After using an Android phone or tablet for a while you may want to change the way it looks, and there are many different ways to change your Android experience. Because Android is an open platform you can change almost every aspect of your Android phone or device. This can be anywhere from changing the background to changing what your phone does when it starts up. There are many different apps and mods you can use to customize Android but here are the apps I use and recommend.
What can you customize?
When you start to think about customizing Android you might be wondering what parts of Android you can customize. Well the answer is everything because Android is open you have a lot of customization options. Customizing Android is based on what you want to change as well as how much technical skill you have and how much work you want to do. Because Android is open there are thousands of developers in the Android community who write apps and scripts to change every part of the Android UI. The main customization people make to Android is changing the launcher from the stock launcher to a third-party app. But you are not limited to just changing the launcher, you can also change how the lockscreen looks and works, change the background, and many more features depending on what you want. Now I listed a lot of different parts of the Android UI and some of them you might not be aware of so I will go through the different parts and how you can customize them.
The Launcher is the part of the Android user interface that lets you customize the home screen (e.g. the phone’s desktop), launch mobile apps, make phone calls, and perform other tasks on Android devices. Every Android device has a built in launcher called the stock launcher, but there are many third-partly launchers which you can download to customize your Android device. Once you download and install a launcher app and you hit the home button you can choose to load the stock launcher or the launcher you just downloaded. Now the one thing about installing a third-party launcher is that it gives you tons of different settings and options to choose from and that can become overwhelming. I will list the different settings that I use with my launcher to give you an idea of what they mean so you can try changing them on your device. But you can keep the base launcher settings if you don’t want to mess with them.
There are many different Android launchers available on the Play Store and you may want to go through them and look for one that you like the looks of. I have tried many different launchers since I first moved to the Android platform and each launcher has its own advantages and disadvantages which is why it is important to try different launchers over time. The following launchers are ones that I have tried and I would suggest you start with.
- Nova Launcher – Highly customizable, performance driven, home screen replacement for Android 4.0+
- Apex Launcher - Powerful, fast, and highly customizable home replacement for Android 4.0+.
- Go Launcher EX – Very popular launcher with tons of widgets and plugins. Works with older Android versions
- ADW Launcher – Highly customizable home replacement application works with older Android versions
- Launcher Pro – Simple. Powerful. Fast. Customizable.
I would start looking at the launchers listed to see if you like the looks of any one of them and try it out on your Android device to see how you like using it. This is part one of my blog series about customizing Android and in future blog posts I will talk about the launcher I use and how I was able to set it up. I will also talk about customizing other parts of Android and recommended apps that will make you Android device look awesome.