Don’t settle for smartphone conformity: download these apps to add flavour to your phone experience with new ringtones, launchers and wallpapers.
Free (IAPs) /Android
Countless Android launchers rattle around Google Play, mostly slowly heading towards oblivion… but Nova Launcher has serious staying power. This capable app is smart, straightforward and hugely configurable. It’s a great bet whether you want to make the odd tweak or overhaul how launching works – and looks – on your Android phone.
Free / Android
200 million people use Zedge, and it seems to have a wallpaper for each one of them. Luckily, you can filter the gargantuan collection by keyword and theme to find something suitable for you, whether you’re into tasteful patterns or pictures of feet. (We’re not judging.) There are lot of ringtones too, including old-school telephone sounds.
R4 /iOSPimp Your Screen (R30) is a powerful iOS theming app, but tends towards the gaudy. Clarity seems more ‘Apple’, focusing on tasteful, minimal wallpapers, based on user-created blurred imagery and gradients. It’s the sort of thing Jony Ive might approve of if he wasn’t forever trapped in a white room doing voice-overs for Apple videos.
Free / iOSDon’t be one of the many people who grab for their iPhone every time the default Apple ringtone sounds off in earshot. Instead, use Figure to make your own. AudioCopy the result to a new GarageBand document, share that as a ringtone, and it’s done. Now you’ll never again feel like a fool, repeatedly yelling “Hello?” at a silent phone.
Free / Android, iOSTapping out letters on a tiny keyboard is a bit too much like hard work. Dump the stock one and use Gboard, lazily swiping over keys and using autocorrect to make sense of your scribbling. If even that’s too much effort, talk into the keyboard instead or resolve to communicate entirely in gifs, found using the built-in search function.
Free / AndroidOne of the iPhone X’s best bits is swiping up to return to the homescreen. Gesture Control nicks that trick for Android, and brings a ton of additional functionality to its take on the iOS Home indicator. There’s also a R40 pro version, which adds app-launching, media control, and the means to “extend the indicator’s size to fit your needs”.