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10 best customization apps for Android
Despite more restrictions than years ago, Android is still a vastly more open platform than its competitors. You can still do almost whatever you want within reason. There are a variety of apps that change your experience, and we have some good ones to get you started. Here are the best customization apps for Android.
This list focuses heavily on changing or theming UI elements specifically. If you want home screen themes and wallpaper stuff, we recommend checking out our best theming apps list here.
We’d also like to give an honorable mention to OEM tools to change things up. For instance, stock Android lets you choose between navigation buttons and gestures. Samsung has Good Lock, and that lets Samsung users do all sorts of crazy things to their devices. Finally, Android 12 and 13 includes native theming, and we’re very excited about it.
The best customization apps for Android
Gboard or SwiftKey
Gboard and SwiftKey are arguably the two best keyboard apps on Android. They both feature extensive theming, decent features, gesture typing, and a variety of other features. The experience is a little different between the two. Gboard is a little simpler with more mainstream features while SwiftKey is a little more old-school. In any case, you use your keyboard a ton and you can make both of these look basically however you want to. This is a good place to start if customization is your goal. Both apps are entirely free with no advertising. SwiftKey used to charge for themes, but not anymore.
Price: Free / $2.49-$4.99
DynamicSpot is a neat customization app. It emulate’s iOS’ Dynamic Island feature, and adds some customizations to it so you can control it a little better. It enables a Dyanmic Island-style notification pop up that you can customize to include things like multimedia controls, timers, battery, and even navigation stuff. You can customize the size, shape, and location of the pop up so that it lines up with your phone’s notch or punch hole front camera. It even has some Android 13 optimizations already. Yes, it mimics an iOS feature, but it’s still fun to use.
Energy Ring and Energy Bar
Price: Free / Up to $24.99
Energy Ring and Energy Bar are two decent Android customization apps. Energy Bar puts a battery gauge along the top of your phone in the form of a bar that goes down as your battery does. Meanwhile, the Energy Ring variant turns your punch hole camera into a battery gauge. It’s a neat way to kind of lean into the whole punch hole thing while still giving yourself some functionality. The apps support most modern Samsung devices and the generic Energy Ring app adds several more. Everything else can use Energy Bar. The apps have various customizations to make them your own and they seem to work pretty well without any ridiculous battery drain. The price varies but only because the developer works on an optional donation system.
IFTTT is an exceptionally powerful app. You use it to automate a variety of tasks. It works almost seamlessly between 600 different apps, including Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. You can have it do a variety of things and there are a ton of IFTTT recipes on the web. This app customizes the stuff that your phone does rather than how it looks. With all of the compatible apps and the thousands of recipes, IFTTT does so probably better than any other app aside from maybe Tasker. It’s also entirely free with no in-app purchases or ads.
KWGT, KLWP, KLCK
Price: Free / $5.99 (each)
KWGT, KLWP, and KLCK let you custom make a bunch of stuff for your phone. KWGT is a widget maker that lets you add a bunch of information, skins, and designs. KLWP is a live wallpaper creator that does basically the same thing as KWGT but for wallpapers. Finally, KLCK lets you custom design a lock screen. All three apps have steeper than average learning curves, but you can also find pre-made themes on the Play Store and in other places in case you just want to borrow someone else’s design. You can do a lot of seriously cool things with these apps if you take the time to learn them.
Price: Free / $3.99 per month / $29.99 per year
Reddit is a decent spot for a lot of Android customization. There are various subreddits dedicated to the task, including ones for popular customization apps like IFTTT and Tasker along with a generic AndroidThemes subreddit with a bunch of neat home screen ideas. Most posts show you or tell you how to achieve a certain effect, which apps to download, and how to set up everything. There are icon packs, KWGT templates, wallpapers, and anything else you can think of. Here is an example of the kind of stuff we mean. It can get a bit confusing and there is a lot of information and a few idiots here and there, but generally, it’s a decent overall experience. We’d also like to give an honorable mention to TruePick’s (Google Play link) which does the same thing on a smaller scale.
See also: The best Reddit apps for Android
See also: The best Android themes, theming apps, and customizations
Tasker is arguably the most powerful app in the entire Google Play Store. It can do basically anything. The app can automate tasks, create new actions, and do all kinds of other stuff. Seriously, we have limited space here and it’s not nearly enough. Of course, with great power comes great difficulty. Tasker is not an easy app to use. Additionally, there are many apps with direct Tasker support and a bunch of apps, like AutoTools, that add even more stuff that it can do. Prepare to tackle a steep learning curve. The app goes for $2.99, but has no additional in-app purchases or advertisements.
TruePick’s Setups and Wallpapers
TruePick’s is a newer, and fairly modern customization app. It has a variety of home screen themes inside, each with a credit for its original creator. From there, you can download the wallpaper and get links to the launcher, icon packs, and custom widgets needed to make the setup. Thus, you can scroll through, find something fun that you like, and all of the resources you need to make it happen yourself are right there. The developer is fairly active, and there are also sections for just wallpapers and more. It had a bit of a shaky start, but it’s a solid app now with lots of stuff to choose from.
Volume Control Panel Pro
Volume Control Panel Pro is one of a few decent customization apps for your volume panel. This one lets you switch between horizontal and vertical sliders, use your actual volume buttons to activate it, and even do neat stuff like control your media with double taps. Additionally, you can change the colors and themes of it to match what you have going on with your current theme. It’s cheap and it worked pretty well in our testing. Volume Styles (Google Play link) is another volume panel customization app in case Volume Control Panel Pro doesn’t work for you.
Price: Free with in-app purchases
Zedge is one of the most popular customization apps. It has wallpapers and the selection is fairly decent. However, Zedge’s big draw is its ringtones, notification tones, and alarm tones. You can find a swatch of excellent sound effects, songs, and other content for that kind of stuff. Additionally, you can upload your own on Zedge’s website if you have something you want specifically and also want to share. This is one of the few really good apps for ringtones and notification tones that don’t require you to make it yourself. It’s a must-try for customizing your Android device.
Bonus: Basically any launcher
Price: Free / Varies
Android launchers are where your home screens come from. You can switch them out with other launchers and each launcher brings its own set of customizations to the table. Additionally, most of them support universal customizations like icon packs. You can get a very specific look and feel depending on your launcher choice and some of them go off the rails entirely. One notable example is Armoni Launcher (Google Play link) which makes your phone look like iOS 14. We have Nova Launcher linked at the button because it’s as good a place to start as any.
See also: The best Android launcher apps to make your home screen perfect
If we missed any great customization apps, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists!