One of the greatest advantages of owning an android device is that there are limitless ways to personalize and customize your phone. Many times you might find yourself in a situation in which you’re tired of the boring default look and feel and just want something that looks fresh and works for you.
If you’ve ever used an iPhone before, you may know that it’s pretty limited in terms of customization. Thankfully, this isn’t the case when it comes to android. With an android device, you can customize your theme and make it tailored to your needs from simply changing the launcher, to using custom-made icons and widgets – the possibilities are limitless.
In this blog, we will highlight a few apps that are capable of customizing your phone and make you feel like you’ve gone out and bought a brand new phone.
BONUS: At the end, we’ve linked resources where you can browse through pre-made layouts and apply the theme without doing any work! Get the look you desire in 1 tap.
Using a Custom Wallpaper
Your wallpaper is probably one of the most important ways of personalizing your device. Each time you unlock your phone, pick up your phone or use your phone, you are looking at this image.
For this reason, having a custom wallpaper that you actually like is one of the most effective ways of enhancing your experience and personalizing your device. Think about it: if your phone was placed alongside 5 other phones that look identical, it’ll be a touch difficult to tell which one is yours as they all look alike.
Where to find Wallpapers?
The Google Play Store has a ton of really nice wallpaper apps. You are almost guaranteed to find a wallpaper app that has images that are perfect for your style. A few worthy mentions are Zedge, Mystic Walls, Walli, AMOLEDWalls & more. Do note that some of these are paid apps but they can be found on sale as well.
Free alternatives do exist. Some great resources for free wallpapers on subreddits like r/Amoledbackgrounds, r/MobileWallpaper, and r/Androidthemes.
Using Widgets & Custom Widgets
Widgets are one of the best ways to boost your productivity and make your home screen look a lot more interesting. Whether it’s a calendar widget showing schedule for the day, or a custom Spotify or media player widget with playback controls, these widgets can save you having to jump between the many apps you have opened and also add a nice aesthetic to the device.
iOS users may already be familiar with widgets as they come stock with the new iOS versions. In Android 12.0 we see something similar as this new Android version promotes widgets by defaults.
If you are not on Android 12 and don’t have all the cool new widgets, don’t sweat it – thankfully, the Google Play Store has a ton of apps that allow you to create custom widgets that are just right for you.
Best Custom Widget Apps for Android
KWGT Custom Widget Maker is by far the best widget maker app out there. KWGT’s apps are widely used within the android customizing community & a ton of themes, widgets, and more can be purchased or downloaded from the Play Store to make your customizing experience a breeze.
You can create a custom widget using their WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor to create your own designs and display any data you need. This widget creator has a ton of features that are too many to list in this post but you can read all about it on its Play Store page or view r/AndroidThemes on reddit to get ideas on how people use custom widgets to create personalized home-screens.
Sounds like a lot of work? Not a problem! Purchase the KWGT Pro Key and thereafter you’ll be able to download pre-made widgets that are designed by some of the most talented people on the Play Store and simply use these pre-made widgets without having to do any work yourself.
Here are some samples of what custom widgets can be like:
Use a Custom Launcher
A custom launcher can add a brand new feel to almost any Android device. Many device manufacturers include a launcher of their own with their handsets and sometimes they just aren’t as good as they could be. In this case, you can simply install a 3rd party launcher and make your device feel like a brand new device.
For those unaware, Nova Launcher is one of the most popular launchers out there with over 50 million downloads on the Play Store. Nova Launcher is a powerful, customizable, and versatile home screen replacement. Nova brings advanced features to enhance your home screens, while still being a user-friendly choice that is easy to use by anyone.
Whether you want to completely overhaul your home screen layout or are looking for a cleaner, faster home launcher, Nova is the answer.
This launcher is highly customizable with a ton of features that can make your life and experience better. Download it and give it a try. You won’t regret it!
Lawnchair 2 is another open-source and completely free alternative to Nova Launcher. Many Android enthusiasts swear by this launcher and it’s usually one of the first apps they install on a new device.
While the app may seem like it’s ‘dead’ based on the last Play Store update, this launcher is still alive and doing well although it has to be downloaded from the project’s GitHub page rather than the Play Store. You can find the project on GitHub and visit the community r/LawnchairLauncher on Reddit for assistance or just to view how people use it.
Use Custom Icons
If you’re not a fan of your phone having all different icon styles & colors, there’s a solution: Custom icon packs.
The Google Play Store has thousands of custom icon packs which range from free to around $2. Icon packs are an excellent way to add an aesthetic to your home screen and make it look awesome.
Do note that custom icon packs usually support most launchers but not all. Therefore it’s very important that you ensure that your launcher is supported by the icon pack.
Some of the nicest icon packs can be found from Hexoline however, you can pretty much find any style of icon packs on the play store that suit your wallpaper and theme.
For Advanced users that really want to squeeze out the best user experience and personalization possible, custom ROMs are the way to go.
Note: Rooting your device may void the Warranty or Brick your device. Make sure you know exactly what you’re doing.
One of the greatest advantages you get with rooting your device is the possibility to truly take control of your device. Rooting makes it possible to remove all the bloatware apps that come pre-installed with your device.
Additionally, there are a ton of custom ROMs out there for different devices. If you’re not a fan of your current ROM or OS, you can simply flash something different. Did the manufacturer stop releasing updates for your device? No problem, there’s a high chance you’d find a custom ROM with a newer android version out there.
We recommend looking at XDA Developers for all your custom ROM needs as well as guides and tutorials for everything you need.
Remember that you do this at your own risk, so take into consideration all the things that could go wrong before rooting your phone. If you have a spare older phone at home, test it out here first to get a better idea of what you lose VS what you gain.
For example, Samsung users may lose out on Knox, etc. if the device is rooted. Furthermore, with root access, apps can do more harm on your device if they’re malicious so you should be extra careful about what you download and install when you’re using a rooted device.
At the start of this blog, we’ve mentioned that we will provide some free resources to get you started. Here is our free gift to you. Inside this folder, you’ll find Nova Launcher Backup as well as the images of what they look like. Browse through the folder and download the home setups you like then simply restore the backup file to replicate the exact same look on your device – WITHOUT ANY WORK!