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Taking Android home screen customisations to the next level

Bring on the Android master race!

Being an Android enthusiast can convince you to spend hours beautifying your home screen or the entire look of your user interface. This is one of the perks of using Android phones – the power and freedom of customisation. As a beginner, you must have already played around with a bunch of wallpaper apps and custom launchers, perhaps with this article. With a custom launcher installed, custom icon packs are usually the next step. Finally, you must have moved on to putting your effort into looking for the right widgets which fall under your desired aesthetic. The possibilities are already endless with the previous steps already. However, it starts feeling like a drag after some time. You’ll be doing the same things over and over again. To break free from all of this, we have several recommendations for you. Our suggestions will help you move on from a beginner level of customisation to a more intermediate stage.

Basic home screen customisation

The easiest way to change the look of your home screen is to slap on a new wallpaper. You will find a countless number of apps that compile wallpapers from different sources such as Backdrops, Walli, Wallrox, etc. Icon packs can be installed only if they are supported by your launcher. If you wish, you can go for custom launchers like Nova, Evie or Microsoft launcher. Then you can go ahead and install icon packs, few popular ones including Polycon, Moonrise, Glim, Fondos, etc. After icon packs, you should probably check out custom widgets. You will come across a few where our recommendation would be Zooper Widget and Kustom Widget Maker. The advantage with the latter is more control over all the elements whereas the first one is all about presets and minimal customisation.

If you’re new to Android customisation, you will have a ball of a time with the previous suggestions. The curiosity of wanting more will eventually bring you to the following tips to customise even further.

Customise your own wallpaper

We’ll start off with some basic wallpaper editing apps like Tapet. This app consists of a collection of patterns and designs, further expanded with colour palettes. You can continue swiping up and down through the collection until you come across a wallpaper you like. Once you have a selection, you can swipe right and left to cycle through the colours. After you’ve settled on a particular combination, you can select it as your wallpaper.

Moving on from static wallpapers, we look at 3D wallpapers. They rely on the parallax effect giving you the illusion of a 3D image in the background. You will find a few 3D wallpaper apps but the one you should be installing is called 3D Wallpaper Parallax 2018. The others will let you select a 3D wallpaper from a collection. This app additionally allows you to create your own 3D wallpaper. You can either choose from their list of images or add your own.
3D Wallpaper Parallax 2018

Live wallpapers look amazing. Wouldn’t it be great if you could create your own live wallpapers? Kustom Live Wallpaper Maker lets you browse through a collection of presets and edit them according to your needs. Once a preset is loaded, you can edit the most fundamental element in that live wallpaper such as a shape or text. You can add images or just stick to solid backgrounds. You can change the fonts and even the size of the text. The app has a pro version that gives you access to a bigger list of amazing presets that completely revamp your home screen.
Kustom Live Wallpaper Maker

Create basic icon packs

If you’d thought that icon packs can only be created in professional image editing software, think again. You can experiment with custom icons packs at a basic level right from your phone using Icon Pack Studio. The app drives you through several steps to pick the design of the icon including shape and colours. After the basics have been done, you get to further edit the looks of the icon. You can add shadows, strokes, background textures, etc. When you’re satisfied with an icon, you can preview how it will look and then export it as an icon pack. Install the exported APK from the notification menu and apply the icon pack from your default launcher. Enjoy your new custom icon pack.
Icon Pack Studio

Another app called Adapticons lets you create custom icon packs. This app has an advantage of letting you create icons of individual apps installed on your phone. Say you want to edit the Twitter app icon. You can select the icon from the list and follow the steps. Here you get more freedom to play around with the icon’s design. Their collection of preset icons for popular apps can also be used. Additionally, you can also turn the colour of the icon into black and white.

Control your navigation bar

This particular tip only applies to phones with software navigation buttons at the bottom. Unless you have a custom theme installed, your navigation bar simply looks dull with the three buttons. To bring them to life, we will check out two apps that allow you to make reactions to actions. Navbar Apps is the simple one which gives you a few fun options to try out. Just like your status bar changes colour based on the active app, your navigation bar will also pick the colour of the app. Or you can simply assign any solid colour you like. You can also make the navigation bar reflect the battery percentage, display an image, add emojis in the background or display music bars based on the song playing.
Navbar Apps

NavBar Animations has a list of several animations that can be added to the navigation bar. All you need to do is enable the animations from the app and select your desired animation. However, most of the animations are only available in the pro version.
NavBar Animations

If you want better-looking visualisations when music is playing, you should check out Muviz. It works just like Navbar Apps but here you have the option to display the visualisations on the status bar, in the navigation bar or right above it. You also get to choose from a rather long list of amazing visualisations.

So what are you waiting for, don’t be stuck with a standard Android look, or the look your device manufacturer chose for you. The whole point of having Android is to customise it. Send us your best work, and if we like it we’ll feature it.

Abhijit Dey

Abhijit Dey

While indulging deep into conspiracy theories surrounding comic book movie plots, he can be found rewatching them looking for easter eggs. Otherwise, his weekends are spent on gaming and browsing memes.