Have you had your Android device for some time?  Is it starting to feel a bit…stale?

Lucky for you there is a convenient way to spice it up and really make it your own.  This simple solution will make your phone stand out from the rest and give it new life.

Let’s talk icon packs.

Remember the article about Android Skins?  This is basically the same thing.

The difference is that instead of the manufacturer choosing what your apps look like, the power is in your hands.

Why would I want to change what my icons look like, Kev?

One reason you would want to change what your icons look like is simply because you can.  It is one of the few things that separates Android from Windows and iOS devices.  You aren’t limited to a static look.  Android gets to be dynamic and constantly changing.

It’s totally about aesthetics here.

You might also want to download icon packs to try and make your home screen easier on your eyes.

Sometimes wallpapers don’t mesh well with the app’s design.  Icon packs are themed so all the app icons have generally the same design.  Choosing a wallpaper that fits a particular theme can reduce the visual noise on your screen.  It isn’t as chaotic.

Icon packs are found on the Play Store by searching “icon pack” or going into the Customization section of the store.

There are tons of icon packs to choose from.  There are all-white ones, circle ones, square ones, flat ones and 3D-looking ones.  Whatever your cosmetic taste is at the moment, you can find an icon pack to match it.

Now before you download an icon pack you will need an Android Launcher.  An Android Launcher is the “skin” that allows you to change what Android looks like with icon packs, different load animations, different app drawers, etc.

I recommend Action Launcher 3.  Note that you will need to upgrade to the “Pro” version for $4.99 after downloading to use icon packs.  In my honest opinion it is completely worth it.

After downloading your Launcher of choice, go find an icon pack that fits your style!  A cool thing about icon packs is that the designer will include similar wallpapers within the app that go along with the icon theme.

Here are my top 8 recommended icon packs in no particular order

One of my favorites is Devo by designer, Stealthychief.  It’s dark and sleek.  Kind of gritty looking.  It costs $1.99, but if you earn free Google Play credits by filling out surveys it can be yours free.  I’d buy it for the full price anyway because I have used it several times over the year.

Devo icon pack

Devo download

Another favorite is Adastra by designer, Tomy Cadus.  This icon pack has apps that are rounded squares and is designed flat.  The colors are faded and it uses mild shadows.  Most of all, it’s free!

Adastra icon pack

Adastra download

Another rounded square icon pack that I recommend is Alos by designer, Vertumus.  These icons are completely flat and use no shadows.  They are very simple and clean.  Alos is $0.99.

Alos icon pack

Alos download

Not a fan of squares?  How about circles!  DAB icon pack is designed by, Prodigy Arts, Inc and costs $1.00.  These icons are themed to be very muted in color and have a 3D shadow falling to the bottom left.  I love DAB’s wallpapers that they include.

DAB icon pack

DAB download

Need to be different?  Like…really different?  Fresh icon pack by, Stealthychief, is for you!  These are fantastic.  Stealthychief completely changed my perspective what apps could and should look like.  The Play Store looks like a mom-and-pop shop.  YouTube is a theater curtain.  Seriously that is extremely creative.  This is highly recommended for $1.99.

Fresh icon icon pack

Fresh download

Maybe the last one was too different.  Maybe you want just a bit of difference for the app design.  Check out Glim Dark by, Maximilian Keppeler.  It replaces the color white with black anywhere inside the app icon.  It’s a really neat concept and is free!  You can also download the paid version for $0.99.

Glim Dark icon pack

Glim Dark download

Need sharp angles in your life?  Try out Rifon icon pack by, Vertumus.  The icon designs don’t change much except that they are now flat squares.  Rifon costs $0.99.

Rifon icon pack

Rifon download

One of my current favorites is Sunshine Icon Pack by, Samy Design.  I really like the color palette Sam used for this icon pack.  The apps look very clean and stylish.  It seems like a cross of HTC Sense and Apple iOS in a way.  This icon pack is free and highly recommended.

Sunshine icon pack

Sunshine download

So there you have it!  Icon packs are just changing what your apps look like.  Simple as that.  Make sure you have an Android Launcher installed so that you can start customizing your apps.  Enjoy!

Need any help?  Want some suggestions?  Let me know in the comments below!

Recent Penn State grad who loves all things mobile. Has a knack for teaching and enjoys a bit of alliteration.

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