Aol.|Mail|Click here to return to AOL.com

How-To

Make Android a little less robotic and a little more personal

An oft-touted feature of Android over iOS is its ability to make the device your very own through icons, wallpapers, widgets, and more. As the Android platform has evolved, so have the options available for getting creative with your phone. It isn't hard and we'll help you get started with some of the apps and websites to help make your phone a more personal expression of self.

Widgets

Widgets have been a big feature in Android for quite some time now, and they are one of the easiest ways to make your phone truly your own. Simply hold down on a blank space on your home screen, and you will be presented with the option to add widgets. From there, a list of available widgets will display for the apps that have them available. This is an easy way to put up glanceable information like a calendar, weather, or a to-do list.

Wallpapers

Wallpapers aren't that exciting, but chances are you've never ventured outside of the ones pre-installed on your phone. Apps like Pattrn offer the ability to search a large database of wallpapers, allowing you to pick the one that fits your style. Android also supports live wallpapers which are just animated wallpapers for viewing on your homescreen. You can find some pre-installed on your phone, or through the Android Play Store.

New launchers & icons

Launchers provide enhanced experiences for your phone like swipe gestures or being able to hide the status bar. They comprise some of the more popular apps downloaded on the Play Store, with launchers like Nova or Apex earning over 5 million downloads and Go Launcher EX being downloaded over 100 million times.

Another feature that is exciting to use and a quick way to get personal with your phone is the icon set. A quick search in the Play Store will return a long list of icon sets, including Flatro, Click UI, and Minimal UI.

Go the extra mile

We mentioned widgets above as a quick and simple way to get your phone looking nice and spiffy. One enterprising android developer decided to take the appeal of widgets and give you even more control over how you can use them with Ultimate custom widget (UCCW). This is not for the faint at heart, but if you're looking for some extra fun and control this isn't a bad way to go. There are a lot of UCCW packs in the Play Store that can help you pull off some cool designs if you don't want to create them from scratch.

If you need some ideas or inspiration take a peek at Mycolorscreen for some nice layouts. A lot of these will offer steps to create the look you want, but fair warning -- it isn't a five minute process. Either way, think of Android as a blank slate and these are just tools to give it some happy little clouds.