Apr 18 AT 10:01 AM Brooks Barnard 27 Comments

5 must-see theming apps to make your Android device yours

Make your Android device yours

Screenshot_2014-04-12-19-22-25_eewmotox20140412_193932One 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 from 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 sixth post of a recurring series about making your Android device yours. Today I want to share a few new apps/widgets/icons that I’ve been obsessed with lately. 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.

Within the last couple of months, some new Android theming apps have come around that, in my opinion, are insta-buys. They’re so good, I feel like I have to share them with the whole world. My biggest complaint is that I don’t have enough devices to use them all at once.



Zooper by Beard is a set of clock and weather widgets. I previously talked about Zooper Widget and how you can make your own awesome widgets. If you buy Zooper Widget Pro, you can apply other people’s awesome work. Themers known as La Barba and Richard Colón have put together a killer minimal collection of 12 clock and weather widgets to decorate your home screen. All the clock and weather widgets featured in this post are Zooper by Beard unless otherwise noted. Zooper by Beard is an $1 add-on to the Zooper Widget Pro purchase. Totally worth the buck in my opinion. Also, I know they’re already at work adding more widgets to the collection.


To take advantage of these fantastic icon packs, the easiest method is to run a custom launcher like 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 in applying them. Or, inside the custom launcher, you will 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.

Screenshot_2014-04-15-18-40-59_aHhnexus520140415_184141Paper icon pack by Samer Zayer is one of my favorite new packs to come out in a long time. It’s an original idea and done so well. Paper has 900 icons already, and more are added every week. It also has some fantastic crinkled paper walls to go along with the icons. This pack will make any home screen look amazing. It obviously goes great with Zooper by Beard. It’s on sale right now for $0.99 if you act fast.

White Line icon pack by Sonny Sekhon actually isn’t new, but since Android 4.4 KitKat, white icons just look so clean along with the white status bar icons and nav bar (if you have a device with soft keys). Also, I absolutely love the blurred wallpapers that come with this theme pack. White Line has 1000+ icons and is worth every penny of the $1.49 purchase price, all 149 of them.


There are two rad wallpaper apps that have hit the Play Store within the last month and a half. The first I want to bring up is Behang by Ted Bates Jr. Behang is a beutiful collection of unique wallpapers from blurred photos to geometric color schemes. Most of the wallpapers in the post are Behang walls. You can also find his work online at knok.in or throw this awesome pixel pusher a bone by purchasing his app in the Play Store for two bucks. The app makes it super easy to scroll through, view and apply the wallpapers to your homescreen, and new wallpapers are being added all the time.

The second wallpaper app I want to feature is wlpapR by Jacek Malinowski. Again, these walpapers are a set which can be found online, this time at yackovsky.pl/wlpapr/. wlpapeR is a app that gives easy access to the walls prepared by Jacek and will only run you $1.10. Unfortunately, I don’t have any screen shots on this post featuring wlpapR, but go check out the website and check out Jacek’s G+ to see some awesome screen shots with his work. Just like Behang, wlpapR has new walls being added to the collection all the time.

Screenshot_2014-04-10-22-32-37_rECnexus520140410_223528So what themes/widgets/icons/wallpapers are floating your boat these days? There are obviously lots of other theming apps out there. If I’ve left out something 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. Please! Share your homescreens! Additionally, be sure to follow your favorite themers/developers on G+ or twitter to see what new projects they have going on that you can support and potentially have an influence on. Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to let us know what topic you’d like to see covered in an upcoming edition of make your Android device yours.

Moto X setup: Action Launcher Pro, Behang wall, Cryten icons (on sale), Zooper by Beard

1st Nexus 5 setup: Action Launcher Pro, wlpapR wall, Banded icons (unreleased beta set by Alex Miller), Zooper by Beard

2nd Nexus 5 setup: Action Launcher Pro, Paper wall and icons, Zooper by Beard

3rd Nexus 5 setup: Action Launcher Pro, Behang wall,White Line icons, MNML Weather UCCW Skin, M Zooper by Beard

Brooks is an engineer living in the Bay Area recently dislocated from the Great Northwest. He's an Android enthusiast who decided to start doing something (productive?) with his countless hours Android modding and theming. He has a hot wife, is a father of three, an avid F1 fan, and enjoys watching sports when he can. His current devices include the Nexus 6 and 7 (2103) both running stock roms and may or may not be rooted. You can follow Brooks on Twitter @Brooks_Barnard.

