Best Android home screen customization apps

Best Android home screen customization apps

Android smartphones support the extreme level of customization to the skin ofthe operating system. The devices come from various manufacturers running sameOperating System varies in design and style due to the open nature of Android.Well, you can also customize your home screen with several apps. We introduceyou to Best Android home screen customization apps that are most helpful incustomizing or editing your smartphone home screen skin.

Best Android home screen customization apps

You would be able to find a lot of apps in the Google Play Store concerningthe smartphone customization. But, choosing the best from a huge list takesmuch time. We sorted all of them for you here. Android Home screen launchersare the best ways to get a quick change to your smartphone UI. However, manyadd-on apps can also help you with this. Here are some of them.

Nova Launcher

Nova Launcher is the most popular launcher apps on Play Store. You can installit on your smartphone to use as the default home screen skin. You can chooseto retain the app drawer or not. Also, it supports various icon packs,different gestures, etc. The Nova Prime, which is a paid version, has manyextra features also.Top Alternatives: Hola Launcher, Action Launcher, Microsoft Launcher

Google Wallpaper

Wallpaper app by Google packs a wide variety of wallpapers and screensaverimages for your smartphone. It also supports auto daily wallpaper change,custom slideshow. You can set a mood of pictures to start a day with freshlooking wallpapers. It includes images from Google Earth and other services.Top Alternatives: Zedge, Tapet, WallroxThe above-mentioned apps can help you to customize the entire look of yourAndroid smartphone home screen. There are also many other similar appsavailable on Google Play Store. So if your app is in our list of Best Androidhome screen customization apps, let us know in the comments.The Best Home Screen Launchers for AndroidAndroid’s launcher is one of the most important parts of the user interface.It’s the first thing you see once the device is unlocked, and it’s the primaryway you interact with the home screen. It’s where your widgets live, where theapp drawer is found, and where you customize the look of your phone.RELATED: How to Install Nova Launcher for a More Powerful, CustomizableAndroid Home ScreenIf you’re unhappy with the launcher your handset manufacturer provides out ofthe box, however, fret not—there are a slew of excellent third-party choicesthat can be installed from the Play Store. Today, we’re rounding up the bestof the best.

The Best for Most People: Google Now Launcher

The Google Now Launcher—or GNL as it’s often called—is Google’s definitivelauncher. It originally started as an exclusive-to-Nexus project, but waslater released in the Play Store for all users to enjoy. It’s simple, stable,fast, and efficient, which is basically all you could ever ask for in alauncher. And best of all, it’s free.What makes the Google Now Launcher most unique, however, is its nearly-instantaccess to Google Now. From the main home screen, a quick swipe to the rightwill immediately pull up Now, giving you quick access to recent news, weather,Google search, and more.Past that, the Google Now Launcher is simple, and isn’t packed with a lot offluff. It does what it does very well, and while this simplicity is nice mostof the time, it may not be the best or most powerful option out there forthose who want more out of their launcher.

The Best for Serious Customization: Nova Launcher

When it comes to getting the most out of your launcher, it’s really hard to gowrong with Nova. It’s insanely powerful and customizable, making this thefavorite launcher among those who prefer power over simplicity.With it, you can change and customize home screen icons or set a custom gridsize for a unique home screen layout. You can make icons work as folders byadding a swipe gesture, set a custom action for the home button when you’realready on the home screen (like launching Google Now!), hide apps from theapp drawer, and so much more.If power and customization is what you’re after, Nova is one of the best outthere. It also has an excellent developer team behind it, so it’s constantlyupdated with new features and bug fixes. You can try Nova for free, but you’llhave to shell out $4.99 to get everything the launcher has to offer.RELATED: The Five Most Useful Features in Nova Launcher for Android

The Best for Speed: Action Launcher 3

At first blush, Action Launcher 3 doesn’t appear to be all that different fromthe other launchers on our list. But once you actually start using it, itbecomes pretty clear that this launcher has some features that you won’t findanywhere else, like a gesture to instantly launch a list of installed apps.Like Google Now Launcher’s swipe-right-for-Now gesture, the same action onAction Launcher 3 will bring up an alphabetical list of everything installedon the handset, along with a quick way to sort through them by dragging acrossthe letter bar on the right side.But that’s not all Action Launcher 3has going for it. It’s loaded with othergesture-based features, customizable shortcuts and folders, and a lot more.Like Nova, Action Launcher 3 is free to try, but you’ll have to shell out afive spot to get the most it has to offer. Also like Nova, it’s worth thecost.* * *Android’s customizable launchers are easily one of the best things about theoperating system in general—you spend so much of your time looking at (andfor) things housed on the home screens and in the app drawer, so making themost of that experience is definitely something you should do. At the end ofthe day, you can always go back to whatever you’re used to and comfortablewith if you’re not into the third-party options. Choices, baby!Create More Useful Shortcuts on Android’s Home Screen with Nova LauncherGesturesIf you’re anything like me, you do a lot of stuff with your Android phone.That usually means clutter on the home screens for most users—but it doesn’thave to be that way.Nova Launcher—our favorite home screen launcher for Android—has some powerfuland unique gesture features that will have your home screens cleaned up andmore powerful than ever with just the swipe of a finger.RELATED: How to Hide Apps from Android’s App Drawer with Nova LauncherFirst things first—you’re going to need the “Prime” version of Nova to enablegestures, which will set you back $4.99. If you’d rather wait, you cansometimes catch Nova Prime on sale for a couple bucks less, but I feel likethe normal asking price is fair. This is a crazy powerful app that you willliterally use every single day.There are two main “types” of gestures in Nova: home screen gestures and icongestures. For example, the Google Maps icon on my home screen opens Maps asnormal when tapped, but a swipe up on the icon automatically opens navigationto my house without the need for any further interaction. Similarly, a coupleof the icons in my app tray double as folders—tapping the icon opens the app,but swiping up exposes the contents of the “hidden” folder. And that’s justthe tip of the iceberg here.

