New phones are always exciting to use for some time but the joy is short lived.
We all have had this experience of buying a new phone and feeling really happy about it for a week or two and then it starts getting boring. It’s not just about a new phone, this applies to every new product you buy. With time you start getting habituated to using that product so the charm goes away.
How to keep the charm from fading away.
This is an interesting question and the answer is pretty simple: Customize the look and feel! Now, if you have an iPhone you’re sadly out of luck since the only thing you can customize on your iPhone is the outer look by applying a skin or a case, but with android much more can be done.
Method 1: Changing your Launcher & adding custom icon packs
If you’re an old Android user you must be familiar with the term “Launcher”. For those of you who don’t know, it’s the first thing you see after unlocking your phone. That screen with your favorite wallpaper and those beautiful icons and widgets is the launcher.
There are lot of launchers in the Google Play Store. You can simply search “Launcher” in Play Store and you’ll find lot of them. Here are some of my recommendations:
Nova Launcher– This is my personal favorite. You can use the free version but you’ll have to pay to use the prime features such as text and icon scaling, swipe gestures and notification badges.
Pixel Launcher– This is the launcher that comes pre-installed on the Nexus successor, Google Pixel smartphones. Basically it ditches the app drawer icon with more contemporary “swipe up from dock to reveal app drawer” gesture. It also sports a band at top that includes a pill like Google logo which reveals the search on tap on the left and weather and date which reveals the Google Weather on tap on the right.
Arrow Launcher– This one’s from Microsoft. Yes, the company that makes operating system for your PC. It is one of the first launchers you’ll get when you search “Launcher” in the Play Store.
Zen UI Launcher– This one’s for those who, for some reason want Asus’s Zen UI familiarity on your phone. It comes pre-installed on Asus Zenfone(s).
Tap here to view and download some icon packs.
Method 2: Rooting and installing Xposed Framework
This method isn’t for everyone and is least recommended. Use it only if your phone doesn’t have any custom ROMs. I’m not gonna explain how to root your phone, you can check out XDA for that. Most of the new devices require you to unlock the boot-loader before flashing a custom recovery to root your phone which voids the warranty on most of the phones.
So, if you have a rooted phone download Xposed Installer and install it. On opening the app you’ll have to install the framework first. After which you’ll be able to customize everything including per app themes using the proper modules. You can browse the list of modules from within app or by tapping here.
Method 3: Custom ROM
This method is for those who want to change the entire Look and Feel of their phones. It’s the best way to leverage your Unlocked boot-loader. You can also install custom kernel to improve battery life of performance as per your liking and requirements.
Here are my personal favorites:
- AOSP EXtended(AEX) – This is what I’m use on my Redmi Note 4 and Moto G3. It is AOSP based but with little useful additions. It’s sleek and quick.
- Resurrection Remix – This is another great ROM with even more features but is Cyanogen based, so not my cup of tea.
- Dirty Unicorns – This ROM is similar to RR in terms of performance but has different set of customization.
- Lineage OS – This is the successor of the old and famous Cyanogen-Mod.
- Carbon ROM – Another great ROM. I used it on my Xperia Z1 before it was stolen in 2014.
It’s up to you how you want to customize your phone, err.. Android Phone. 🙂