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  • donger

    Pretty sweet.

    • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

      I can always count on you to comment on my posts, Donger. I appreciate it.

  • Gf

    Great article Brooks! Will go back and read the other articles in the series. Keep it up!

  • Cliff Phillips

    The Play store is filled with soft-colored icons and vague wallpapers. These just add to the bland. Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.

    • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

      Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder? But you can come in here and poopoo on these apps?

      I agree that the play store has a lot of stuff that may be difficult to sift through. That’s why I try to share and celebrate the gems.

  • Teddy Ndlovu

    Not happy with my battery it runs out in less than 10 hours without making a call. It looks like something is draining the battery. I have tips given about saving power it

  • Gordon

    Screen shot of Next Base 3D. A much more futuristic look.

    • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

      That’s a cool home screen. Do all the buttons work?

  • Dean

    Themer is by far my favorite. Simple to use, little customization, but there are so many to choose from. Check it out!

    • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

      I’ve definitely checked it out and I do think it has some beautiful home screens. But I’m a tinkerer, and I like to have more control over the setup so I Themer isn’t really my thing. I’m glad you like it though. And I think it’s really appealing to a lot of users out there.

  • John

    Is it possible to use a Windows icon in Android? I have a custom one that I use on my PC and would like to use it on my Nexus7 (2012)

  • Giacomo

    I’m using Smart Launcher PRO and Three Bars Zooper Widget, plus Umbra Icon Pack (the wallpaper’s included in the icon pack. I think I found my perfect style of design. Here a screenshot of my homescreen: https://www.dropbox.com/s/bzf98xkmhtfrf2r/2014-04-19%2016.10.25.png

    • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

      That’s a really cool setup. Thanks for sharing it! Love the clock and love Ryan Kelly’s Umbra icons. I like how you can have the icons all organized in a circle. Is that standard for the launcher? What to the buttons in the bottom corners do?

  • Maxung

    Hey there nice article but could you tell me what you’ve done with your navbars?
    Thank you.

  • Max Daigle

    This is great, but how do I get the Banded Icons? Thanks:)

  • jump

    2014 is the day and age of mobile phones. Android phones are known for their ability to allow the working of several kinds of applications and what people like about it is they can customize their gadget using the themes.

  • Luis

    Great post. The setup I like the most is the second nexus. I’ve installed zooper by beard plus zooper widget pro but I’m unable to get that widget to look like the one in your 2nd nexus 5. One question, Im curious about the app with the bird icon on all your nexus 5 setups (middle icon second row). Could you tell me what app is that?

    Thanks for sharing those nices themes

    • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

      First, if you’re having issues with Zooper by Beard, contact the developer/themer, +La Barba. He’s been more than willing to help people out with Zooper by Beard including myself.

      Second, the bird icon you’re seeing is a third-part Twitter client, Falcon Pro. It used to be available in the play store until it hit it’s token limit. There’s some tricky way to get around the token limit if you look around and you can not get Falcon at getfalcon.pro. I’ve been using Falcon Pro for a long time and like it, but I’ve also heard there are some pretty rad newer ones like Talon.

      • Luis

        Thanks a lot for your reply

  • naminosh

    Can somebody tell me how do i get the second theme of the article with times square(i think)?

    • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

      All the information you need to duplicate my setups are at the end of the post. The Time Square (I think you’re right) wallpaper is from the wlpapR app.

  • Michael Kinsey

    Check or double a designs. They have a gplus community these guys are very talented! They definitely deserve a shout out!

    • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

      Can you share links to the communities? I’m not exactly sure what I’m looking for, but I’m super interested in checking it out.

  • k_alshareef

    Really i’m in love with drip cuz i found alot of apps that suit me