How to Set Up Home Screen Gestures in Nova Launcher

To set up gestures on the home screens, jump into Nova’s Settings menu byheading into the app drawer and selecting “Nova Settings.”The seventh option in the Settings menu should be “Gestures & inputs”—go aheadand tap that to head into the primary gestures menu.There are several options here, including alternate Home button actions and“OK Google” hotword detection. The section we’re going to focus on, however,is a little farther down the page under the “Gestures” subheading.There are various configurable gestures here, all of which have the same setof options available to them. You can configure as many as you want, but forthe sake of simplicity we’ll just work with the “Swipe up” gesture. The samerules apply to configuring all of the gesture options, so you’ll be able toapply the following instructions to any of the choices here.When you tap on the “Swipe up” option, a new menu will open with three tabbedoptions: Nova, Apps, and Shortcuts.The first tab basically shows all of the options available exclusively toNova—executable actions that have to do with the launcher. For example, youcould set the Swipe up gesture to automatically open the App drawer or showrecent apps (keep in mind that this only works on the home screen), two thingsthat just seem to make sense with a swipe up gesture. Simply tap on the optionyou’d like to apply the Swipe up gesture to, and you’re finished.Similarly, the “Apps” tab allows you to assign a gesture to an app. So ifyou’d like to swipe up on the home screen to launch Chrome, for example,you’ll just scroll down till you find the Chrome icon and tap it. Done.The third tab, however, isn’t as simple as the first two—but it’s also themost powerful. Basically, the “Shortcuts” option allows you execute morecomplex choices than just launching an app or opening a menu—this choice caninstantly dial a contact from your address book, open a text conversation witha specific person, open navigation to a specific place, create a newspreadsheet, and so many others. This is definitely a crazy powerful featurethat you’ll want to explore thoroughly.Once you’ve settled on what you want that particular gesture to do, just tapthat option. It’ll close the gesture menu and take you back to Nova’s gestureoptions, and the choice you just selected should show up under the “Swipe Up”title. In this case, I set the gesture to open the app drawer.That’s it—you’re done.

How to Set Up Icon Gestures In Nova Launcher

Icon gestures are just as powerful. Instead of swiping around on the homescreen itself, these allow you to swipe up on an individual icon to dosomething cool. This is particularly useful, because you can assign actionsthat make sense with that app.The example we’re going to use here is one of the best things I’ve everdiscovered: swiping up on the Maps icon to immediately navigate home. Keep inmind that this only works on the home screen, though—it doesn’t apply to theicon in the app drawer.The first thing you’ll want to do is put the Maps icon on your home screen bylong-pressing it in the app drawer and dragging it out and placing it in onthe home screen.Long-press on the icon, then tap “Edit.”A dialog box with a few options will show up, but we’re only interested in the“Swipe action” bit. Hit the text area that reads “None” to open the actionmenu.This should look familiar, as it’s the same menu we looked at in the firstsection of this guide. While you can set any action you’d like, we’re going tofocus on the “Shorcuts” tab. Swipe over a couple of times to get there.In order for Maps to know where you want to go when you execute the gesture,you’ll have to first assign a location by hitting the “Directions” choice inthis menu. This will open the Maps “Create widget” screen.The “Start turn-by-turn navigation” box should already be ticked here, whichis what you want. Below that, just set your desired location—for this example,I’m just using my home address—then give the shortcut a name. You can alsochoose to avoid ferries, highways, and tolls here if you’d like.With all the desired options selected, just hit the “Save” button in thebottom right.This will take you back to the “Edit Shortcut” dialog in Nova, but the “Swipeaction” entry should now say the name you gave the shortcut in the previousstep. Hit done to save the gesture.Go give it a try—swiping up on the icon should now open navigation to thelocation you put in above, no additional taps required.

How to Set Up Folder Gestures In Nova Launcher

Attaching specific actions to swiping on folders in Nova is one of my personalfavorite features of the launcher, as it allows users to further manipulatehow functional the home screens can be. For example, there are two folders inthe screenshot above. Can’t tell, can you? Didn’t think so.To satisfy your curiosity, it’s the Chrome Beta and Sync for Reddit icons.Swiping up on the Chrome Beta icon opens my “Productivity” folder, while thesame action on the Sync for Reddit icon opens my “Social” folder. Tapping theicon opens the app represented by the icon—so the Chrome Beta icon opensChrome beta, and the Sync for Reddit icon opens…Sync for Reddit. You got it, Iknow.To set up a folder with a gesture, the first thing you’ll need to do is createa folder and put a handful of apps in it.Then, long-press on that folder and tap the “Edit” button.Simply toggle the option that reads “Swipe to open folder”—this will instantlyswitch the folder to a single, executable icon with a swipe up gestureattached to it. You can also assign a specific “tap action” here using thesame method outlined in the Icon Gesture section above.* * *Nova Launcher is one of the most powerful applications you can get for youAndroid device to improve efficiency and organization on your home screens,and gestures are a huge part of that. This guide is just a fraction of whatyou can accomplish with gestures; further exploring this versatile feature isdefinitely encouraged.How to Change Home Screen in Google Pixel 4aHere’s how to change default home screen settings in Google Pixel 4a (5G). Youcan customize Pixel 4a home screen including a set picture on home screen,create app folders, add widgets to the home screen, enable home screenrotation, change app icon shape, and more. Customize the home screen settingsyou want in your Pixel 4a running stock Android 11 OS (Compatible with Pixel4, Pixel 4 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, Pixel 2, and Pixel2 XL).

