When it comes to personalizing an Android smartphone, sky's the limit as to what can be altered. The platform allows for deep customization of pretty much everything, both under the hood and on the visual side. And if you've also grown tired of the stock look and feel of your Android handset, then you've come to the right place. Here we've put together a selection of Android personalization apps – apps that can modify the way one interacts with their phone or change the way Android's UI looks. Best of all, many of them are free or have a free version that can be tested before purchasing the full app. Give them a try and tell us what you think down in the comments!
EasyTouch isn't a widget, although it kind of works like one. Basically, it is a button that hovers on top of you UI, displaying a customizable menu when pressed. EasyTouch provides quick access to a number of settings, toggle switches, and a list of apps of your choice.
Think of this as Android's stock Direct Dial and Direct Message widgets, but taken to the next level. Tapping on the contact icon displays a rich list of actions – you can call them, send them a text message, Facebook message, email, and more. This app has free version and paid version as well, which costs you $3.99.
Inspired by Ubuntu Touch, Unity Launcher transforms the very looks of your Android smartphone's UI. Its makers have intended it to be multitasking-friendly, allowing the user to quickly launch any app. Accessing apps and features is done via edge-swiping gestures.
Need something to help you keep track of events? Then Missed It might come in handy. It is a counter for missed calls, unread text messages, emails, IMs, and other apps that are allowed to send notifications. The app is available in the form of a widget that can be placed on your home screen or lock screen in case you have a smartphone running a more recent version of Android.
Finding the perfect wallpaper just got easier. Backgrounds and Wallpapers HD provides access to a huge database of high-quality images hand-picked by the app's staff. You can search for a wallpaper by category or just pick something from the list of most popular backgrounds.
From the makers of Beautiful Widgets comes Quad Drawer - an app that's meant to serve as an alternative app drawer. What makes it different is that it has a search bar, allowing one to easily find the app they need among the 248 other ones they have installed. A list view of all apps is present as an option for those who are tired of Android's default grid view.
Inspired by Facebook's Chatheads, Floating Notifications is an alternative approach to Android notifications. Simply, they pop-up at the side in the form of a bubble, allowing you to interact with them from any app. It even works when apps are in fullscreen mode. Additional themes are available for download.
Obviously, this is a replacement for your on-screen keyboard. It is made for those who prefer the split keyboard layout - people who usually hold their smartphone or tablet with two hands while typing using both thumbs.
Your default SMS application can also be replaced, and Handcent SMS is the most popular alternative available on the Play Store. It comes with integrated spell checking and additional message composition tools. Incoming text can be displayed as a pop-up message, allowing you to quickly shoot back a response. Saved texts can be protected with a password for extra security.
Instead of wondering what's the best way to arrange your home screen, just leave it all to Buzz Launcher. It will give you tons of suggestions via the so-called shared home screens submitted by other Buzz Launcher users. Layouts can be downloaded and then customized even further if needed.