Yes, we all love our smartphones. We are addicted and cannot take our eyes off our phones screen. Most of us spend a large percentage of our lives simply staring at their smartphone screens. Admittedly, the operating systems have improved over the years with each update in terms of performance as well as the aesthetics.
But over time it can get monotonous and cluttered with apps and new installs. It does not hurt to occasionally shake things up and make them look a bit different. So, let’s look at different ways you can overhaul the way your iOS or Android phone looks.
Refine the Launcher/Homepage
The first screen we see on the phone is the homepage. In general, new iOS versions are pretty good-looking. Just make sure that you stick to the modern, semi-transparent, translucent backgrounds. Do not mix new iOS 8 with old school wallpapers as the combination surely looks unsightly. You can use an app like Blur to download custom backgrounds to enhance the looks of your iOS device.
On the other hand, the Android homepage and app drawer (what they call “launcher”) can be enhanced to a great extent too.
A good option here is the Nova Launcher app, which not only gives you plenty of options in terms of color and design, but also comes with added functionalities such as the ability to back up layout customizations, customizing the app drawer for cooler effects (such as horizontal drawing), ability to snap widgets or icons to half cells through “Sungrid Positioning” etc.
It also has a premium version that has even more functionalities such as a counter showing a number of unread messages and emails so that you never forget what you have missed out.
Try New Themes
Themes can, of course, overhaul the way the phone looks in a matter of seconds. But garish themes can do the exact opposite. You can find really exciting themes for the iOS Winterboard. However, do note that the best themes do not come for free in case of iOS.
But they are not very expensive either and you can buy most of them at Cydia in less than $3. Some of our favorite themes that you can try out include Enlightened iOS 8, Aelon iOS 8, Soft for iOS 8 and Enkel.
Also See: 5 Cydia Themes Worth Downloading
In comparison, for Android, you can find a huge number of themes for free. However, the choice will also depend on what you are using. This is because all the major device manufacturers such as Samsung, HTC, Sony etc. add their own layers to the Android and so the choice of themes will also depend on the handset. You can also find various other theme options in the Play Store that you can install irrespective of the device you use.
Beautify the Icons
While the background wallpaper makes it look beautiful, they get covered by app icons in due course of time. So, there must be an attempt to beautify the icons too. When you install a theme, it does affect the icons.
But even without changing the entire theme, you can try to change the looks of your icons. In the case of iOS, you can explore Icon Skin Builder personalize the icon frames, colors, and backgrounds. In fact, if you have the right bent of mind, you can create your own art using it. Besides, it is free to use.
On Android, you can always find scores of Icon Packs in the play store. These come with predefined templates for you to plug and play. Do check out icon packs like Influx, Cryten, Moonshine, and Domo. This list would help you find more options.
Various widgets that populate your screen can also be beautified. Generally, the themes also change the way widgets look. But you can go beyond that and fine-tune them further. A simple example of this is the weather widget that is found on every phone. In iOS, you can buy extra weather widgets that come not only with cutting edge designs but also with extra functionalities.
Do check out widgets like Forecasts+ or The Weather Channel for a better looking and informative weather widget compared to your default one. Similarly, in Android, you can find apps like Go Weather, Weather & Clock Widget Android, Aix Weather Widget, EZ Weather HD and many more. Most of them are free with a few optional premium features.
Find Quality Wallpapers
In case you do not want to shake your entire system by changing themes and installing new apps but still want to chisel the looks, you will probably be better off with installing HD wallpapers in the background. They are easy to find and download too. In iOS, look for Wallpapers for iOS 8 for some excellent options in this regard. Such apps ensure that you get a fresh look every day and your eyes never get bored.
On Android also you can find some excellent apps. For example, 500 Firepaper is an app by the photography site 500px. So, expectedly they are using some of their excellent professional photographs as wallpapers here. On the other hand Sun Rise Free Live Wallpaper keeps the same silhouette of a tree but keeps changing the sky with moving clouds, flying birds and occasional rainbows.
For more sophisticated tastes, there is Muzei Live Wallpaper that keeps putting up classic arts of Van Gogh, Picasso and other timeless artists of the world on your phone. There are many other such options that you can try out. The choice purely depends on your personal taste and preferences.
In general, phone UIs are better looking today than they used to be. But still, it is possible to find scores of third-party apps which offer incredible options to customize the look and feel of our phones. After all, it doesn’t hurt to customize and add a touch of individuality to your beloved device.
Which apps/widgets do you use to customize the look of your smartphone? Share with us in the comments below.