How to Customize Pixel 4a Home Screen Settings

Step 1: Long press on the blank space of the home screen and tap on “Homesettings“.Google Pixel 4a includes the below-given home screen settings.Notification dots: Show dots icon on the app when you receive newnotifications.At a Glance: Show next upcoming calendar (Meeting) events and work profile atthe top of your home screen. Toggle on it to use.Add app icons to home screen: You can see the app icon or shortcut to the homescreen when you download a new app from the play store.Swipe to access Google app: Swipe left to open the Google app from the homescreen in your Pixels. You can see your favorite topics latest news here. Bydefault turned on this.Suggestions: It will suggest your recently used apps, most-used apps, androutines. Also, added new suggestions on the home screen in the latest stockAndroid 11 OS running Pixels.Allow home screen rotation: Toggle on it to automatically rotate the homescreen when your phone is rotated.

How to Set Home Screen Wallpaper in Google Pixel 4a 5G

Step 1: “Long press on the blank area of home screen” in your Pixels. Touch on“Styles & wallpapers”.Step 2: Select “My photos” to choose your own picture from the gallery ordefault category wallpaper.Step 3: Touch on the “Picture” you like.Step 4: Click “Set wallpaper” at the bottom middle.Step 5: Tap “Home screen”.Other options are the lock screen and home screen & lock screen.Alternative Way: Settings > Display > Styles & wallpapers > Wallpaper > Selectthe wallpaper category > Choose a wallpaper > Set wallpaper > Home screenCheck Also: How to Customize home screen in Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

How to Add Widgets to Home Screen on Pixel 4a

Step 1: Touch & hold the blank area of home screen and click on “Widgets”.Step 2: “Touch & hold the widgets” to set home screen in Pixel 4a.

How to Create App Folder on Home Screen in Google Pixel 4a

Step 1: Open the App drawer in your Pixels.Step 2: Tap & hold the app (One by one) and move it to the home screen.Step 3: “Touch & hold the home screen app and drag & drop it to another app”to make a new folder. It will automatically create a folder name base on apps.

How to Change the Icon Shape (Home screen & App drawer) in Pixel 4a

Step 1: Long press on the blank space of the home screen and tap on “Styles &wallpapers”.Step 2: Click on “Style”.Step 3: Tap on “Screen” and click on “Next” until view the shape options.Step 4: Select the “Icon shape” from the list and touch on “Next”.Step 5: “Enter the Name your style” and click on the “Apply” button.It’s easy to customize home screen in Google Pixel 4a. If you have any kind ofquery, tell us in the below comment.Best Android launchers for your phone 2021Source: Ara Wagoner / Android CentralThe way we arrange, organize, and interact with our apps on Android is calledthe launcher. Launchers usually consist of a series of home screens, where wecan arrange app shortcuts and widgets and an app drawer. Every phone comeswith a launcher, but when they drop the ball, there are endless third-partylaunchers that not only pick it up again but knock it clear out of the park.Everyone has their perfect launcher, but if you haven’t found your favoriteyet, then here are a few launchers we think will satisfy users of every type.

Best Overall: Smart Launcher 5

Source: Ara Wagoner / Android CentralSmart Launcher has been around for years and years, but it really kickedthings up a notch with Smart Launcher 5. The home screen features a grid-lesswidget placement system and modular page system, but the real star of the showhere is still the app drawer. Smart Launcher 5 automatically sorts your appsinto several categories, and if you pay for Smart Launcher Pro, you can addyour own custom categories and sort your various drawer tabs in a variety ofways, from most-used to install time to icon color.From a responsive and comprehensive categorical app drawer to some of the mostprecise widget placement on Android to the most diverse icon options on themarket, Smart Launcher 5 has a lot to love. Its gestures are top-notch, too,especially the double-tap shortcuts for dock apps, which work worlds betterthan the swipe app shortcuts Nova and Action use.Smart Launcher is also part of the holy trinity of quick home screen themingI’ve used for the last three years, and it’s been used in our dead awesomeDeadpool theme, NBA Finals themes, revamped MrMobile theme, and more themescoming soon.


* Easy setup with simplified layout * Tabbed app drawer is wonderful * Quickest launcher to theme * Best home screen app gestures


* You can’t place icons at the top of the home screen * Premium system can be confusing

Smart Launcher 5

Simple setup and wonderful widget pagesWith a smart, widely adaptable app drawer, insane icon options through IconPack Studio, and a drop-dead simple home screen, Smart Launcher 5 has won myheart and my home screen.

