Customizing Your Android

Android phones and tablets have many apps that allow you to customize how your device looks and behaves. Although the stock options do look nice by installing a few apps you can customize your device to your liking. One of the first things you will want to change is your wallpaper.

Choosing a Wallpaper

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Zedge

I personally use the app Zedge to get my wallpaper. Zedge allows users to browse a wide variety of wallpapers and download them for free. Zedge also allows you to pick out a custom ringtone and notification tone. Although the Zedge interface isn’t the prettiest the sheer volume of content makes this my favorite app for wallpapers and ringtones.

Alternative: Muzei is a very nice live wallpaper collection featuring works of art that are refreshed every day. You can also add your own pictures to the mix and they will cycle through day to day.

Using a Launcher

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Nova Launcher

Once you have chosen a wallpaper the next thing to investigate would be a Launcher. Launchers allow you to customize a lot of various features in your phone including icon size, dock size, grid size, and your app drawer. Nova Launcher is a nice free Launcher, although the paid version allows for additional customization. With Nova Launcher you can go into the settings and change how your desktop looks, how your drawer looks, and how your icons look. You can also add gestures and buttons that open various apps or perform actions. There are many guides online about how to get the most out of Nova Launcher but it is a very user friendly launcher.

Alternative: Action Launcher allows for many of the same features as Nova Launcher but it uses more memory. One of the areas that Action Laucher outshines Nova Launcher is the Quickdrawer which allows for quick navigation of your apps.

Getting Custom Icons

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Glasklart – Icon Pack

One of the nice features of Nova Launcher is that it allows custom icons. This means you can download icon packs and replace apps stock icons with your very own icons. To do this you will need to find custom icons that you would like to use. By searching Icon Pack on the Google Play Store you can look for an icon pack you would like to use. Once you have downloaded your icon pack you can apply it through Nova Launcher. Now any app that is included within that icon pack will have a new custom icon.

Widgets

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Dash Clock Widget

There is a whole category for widgets in the Google Play store. Widgets add some useful features to your home screen. DashClock is one of my favorite widgets that provides the time and important information all in one place. When I unlock my phone I see the time, my next meeting, the weather, and any unread notifications all in one place thanks to DashClock. When it comes to widgets however the sky is the limit. Simply think of what you want to see on the home screen of your phone then search for a widget and find one to satisfy your need.