Tag Archives: customize

How to Change the Keyboard on an Android Device

So it has occurred to me that a lot of people don’t realize the extent of which you can customize an Android device. From the home screen launcher, to the theme, to the phone dialer/messaging/email app, the list is endless. It’s one of the beauties of Android –total freedom to replace what you don’t like with some developer’s better attempt.

It’s the sheer number of people I’ve met that are still using TouchWiz and cursing at it that has brought me to think that it warrants a small series of videos here on the site (if not a PSA blasted across the country) on how to get the most out of the customization options of Android. So here goes.

To start this off, let’s begin with one of the first things I do when getting a new Android device –the keyboard. It’s the fastest way for me to get a sense of familiarity and it is the first thing that annoys me about a lot of manufacturer’s custom interfaces (just like how you’ve come to learn the layout of the keyboard for most computers, I’ve come to get used to a specific way I want my Android keyboard. Thanks, conditioning!).

If you type “keyboard” into the Play Store, you’ll be presented with a lot of interesting options for replacements. There’s ones that allow you to swipe the keys to form words, ones with unconventional keys with multiple letters per key that guess the letter you actually want, ones in crazy colors and styles, and most have a lot more customization options than the one your manufacturer thought you’d like.

Swapping out the keyboard is a lot like downloading any other app; find the keyboard you want from the Play Store and install it. The difference is that you need to set it up after downloading it. And although some will walk you through this process when you install the keyboard, not all do so it’s probably best to know how to do it manually regardless. Here’s how:

I. Download the New Keyboard

1. Open the Play Store.

2. Search for “keyboard”.

3. Choose a keyboard you want to try and install it.

II. Setup the New Keyboard

1. Go to Settings > Language and Input (this might be called something else depending on your device, but look for something that might contain keyboard settings).

2. Check the box next to the new keyboard name to enable it.

3. Tap on Default and then choose the new keyboard to set it as the default keyboard.

4. Open any app that has typing in it, and tap in the text field. The new keyboard should pop up.

Find any amazing keyboards? Share them in the comments below!

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How to Change the Home Screen Launcher on an Android Device

As part of my new series on getting the most out of customizing your Android device, I figure a big one is changing the Android Launcher (aka the home screen). The easiest way to think of this is that, essentially, the home screen is its own app. Unlike your normal apps that are called by tapping on their icon, the home screen all, called a “launcher”, is called every time you hit the home button. It even stores itself in memory in some cases, ready for when you need it again (which is a lot).

And as with most apps running on Android (we’ll get more into that later in the series), the launcher can be replaced, nay, supplanted, with a better, faster launcher and there are no shortage of alternatives. Simply typing “launcher” into the Play Store will return a ton of results, each with their own customization options, benefits, and themes. Oh, and don’t think these are being used by a minority of people. Some of these launchers have over 100 million downloads, and most have over 1 million.

Ready to give one a try? Here’s how.

I. Download a New Launcher

1. Open the Play Store.

2. Search for “launcher”.

3. Choose one of the launchers you’d like to try and install it.

II. Test Out the New Launcher

1. Tap the home button.

2. When prompted, tap the new launcher’s name from the list and hit Just Once.

3. Try it out and every time you hit the home button tap Just Once.

III. Replace the Default Home Screen with the New Launcher

1. Tap the home button.

2. When prompted, tap the new launcher’s name from the list and hit Always.

3. Now, every time you hit home, it’ll open the new launcher instead of the old one (you can uninstall the new launcher the same way you do any other app and then you’re original launcher will become the default again).

Before reading this, did you even know about custom launchers? After trying this, what’s your favorite launcher so far?

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How to Change the Camera on Your Android Device

Continuing with my new series on getting the most out of customizing Android (since it seems most people don’t realize to the extent you can actually customize an Android device), I’m moving on to something that can change the way you see the world –the camera.

Just like with changing the home screen launcher or the keyboard, there are a ton of camera options to choose from. Some have fun filters and photo features (like the oh-so-popular photo blur effect originally found in the HTC One M8’s camera), while others have a ton of more professional grade settings for the more hardcore photographers out there. Regardless of your level of expertise though, changing the camera can definitely make using your device on a daily basis a more pleasant experience.

Here’s how to change the camera on your Android device and some of the more popular options available.

I. Download the New Camera

1. Open the Play Store.

2. Search for “camera”.

3. Choose one of the many camera options to try and install it.

II. Use the New Camera

Unlike the keyboard and home screen, you don’t need to set the camera as a default right away to use it (but you can select it whenever another app tries to use the camera. It’ll give you the option to use the new camera by default and you can decide if you want to when that happens on your own).

