Expressing one’s personality through the mobile device they’re using is becoming more of a trend these days. Getting the newest model, choosing the color that matches our way of being, buying a case to go with that and many other ways or customizing the exterior of a smartphone are pretty common among cellphone users.

But simply changing the way it looks on the outside is often not enough, so why not customize it inside-out? You probably know that you can change the ringtone, download or transfer a song you like to set it as a ringtone, change the wallpaper, make the phone ring in a different way for each person calling you and so on and so forth. Apart from doing this manually, there are also quite a few apps out there that can make it even easier for you to turn your smartphone into your baby.


Background Pictures

When it comes to the wallpaper that shows up the first time you unlock your phone, there are many ways to personalize it. You can simply browse through the integrated options your smartphone came with or download some of them from the internet.

By browsing the web, you can find plenty of free images, covers and wallpapers that can be used for multiple purposes. You can also transfer some from your computer or even use a personal/family photo. Note that, you can set a different wallpapers for lockscreen and homescreen on most smartphones.

If you want a huge collection to choose from, and be able to change the wallpaper quite frequently, having a specialized app can be a solution. You can use a free one like Wallpapers HD that works well with both iOS and Android, but there are many other apps to use for free. Cool Wallpapers is also available for most operating systems and also lets you share your favorite pictures with friends via Twitter, email or Facebook.

Sound Effects

If music and sounds is what you’re interested in, we recommend installing Zedge for free. This one is available for Android smartphones, as well as iPhones, and it lets you do a lot of stuff. The main focus is adding notification sounds to your device, but also changing the ringtones and personalizing them based on the person who’s calling.

Besides that, you can also change the background using this app. It might not have such a huge collection like the application before, but it definitely comes with quite a few cool ones to play with. It also includes live wallpapers, so there’s no need to install multiple tools when you can only use one for most purposes.

Zedge is constantly being updated, so you never run out of options to choose from, and it can be used on devices running on iOS 7.0 or Android 2.2. There are various options in terms of searching, so that you can easily find what you’re looking for, plus the pictures and sounds are classified by theme (e.g.: love, Christmas, music, sport or Hip Hop, Gospel, Dance, etc. for music).

Smart Friends’ List

Your contacts list is also a cool way to add a little bit of salt and pepper to the general look of your smartphone. By adding certain photos and ringtones to specific people in the list, you can make the Call screen look more appealing and better express who you are. To make this easier, you can use Contacts+ on Android/iOS and automatically have contacts imported from Whatsapp and Facebook.

Their pictures also become easy to customize, you can add a theme, birthday information and many more using this tool. The same application can be used for free to protect your contacts and back up important call logs, as well as messages.

An alternative for iPhone users is an app that only focuses on personalizing the call screen itself. It doesn’t change the photos and ringtones, but makes the background look cool and different for each caller. Call Screen Maker costs $0.99, and apart from the pre-designed options, you can also create your own if you have some IT skills.

App Icons

If you have an iPhone, you certainly already know that you can rearrange the order or your icons and delete some quite easily. Apart from doing this, you can personalize the way your Apps Tray looks if you use a few apps. Some of the more complex ones cost a few bucks, but you can install Apps Icons+ for free if you want to select a cool background and border for your icons, but also create your own icon design. The same tool lets you upload photos of yourself to use as backgrounds, and it’s pretty easy to use.

A similar one is CoCoPPa that comes with a catalogue of backgrounds specifically designed to be used as icon backgrounds. These ones can be researched by color, tag and category, and you can also use the classical F for Facebook, T for Twitter or select a random picture to represent one of these apps.

Personalize your Keyboard

It has been said a couple of times already, and just doing some research on Google is enough to prove that Android devices are easier to customize. Some users even turned them into something so similar to an iPhone that you can hardly believe it’s an Android smartphone. They also have fewer restrictions, and it’s easy enough to use SwiftKey to modify the look of your keyboard or even install apps that will make it look like an old game console.

There are a few options for iOS users, too, just probably not that complex yet. You could, for example, install Pimp my Keyboard to change its color and design for free. If you’re looking for an app that does a little more than just that, you can go for Pimp Keyboard++ that will also add a few gesture-based tricks to make it easier to type.

Those who use Android can pay $0.99 for Adaptxt Keyboard – a tool that changes the keyboard’s color, but also lets you personalize the way your type. It comes up with fonts and text colors, as well as lots of emojis and text prediction. More apps just like it can be found here, as well as on Google Play.

Live Wallpapers

Simply having a wide variety of wallpapers to choose from is often not enough if you really want a personalized smartphone. If the background image also moves a little and does a few cool tricks, that’s when things get a bit more interesting.

You can choose between quite a few such backgrounds with Koi Free Live Wallpaper for Android. This one is free to use and can even turn the image into an easy game – for example, feeding a fish by using a double-tap gesture.

A similar thing can be done with iPhones if you download an app called Live Wallpapers. It costs $0.99 to get it and comes in English, as well as French. Requiring iOS version 7.0 to work properly, this tool includes a large collection or backgrounds to play with, and they’re constantly updated, so that you can never get bored of them.

Custom notifications


One thing that not so many people know is that you can also personalize the way notifications pop up on your screen. Although you already know that you can turn some on and some other off, you can also add a little bit of color to them by changing their style, making the float or simply turning them into something animated.

A good app for doing that on Android is Floatifications. It costs $1.99 and shows all notifications as floating dots that can be zoomed in so you can have a better look at the ones that count for you. You can easily see what that new tweet says without having to go to the Twitter icon first, and it comes with a 14-days trial before deciding to buy it.

There are various alternatives to that – for example, Flash Notification 2 that lets you choose the duration and intensity at which a notification flashes on the display. You can also choose if you want this one to be repeated or not, and you can easily learn more about it on Google Play.

Those owning iPhones can install Boxcar 2 for free in order to add personalized sounds to certain notifications and manage what exactly they want to see. If you tend to be away from the computer a lot and want to push notifications from this one to your iPhone, you can also get Prowl for $2.99. the latter requires iOS version 8.0, and you can see what it’s all about right here.

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Alex holds an engineering degree in Telecommunications and has been covering technology as a writer since 2009. Customization is his middle name and he doesn’t like to own stock model gadgets. When he’s away from the keyboard, simpler things like hiking, mountain climbing and having a cold drink make his day.