Resurging Legacy: Nova Launcher

Source: Ara Wagoner / Android CentralNova Launcher has been a major player in the home screen market longer thanmost of us have even used Android. The reason for this continued dominance issimple. Nova’s mix of customization, convenience, and cunning is unparalleled.Nova lets your phone look more Pixel-y than a Pixel and more TouchWiz-zy thana Galaxy and does it all with ease and grace. It also lets you build a homescreen that is unique, stable, and solid while being as plain or beautiful asyou’d like.A wide feature set allows Nova to achieve all these wonderful themes and letusers build exactly the home screen they want, with small but infinitelyuseful features like subgrid positioning and a robust backup system. For usersjust getting used to third-party launchers, the “import from other launchers”feature is the most consistent and reliable on Nova than just about everyother launcher I’ve tried in previous years. If you want to ease yourself fromthe basic launcher to a custom experience, Nova can help you get comfortablewith launcher layouts and themes.After being around for so many years, launchers have a tendency to get bloatedunless they get regular overhauls to trim the fat and keep things simple, andNova Launcher is getting one such overhaul right now. Nova Launcher 7 is themilestone update where Nova Launcher is moving to a new codebase with newfeatures, more streamlined integrations, and that same utility andadaptability that we expect of Nova. It’s not available on Google Play quiteyet, but you can get it on the Nova Launcher Discord channel to test it outearly.

Swiss Army Launcher: Action Launcher

Source: Ara Wagoner / Android CentralThe watchword of both Action Launcher and its users is quick — Quicktheme,Quickdrawer, Quickpage, Quickbar. To ensure it can be the quickest and bestlauncher for users who want to set everything up just so, Action Launcher hastaken it upon itself to be one of the most customizable launchers on themarket.From its robust gesture controls to its ubiquitous Covers and Shutters to hidefolders and widgets under app icons, Action Launcher makes it easy to get thehome screen you want. If Quicktheme’s color palette misses the mark, you cannow set Material palette colors or custom hex code colors to get a morecohesive look! This was a long-awaited feature and it makes Action Launchermuch more useful to live wallpaper users and themers.Action Launcher is also quick to support features from the newest versions ofAndroid, or as much as can be replicated on a third-party launcher. ActionLauncher’s developer Chris Lacy is devoted, dedicated, and is quick to jump inon Android issues that impact third-party launchers, such as the issues withAndroid 10’s gesture controls and third-party launchers. While the actualtheme-building power here isn’t quite as adaptable as Nova Launcher, it’s alauncher that works incredibly, well, quick about getting you set up and onyour way.

Best Productivity: Microsoft Launcher

Source: Ara Wagoner / Android CentralYou’d think that if Microsoft was going to bring a launcher to Android, it’dmatch Windows 10 or maybe the old Windows Phone look — and you’d be wrong. Notonly is Microsoft Launcher a completely Android-native experience, but it’s atop-quality, ever-updating launcher. It’s one of few outside Nova Launcher tooffer edge-to-edge widgets and subgrid positioning.Microsoft Launcher’s experience centers around a clean home screen and a smartpage to the left fed by your Microsoft account, your daily phone use, and anyAndroid widgets you wish to add. Even if you’re not immersed in the Microsoftecosystem, having a scrolling page of widgets beats having to space them outover 3-4 pages. While this launcher’s settings are somewhat clunky, it has allthe launcher options you’d want and then some.While Microsoft Launcher is definitely not as simplistic as Smart Launcher 5or Niagara Launcher, it is still a fairly lightweight launcher that’s well-worth considering, especially if you have any sort of reliance on Microsoft’secosystem for work, school, or personal use.

Honorable Mention: Lawnchair 2

Source: Ara Wagoner / Android CentralEveryone just absolutely adores the Pixel Launcher that Google develops anduses for Google Pixel phones, except that Pixel Launcher has no real optionsfor the home screen, the dock, the app drawer, or really anything else.Lawnchair 2 is what we all actually wish the Pixel Launcher was: a full-bodiedlauncher with the clean Google look, but the ability to do all the things weexpect a launcher to do in 2020: automatic theming, edge-to-edge widgets,adjustable icon and grid sizes, folder covers, and now even categorized appdrawers.Lawnchair has been around for a while, but the first version was left stagnantfor months before Lawnchair 2 finally left beta towards the end of 2019. Itwas totally worth the wait, but we also haven’t seen an update for publicLawnchair in a little over a year because the team behind it went on anextended break. They’re now building Lawnchair 3, but it’s still in the earlytesting stages, so we’re not sure when it’ll be available for normal usersthrough Google Play.

Bottom line

My first launcher love was Nova, but Smart Launcher 5 won over my heart in2018 and I haven’t found anything else that works quite as well for my theme-loving setup. The categorical app drawer is better than one big A-Z sort onceyou have your categories set the way you want them, and the double-tap appshortcuts don’t interfere with gesture navigation or swiping between the appdrawer and home screen screens the way they do on Nova, Action, and just aboutevery other launcher in existence.If you want a launcher that’s more like the launcher that came with yourphone, Nova Launcher is the best bet because it imports from other launchersmore consistently than any other launcher I’ve tried, allowing you to startwith the setup you already had and then ease yourself into more advancedfeatures like shortcut gestures and customizing the look of your folders,icons, and search bars.Whichever of these launchers you opt for, the beauty of testing a launcher isthat these all have a free tier that allows you to get a really good feel forthe launcher and how it performs before you unlock extra features with Proupgrades. If you have a launcher you absolutely adore, you should absolutelybuy the pro key or contribute to the developers so that they can keep updatingthat launcher and keep it alive. Developers need to eat, too!

