Android is closing down slowly. However, it’s 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. You can change your email app or your launcher for different experiences. However, that’s easy stuff. There are a variety of other entertaining ways to customize your Android device. Here are 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 power user friendly. 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.
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.
Price: Free / $4.49
KWGT is a custom widget app. It lets you create your own widgets that look how you want. It can make widgets for a variety of things. That includes weather, calendar, clock, actionable buttons, RSS, music controls, and more. This is excellent for deep levels of customization. You can make widgets that fit your wallpaper and theme as needed. The full version is required for all of the features, of course. UCCW and Zooper Widget are older custom widget apps. They may not work as well, but they are also there. This one is for the hardcore like most of the customization apps on this list.
Price: Free / Up to $7.49
MIUI-ify is a customization app with a bunch of little things. It makes your device look more like MIUI style devices. That includes full color customization, quick settings that appear at the bottom of the screen, icon packs, and more. The experience is, for the most part, fully customizable and you can add a few little customization tricks here and there to add even more difference. It’s definitely one of those customization apps where you either like it or you don’t, but if you like it, it’s a solid experience.
Price: Free / Up to $1.99
Navbar Apps is a fun little customization app. It changes the color, theme, and style of your navigation bar (the soft keys at the bottom of the phone). The app comes with a variety of goofy themes like Garfield, watermelons, and other such things. It also changes the nav bar colors for whatever app you have open. The auto-theming doesn’t work with Google Chrome and the app itself doesn’t work well with Huawei devices. Otherwise, it seemed to work well during our testing. You can use most of the features for free. A single $1.99 in-app purchase unlocks all of the content. Custom Navigation Bar by paphonb in the Play Store is also pretty good for navigation bar customizations.
Price: Free / $1.49
Android Pie introduced a new gesture navigation system. This app made it possible before then. You can omit the navigation bar altogether in favor of a series of gestures and swipes. Each action is customizable with a number of gestures. You can swipe in various directions from various sides with and without a hold. You can use them in lieu of your home, back, and recent apps buttons. The premium version adds support for notifications, quick settings, media controls, screenshots, and more. Gestures are likely the future. You can get it now for free or $1.49 for the premium version.
Sharedr is one of the more unique customization apps. This one deals with the prompt that comes up whenever you share something. These days, the prompt shows a list of apps along with a random list of your favorite contacts. Sharedr brings order to the chaos. You can customize the prompt to only show the apps you actually want and remove the random contacts entirely if you want to. It takes a little work to set up. However, this app makes sharing stuff a lot easier once you put the time into customizing it to your tastes. It’s also entirely free with no ads or in-app purchases.
Substratum or Synergy
Price: Free / Varies
Substratum and Synergy are theming frameworks for Android devices. They use Android’s OMS (Overlay Manager System) to theme your phone. These are rather complex pieces of software. Both also work without root on some devices. However, you get the best experience with both of these on Android Oreo with root. There are a variety of themes in the Google Play Store that work with these frameworks. The prices vary, but none of it is very expensive. These are both excellent customization apps, but if push came to shove, we’d recommend Substratum first unless you own a modern Samsung device. Synergy is better for Samsung devices.
Price: Free / Up to $19.99
There are a ton of good wallpaper apps. Walli, Backdrops, Wallpapers HD, and Muzei come to mind. However, Tapet is probably the most unique of the bunch. The app contains a variety of patterns. Each pattern is entirely customizable. You can choose the colors and reload the pattern for a slightly different variant. All wallpapers are huge and should work on even the highest resolution displays. Tapet works great for customization because every wallpaper is configurable. We like that a lot. The pro version is relatively cheap, but optional in-app purchases go up to $19.99. Don’t worry, you won’t pay that much.
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.
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.
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!