reasons.
6. Change your default apps
Are you unhappy with the default browser of your phone or want to add a layer of customisation with a new launcher or want a better looking phone dialer which pulls unknown call informations? With Android, you are free to choose your default apps for specific tasks based on your personal preference. You can set your default apps when you install an app and grant it the permission to be set as the default or you can manually modify the default apps through your phone’s settings menu.
Setting apps as default apps will open the specified apps when you trigger their functionality. E.g.: If you set Chrome as your default browser, any link that you tap on, from any app like, say WhatsApp, will then open in Chrome.
7. Default fonts can be changed too
Most phones today allow users to customise the phone’s system fonts through its theme’s settings menu. If your phone has this option, you must try it out. Fonts add a personality to your device and changing them on a regular basis will also keep things interesting.
In case your phone does not have a feature to change fonts, the next option is something you can tinker with.
8. Root your phone
Let’s keep it simple. Rooting your phone is like gaining admin rights to your device. While rooting was essential in the past, today it is an option for the creative. What can you do after rooting? How does a cool boot animation, a custom ROM with latest version of Android, unique feature list and a plethora of mods sound?
When you root your phone, you are tapping into Android’s true potential of being open source..
There are several Custom ROMs to choose from and the feature list they add to your phone feels boundless. Rooting also allows you to access system files and opens a new dimension of app installs that do not work on non-rooted phones.
With root, you can also add several mods to your phone while adding functionality to you as the user. From controlling the kernel behaviour for better battery optimisation to enhancing performance to changing the colour and gamma of the display to a plethora of hidden settings, rooting is a whole new chapter which we will later explore in detail.
9. Get rid of boring ringtones
As simple as this may sound, ringtones are a great way to make your phone unique. From your favourite song as your call ringtone to custom notification tones, ringtones allow a great deal of customisation that can be achieved irrespective of rooting. If your phone does not let you set custom ringtones out of the box, try installing apps like ES File Explorer.
This will allow you to choose sounds of your choice whenever you want to change your ringtones from your phone’s sound settings.
10. Try different keyboards
While Google is adding search, swipe, themes and many other options to its Gboard app, there are several other keyboards in the Play Store that can help you type faster and more efficiently than the default keyboard. Our choice would be Swift Keyboard, as it offers functionality that is unmatched by others.
From saving your keystrokes to learning your typing pattern to adjusting keyboard layout and several themes, Swiftkey is a must-have when customising your Android phone.
Using an Android device the way it comes out of the box is boring. Follow our guide to customise any Android phone and share your experiences below. If you think you can add value to this article, do share your inputs. Go ahead, make your Android unique in this cloned chaotic world.