What missed the cut

Source: Ara Wagoner / Android CentralThere are hundreds and hundreds of launchers out there, and while there areplenty of good ones, they can’t all make the cut. Here are the launchers thatcouldn’t make the cut: * Evie Launcher is still a light, easy launcher, but it’s not in active development anymore, which means that when bugs arise, there’s no one to fix them. If you were/are using Evie, try either Smart Launcher 5, Niagara Launcher, or Pear Launcher if you’re on a phone with limited RAM. * Hyperion Launcher keeps making progress, but it’s just too damn buggy to recommend over stable, customizable launchers like Nova and Action. * BlackBerry Launcher hasn’t seen any updates in a year and is just too expensive to recommend to anyone that isn’t already an active BlackBerry Hub subscriber. If you’re a business user, Microsoft Launcher is likely a better fit, and Microsoft Launcher’s free.We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.How to customize an Android home screen, part 1: Launcher basicsOne of the absolute biggest differences between Android and iOS is the amountof customization you can do on Android. From stock devices with livewallpapers to rooted devices running custom ROMs, there’s something to becustomized for everyone. Many people aren’t aware of this however, or they’reconfused by terms like launcher, widget, LWP, and lock screen. In this seriesI’ll go through Android customization aspects that don’t require customs ROMsand themes, explaining the basics while also including some tips that evenexperienced Android users might not be aware of. First up is the absolutebasics of the Android UI and the launcher.

How the Android UI works

The base for the visible part of Android is the ROM. This is essentially apackage that consists of a basic version of Android plus potentially tweaks anadditions added by the manufacturer or custom ROM creators. Think of this likedifferent versions of Windows or other OSes. Part of the ROM is a theme thatis responsible for things like icons and colors that you find throughout theOS. When people talk about manufacturer customization like Sense, Blur, andTouchWiz, this theme is part of that customization. User created themes arepossible, but not with a purely stock device, as it requires installing filesusing recovery methods or that you’re already using custom ROMs with themingbuilt in. I won’t go into detail on this type of customization here and now,but it’s important to understand the basic structure of Android.On top of the ROM/theme, you have parts of the look and feel that can bechanged by the user without any advanced tinkering, namely the launcher. Thelauncher is basically the home screen/desktop on Android, the place that holdsyou shortcuts and widgets. Unlike iOS, where the launcher is integrated intothe OS, the launcher on Android is more or less just another app. Alternativelaunchers can be installed directly from Google Play, no special “hacking”required. Lock screens, the screens that can be set to pop up when you wakethe device up, can be replaced in much the same way.On top of launchers again, you have widgets, wallpapers and shortcuts. Thesecan be system wide or launcher-specific, and are even easier to get your handson that launchers.

The launcher

The launcher consists of two parts, the home screen (or desktop, or whateveryou want to call it) and the app tray/drawer. The home screen areas is usercustomizable and holds only what you want to put there in terms of shortcutsand widgets. The app tray on the other hand, holds all the apps on the device,and no widgets, much like on iOS. The idea is to use the home screen as aquick access area, while the app tray has a complete list of apps. In a wayit’s like the desktop and the Start menu on a Windows computer.Replacing the launcher that comes with the device is very often a good idea,as the stock/branded launchers are often very limited. Folders, which wereshown off when Ice Cream Sandwich was announced, have been standard in thirdparty launchers and as standalone widgets for ages. Being able to customizethe number of home screens (“pages” you flip through), the icon grid (how manyicons fit on a single screen), the animation effects and so on are featuresyou’ll find in most custom launchers, but few branded ones.What you can do with a new launcher varies depending on which launcher youchoose, but the common features are folders, custom icon grids, ability tolock the screen to a specific orientation, icon sizes, ability to use customicons, ability to resize any widget (regardless of its minimum requirement, insome cases), ability to move and delete home screens, ability to select textsizes, fonts, colors etc, and much more. Then there are launchers that focusmore on visual effects than customization options, such as SPB 3D launcher.SPB is one of several launchers that come with widgets that work only for thatspecific launcher and are separate from system wide widgets. Many launchersalso have themes, which are basically color schemes and icon sets for thelauncher.¨Some of the most popular launchers include ADW Launcher (EX), Go Launcher EX,LauncherPro, Nova launcher, and Apex Launcher (the latter two only work onAndroid 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and above), but there are lots of others aswell. I personally use GO Launcher EX on both my Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus tabletand my Galaxy S II smartphone. Aside from being a highly customizable, freelauncher, it has an internal eco system of GO Launcher-only widgets that arequite nice, though I don’t currently use any of them. If you use a lot ofwidgets however, specifically common widgets like SMS, Facebook, calendar, andso on, GO Launcher has themes available that affect all the internal widgets,making it easier to keep the same look across widgets.

Home screen

This section will explain a few key concepts of the home screen part of thelauncher, meaning not the app tray.

Dock, status bar, main content area

When you look at a traditional home screen, you’ll see three separate areas:the dock, the status bar, and the main content area. In the screenshots aboveI’ve highlighted these three areas on both my Galaxy Tab’s home screen (thefar left screenshot) and my Galaxy S II’s home screens (the other twoscreenshots). Red is the status bar, which is different on a tablet comparedto a phone. This area is part of the ROM and theme, and not the launcher – assuch, you can’t edit this area using launcher settings. Green is the maincontent area of the launcher, where you’ll normally place your widgets andicons. Blue is the dock, which is a part of the launcher that stays the sameacross multiple pages of a home screen, commonly used for apps you want to beable to access from every page of the home screen.Some launchers, including GO Launcher EX as of late, allow you to disable thisdock, which is what I’ve done on my tablet, hence the lack of a blue zonethere. That is also a pretty crucial feature if you ask me, as you might notwant a row of icons that’s visible on each screen.

