Make Android less ugly

databasefailYesterday the folks where I work as a Creative director handed me a work phone (thank you guys, much appreciated!) to use when “on duty”.

The phone is a real slick one; a white Samsung Galaxy Alpha, which means I’m back to having an Android as one of my daily drivers for the first time since 2013. It took a couple of hours getting accustomed to the different operating system, as I’m else wise using an iPhone with iOS6. However I won’t go into much details about the switch itself, I might save that for a future post, but today I’m going to talk about how ugly Android can be, and how much less ugly you can make it. After all, one of the big benefits with Android is the customisation available, and I can easily restore the look if wanted or needed with just a few taps.

First off, here’s the design it had when I got it.

How to make android look goodLock screen, main home screen and app drawer.

From a design standpoint, this is quite “urgh”. Especially since the phone itself is a pretty sleek device with glass, metal and a clean white backplate. The lock screen gets a pass, but would you look at those icons? Big, colorful and bulky.

So here is what I decided to do. I wanted something cleaner, sophisticated and less crayonbox.
First of I installed the Nova Launcher, which lets you change and customize your home screen. From there I made some basic adjustments, like adding my most used apps into the dock, redesigning the sizer and grid of the pages, and removing the pagination indications (the small dots).

I then made a new background in Photoshop to match the theme I was going for. It’s a white leather texture (to match the white phone) with my logo in a grey tone to match the bezels.


Next up it was time to replace the icons with something more worthy. After some searching I found “Glasklart“, which is a set of new icons. Lastly I replaced the Samsung keyboard with Googles. It’s not a perfect fit, but it’s better.

Here’s the results:
Android AREKU edition

I will probably keep tweaking it, but what a difference!
If you got an Android phone, have you customized yours?


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