A Guide to Customizing Your Android Device’s Home Screen and Launcher

Customing our technology has become a luxury as much as a right of passage with the device. There’s more to customization than placing your puppy as your Android phone’s wallpaper, although puppies are super important! Leveraging the power of widgets and, in some cases, third-party launchers is where the real feature-loaded action is. 

Let’s go through some slick ways to customize your Android phone.

Disclaimer: We’re using Android 4. If you have a different Android OS version, the steps may differ. However, we usually don’t see massive differences; we only don’t want you to think we’re taking you for a ride.

Wallpaper – Of Course, We Begin Here

Yeah, we’ll start here. Why not? Customizing wallpaper on any device is the most popular starting point. So don’t fret, puppy lovers; we got you.

Hold down your finger on the Android screen to access the wallpaper setting until a wallpaper option pops up. You may see other options, but you’ll choose the wallpaper one. 

You get three fancy choices for your wallpaper.

  • Wallpapers: Boring alert. These are the wallpapers that come preinstalled. 
  • Gallery: Select from images you’ve taken on your mobile device with the gallery option. You also get access to Picasa Web Albums if you have an account and stored images.
  • Live: The dopes feature of all – install an animated background. There’s a slew of them readily available for download from Google Play. Some of these live wallpapers are 3D. This is a super fun option that “livens” up your device.

Let’s Talk About Widgets

Adding widgets to your default home screen can be both functional and joyful. Never miss an appointment with a widget that displays your calendar events, quickly access new (hopefully important) emails, or quickly create notes. In addition, you can choose a time widget so you view the time in any format you prefer. 

Android offers endless widgets, too many for us to discuss in a single section. 

Adding a widget is relatively simple. In your Apps drawer, tap the widget tab. Then, press down and hold the widget you like. Finally, drop it wherever you want it to display. 

By the way, widgets on Android are far superior to the less desirable Apple iOS experience.

Ready, Set, Choose a New Launcher

When it comes to pimping out an Android interface, nothing compares to the vast power of a launcher. Launchers help your device bypass defaults in a number of categories, including themes. Most launchers are third-party experiences but vetted by Google Play store. 

Many launchers leave the significant components of your experience intact but pepper on cool new features. 

Nova Launcher is on our list of must-have Android apps, but there are a lot of them to choose from.

Create Shortcuts

Shortcuts aren’t glorious and don’t add much to the aesthetics, but they are highly functional and can contribute to increased efficiency.

And, they’re simple to activate.

Go to your App drawer and hold down on the app you’d like a home screen shortcut for. You can then drop it wherever you prefer. Moreover, you can combine apps into a single folder. If you’re familiar with iOS, this is a similar experience. 

If you’re using a device with a legacy Android OS, you’ll need to create folders before dragging and dropping. 

So customize your Android device like a champion. Don’t be shy; blast that home screen with creativity and slick function. Customizing a device can also make it feel brand new (at least for a while). 

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