Who says Android has to be dull and ugly? This is a misconception that has been perpetuated since the days of the T-Mobile G1 and the first version of Android. The UI might have been basic and quite square back then, but fortunately this isn’t the case now. Thanks to the openness of the ecosystem, a slew of launchers and themes, and various mods, it is now possible to customize every single nook and cranny inside your phone.
As a matter of fact, this world of customization is the main reason I love Android and never get bored of it, even after a year of tinkering. Below, you will find an assortment of tools to help you get started, improve and even master the art of modding your Android interface.(more…)
When I first got my HTC Desire Z, I was in love, awestruck at the beautiful Sense interface and the numerous tweaks HTC had done to take the Android experience to the next level. However, as I went about installing my plethora of apps, games and widgets (over a hundred, I am a junkie), Sense started getting in the way instead of improving my experience. The home screen would restart every few hours; every tap took longer to register; screen rotation when sliding open the keyboard went on for ages; and the whole phone felt like it was struggling to get by.
CyanogenMod 7 (CM7), a Gingerbread-based stock Android ROM, had been on my radar for a while. It’s currently available for 28 devices, old and new, tablets and phones, including the Nexus One, HTC Incredible, HTC Hero, LG Optimus 2x, Motorola Droid, Samsung Galaxy S, and Nook Color. Since my Desire Z was rooted, I decided to give it a shot. Lo and behold, a breath of fresh air swooped through my phone and it felt brand new without the clunky, RAM-hungry, processor-intensive Sense layer. Two months later, I am a convert, for several reasons which I’ll recount below.