Android is known to be a highly customizable OS. Launchers, keyboards, icon packs, and many more system-level customizations can be made, whether you’ve got a rooted device or not. Like Google’s new slogan for Android goes, “be together, not the same”. Let’s honor that principal with some of my favorite apps that give my Nexus 6 its own personal look and feel.
The launcher I’m using, and have stuck with since its initial release, is Action Launcher 3 by @chrismlacy. It’s free to download, but more features can be unlocked via in-app purchase. It’s main feature is the “Quickdrawer” — a sidebar to the left of the screen consisting of all your apps in alphabetical order — a fairly easy and simple way to access all you’ve got.
Other notable features include: “Shutters”, expandable widgets which can be quickly accessed by swiping up on an app’s icon; the “Quickpage”, a sliding menu to the right of the screen which basically acts as an easy-access homepage; the ability to add icon packs (which I’ll get into later); and, my favorite, the way it automatically changes the Google Search Bar and other elements on the homescreen to match your wallpaper.
The Play Store’s got countless icon packs to choose from, but most of them are paid apps and don’t quite go with Android’s Material Design. That being said, I’ve been sticking with Moonshine, a free, very Material-esque icon pack that looks beautiful and adds that Material goodness throughout the Android experience.
Though not really customization apps, I like to change things up a bit. I use Fenix as my Twitter client, a great Material-themed app, as well as the Link Bubble Browser (also by Chris Lacy) to quickly view links in a Messenger-style chat bubble. Muzei is a great app that I used to use, which changes your wallpaper according to whatever plugin you choose to provide, whilst adding a subtle dim and blur, causing your apps to really pop out.
With there being a plethora of personalizations available, I constantly change my phone up a bit; you’ll be seeing more articles like this from me in the future. Comment with any questions you’ve got, or hit me up on Twitter, @haiopia. Until then, happy theming!