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How to Customize the Pixel 5 – Technipages

One of the best reasons to use something like Android over iOS is due to the customization options. From adding custom and resizable widgets to changing the icons, and even swapping out your “stock” launcher for something entirely different, the possibilities are truly endless. If you’ve just picked up a Pixel 5 (or any Android phone), we’re going to go over the ins and outs for customizing your device.

The basics

Before you get started, it’s important to know exactly what you can do to customize your Home Screen. Without installing a single app, you can instantly change quite a few facets of what your Home Screen looks like.

How to add icons to the Home Screen

The simplest way to “customize” your Home Screen is by adjusting which applications are the easiest to access. With the inclusion of the App Drawer, you don’t need to have every app meticulously organized and categorized into folders. Instead, just add the apps that you care about the most, while keeping the other hidden away.

  1. Swipe up to open the App Drawer.
  2. Find the app you want to add to the Home Screen.
  3. Touch and hold the app.
  4. Drag and drop the app to your Home Screen.

How to add widgets

Widgets on Android are a bit different from those on iOS. There is much more that you can do with Android widgets. From being able to quickly skip songs on your playlist, to viewing your daily to-do list, widgets are more useful than you may realize.

  1. From the Home Screen, touch and hold on an empty space.
  2. Tap Widgets.
  3. Locate the widget you want to add.
  4. Drag and drop the widget on your Home Screen.

How to Change the Wallpaper

Another one of the simplest ways to personalize your Pixel 5 is to swap out the wallpaper. Google has included quite a few options to choose from. But you can also check out an app like Backdrops or Resplash to find even more.

  1. From the Home Screen, touch and hold on an empty space.
  2. Tap Styles & wallpapers.
  3. Scroll down to find the built-in wallpapers to choose from.
    • Tap My Photos to select a wallpaper saved to your phone.
  4. Select the wallpaper you want to set.
  5. Tap the Check Mark icon in the bottom right-hand corner.
  6. Choose which wallpaper you want to set:
    • Home Screen
    • Lock Screen
    • Home Screen and Lock Screen

Customize the icons

While you can’t change the icon themes on a Pixel 5 using the stock Launcher, you can change up the shapes. There are a few different options to choose from, while also being able to change up the system colors and a few of the system icons.

  1. From the Home Screen, touch and hold on an empty space.
  2. Tap Styles & wallpapers.
  3. Select Style from the bottom toolbar.
  4. Choose from the pre-populated options, or tap the + icon to create a Custom Style.
  5. Tap the Check Mark icon in the bottom right-hand corner.

Diving deeper into customization

If you really want to customize and personalize your Pixel 5, the App Store is home to so many different options. Being able to swap out your launcher to provide additional functionality is something that is unrivaled. The possibilities are truly endless, and here are a few suggestions for you to try out.

Download a new launcher

Lawnchair Launcher on Galaxy S20 Plus

Downloading a new launcher can change how you interact with your Pixel 5 on a day-to-day basis. Something like Action Launcher can provide a completely different App Drawer. Meanwhile Lawnchair Launcher provides that stock Android look and feel, with the customization options that you long for.

  • Lawnchair Launcher – Based on Launcher3 from AOSP, Lawnchair has all the features of the Pixel Launcher (including the Google Feed), plus customizability. Best of all? No root required.
  • Nova Launcher – Nova Launcher is a powerful, customizable, and versatile home screen replacement. Nova brings advanced features to enhance your home screens, but still remains a great, user-friendly choice for everyone. Whether you want to completely overhaul your home screens or are looking for a cleaner, faster home launcher, Nova is the answer.
  • Action Launcher – Action Launcher takes Pixel Launcher as a base, then adds a wealth of color, customizations and unique features so you can quickly and easily make your home screen shine!

Custom icon packs

Everyone loves to change up their icons. This provides a better way to express yourself, while creating a completely custom theme for your Home Screen. There are thousands of icon packs to choose from, but we’ve rounded up a few of our favorites.

  • PixBit – Includes almost 2,400 icons, along with the ability to request more icons from Dashboard app. Dynamic Calendar icon support and works with multiple launchers.
  • Borealis – Includes almost 20,000 icons, along with Icon Masking for unthemed icons. More than 45 wallpapers to choose from. Easily request new icons from Dashboard app.
  • CandyCons – CandyCons is an icon pack which follows Google’s Material Design language. This icon pack uses the material design color palette given by google. Every icon is handcrafted with attention to the smallest details!
  • Aline – A set of linear colorful icons. It goes perfectly on dark and AMOLED walls and we are sure that if you are a fan of dark and minimal setups, Aline icon pack will be your favourite! Includes more than 1,000 icons and 10 different wallpapers.
  • Whicons – Includes almost 6,300 icons, along with the ability to request more icons from Dashboard app. Dynamic Calendar icon support and works with multiple launchers.

Custom widgets

We’ve already touched on what you can do with widgets, but these apps are the way to go if you want to branch out a bit. KWGT can seem a bit daunting at first, but there’s an awesome community behind it. Either create something yourself, or download a KWGT Widget from the Play Store and get a completely different look without too much hassle.

  • KWGT – Make your Android Launcher or Lockscreen look unique with Kustom the most powerful Widget creator ever! Use its awesome WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor to create you own designs and display any data you need, at once and without draining your battery as many others tools do!
  • UCCW – Install countless skins from Google play or use ‘uzips’ (fully editable UCCW skin files) made by your friends. UCCW is a WYSIWYG (What-you-see-is-what-you-get) editor for widgets. You can tweak the layout of objects, fonts, images, shapes, Analog clocks, battery meters, weather and more.
  • Audio Widget Pack – Not every player has nice widget and now it is not a problem. Download this widget pack for audio players which allows you to control audio from your launcher.
  • Stuff – To Do List Widget – Stuff is a convenient, minimalistic, and ad-free todo widget that works straight from the homescreen. Add tasks to your to do list in just one click.
  • Another Widget – Another Widget intelligently summarizes the information you need most. Watch the next events, the weather, and the information you want in an intuitive and elegant way.

This post was written by Andy Myrick and was first posted to Technipages

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