The Android OS is the most customizable mobile OS, even without any rooting or hacking. Many applications out there, such as launchers and widgets, let you add different looks to your Android home screens. The problem is that you are limited to what the app developer thought you would like. In this article, we will be talking about the easiest way to create a minimalist look on your Android.
The first thing you will want to do is download an replacement home screen launcher. The reason for this is to gain the ability to overlap widgets. The home screen launcher used in this demonstration is tha paid version of Nova Launcher Prime, but the free version will work as well.
You will also need to download an app to let you add widgets to your lockscreen. In this case, WidgetLocker Lockscreen is being used. There might be other options out there for free, yet this works really well and is worth a couple of dollars.
Once you have the Nova or Nova Prime and WidgetLocker Lockscreen installed, you can head back to the Google Play Store and look for some of these apps. They will allow us to get the minimalist look we are after. In the list below you will see more than one option. You do not need to download all of the apps in the list, just what you’d like to use to achieve the balance of usability and minimalist look you’re looking for.
- Phantom Music Control
- Minimalistic Text
- Minimal Clock Widget
- SiMi Clock Widget
- Panda Clock No1
- Circle Battery Widget
- Eye In Sky Weather
If you are feeling creative, you can always make your own widget using UCCW
The last thing you will need is a really mellow background image. You can look for one you like on the web or use an app like ZEDGE to find one.
After you have the background applied, you can open up WidgetLocker Lockscreen. Take a moment to read the directions because it can do some really cool stuff. When you are done with the tutorial, you will be taken to the lockscreen to see what you are starting with. In the top right, tap the settings icon.
In the settings, clicking the “Look & Feel” tab to add an alternate wallpaper. This is a great option if you have a cool live wallpaper or something on your home screen and want to keep it. For our purposes, we don’t need to mess with anything else in there. Press the back button to get back to the lockscreen.
What we will be doing first is deleting the clock. Long-press on the clock and you should see an option to remove it.
Now you should be left with a blank screen with only the unlock button on it. Long-press on a blank area of the screen to see a pop-up window. One of the options in the window will be to add a widget. Select that tab.
You should see all of the available widgets on your Android.
To start, I am using the SiMi Clock Widget. We are going to be setting the clock first. Choose a SiMi Click 5×1 widget from the options.
This will take you to the settings page which has many options. For this demo, we are adjusting the Textsize Time to 175, and the Width of the left side to 325. Then go into the background tab and drag the slider labeled Alpha all the way to the left and click Save.
What we just did with these settings is made the clock larger and removed the background. You should see something like this. If you do not want the date to be displayed, you can remove those in the SiMi Clock settings.
Next, we will be adding the date to the lockscreen using the Minimalistic Text widget. Head back to the lockscreen edit screen (where you can see the settings icon in the top right) and long-press the screen and select widgets. For this one, choose the 1×5 vertical option.
In the settings, untick the Show Background box then scroll to the Predefined layout tab. In this tab, you will select the choice for date by clicking OK. This will take you back to the lockscreen where you will see the date off to the right.
Now to add music controls. Follow the same steps to select the Phantom Music Control 4×1 widget. Under the Choose theme tab, choose Chromeless. Next remove the background from the Choose background tab.
Next, you may need to resize the widget to see everything. Do this by pressing and holding the widget. In the pop-up window you will see a resize option. Drag the resizing box until you can see everything.
Keep adding or trying and moving around different widgets to get the desired look. If you try to resize a widget too large or move it over another one, you may see the box turn red. If this is the case, you will need to tick the box to allow widget overlapping. In the settings for WidgetLocker Lockscreen, look in the Advanced tab.
Once you have your lockscreen set, you can repeat the process with your home screen.
The process can take a little bit of time and trial and error to get the minimalist look on your Android, but once you have it, you will be glad you put forth the effort.
What customizing tips or apps do you use?