Top 48 Apps to Customize Your Android Phone

Android or iPhone? Hmm… When making this choice people who choose Android pick it for many reasons, one of the most popular reasons being its ability to be almost totally customized. I’ve used an Apple iPhone and an Android, I remain impartial to which one is “better.” It all depends on what you want in a phone. I will say that one of the biggest differences I notice is the ability to make an Android look like and do exactly what you want it to, whereas with Apple you don’t have that same level of personalization.

Because Android offers their software to many phone makers (Samsung, Motorola, LG, etc.), you are already being given hundreds of options in phone brand, weight, size, look, feel, price, features, quality… the list goes on! With Apple, you have limited options, but with Android, your options are practically limitless.

In addition to so many options, the Google Play store has well over 2 million apps to help you further your Android customization journey.

To get you started, take the My Android Taste Test. This fun, short quiz is a great place to start your Android personalization process. It will give you awesome ideas about which icon packs, launchers, widgets, and keyboards best fit your style.

My results:

Now, here are just a few of the ways you can customize your Android phone, including all the best apps you need to do it.

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Changing your wallpaper

Changing your phone’s wallpaper is one of the most simple, but personal steps that can be taken toward customizing your phone. It may seem obvious, but it shouldn’t be overlooked. You’re on your phone hundreds of times a day. Let it make a positive impact on your mood by being welcomed by an awesome wallpaper!

Here are some great apps that can help you make your home screen exactly how you like it.

 

Zedge

•Free wallpapers, ringtones, notification sounds, icon packs, and widgets! (Zedge is pretty much your “one-stop-shop” for customization)
•Search millions of custom sized wallpapers and home screen backgrounds
•Enjoy popular themes like landscapes, abstracts, inspirational quotes, sports, as well as live wallpapers and more!
•Preview and download ringtones, notification sounds, and alarms to personalize all audio aspects on your Android
•Ringtones for every friend and family member including rock, rap, country, comedy, sayings, and more!

Download here

 

Backgrounds (HD Wallpapers)

•Full collection of HD wallpapers with high-quality resolution
•Thousands of wallpapers with 3-Dimensional and dynamic visual effects
•Choose from various categories of images including nature, abstract, love, design, pets & animals, and more!

Download here

 

Walli – Wallpapers HD

•Unique and creative wallpapers made by exclusively by artists, for your device
•Easily see which wallpapers are popular, recommended, and recent
•Browse categories including animals, space, nature, quotes, skulls, and more!

Download here

 

Of course, you don’t need an app to change your wallpaper. You can always use one of your own personal photos, or find one on the web! Not sure how? Click here to get step-by-step instructions on how to change your wallpaper on Android.

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Creating and Downloading Ringtones

Setting customized ringtones for your contacts is super convenient as it allows you to know who is calling even before you look at your screen! This can be very helpful for a busy lifestyle because it will save you time from rushing back to your phone every time it rings just to check who it is. With customized ringtones for your contacts, you can easily tell which calls you want to take and which can wait until later.

Although most phones come with built-in ringtones that can be assigned to different contacts, they usually aren’t the most “cool” or easily recognizable songs. Here are some great apps to help you create and download awesome ringtones (and don’t forget about Zedge!).

Ringtone Maker

•Creates ringtones, alarms, and notifications
•Allows you to copy, cut, paste, fade in/out, adjust volume, etc.
•Record a new audio clip to edit
•Assign a ringtone directly to a contact (also able to re-assign and delete easily from contact)
•Sort by tracks, albums, artists

Download here

 

Ringtone Maker Pro

•Create ringtones from your existing music and assign them to your contacts
•Create custom alarms, music, notifications, and ringtones
•Record new sound
•All ringtones compiled in an organized list

Download here

 

If you love the ringtones your phone came with but don’t know how to assign them to individual contacts, check out this link: How to Set Custom Ringtones for Specific Contacts in Android.

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Customizing Your Lock Screen

Lock screen customization can serve many purposes including safety, beautification, and productivity.

