Customizability is one of Android’s most loved traits. The ability to tweak the look of every aspect of the OS experience makes for an extremely personalized mobile experience for each user. The most basic form of customization on Android is the home screen, and there are hundreds of launcher replacements out there. They all vary in terms of features, performance and eye-candy, but also borrow heavily from each other, letting users choose the best combination for themselves. A few of them support themes — the ability to package a coherent set of visuals that alter each aspect of the launcher UI, including the icons, widgets, and backgrounds.
Here’s a look at a few of the popular launcher replacements and the best looking themes for each, from iPhone-style makeovers to Tron skins.
ADW Launcher is one of the oldest and most popular home replacements on the android platform. Aside from its insanely deep customization options, the one feature ADW loyalists swear by is its support for themes. ADW themes alter everything on the home screen from the wallpaper and icons to the dock and stock widgets. The more recently launched ADW Launcher Ex — the paid and thus more powerful version of ADW Launcher -= comes with even more customization options, including multiple docks and home screen transitions.
Being the most popular launcher replacement on the market, ADW also enjoys the highest number of custom themes, having around 150 at last count. Not all are worth your time, bandwidth, or space on the ever-so-precious internal memory. Here are 25 of the best ones we could find, to help you narrow your selection:
1. Black Glass
6. Fairy Tale
10. Honeycomb Mixx
12. Honeycomb Sense
12. iPhone 4
14. Matte Curve
17. Miui Cartoon
20. Sense Glass
21. Sticker Album
Go Launcher Ex (previously just Go Launcher) is a very new entrant in the Android launcher race, but has already built a huge fan-base for itself. True, it doesn’t do anything radically different – rather, it focuses on bringing the best features from its competitors and adding a bit of jazz of its own – but it strikes such a good balance between power, flexibility and speed, it is hard to not like.
One of the biggest selling points (as well as the FREE price tag) is the beautiful themes available for it. There aren’t many, mostly because every theme is developed and released by the developers of the application themselves, but that limitation works well in ensuring a quality standard that is hard to get in most of the ADW themes out there. Here are the nine Go Launcher Ex themes available on the Android Market at the moment:
6. New Year
MIUI is a Chinese ROM for Android that takes the best of the iOS and Android UIs and adds a bit of magic for an entirely unique smartphone interface that us non-Chinese users can mostly only drool over. The latest version of the MIUI ROM supports themes and has a growing collection of some of the most brilliant smartphone interfaces you can imagine. The ROM hasn’t yet been completely ported over to non-Chinese languages for all phone models, but there are a bunch of live projects dedicated to doing just that. In the mean time, here’s a look at some MIUI themes that we all may soon be able to play with:
Those are our favorite sets of visuals for the Android phone. Got a favorite that isn’t here? Let’s hear about it in the comments below.