Icon grid

Being able to customize the icon grid is in my opinion one of the absolutemost important features in a launcher. This controls how many icons arevisible in the main content area of the home screen, aka the green zonesabove. It’s common to control this by adjusting how many spaces the area isdivided into, both horizontally (columns) and vertically (rows). Launchersthat allow you to customize this fully tend to go up to 10 in eitherdirection, giving you a maximum 10 x 10 icon grid, which results in 100 iconsfitting on the screen at once. In comparison, many phones ship with 4 x 5grids, giving you 20 spots, a mere 1/5 of the maximum. Grid size not onlyaffects the number of icons, but also the number of widgets, and the placementaccuracy of those widgets, since widgets use icon spaces.There are several factors that needs to be taken into consideration whenchoosing a grid size. The most obvious one is screen size. You need to be ableto use the resulting icons with your finger, and so the grid needs to resultin an icon size that is easy to touch with your finger. This is why I use a 5x 5 grid on my Galaxy S II, while I use a 8 x 10 grid on my Galaxy Tab.Widget and icon placement also depends on the grid. As an example, a 5 x 5grid is perfect for centering 1 x 1 widgets in the middle of the screen, likeI’ve done with the battery widget on my Galaxy S II home screen above. If Iwant to continue having it in the middle, I have to either stick to an oddnumber of columns (3, 5, 7, 9) or resize the widget to take up two spaces. Inthe Galaxy Tab screenshot, the actual size of the 3 x 4 clock widget turns outto be less than half the horizontal screen real-estate because the grid is 8columns wide. If you want to use messaging widgets, you might want to use aneven number of columns to split the screen in half, or 9 columns on a tabletto be able to split it into 3 separate parts.I do however want to point out that the icon grid doesn’t necessarily affecticon sizes automatically. If you choose an icon grid that’s too big to fit thecurrent icon size into the spaces, you will notice that either the icons orthe text badges underneath them get cut off, which isn’t pretty. Depending onthe launcher, you can change the icon settings, but I’ll get more into that ina separate article about icons.The same goes for widgets, where widgets may or may not fit inside where youwant them, even if it’s a 4 x 4 widget that you’re trying to fit in a 4 x 4area of a 10 x 10 grid. This is because widgets scale using different methods,and sometimes things like text or images can’t be displayed at a resolutionlower than a certain minimum, making the number of icon spaces availableirrelevant. More on this when I cover widgets.Finally, I should mention that the icon grid doesn’t include the dock. A 10 x10 grid with a dock would technically be 10 x 11/11 x 10, though the dock hasa separate setting for number of icons as well, so you might end up with 10 x10 + 1 x 5. This can be an asset, or a nuisance, the latter often being thecase with some launchers that display the dock on the side when in landscapemode, thus causing the entire icon grid to be misaligned.


Most launchers allow you to change the transition effects. This has to do withwhat animations are being used for switching between pages of the home screen,and entering/exiting the app tray. This can range from simply sliding effectsto windmill effects, zoom effects, and so on. It’s a quick setting to change,but can affect how the device feels. Using the right effect can also enhancecertain wallpaper choices, but more about that when I cover wallpaper.

Number of screens/pages

Being able to change the number of home screens/pages that you can scrollthrough can be crucial for customizing a launcher. On my Galaxy Tab I’mcurrently using a single screen setup, whereas I use three screens/pages on myGalaxy S II. Some stock launchers are locked to a certain number of screens,potentially leaving you with either blank pages that you don’t use or too fewscreens for what you want to do. More and more launchers are flexible in thisregard though, and the number of pages can have a huge impact on your design.So-called hub designs are for instance very popular, where the concept is thatyou have screens dedicated to specific categories, such as games or reading,and then use special shortcuts that come with most launchers to allow you tojump to specific pages by clicking icons rather than swiping between screens.Hub designs generally require more screens than more compact designs, and arehard to get right with some launchers. I’ll cover hub designs in more detaillater in the series.Many launchers also include settings for the screen indicator, which is anindicator that shows which screen you’re on and how many there are. You cansee this in the screenshots from my Galaxy S II, showing the indicator for thethree available screens right below the status bar. On the Galaxy Tab on theother hand, this is turned off. Again, a very useful feature, especially forhub designs where you don’t need to know where you’re swiping to or from.The choice of icon grid also depends on whether you want a portrait,landscape, or universal orientation device. If you want the home screen to beable to rotate and work in both orientations, go with an equal number of rowsand columns, like 8 x 8. Portrait-only screens work well with a higher numberof rows than columns, and landscape screens are best off with the exactopposite. Many launchers allow you to lock the orientation independent fromthe system orientation, which helps if you want to go for one specificorientation.