Most of us have some level of concern about our privacy. Our phones provide so much personal information about us and our families, often including access to bank accounts and other private information. It is no wonder that people want a lock screen that they can rely on to protect their sensitive information so they don’t have to worry if their phones fall into the wrong hands.

The great part about these apps is that they have so much of what we want all wrapped into a single application. Now, you don’t necessarily need three separate apps in order to have a protected, beautiful, and productive lock screen!

 

Locker Master

 

Download here
  • Large variety of unique and clever unlocking methods to choose from beyond simple swipe gestures and password patterns
  • Create personalized, beautiful, and complex lock screen themes
  • Extensive selection of clock designs, decorations, sprites, and props that to mix and match
  • Shows unread SMS messages and missed calls on the lock screen

 

CM Locker – AppLock

 

Download here
  • Secures your phone from intruders with PIN and Pattern password lock security
  • AppLock to protect apps security with pin and password
  • Snaps photos of intruders who enter the wrong lockscreen password and sends it to your e-mail instantly
  • Packed with awesome HD wallpapers, theme & password modes

 

Next Lock Screen

 

Download here
  • Protect your phone with a PIN or pattern code; fingerprint unlock on hardware-supported devices
  • View missed calls, text messages, and message notifications
  • Call or text your favorite contacts directly from your lock screen
  • Quick access to your camera, flashlight, wi-fi, bluetooth, and more
  • View your upcoming events (including time and location)

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Customizing Your Keyboard

Whether you want extra functionality, a more convenient way to type, or just want something a little more “you”, there is a custom keyboard app out there for you. If you took the quiz at the beginning of this post, you would’ve gotten an idea of which keyboard would be right for you. When I took the quiz, I was recommended the Gboard keyboard. But there are so many others out there! Once you’ve downloaded the one that fits your style, you will need to enable the new keyboard. Check out How to Replace Your Android or iOS Keyboard for help.

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Customizing Your Icons

This is my favorite part! Icons really change the look of your phone and are what you go to every time you are looking for an app! Again using my results from the quiz, I was recommended the Cornie Oldie Icon Pack. But there are dozens more out there! Here are just a few:

 

Cornie Oldie Icon Pack

  • Multicolor
  • Vibrant
  • Vintage
Download here
 

Icon Changer Free

  • Icon can be chosen from your gallery or from many icon packs
Download here
 

 

Click UI

  • Subtle, long shadows
  • Soft, pastel colors
Download here
 

 

Polycon

  • Unique
  • Creative
  • Vibrant
Download here
 

 

Pixel Icon Pack

  • Includes 6225+ icons
  • Icons sorted in various categories
Download here
 

 

 

*Note that not all icon packs are supported on every launcher (read about launchers below). When making your choice, be sure they are compatible to save yourself time and frustration. Most icon apps will tell you which launchers it is compatible within its description in the Google Play Store*

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Get a Custom Launcher

If you try to download any of these icon packs, you will first need to install a launcher. One thing that I didn’t understand when I got my first Android was why I needed a launcher and what exactly it does. You also need to take into consideration which one is right for you. My quiz results helped me solve that and told me that the Smart Launcher 3 would be best for me based on my skill level and needs.

Essentially, launchers are apps that let you change the layout of your Android phone, add custom gestures, and basically, make everything customizable to you. Find out more about launchers and how to choose the right one for you by reading Everything You Need to Know about Android Launchers.

Launchers are necessary to “unlock” limitations your phone originally comes with. Without unlocking your phone, your modifications will not be able to work properly.

Here are just a few launchers that tend to be most popular:

Nova Launcher





Download here

Apex Launcher




Download here

Themer




Download here

Google Now




Download here

GO Launcher




Download here

Aviate




Download here

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Customize Your Notifications

One of my biggest pet peeves is receiving notification alert, after alert, after alert especially when I am looking at my phone! If I can see that I have a new notification, I don’t need to hear it and feel it vibrate. With the ability to customize your notifications you can choose when you want to be notified by flash alerts, popup alerts, sound alerts, vibrate alerts… pretty much however you want. Here are some apps that let you control how and when you get notified.

