So you just got your first smart phone, turned it on, and now what? What can I do with it you wonder?
Well the possibilities are endless!
One of the first things you see is your home screen. What can I do from there? Well let's find out!
Let's first take a look around. The first thing you need to know is this home screen you see is called your launcher. Your launcher is how all of your apps and anything else is displayed on your home screen. Can you change this? Of course! Let's take a look at how.
One of my favorite launchers is called Nova Launcher. You can find the free version here https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.teslacoilsw.launcher. Let's install it!
Step 1.) Find the Google Play app on your phone and tap on it to open it up. The Play Store icon should look similar to this:
Step 2.) Search for Nova Launcher and download/install it. It's icon in the Play Store should look like this:
Step 3.) Once it is downloaded, open it up. Your home page should look similar to this:
Once you have done this you should notice things look a bit different! Don't worry! This is your new launcher. If it asks you what launcher you want to choose from for you default choose Nova and press always. Don't worry though you can always change it back at any time if you don't like it! When it asks you what you want to use a message similar to this will pop up:
One of the options will be Nova. Select it and then always. Remember we can change it at a later time if you want!
Take a few moments and swipe through the pages and see how it is. Do you like it? If so, good! You will notice when you swipe between screens it is different from before. It should look like this:
If you don't like it, well maybe you will like another launcher, or perhaps you want to go back to what you had before? Simply go back to the Play Store, search for Nova Launcher, and uninstall it. It's that easy!
Now lets take a look into the settings of Nova and see what we can change!
Press your menu button and get into Nova Settings. Here is what it should look like:
The very first option is Desktop. Tap that to get into the desktop settings. The first option is Desktop Grid. Here is where you can change how many columns and rows will be on your desktop. Go ahead, change it and see if you like it!
Once you have found settings you like go ahead and press OK.
You will see some other settings in there as well. Feel free to try them out!
Next on that same screen you should find the option Home Screen. Tap on it and let's see what it does! All of your home screens will appear and you can move them around and arrange them as you like.
Once you have configured your desktop as you like it, go back to the main settings page in Nova. Now tap Drawer. Here is where you can configure all of your settings for your app drawer! The grid function works just the same as how it does for your desktop, so feel free to configure it however you want it!
You can also change the scroll animations from this page as well, as you can on the Desktop settings too! Feel free to change it, or even if you want more features you can buy Nova Launcher Prime! With Prime you can have many more scroll transitions, among many other options!
Now go back to your main options page. From there choose Dock.
In the Dock settings, these options will change the very bottom row of icons on your home screen, also known as your dock. Let's take a look at what some of them do!
You can see that you can change just about every aspect of your dock to your own liking. For example you can tap Dock Pages or Dock Icons to change the number of pages you can swipe left and right to and how many icons will be on either page! Try it out, change them to whatever you like and test it out!
You can even change the size of the dock icons, among all the other options there!
Now click on Look and feel.
from this menu you can change your icon themes! Icons can be themed to change color, shape, just about anything! One of my favorite icon packs, called DCikonz, can be found here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.czarnomorski.theme.dcikonz. Download that, and go back into settings and then to Look and feel.
From there, choose Icon Theme. You will see that your now have the theme you just downloaded, select it and press okay. It may take a few seconds for it to load, but go back to your home screen and look at them! If you like them great! If not, feel free to search in the Play Store for any other theme you may like! Or if you want to keep the default one, just select it back.
Whenever you are all done saving all of your settings don't forget to back them up! On the main settings page choose the Back up and import setting.
Tap back up, and it will ask you what you want to name your backup. Name it whatever you want!
Click okay, and you now have all of your settings saved! Nice!
Let's say you decide you don't want to have Nova installed anymore, but you want to keep your settings just in case you want them for the future. If you install Nova again, you can just go to Backup and Import and your settings will still be there!
Feel free to change any of these settings at any time! You now know the basics of how to customize your launcher! Good work!