1. Whenever you want to take a picture with the new camera, simply tap that camera app instead of the normal camera app. I also highly recommend putting the camera app icon where ever you had the original camera app icon (i.e. on the home screen or in the dock on the homescreen) so that it’s where you are used to tapping for taking photos.

If you do use a gesture or a button to open the camera normally, simply do that like normal and Android should prompt you to choose what camera app you want to use as the default for that action now that you have more than one suitable option for it to choose from. Simply select the new camera to help make the transition to it a bit more seamless.

You can also always uninstall the new camera to get back to using the old one instead.

That’s it! Try it out and let me know what your favorite camera apps are that you’ve found in the comments below!

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How to Change the Music Player on Your Android Device

Here we have another part of my series on getting the mort out of customizing Android (since it seems a lot of people don’t realize just how much you can change the Android OS). This time I’m going to show you how to change the default music player in Android so you don’t have to be stuck with the one the manufacturer (or Google) decided you should use.

Just like changing the home screen, the keyboard, or the camera as I showed you before, there are a ton of music players out there to choose from when thinking of making the switch. Some of them are entire services in themselves like Spotify, for example, and others are just better music players that can help organize your music (from where ever you downloaded it from) in a way that might be more to your liking. For the music player, it’s just as easy as with changing those other parts of the Android ecosystem I mentioned –download the new player and begin setting it as your default whenever prompted.

Here’s how to find a music player that you might like, some popular options that others use, and how to make sure it’s what Android uses for all your available tunes.

I. Download the New Music Player

1. Open the Play Store.

2. Search for “music player”.

3. Choose from the plethora of options and install one to try out.

II. Set it as the New Default Music Player

Like with the camera, there is no way to set it as the default app to handle music right away, you have to replace the app icon you usually use for music (and the widget if you use one) and tap it instead of the old music icon for now and then whenever you use an action (i.e. a gesture to launch the music app, plug in the headphones to launch a music app, etc.) you’ll be prompted by Android to choose what music application to use for that action and if you want it to be the new default app for that.

You can also always uninstall the new music player to revert back to the old one and undo the defaults you set.

There you go! Let me, and others, know what your favorite music players are and why in comments below!

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Brevis lets you customize your 3D Touch Quick Action menus

If something looks a little different to you in the 3D Touch Quick Actions menu examples above, that’s because you are seeing the effects of a new jailbreak tweak called Brevis, which is available now in Cydia for $1.00. What this tweak will allow you to do is customize the look and feel of your […]

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How to Root the YU Yuphoria

YU’s Yuphoria phone belongs to the group of budget smartphones that provide really great features without damaging your wallet. The birth of the phone was inspired by the company’s first successful phone – the YU Yureka.

This phone from YU runs Android 5.0 Lollipop and has all of the hardware elements to support the features this version of Android brings with it. While the phone lacks no features to be your daily driver, it can still be further improved by rooting it.

Rooting the YU Yuphoria will allow you to install root-only apps, remove the stock apps that you don’t use, and flash an entirely new version of the OS – aka a custom ROM – on the phone.

Here’s how to root a YU Yuphoria phone:

Before You Begin

  1. This could void the warranty of your device. We won’t be held responsible for anything that happens from doing this tutorial so please proceed at your own risk.
  2. You should have a Windows based PC to do this procedure.
  3. You should have Universal Naked Drivers installed on your Windows PC.
  4. This should erase the data stored on your device. So, please backup everything that you’ll need later on.
  5. This should also flash a custom recovery on your device.
  6. You should only try this on a YU Yuphoria device.

How to Root the YU Yuphoria

Root YU Yuphoria

To root the device, you’ll first unlock the bootloader, flash a custom recovery, and then use the custom recovery to flash SuperSU to obtain root. Here’s how it’s all done:

Downloading Required Files

  1. Download Fastboot and save it to your desktop.
    Fastboot
  2. Download TWRP Recovery and save it to your desktop.
    TWRP Recovery
  3. Download SuperSU and save it to your desktop.
    SuperSU

Unlocking the Bootloader on the YU Yuphoria

  1. Extract files from Fastboot over to your desktop by right-clicking on it and selecting Extract here.
  2. Head to Menu > Settings > About phone on your device and tap on Build number for 7-8 times and it’ll say you’re a developer. That should’ve unlocked the developer menu on your device.
  3. Head to the newly unlocked menu at Menu > Settings > Developer options and turn on USB debugging.
  4. Plug in your device to your PC using a USB cable.
  5. Launch a command prompt window on your desktop by holding down Shift and right-clicking anywhere on the screen and selecting Open command window here.
  6. When the command prompt window launches, type in the following command and hit Enter:
    adb reboot bootloader
  7. Your device should reboot into bootloader mode.
  8. Type in the following command into the command prompt window and hit Enter:
    fastboot -i 0x2A96 oem unlock
  9. Follow the on-screen instructions for unlocking the bootloader on your device.
  10. When the bootloader’s unlocked, reboot your device by issuing the following command:
    fastboot -i 0x2A96 reboot
  11. Your device should reboot.