App tray

The app tray is separate from the home screen, and often has its own set ofsettings. These settings will be similar to what you have for the home screenitself, including icon grids, icon sizes, wallpaper, and transition effectsthat are specific to the app tray.Some people prefer to access apps from the app tray, while others rarely useit. This choice can affect what launcher you choose, as GO Launcher, forexample, allows for folders in the app tray, which allows for moreorganization to take place in an otherwise chaotic app list. You can evenbrowse media in GO Launcher’s app tray now, which is either useful or uselessdepending on your preferences.The app tray is really very similar to the home screen as far as settings go,but there are a couple of things you need to be aware of. First of all,deleting a shortcut from the home screen only deletes the shortcut, whiledeleting it from the app tray (for the launchers that have that option) meansthat you’re uninstalling the app. Second, there are no widgets in the apptray. Third, if an app isn’t visible in the app tray, it’s because it’s an appthat isn’t designed to run as an independent app. Examples are live wallpapersand themes for other apps, which are accessed elsewhere (in this case, thewallpaper selector and the main app you installed a theme for, respectively).

To be continued…

This is the first part in a series that will go in-depth with customization.Future articles will cover icons, widgets, wallpaper, lock screen, and thenstart covering certain types of popular home screen designs in more detail.This first part was just an introduction to launchers, aimed to provide astarting point for people who have never played around much with their homescreens. Future articles will go more in-depth with tips and tricks likeinvisible icons, screen-specific wallpaper, adding UI elements directly to thewallpaper, icon sources, widget themes, and so on.Pocketables does not accept targeted advertising, phony guest posts, paidreviews, etc. Help us keep this way with support on Patreon!How To Get iOS Like Homescreen Search On Android

How To Get iOS Like Homescreen Search On Android

Tips Trickslekhaka-Nazia banu| Published: Sunday, December 1, 2019, 18:12 [IST]Among the most commonly used mobile operating system, Android is the most usedone. It has a lot of customisation options and features which makes it verypopular among the massive ecosystem of Apps. In Google Play Store, you canfind lots of apps and games but even then, people are crazy about iOS.For more optimised interface, iOS is better than Android, as the glitches andbugs are very less comparatively. There are certain exclusive features too.The Home screen search is a useful feature with the help of which you cansearch for settings and apps from the Homescreen of iOS itself. It’s timesaving as well as productive.You can easily get iOS type Homescreen search on Android by using EvieLauncher, which is a popular launcher app. There is also a working method thatwill help you to get a Homescreen Search like iOS.Step 1: Go to Android Phone Download. Install Evie Launcher on yoursmartphone.Step 2: install the App. Then launch the App.Step 3: After launching it, you can see the main interface of the App forAndroid.Step 4: Swipe down from the Home screen. Right on the Home Screen open auniversal search. Then you can locate the apps very easily. That is how youcan get the iOS type Home screen.Evie launcher is the easiest method of all to get the iOS type home screen inno time, by just simply following the steps.The Homescreen can at times throw the iPhone users for a loop at times. Applehas a simple folder grid and the users tend to live in the app drawer. Androidusers, on the other hand, have their home screens mainly on the top of the appdrawer. This makes half of the apps completely out of the way.You can only see what you want to see. You can download Hola or ilauncher. Thequick settings are not there and even the icons are not the same. With thehelp of Nova Launcher, you can have consistent icons and they should match theHomescreen too. Nova Launcher is customizable and a highly popular third-partyhome screen launcher. You can set it as the default home screen and entirelychange your home screen experience.Step 1: Install Nova Launcher or Nova Launcher Prime from Google Play Store.See all the features there and check for the Quick Settings too.Step 2: Open Nova Launcher and Click on the Home Button.Step 3: Click on Nova Launcher and Click on it to set it as the default homescreen launcher.Step 4: Then Open the app drawer.Step 5: Click Open Nova Settings and then go to desktop and open the desktopgrid.Step 6: Expand the grid by changing the number of rows and confirm it byclicking on Done.Step 7: Go to Desktop Settings and scroll down and click on Add icon to HomeScreen.Step 8: Click on Back Button and go to the Main Menu.Step 9: Open Dock and Dock buttons and download iOS folder background.Step 10: Click on Folder and select Grid. Then go to folder background andclick custom and it’s done.Best Mobiles in India * 39,990 * 1,19,900 * 18,999 * 17,999 * 69,999 * 86,999 * 49,990 * 20,999 * 1,04,999 * 74,999 * 22,999 * 49,999 * 11,499 * 54,999 * 17,091 * 31,999 * 17,091 * 13,999 * 18,990 * 39,600 * 7,999 * 15,999 * 29,640 * 16,432 * 30,800 * 39,940 * 42,235 * 29,680 * 25,090 * 56,360 To stay updated with latest technology news & gadget reviews, follow GizBot onTwitter,Facebook,YouTubeand also subscribe to our notification.Allow NotificationsYou have already subscribedStory first published: Sunday, December 1, 2019, 18:12 [IST]Android Refresh Tuesdays – AMOLED themeWelcome to Android Refresh Tuesdays, where every Tuesday we show you how togive your Android home screen a fresh new look, based on a weekly theme.This week’s theme isAMOLED, as chosen by nearly 60% of last week’s voters. As usual, you can vote fornext week’s theme below, or suggest one in the comments!Now, as we’ll be doing an AMOLED theme, it obviously helps to have a phonewith an AMOLED display so you can fully appreciate our final result. We’ll ofcourse be focusing on pitch blacks, as on top of looking great on AMOLEDscreens, keeping most of your screen black (which means most of the pixels areturned off) might even help prolong your battery life a bit. Let’s go!Previous Android Refresh Tuesdays:

Step 2: Download Nova Launcher so we can customize our home screen better

In order to install custom app icon packs and do some other home screentweaks, download the free version of the popular and highly customizableNova Launcher, and open it.”Start fresh” when prompted, then press and hold on the home screen to accessNova’s settings. Tap “Settings”, “Home screen” and turn off “Wallpaperscrolling”, so the wallpaper you’ve chosen will sit nicely at the center ofyour screen.Now let’s make our app drawer dark, as it’s white by default.Go back to the first “Nova Settings” screen, tap “Night mode”, turn Night modeon, then check “App drawer” under “Use dark theme on”.

