One of the things that makes Android a truly beautiful platform is customization. I’m not talking about custom ROMs or root mods; I’m talking about how no other major mobile platform out there lets you customize your device the way Android does. There may be some caveats, but you have the ability to make your Android device completely unique. My wife hates using my Nexus 5 because it’s so different than her Galaxy S4. Maybe that’s a bad thing, I’m not sure. But what I do know is that I have my Nexus 5 set up exactly the way I want it and I love it. My home screen looks awesome, and not only is it super functional, it’s also fun to use. The beauty is that I can change it tomorrow if I get a new idea. My home screen isn’t going to look like everyone else’s iPhone (although I could make it look like iOS if I wanted) or Windows Phone; my device looks like no one else’s because it’s Android.
This is the fifth post of a recurring series about making your Android device yours (I apologize for the several week hiatus). Today we’re back on a huge obsession of mine, custom icon packs. My goal here is to offer customization ideas that will work for all Android devices, whether you’re still running Gingerbread or you’re on the latest version of Android, Kit Kat. You don’t need to be rooted. You don’t need to be running a custom ROM. All you need is a little bit of time and an itch to change things. If that sounds like you, read on my friend. We’re going to have fun diving into the world of customization and making your device truly unique.
To take advantage of these fantastic icon packs, you will probably need to be running a custom launcher, such as one of the ones we talked about in this post. If you pick up these icon pack themes from the Google Play store, most of them help you out with applying them. Or, inside the custom launcher, you should be able to find the option to apply a theme. It should be pretty straight forward. Each launcher is a little different, so I won’t give specific instructions on how to apply the icon theme. Most apps will be automatically themed on your homescreen when applied. Then, if you want to further theme your apps you can generally long press an app on the homescreen and change the icon from there. Be sure to ask the community any questions you have regarding applying a theme.
I’m a bit of a cheapskate, so it’s always awesome to find free icon packs. Here are a few circular icon packs that I think are pretty rad AND free:
OffCorner Round is under development and I wouldn’t call it a complete set yet. However, the demo pack has most of the common apps and you could at least have a rad OffCorner Round themed homescreen if you like the look. Be on the lookout for a paid non-demo version in the future.
EDIT: The OffCorner dev just let me know that a paid beta with 400+ themed icons is available for OffCorner Round that can be found via his Q&A website.
I mentioned I’m a bit of a cheapskate, but if there was a krytonite for my cheapskateness it would be icon packs. They’re never more than a couple of bucks. Well worth it to make your home screen look awesome. If you can’t tell from this list, I’m a huge fan of flat icons. Here are a few of my favorites:
If flat doesn’t float your boat, here are a couple other popular styles that might fit your fancy. I’m slowly dreaming up a way to incorporate some glow style icons into my homescreen in the future.
So, do you love round icon packs? Which pack is your favorite? Or which ones are you sporting on your device? There are probably many others that are great, as well. If I’ve left out a circle icon pack that you feel is worth mentioning, please comment below and let us know what you’re using and why you think it’s awesome. You can also use the HTML <img> tag and show us your homescreen. We’ll continue to share other icon packs in the future. Thanks for reading, and don’t forget let us know what topic you’d like to see covered in an upcoming edition of Make your Android device yours.