How often do you customize your home screens?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from Arizona
Published: December 7, 2012

As a fan of technology, I love opening new things. (That’s how I justify it, anyway.) But, while getting the packaging off my new gadget, game, or whatever else is fun to a point, the best part is turning it on and making that thing my own. As much as I can, anyway. No matter how much customization there is out of the box, there’s always a limit, so we’re only allowed so much to change to make that new thing ours. Luckily, most companies are getting better at letting us change quite a bit about our phones, while that can’t (still) be said for all of them.

I’m entirely way too indecisive when it comes to customizing my phones. (The same can be said for my armor color and permutations when playing Halo 4, so at least it’s not just phones.) After that initial foray into adding apps, getting icons and widgets in place, and then basking in the glow that is a perfectly set-up device, the reality sets in that it probably won’t look like that tomorrow. Or, just a few hours into the future.

I set up each and every device slightly different than the last one. It doesn’t even matter if I go from one Android device to another, running the same proprietary software. I never set up two phones the same, which is something that I’m actually a fan of. I hate when my devices start to get boring, and that’s ultimately the reason why I change things around so often. If I start to get bored looking at my phone, despite all the cool things it can do, then I will start to want another one. And, sometimes, that’s just not an option.

This is where I’m going to admit that iOS has a lot to work on. Our very own Aaron Baker has admitted that iOS 6 is getting stale, and I can see where he’s coming from. Well, let’s not discount you, Dear Reader. Most of you agree that iOS is getting long in the tooth, and I believe that Apple does indeed need a revolution in 2013 to make their software relevant moving forward. This is one reason why I change my iOS Springboard more than any other platform, with moving those application icons around, simply because I’ve been looking at the same thing since 2007, more or less. Just with more icons.

Android’s customization is legendary by now, and that makes it easier for me to set up my phones in different and unique ways. Widgets, mixed with application icons, are a good way to make my phone look different from yours. In all honesty, Android’s set up, with widgets and icons, is definitely the best implementation I’ve yet to see. It’s just a good, integrated way to have access to your phone, to your apps, without necessarily having to launch anything. Just check the Facebook widget to see any new status updates. Easy.

Then again, I’m having way too much fun with Windows Phone 8. Back before it officially launched, I had wondered many times if adding customizable Live Tiles to the Start screen was really all that great, but now that I’ve had time to resize, play with, and customize them to my heart’s content, I can safely say that it is indeed one of the best improvements to Microsoft’s mobile operating system. Something as simple as being able to resize every Live Tile may not seem all that revolutionary (and it probably really isn’t), but it does make for a great way to make my Windows Phone different from everyone else’s.

It’s also an easy way for me to change the way my phone works, and looks, just at face value.

I love customizing my phone, probably a bit too much, honestly. I never stop changing, switching, moving, or otherwise altering the way my phone looks from day to day. Sure, I may forget where I put one icon or widget or Live Tile after a change, but I always find it eventually. So tell me, Dear Reader, how often do you change your home screens? And, most importantly, which platform are you using to make all these customizations? Let me know!