Step 3: Installing an AMOLED icon pack

We can go one of two ways. Either we could pick up a black and white iconpack, or a colorful one, to add liveliness to our beautiful AMOLED homescreen.Since we already did black and white last week, I’d suggest picking up acolorful, but understated icon pack likeUX Led. If you liked the final result you saw in the thumbnail, download this iconpack and we can proceed to applying it.Press and hold on the home screen to enter Nova Launcher’s settings again. Tap”Settings”, “Look & feel”, “Icon style”, “Icon theme” and select “UX LedFree”.The steps to apply your new icon pack, as described aboveAnd we’re done! You can proceed to add your favorite apps to the home screen.Swipe up from the home screen dock to open the app drawer and access all ofyour apps. Drag the apps you want from there to the home screen. Also, for extra effect, punch up the brightness so your colorful wallpaperelement and app icons pop out even better from the black wallpaper! This issomething you can only enjoy on an AMOLED screen.

How to go back to my old Android look?

Simply delete the UX Led app, then delete Nova Launcher to go back to yourdefault launcher and app icons. Customize your Android home screenNo two Android home screens should ever look the same. Scott Webster/CNETAndroid is, by its very nature, a flexible and customizable platform. In fact,that is probably my favorite of its many features.I love nothing more than to tweak and fiddle with my smartphones and tablets,changing the looks of things as I go. Best yet, there’s still an endless listof cosmetic changes you can make even without rooting your phone or tablet.You can, for example, give yourself a fancy home screen with a highly detailedset of widgets. On the other hand, you can install a new launcher that changesicons, effects, transitions, and so much more.I’ve gathered up a handful of my favorite home screen apps here, the kind youcan install and adjust over time. Have fun exploring!* * *

Nova Launcher Prime

There are plenty of launcher applications that let users override the standardlook and feel that comes with the phone’s out-of-box experience, however NovaLauncher Prime tends to be my go-to client.In a nutshell, Nova Launcher alters the way your phone behaves when you tapthe Home button. Specifically, you can define how many home screen panels youhave, the number of icons that fit on the screen, scrolling effects and muchmore.Nova lets users modify icons, animations, and much more. Screen shot by ScottWebster/CNETNova Launcher Prime gives you control over the grid size, and the number ofrows and columns on your screen. You can also place a persistent Google Searchbar across home screens, and tweak the size of the page margins.I love using the launcher’s revolving door transition when you swipe amongscreens. It looks much cooler than a simple slide transition. Additionally,users can opt to remove icon labels, overlap widgets and lock the desktop inplace.I also appreciate the way I can sort my app drawer, hide unused titles andorganize content into tabs. Other minor touches include infinite scrollingpanels, custom grouping, menu transparency and transitions. Suffice it to say,I’m constantly backing up and restoring fun layouts all the time. Doing thiscan also make for a seamless transition into a brand new smartphone.A particularly fun, and easy, way to spice things up is to replace the iconsrepresenting apps and games. There are innumerable icon packs or themes thatone can download to adjust the overall aesthetics. Some of the icons packs Ihave enjoyed lately include SYRMA, Axis and Motif. Again, hit up some forumsor search Google Play and you’ll find some rather inspiring stuff.Note that you don’t necessarily have to spend the money on Nova LauncherPrime; the free version is a great way to take advantage of most options andsettings. At more than 10 million installs, the free Nova Launcher is apopular and feature-rich home screen launcher. For many people this is morethan enough customization.* * *

Beautiful Widgets

I consider this one more of an oldie but goodie, since it’s been around formore than a few years. Not only is Beautiful Widgets easy to install andsetup, it’s also simple to configure to your liking.A time-tested classic, Beautiful Widgets still gets the job done. LevelUpStudioInitially designed to give Android users some home screen clocks that mimicthe old HTC stuff from 2008-2010, it has evolved considerably over time. Todayyou’ll find themes, multiple dimensions, DayDream features and more.While some of what you’ll find will certainly feel dated to long-term Androidusers, it might work nicely with your home screen layout.* * *


For those who like the idea of customizing their home screen but don’t want toget their hands dirty, I suggest looking into ThemerApp. Thanks to a simpleset-it-and-forget-it setup, you can swap out an entire layout with the tap ofa button.Themer takes the legwork out of creating new homescreen experiences.MyColorScreenAvailable as a free app in the Google Play Store, this one acts more like agiant curated library of custom designs. There are hundreds of themes offeredtoday and things only get better with time.Play with Themer and you will find that, in addition to being simple to workwith, it’s also incredibly flexible. Like everything you see except for thoseicons? Swap them out for something else. Not so keen on the order in which thewidgets display? Move them around, take them out, replace them with your own.For folks who have yet to see Android 5.0 I might suggest checking out the LTheme. Install this one on top of Themer and your phone at least looks theLollipop part — if only on the surface.* * *”

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