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Completely Customize Your Android Phone With These Apps [My Life Scoop]

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Intel asked if I would be willing to contribute some of my thoughts and tips for the connected lifestyle over at their My Life Scoop blog. My previous piece had to do with the first 5 apps that I figure every new Android user should install and make an integral part of their smartphone experience. Today’s topic is for those users that have had their phones for a while, but realize that they want more from them. This is a discussion on the best ways to customize your phone.

The timing actually couldn’t have been better, since we are sharing our home screen setups today over at this post. In the post though, I walk through the different categories that I consider to be the basis for customizing. There is a focus on finding the right launcher, icon sets, wallpapers, and lock screen replacement. Lastly, I talk about taking the ultimate step, rooting, if you feel like you need even more control to make your phone the ultimate compliment to your personal style.

To read the article, head over to My Life Scoop.

  • I’ve been reading a lot about doing these changes to my phone. i’m. just scared shitless to start. if I screw up i’ll cry like a little girl all the way to the store to buy another. I wish they’d have tech stores we could go to and get started with a little professional supervision and guidance. I hate climbing into a jet airplanes pilot seat with a handful of directions on flying that I found online. if you know what I mean.

  • Chris Hollenbeck

    Chrome still isn’t compatible for my Thunderbolt and Samsung Galaxy 10.1
    I’m going to drive my Thunderbolt into the ground before I replace it. 🙂

  • Kellex ur killing me with the pics of the gnex with the white housing. I wish the Verizon models housing was in white.

  • What Icon Pack is on that phone?

  • What icon pack are you using that are featured in the pictures of this article?

  • Jake

    When I tried Drive it screwed up my files. The MD5 check sum was different every time I downloaded the file from Drive. I’ve had fewer incidents of file corruption using Dropbox.

  • I use Wallbase.cc for wallpapers. Recently started using Holo Launcher w/ Holo Locker. Been using Beautiful Widgets basically since it came out but recently started using HD Widgets. Anyone else have something else i can try out?

  • kselby

    Nice article. Where would I get those Lockscreens? I like the second and third one.

  • Kellen, in your “5 Apps” article, you recommend Dropbox. I haven’t used Dropbox, but have been using Google Drive. Do you like Dropbox better?

  • Bigwavedave25

    Nice article, well said!

  • The first app I try to get when I get a new phone is SuperUser!

  • ricky siebold


  • Thanks for the mention K. You’re too kind 🙂

    • wickets

      I’m a bit confused….are your icons only useful if you have a launcher loaded?

      • There are a good number of other applications, like Simi Folder and Circle Launcher, which can be used on the stock launcher which could utilize the icons. The stock launcher typically does not offer the customization options that the 3rd party offerings do. Technically, you could also pull the apps off your phone and mod the icons in — but this is tedious.

        TLDR; Launchers make it easier to use them.

        • wickets

          Thanks…..your icons are really amazing but I’m not a launcher fan…best of luck


    doesn’t installing launchers, icon packs, and custom themes remove ourselves from the whole “stock” android experience? serious question, guys…

    • Dat Nguyen

      Yes. But you can if you choose to do so as opposed to be forced in one direction or the other it was your individual expression. Stock has it’s benefits but individuality and choice count for a whole lot too.

    • It’s by YOUR choice to install these custom launchers/icon packs/etc. and not some manufacturer/carrier forcing it down your throat…I’d rather have the option than to ever have to go back to MotoBlur ever again…

    • TheOiulkj

      Who ever said that stock is the best? Android would be no different than Apple if all it offered was one plain and simple UI.

      I know it’s been said before over and over, but I’ll say it again, android is about having a choice.

  • I think you should probably mention that Apex and Nova only work on 4.0+ devices. Maybe mention GoLauncher for gingerbread seeing as it is the most widely used version of Android today.

    • lasthought

      If you jump through the link you will find that it’s mentioned in the article.

    • JagoX

      It hasn’t been updated in a while but from my personal experiences in the past, LauncherPro Plus was always the smoothest launcher replacement & the widgets you got with the Plus version were fantastic. Now if only Fede would update LPP for ICS/JB 😉

      • Pedro

        He’s working on the launcher re-write. Don’t bother him.

        • JagoX

          It better be an AMAZING re-write b/c its been AT LEAST a year and no mention on the LPP website. I’m pretty sure at this point LPP is dead in the water.

        • Haxcid

          Launcher Pro is long since dead. Has been for more than a year. When anyone is to busy to take 3 minutes to post on their own website that they have moved on is sad. He got your money if you paid for his now defunct launcher.