Android is often praised for its vast customization options. And while default Android does a great job of allowing you to tailor the OS to your liking, third-party apps make it even easier to customize your Android phone. Whether you’re automating tedious tasks or completely changing how the home screens look, there are some great customization apps available on Android.
A New Launcher: Nova Launcher
Third-party launchers are great for adding more options and features to Android, and Nova Launcher is one of the best around. Nova has a big focus on adding more customization to the home screen alongside some general quality-of-life improvements. You can edit the grid size of the home screen, adjust what shape icons are, utilize custom icons, customize the app drawer with various visual options, and a lot more.
And that’s just the version that’s free in the Google Play Store, if you purchase Nova Launcher Prime for the one-time price of $4.99, you also get customizable gesture commands, folders within the app drawer, and even more visual options such as unread badges. Nova Launcher lets you fine-tune Android to your liking while still keeping a stock Android feel.
On Top of a Launcher: Icon Packs
Icon packs require the use of a compatible third-party launcher (like Nova) to work, but they’re a great way to customize the visual aspects of Android. Most icon packs are very stylized, so a lot of it is going to be up to your preference. But regardless if you prefer packs like the minimalist-styled Flight or something more fun and cartoony like the Crayon Icon Pack, there’s sure to be an icon pack out there for you.
Tasker is a powerful app that allows you to automate various tasks on Android. You can assign certain actions, whether that’s sending a text or muting the phone, to occur based on the time, your location, and other “Triggers.”
But that’s only scratching the surface, as Tasker advertises over 350 actions that can be automated within the app. Third-party developers can also make their own plugins. This allows third-party apps to be integrated into Tasker, meaning you can automate actions within those apps. (A full list of third-party plugins is available on Tasker’s site.)
Tasker opens plenty of doors to you, and when it comes automation on Android, it’s the best of the best. You can purchase Tasker for a one-time price of $3.49.
Custom Widgets: KWGT Kustom Widget Maker
KWGT (Kustom Widget Maker) is here to grant you full control over your widgets. Whether you want to view your calendar, the time, or a map, KWGT gives you the freedom to create widgets in your own style through the app. Color, shapes, text, and more are completely up to you, so you can easily spend a lot of time diving deep into the app’s editor or creating something very basic that merely gets the job done.
KWGT is free to use, but if you want to get rid of ads you’ll need the premium version, which costs $4.49.
Custom Live Wallpapers: KLWP Kustom Live Wallpaper Maker
There are plenty of wallpaper apps in the Play Store, but if you want something truly unique, you’ll need to slap together your own. From the same devs behind KWGT, KLWP is an Android app that gives you a lot of options to create your own live wallpapers. You can mix and match various gradients, animations, and 3D shapes to create a personalized live wallpaper to your liking. You can even incorporate useful stuff like clocks and Google Fitness information as a part of the wallpaper.
KLWP is free to use, but if you want to get rid of ads you’ll need the pro version which costs $4.49.
Looks and Sound: ZEDGE
You get access to a massive library of wallpapers, ringtones, and notifications sounds with ZEDGE. The usefulness here is obvious, but it’s great to have a one-stop shop with so many options available directly from your Android device. The app itself is free to download, but some content will need to be purchased individually. If you sign up to ZEDGE Premium (which is just a different type of account), you can even sell your own content on the app, with ZEDGE taking a 30% cut of all sales.
ZEDGE is completely free, and the same goes for the premium account.
A New Quick Menu: MIUI-ify
The dropdown menu in Android is useful for reading notifications and hitting quick settings, but what if it was more customizable? That’s what MIUI-ify offers: A brand-new quick access menu for notifications and settings that’s completely customizable, both visually and functionally.
You can add shortcuts for apps and sliders for volume, brightness, and alarms. You can adjust the colors, icon shapes, and even blur the background when the menu is open, so you can remain focused. This quick-access menu opens from the bottom as well, so you can still keep the default Android menu while using it.
MIUI-ify is a free app, but if you want to unlock more visual customization options like custom images and gradients, you’ll need to purchase Premium within the app for $2.49.
Better Volume Controls: Volume Styles
While it’s unlikely that you ever found the default volume slider on Android limiting, the Volume Styles app allows you to customize them like never before. This app not only allows you to alter how the volume sliders look, but also allows you to add in new sliders like screen brightness as well as shortcuts like a screenshot button or a flashlight toggle.
Volume Styles is a free app, but if you want to unlock some of the flashier visual styles and remove ads, you’ll need to purchase Premium via an IAP for $1.99.