Notice: This entry was published 5 years ago and may no longer reflect my views today.
How adorable is my phone? I’m so addicted to making it look cute. I have a worrying amount of non-functional cases and charms, and my collection only keeps growing. Amazon and Etsy have me wrapped around their fingers. I also have no qualms about paying for customization apps if I like them enough. If I want something, I’ll get it. Delayed gratification, what’s that?
I generally don’t mind buying apps since I earn free Play Store credit by doing surveys for Google Opinion Rewards. If you have an Android device and it’s available in your country, you should definitely have it! You only earn 25 to 50 cents per survey but they add up over time, especially if you’re a target demographic. I get way more surveys than my husband as a female aged 18-35.
Back to my phone, my current screen setup only has two pages. I find that I never need more than two. I reserve the first screen for my clock widget and apps that I might need right away without having to make an extra swipe, like the calculator and my email. I like to organize my most-used apps in folders on the second screen and access them that way. I never pull up my app drawer anymore. I also have my notes and world clock on the second screen. I normally keep my grocery list on memo, but recently I’ve been posting quotes.
I have two pages of docks too. I have my phone and text messages, as well as Chrome and my camera. The second dock holds my notes, alarm clock, Dropbox, and phone settings. Man, I can’t live without Dropbox. I keep all my important files in the cloud, synced across five devices (two computers, my phone, tablet, and iPod Touch). If one of them happen to go kaput, I won’t have to worry at all. I consider the apps on my dock essential. I can mess with my homescreen widgets and shortcuts all I want, but the docks stay right where they are.
Here are the apps I use to get my setup:
- Nova Launcher
If you’re not crazy about your phone’s stock UI, you don’t have to use it! Third-party launchers can replace your homescreen without using up extra memory. They let you have multiple docks and custom icon packs to give your apps a more uniform look. I’d recommend them over stock UI any day! I like Nova for its ease of use and regular updates.
- SWEET Icon Change and Line Deco
For the super adorable icons! SWEET Icon Change is my primary icon pack, but its selection is limited even in the paid version. It has the default apps and some of the popular ones in Japan like Ameba and Mixi. Honestly, you might as well get the free version and not miss much. My alternative is Line Deco which is completely free. There are in-app purchases for the “premium” packs, but I never had to buy them. The free ones were more than enough for me. Oh, and Line Deco works for iPhone too!
- *happy* Clock Widget and Memo Widget *girls*
Dear SWEET Style dev, please take my money. Aren’t my clock and memo widgets so cute? Best app purchases ever! Both apps come with different designs to choose from, and there’s also the *lovely* Clock Widget if you prefer a cutesier style. This is not a sponsored post, I swear.
- World Clock & Widget
I don’t know what it is about world clock apps, but they’re all… not what I’m looking for. World Clock & Widget was the least offensive one I found, and that’s only because you can choose black for your background. It’s either that or neon red, green,or blue. I’m talking #FF0000. So, my world clock is the combo breaker of my setup, but I suck at keeping up with timezones so I keep it around.
Here’s my previous setup using Atom Launcher with the Flat White Iconpack. Not very different layout-wise, but I had different styles for my clock and memo. I loved how Atom integrated SWEET Icon into its icon pack so everything is uniform. This is my favorite setup. Unfortunately, Atom stopped working on my phone after I received the Sense 6 update. I hope it gets an update soon so I can use it again.
Here’s a short history of my homescreens in the last year I’ve owned my HTC One. I used Sense UI for a good while before moving to Nova. I was really into picture frame widgets. I loved Nice Simple Photo Widgets for looking seamless with Sense. Just a simple black border that matched the default weather clock perfectly.
After I made the switch, I became obsessed with icon packs. One of my favorites is Click UI. The soft pastels went great with my wallpaper (notice a pattern in all my homescreens btw?). If you prefer square icons, you can try Stark, or Moonshine if you prefer not to have uniform shapes.
Do you have any favorite Android customization apps? I’d love to know! I’m always on the lookout for new apps to try. And I do hope this post is helpful for all you Android users. Check out more customized homescreens featured on my Android Pinterest board!