The great selling point of an Android phone is its almost limitless customization options when compared to the likes of the iPhone and Blackberry. If there is anything that you don’t like about an app, a feature or function then rest assured that there is a multitude of alternatives available to you.
Starting with the basic customization options the first thing you might want to do is change the default wallpaper to something that resonates better with your personality. To change the wallpaper you need to touch the ‘menu’ button and then pick ‘Wallpaper’ from the list of options. You can then select any image on your phone and choose it as the wallpaper, you can even touch and drag to highlight to specific area of an image to use as the wallpaper and don’t forget with all the connectivity options you can also send a picture from your PC to your phone. If you still can’t choose the right wallpaper there is even a free app available called Backgrounds which will give you access to thousands of alternative wallpaper images.
The next basic customization option is to change your ringtone to something a bit more funky than the default tone. To set the ringtone hit the ‘menu’ button, go to ‘Settings’ and then to the ‘Sound and display’ option. If you haven’t already, you can copy an MP3 file to your phone and set it as your ringtone. To do this you need to create a folder on your memory card called ‘ringtones’, copy the song you want to use and Android will do the rest. If you want even more control over the ringtone you can download a free app called RingDroid and this will let you edit an MP3 and save just the awesome chorus from a song and use that as your ringtone.
If your Android phone comes with a color LED then you’ve probably noticed that it flashes if you have a missed call or text message. You can control the color of the LED to show a specific color for specific events, for example you can set it to blink red if you missed a call from your boss and blue if you missed a call from your friend. To customize the LED color, download the free app called Missed Call.
Once the basic customization is out the way you can start digging a little bit deeper and customizing your Android phone to your exact requirements. One complaint some people have is that the default messaging system is a little bit cumbersome and clunky so a number of developers have come up with alternative messaging apps that are more intuitive and contain more features. Handcent has established itself as the number one alternative to the default messaging system and people who use it swear they’d never go back.
The next piece of customization you might want to look at is replacing the default virtual keyboard. While it’s fairly functional it’s lacking a certain finesse, which is where the BetterKeyboard app comes in. You can add and remove custom buttons, change the look and use a number pad if you want. If you are sending a lot of emails or texts then BetterKeyboard is a highly recommended to customization for your Android phone.
Finally you can customize the home screen to show the information you really want. The LauncherPro app does a great job of this by letting you have up to 7 screens and customizing all the widgets that you want to place on it. This is very useful if you are using your phone to juggle between business and personal work.