Visual LED Flash Alerts

NoLED

 

 

  • Displays custom notification icons/dots on your screen
  • Works well for phones that lack a physical LED
  • Also allows you to choose audio and vibration reminders
  • Supports notifications including text and voice messages, missed calls, calendar events, a charging indicator, emails, and more
Download here

Also try: Flash Notification 2 and Dynamic Notifications

 

Vibration Alerts

Dingless – Notification Sounds

 

 

  • Eliminates notification sound alerts when you are using your phone
  • Ability to control vibrations and sound notifications
  • Pre-set time lapses between notification sounds while away from your phone
  • Music mode that disables sound notifications while you’re listening to music
Download here

Also try: ViBe

Pop-Up Alerts

Popup Notifier

 

 

  • Easily swipe through your notifications
  • Custom settings for each app (including sound and/or vibration)
  • Icon Pack support
  • Repeat notifications until read
  • Numerous themes
Download here

Also try: Heads-Up Notifications,  Notific: Lockscreen Notifications, and Notification Bubbles

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Customize Your Settings and Apps

What you see when you look at your home screen is important. It’s great to have a nice wallpaper, but what else? Many people have clocks or maybe the weather forecast on their screen to supplement the cool wallpaper. These additions, or widgets, act as mini-apps that display information on the screen rather than just providing you with an app shortcut. This makes finding things you frequently need (like knowing the weather) much more simple and easy to find. Learn more about widgets by watching, “How to Use Widgets on an Android Smartphone.”

Notification Toggle


 



Download here

Beautiful Widgets


 



Download here

Extended Controls


 



Download here

 Switchpro


 



Download here

App drawers are another trait that keeps your home screen looking clean. One major difference I notice between my iPhone and my Android is that my Android screen is not filled with apps like my iPhone was. The overall layout looks much cleaner. Some people, however, prefer to use a different app drawer than the one their phone originally came with. If you are like them and want something a little bit different, the following apps are great places to start in creating a customized app drawer.

AppDrawer






Download here

Organized Drawer





Download here

 Pulldown App Drawer




Download here

 JINA




Download here

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Other Helpful Tricks

Managing Your Mobile Data

At Republic Wireless, we are all about saving data by using wifi whenever possible. We understand though that it isn’t always easy to tell how much data you’re using. If you’re a Republic member, you already have our app which makes it easy to check your data usage each month. However, there are other ways to keep an eye on and help you manage your mobile data. Check out this article and learn everything you need to know about cellular data or try out one of these apps!

My Data Manager

 

 

  • Track how much data you use and get alerts before you run out of data or get charged overage fees
  • Monitors your usage while on mobile, WiFi, and roaming
  • Set custom alarms to avoid overage charges
  • Tracks your apps so you know what apps you’re using the most
  • Manage data across multiple devices
Download here

Also try: Data Eye

 

Improve Your Battery Indicator

One of the most important qualities of a phone is its ability to hold a charge all day. It is vital that I keep track of my battery usage so as not to have to plug up multiple times throughout my day. Of course, my Android has its own battery indicator, but if you want to take your customization to another level, you can even personalize your battery bar. For other tips and tricks to conserve your phone’s battery, check out Get More Battery Life Out of Your Phone.

 

Battery Bar

 

 

  • Set battery bar style on top or bottom of the Android status bar, or fill the whole thing
  • Ability to adjust thickness, color, percentage, position, and color line of battery bar
  • Does not require running app access, saving you battery life
  • Works silently without much RAM usage
Download here

Also try: Power Bar

 

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Notable Replies

  1. The test was interesting, however I think I was just psychoanalized by Doctor Freud/Rorschach…

    :stuck_out_tongue:

  2. Me too and likewise I remain impartial on the “better” question.

    Indeed! One can even attempt to make Android look more like iOS is one chooses: https://play.google.com/store/search?q=ios&c=apps. Personally, though I use both, I prefer to leave Android looking like well Android but these options might ease the transition for some coming from iOS.

  3. Thanks for calling attention to these apps! Apps like these would be extremely helpful to someone transitioning… I wish I had known about them when I made the switch!

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