If you want to unlock the full potential of Android and play around with full-scale modifications, you’ll need to root your phone. However, rooting is complicated, so it’s best avoided if you don’t want to risk bricking your device.
These days, rooting Android isn’t really necessary. However, some of the more useful apps on the Google Play Store like Titanium Backup are only available for rooted devices, so properly rooting your phone may be worth it in rare cases.
For the rest of us, there are plenty of awesome improvements to make without committing to that level of risk. Let’s take a look at some of the best tweaks and customizations you can make on non-rooted Android devices.
1. Personalize Your Home Screen
You use your home screen countless times every day. There are numerous ways to make it better looking or more useful.
Install a Brand New Launcher
The launcher sets the look and functionality of your home screen and app drawer, and it is replaceable. Different launchers provide different layouts, aesthetics, and features. Some launchers are optimized for speed, some are packed with settings and tools, whereas others are clean and minimal.
Our advice is to experiment with different launchers until you find one that you like. Take at least a week per launcher to give it enough time to see how you feel about it. Check out our favorite Android launcher recommendations to get started.
Install an Icon Pack
One way to solidify the thematic feel of your home screen is to replace the app icons with a unified icon pack. It’s a small change that can inject a lot of life into your device. You can do it natively on Samsung phones, although many devices will require you to use a third-party launcher.
Some icon packs cost money, but we’ve highlighted the best free Android icon packs you should check out.
Install a Live Wallpaper
No matter how beautiful they are, static wallpapers lose their appeal over time. On the other hand, live wallpapers feel dynamic and interesting. Try these awesome Android live wallpapers to see if it’s something you enjoy.
Worried about battery life? Except in rare cases, live wallpapers are relatively light on battery drain. In case worse comes to worst, you can uninstall it if it proves problematic.
Widgets are interactive elements that reside on your home screen. Some make it easy to toggle system settings quickly. Others provide information at a glance, such as weather forecasts. Most Android music player apps come with widgets that let you control playback from the home screen.
The possibilities are endless, and there are dozens to explore. Get started with these must-have Android widgets.
2. Customize the Android Lock Screen
The next aspect of Android worth customizing is the lock screen. Lock screen settings are available on most modern Android phones. Go to Settings and search for “Lock Screen” to find all the relevant options to customize it.
The first thing you should change is how the notifications appear on your lock screen. It’s best to select Show Notifications But Hide Content. It lets you know when you have notifications but doesn’t let you see the actual content until you unlock your phone.
The next thing you can do is change the wallpaper of your lock screen. You can do so by going to Settings and searching for “Wallpaper” to choose the one you like.
There are lots of other ways to change the lock screen, depending on what phone you’re using. It’s possible to use lock screen widgets on a Samsung phone, for example.
3. Improve Battery Life on Android
Bloatware, or preinstalled apps, are pretty annoying to deal with, and they usually run in the background, consuming processing power and draining the battery as a result. You often can’t delete these apps without rooting, but you can follow this guide on how to disable unwanted bloatware on your Android phone.
Some other common battery-draining settings you can change include display brightness, background apps, picture-in-picture mode, and more. Do also check out our ultimate list of proven and tested tips to extend the battery life on Android.
4. Enhance Security on Android
Your phone is something really private. So, naturally, you would want to improve its security.
Always Use a Lock Screen
Passwords are always the first line of defense against somebody who gains access to something that doesn’t belong to them. Would you use a debit card that has no PIN? Would you buy a car that has no key lock? If you want to protect your phone, lock it.
Still, there are right and wrong ways to do this. Take heed and learn more about whether it’s better to use a fingerprint or PIN to lock your phone.
Install an Antivirus App
We have covered why you might want to uninstall your Android antivirus software. However, this only applies if you’re careful and practice common sense like avoiding random apps with few reviews, sticking to the Google Play Store, and avoiding tapping on suspicious ads when browsing the web.
But, let’s face it, we all make mistakes, and malware can be a huge nuisance. If you want to take extra precautions, install one of the best antivirus apps for Android to put your mind at rest.
Install an Anti-Theft App
Antivirus only gets you so far. What happens if you leave your phone somewhere? Or worse, if somebody picks your phone right out of your pocket? Without an anti-theft app, you may as well consider your phone to be gone for good.
Anti-theft apps for Android help you track your phone in several ways: GPS positioning, security alarms, lockdown, and data-erasing features, just to name a few. That last feature can come in handy if you have secrets on your phone that nobody should ever see.
5. Change Your Communication Apps
Lastly, let’s tweak your communication settings to be as productive and pleasant as possible. When you’re browsing the web and sending out text messages throughout the day, even the smallest improvement can wipe away your frustrations. You can change these apps easily:
Enjoy Your New and Improved Android Device
With all of these changes, your device should feel like a brand-new product in your hands. If anyone tells you that you need to root Android to start personalizing it, show them your revamped phone and flash a smile. This article is more of a resource for you to learn about various tweaking options. You might want to consider bookmarking it to refer to each section separately.