The bootloader on your YU Yuphoria has been successfully unlocked, and here’s how you can go about flashing a custom recovery on your device:

Flashing a Custom Recovery on the YU Yuphoria

  1. Head to Menu > Settings > About phone on your device and tap on Build number for 7-8 times and it’ll say you’re a developer. It should unlock the developer menu for you.
  2. Head to Menu > Settings > Developer options on your device and turn on USB debugging.
  3. Head to Menu > Settings > Developer options on your device and turn off Update Cyanogen Recovery.
  4. Connect your device to your PC using a USB cable.
  5. Open a command prompt window on your desktop by holding down Shift and right-clicking anywhere on the screen and selecting Open command window here.
  6. Type in the following command into the command prompt window to reboot your device into bootloader mode:
    adb reboot bootloader
  7. When the device enters bootloader mode, type in the following command into the command prompt window and hit Enter to execute it. Make sure to replace twrp.img with the actual name of the recovery image you have downloaded.
    fastboot -i 0x2A9 flash recovery twrp.img
  8. Wait for it to flash TWRP Recovery on your device.
  9. When it’s done flashing TWRP, reboot your device using the following command:
    fastboot -i 0x2A9 reboot
  10. Your device should reboot.

TWRP Recovery was successfully flashed on your YU Yuphoria, and it’s time to root the device. Here’s how:

Rooting the YU Yuphoria

  1. Connect your device to your PC using a USB cable.
  2. Copy SuperSU .zip from your desktop over to the internal SD card storage on your device.
  3. When SuperSU is copied, disconnect your device from your PC.
  4. Turn off your device.
  5. Turn your device back on in recovery mode by holding down Volume DOWN and Power buttons together.
  6. Choose Recovery from the options shown on your screen and you’ll reboot into the recovery mode.
  7. Select Install in the recovery menu.
  8. Navigate to your internal SD card storage and choose SuperSU .zip to be installed on your device.
  9. Tap Swipe to Confirm Flash to flash SuperSU on your device.
  10. When SuperSU’s flashed, reboot your device by choosing Reboot followed by System.
  11. Your device should reboot.

Congratulations, your YU Yuphoria is now rooted!

Everything that you need to customize your device to a greater extent is now available on your device and you can start customizing it the way you want. Don’t forget to check out the huge collection of Android ROMs we have here on the site and it should give you some ideas for flashing a custom ROM on your device.

Read More: How to Root the YU Yuphoria

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Miitomo, Nintendo’s first smartphone game, soft-launches in the App Store

As promised, Miitomo, Nintendo’s very first smartphone game, on Thursday released on the Japanese App Store ahead of its worldwide debut. The freemium title, billed as “a friendly conversation starter,” is based on the Mii universe and invites gamers to customize their Mii avatars by mixing and matching from a bunch of costumes and styles to make […]

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CCTools: a tweak that offers extensive Control Center customization

Anyone with a jailbreak that might be looking for a way to customize Control Center in-depth might find interest in a new free jailbreak tweak in Cydia as of today called CCTools. This tweak provides you with a myriad of toggle switch options so you can customize Control Center’s appearance, functionality, and more. We’ll take […]

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SmartBanners lets you customize your iOS banner notifications

Your notification banners are an intimate part of your iOS experience that you use to interact with apps and people on a daily basis. With that being said, wouldn’t it be nice if you could customize some of their features a little bit? A new free jailbreak tweak called SmartBanners is now available in Cydia’s […]

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Fallout Shelter Update Adds Crafting

Bethesda’s new Fallout Shelter update will introduce crafting to the mobile game.

Along with adding the ability to “turn worthless junk into useful items,” Bethesda will also add new rooms for weapon and armor crafting, new outfits, and more pets. New dogs and cats will come with the latest update, as will parrots. Update 1.4 also will add pet bonuses.

Outfits and weapons “straight from Fallout 4” can be found in lunchboxes. Alternatively, players will be able to craft these items themselves. With the new Barbershop, players will be able to customize any Dweller’s look.

Continue reading…

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