'DNA' Digital: Customise your Android to distinguish your phone from others'

Tuesday, 9 October 2012 - 10:30am IST Updated: Tuesday, 9 October 2012 - 10:36am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna
Anyone can own a Galaxy S III or a HTC One X today, so how do you distinguish yourself from the others who have the same phone as you? Thankfully, since Android is completely customisable, you have apps to do just the thing.

High-end Android smartphones can be seen in the hands of almost everyone today and that’s because companies like Samsung, HTC, etc have made it simple to use by heavily skinning them. Anyone can own a Galaxy S III or a HTC One X today, so how do you distinguish yourself from the others who have the same phone as you? Thankfully, since Android is completely customisable, you have apps to do just the thing and most of them are free. We show you how to personalise your Android, so it will never be mistaken for someone else’s. You can scan the QR codes using any barcode scanner app from the Play Store. This way, you can get the app we’ve talked about by simply scanning the paper.

Custom launcher
You can change the entire look of your phone by simply installing a custom launcher. A launcher basically changes the menus, lockscreen and sometimes, icons. It all depends on what level of customisation you want. Some of the popular free launchers include GO Launcher  Ex, ADW Launcher, LauncherPro and Launcher 7. The latter gives you a Windows Phone 7 look and feel in Android.

Add widgets
The widgets in Android are quite bland. Beautiful Widgets is a very popular app that gives you functional, yet incredibly beautiful widgets for weather, date and time, toggle switches, battery indicators and a lot more. SiMi Folder Widget gives you the ability to group apps in folders on the homescreen. This is handy if you’re still on Gingerbread.
 
Toggle switches in notifications bar
The notification bar in Android is at your disposal almost at any instance, no matter what you’re doing, so it only makes sense to have toggle switches for some functions up there. Power Toggles is one such app and is completely free. You can choose between different themes to match your OS or background, so it blends well with the overall look of your phone.

Customise the notification light
Android phones with LED notification lights usually don’t have many colour options, so it’s usually just green for an alert and then maybe amber or red for when the battery is low. Light Flow is an amazing app that lets you customise the notification light colour for individual apps, so it’ll blink blue when you have a Facebook alert and green for WhatsApp. You can even set different audio alerts and colours for other events as well like when the battery drops below 10% or when the phone has charged fully.

Install a better keyboard
The stock keyboard may not always be the best. Use Swype if you don’t want to bother typing. SwiftKey is arguably one of the best third-party keyboards in the Play Store and features very good word prediction, auto correct and supports multiple languages. You can even customise the size of the keys, add custom words to the dictionary and it will also learn and adapt to your typing style over time.




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