Smartphones are indispensable. Everyone has one. Yet they all look the same. A pity, because you can easily personalize it.
In our next steps we will show you how you can easily personalize your Android smartphone. The adjustments are not always necessary, but they are fun to do. Note: some apps are paid, others are free. So pay attention to which variants you choose. The menu structures may differ slightly per smartphone brand and model. It is therefore possible that certain functions are in a different place. For example, Oppo, Samsung and Honor use their own menu structure. The suggestions below can be applied individually. Choose the adjustments that suit you best.
Personalizing Android: Getting Started
The easiest way to personalize your smartphone is to set your own wallpaper. To do this, keep your finger on an empty part of the background. Choose the Backgrounds function from the menu and choose a nice background. Do you want a truly personal background? Then click on More backgrounds and select a nice photo. Once you see the preview on your screen, tap Set as. Do you want a new background every day? The Google Wallpapers app does just that!
A very cool feature of Android (which has recently been partly taken over by major competitor Apple) are Widgets. These are parts of the screen where you can display certain information or functions. Think of the large clock or the weather forecast, which you can see directly on the screen. Do you want to install more widgets? Touch and hold an empty spot on your screen and select Widgets. At the bottom of the screen you will see all available widgets, which you can drag to your screen. The available widgets are determined by the installed apps. The dimensions of the widgets are shown in the list.
Well – it is not a new system, but a so-called Launcher gives your entire phone a new look. Some launchers are very subtle, others can rigorously customize your smartphone and turn it into a very simple interface, for example. Nice Launchers are Nova Launcher, Evie Launcher, Lawnchair and Action Launcher. You can install them from the Play Store. Most are free, but some have paid (premium) features.
Prefer to customize without launcher? Android itself also has a number of customization options built in. The exact options differ per brand and model phone, and the manufacturers themselves determine how much you can adjust. In the case of the Google Pixel phone, go to Settings> Display> Advanced. From there you can adjust the shape of the icons, colors, fonts and backgrounds. Standard themes make it easy for you!
You don’t often see custom icons, but it produces nice results. With that you can leave the colorful icons for what they are and choose a more stylish variant. You can install icons from the Google Play store, but do need a launcher, as we described above. The settings can therefore be changed from this launcher. Some icon packs cost money – so pay attention to which one you click! Interesting packs are Candycons and Whicons, or the paid Retrorika and PixBit.
Customize your home screen
By default, all your apps will be on your home screen. That does not make it clearer. Bundle your apps into folders so you can find what you’re looking for faster. You leave frequently used apps on the screen, less frequently used apps you put in a folder. Touch and hold an icon and wait for your phone to vibrate briefly. Then drag the app to another icon. They are now put together in a folder. Tap the folder to open it and see the icons. Do you want to rename the folder? Then tap the name and rename it.
Customize default apps
Do you prefer to work with Firefox or Opera as your browser, instead of the standard Android app Chrome? Or do you prefer to use Microsoft Outlook as a mail program? Set these programs as default! To do that, go to Settings> Apps> Default apps. There you can install the desired standard app for various applications.
You may not have thought about it that much, but your phone makes a lot of noises throughout the day. By adjusting them you immediately hear what is going on, but also that it is your phone that makes noise. You can go in all directions, from music fragments to quotes from your favorite movies. To do this, go to Settings> Sounds and set sounds for receiving phone calls and sounds. You can add your own sounds via Music on device.
Own ringtone for contacts
Did you know that you can set a ringtone for certain contacts? To do this, open the Contacts app and tap the three dots in the top right corner. Then choose Set ringtone and choose a ringtone that you want to hear from this contact. You can choose from the standard melodies, but also assign your own sound fragment with the Select from files function.
You can easily set a major change in the display by switching from the light display to the dark display. To do this, tap Settings> Display & Brightness and check the Dark Mode option. All backgrounds will now turn black, but the colors will also be adjusted. That gives a calm image, especially when you are in a dark environment.
Some smartphones use the standard Android keyboard. Do you want a better experience while typing? Then you’d rather choose a different virtual keyboard. You can think of GBoard, Google’s smart keyboard, but some appreciate Microsoft Swiftkey, which allows you to swipe the keyboard to form words. You can also try Fleksy or AnySoftKeyboard. All four are smart alternatives that you can install from Google Play. You switch between the keyboards via Settings> System> Language & Input.
As soon as you pick up and touch your phone, the lock screen will be displayed with the latest notifications. They can be quite private. Do you want to show them? You can decide whether you want to show them via Settings> Notifications> Lock screen notifications. You can also choose to show but hide the content.
We conclude these tips with a paid app, which is certainly worth mentioning. Personalizing your smartphone may also cost a little money in some cases. Tasker costs 3.59 euros, but lets you set up almost everything on your phone. For example, you can always have certain apps play in landscape or portrait format, for example have Chrome start up in Incognito or start a certain playlist as soon as you connect the headphones. It is an app with a lot of application possibilities. As a result, it is unfortunately not very clear. For the real puzzlers, who want even more control over their Android smartphone!