I’ve had my Galaxy S7 for about 3 months now. One of the perks of Android is the level of customization you have available to you, but I didn't really take advantage of that. Until the past couple of days, my phone was an ugly, disorganized mess, despite starting off with good intentions. I began customizing the phone right out of the box. I installed Nova Launcher, downloaded a few icon packs, and proceeded to customize my new Android phone… almost identical to the layout of an iPhone. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just what I was most used to at that time. I figured that was good enough, and so I left it alone.
Fast forward a couple of months and I discovered ASAP Launcher. It's a relatively new launcher, but I was still pretty happy with it. It was easy to set up, easy to get used to, and it gave my phone more functionality without having to do the hard work. And, in my opinion, it looked pretty good, too.
Recently, though, I found that I kind of missed customizing my phone on a deeper level. I still like ASAP Launcher, but I decided to give Nova Launcher another go. This time, I opted to get a little more intricate by utilizing the tools that Android provides for you rather than going for the iPhone app grid approach.
I started off by downloading the Sketchy icon pack (named after its sketch-like design, not because it’s questionable in nature) and applying it to Nova. I then went through and changed any icons that didn’t automatically change to match, because I like my app icons to match. There are a couple that don’t have an icon in this set, but those apps are a little more obscure and are tucked away in the app drawer where nobody can see their mismatch-ness anyway.
When that was done, I decided to take advantage of widgets. I downloaded Zooper, a widget app that allows you to download widget “packages”. Like Nova, it has a bit of a learning curve, but nothing too difficult. I downloaded the Fox package for Zooper, which is what I’ve used for my home screen’s clock.
I’m still not a big fan of having tons of home screens (my biggest gripe with iOS’s set-up – I seem to have three or four pages of apps on my iPhones and iPads) so I only have two home screens total: my main home screen, and one which has the Month calendar widget. I never was a big fan of widgets, but the calendar widget has proven to be extremely helpful, particularly when scheduling due dates for school.
Then you have the unseen aspect of customization, which are ringtones. I’ve pretty much always used Zedge for this, even though I'm positive better apps are out there now. Even though it doesn’t always have what I’m looking for, it always has something that I like. I also try to stick to a consistent theme. Sometimes it’s general like TV show or video game themes; other times I get more specific like one TV show, movie, or game. Lately I’ve been rocking Undertale music.
All in all, I haven’t really done much. However, the little that I’ve done makes the phone feel much more complete, and much nicer to look at and use. Even though it took me a couple of hours to set everything up the way that I like, I think it’s worth it in the end. I look at this thing frequently enough that I want to actually enjoy what I’m looking at.
Readers, how dedicated are you to customization? Do you take a lax approach, do a little sprucing up here and there, or dig really deep and do more intricate customizations that include rooting or jailbreaking your device?