Android Theming: How to Custom Design Your SmartPhone

Android Theming: How to Custom Design Your SmartPhone

Your Android smartphone is capable of being personalized and customized in ways that other simply devices don’t allow. For that reason alone, designers and free-thinkers are often drawn to phones that run this OS. Here are some of the coolest ways to customize these phones and change their look.


A Plethora of Creative Customization Choices

Both in terms of appearance and functionality, there are some great ways to personalize your Android. However, be sure to back up personal information and data before attempting to change your phone, just in case there is an issue. Then, follow the directions for each individual update type.

Appearance Customizations for Your Android’s Interface

Editing the appearance of your Android phone’s interface is a lot of fun because you can show it off to friends and impress new acquaintances with funky apps. People enjoy having the newest and strangest icons or the funniest ringtones, because many feel these options set them apart from the masses. Here are some of the best appearance customization options for Android lovers:

Home Screen Fun – This is basic, of course, but you can set any image or photograph as your homepage, which will make your phone feel more like you instantly. Simply select a cool image and choose “set as wallpaper.” There are tons of apps and sites that have wallpapers specifically for your model of Android.

Awesome Icons – If you’re sick of looking at an icon that could have been better designed, then change it. Android OS allows users to change all icons to any theme they want, including funky options like Angry Birds or Star Wars characters. To achieve this look, follow the directions by Icon Changer.

Wacky Widgets – There are wacky widgets that Android fans can customize and display on their homepage to be more unique. From weather to GPS, widgets display information you want. Search for a widget you like, and click ‘download’ and then follow the install directions.

Cool Contact List – If you hate looking at the same old formula of tiny icons and friends’ names, then there’s a way to change the look of your contact list. CNET offers a hand guide on making your list unique and customized.

Don’t Drain Your Battery – People often caught with a drained battery might need to customize their phone to make the battery display more noticeable (and useful). It’s simple to do, and it makes a big difference for forgetful types. Android owners should download the ChargeBar app from Google Play.

Functionality Customizations to Maximize Usability

While the appearance counts for a lot, the functionality is more important. Who cares if you have awesome icons and unique, homemade ringtones if your phone doesn’t perform exactly the way it should? That’s why so many people download Android modifications long before they consider adjusting the appearance. Here are some of the best updates for people in need of better performance and functionality.

CyanogenMod – This modification allows Android users to do many things. For example, you can browse incognito, use gestures on the lock screen, and it supports theme extensions. If you’re interested in this mod, then visit the site and download it.

dialR – This is both a functional change as well as a design improvement. The dialR allows your Android device to perform as a rotary phone. This option can be found on Google Play.

Call Declines via Text – There are many ways to decline calls, but perhaps the most polite is setting up a custom text message. Let your friends and family know that you’re in a meeting or at work easily. Here is a handy guide to setting this up provided by CNET.

Ditch Your Wallet – No one needs a wallet these days. Turn your smart phone into your debit card, credit card, and make it house all of your memberships, too. CamCard Lite is free and secure, and it accomplishes all these things for you. The one thing this app doesn’t do for you is keep your identity for police: you will need to have your driver’s license if you ever get pulled over or carded!

Get Skinny – Zeam is a great way to make your phone launch faster and perform better. Drop the chaos and overwhelming apps that launch every time you need to quickly turn on: this app will cut the fat and make your phone a sleek speed machine.

Problems to Avoid when Customizing and Theming

Once you’ve purchased one of the many budget friendly Android phones available on the market, you  need to remember that security is most important when you’re customizing. Remember to check each app for updates, reviews, and bug reports: you might be shocked to discover that some of the most popular theming and customization apps are the most infamous for viruses and malware. By being a little cautious, you can prevent your phone from getting hacked.

When you check reviews and updates, make sure that you are aware of third-party vendors. Some apps have third-parties involved in operations (for example, Zynga allows partners to sell products through their special offers page). These third parties must be as secure as the app, or you are opening the door to problems.

Lastly, remember that an app or program that was once secure can become less trustworthy over time. Install updates frequently and review your apps and programs for customer complaints and issues.

How to Troubleshoot Customization & Theming Issues

So here’s another great reason that people love customizing their Android phones: no change you make is permanent, and there are easy fixes if you decide to roll one back. To this end, there’s a great support community for updates and customizations. Here are some of the fastest and smartest ways to get help and advice.

  • Message Boards – Message boards allow people to communicate about issues and share the solutions with one another.
  • Android Subreddit – This Reddit community has a lot of useful information and great resource links to share with those in need.
  • Android Page – The Android page will link you to programmers and Android experts.
  • Google Search – Write a concise description of your issue and perform a search. Others may have found specific hacks or workarounds.

Customizing and theming your Android phone are both great ways to make it suit your personality. No one will have a device setup just like yours, because no one is like you. Forget the other phones: Android is the best choice for creative people. In what ways have yours?

Posted in Android
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Written by Joseph Stark Jr

Joseph Stark Jr. is a freelance writer and blogger by day, focusing on technology and travel. By night he is a tech junkie, gym member, and avid comic book enthusiast. He currently resides Santiago, Chile to practice Spanish. Find him on Twitter