Customizing your phone or your tablet becomes a signature of your personality… don’t be afraid to make it your own. There are many different ways to do this, from using your own photographs to many of the different theme, wallpaper and lockscreen sites available. Many of them charge nominal fees but most of them are free. If you know a few secrets, you can create the perfect device that says “you”!

While every type of device has fans, Android has become notably the most flexible and customizable platform. One reference compared the Android to the “Swiss army knife” of devices. This platform is capable of so many different features that it becomes indispensable to most who use it. Most Android owners become notorious for ‘fiddling’ with the phone – the more there is to do with it, the more they enjoy it.

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The most basic and common change will be your wallpaper, the home screen of the device. To change the wallpaper, simply go into settings on the device and choose wallpaper. You can upload a favorite photo or wallpapers that are already loaded on the device. If you get really creative, Google “wallpapers for androids” and you’ll get thousands of hits for sites that offer wallpapers that are simple or ornate, even seasonal. The choices are endless.

The next most common and personal customization would have to be the ringtones on your phone. There doesn’t have to be just one; there can be custom ringtones for incoming calls, texts, messages, or even for each of your contacts so you can tell from the tone who is calling before you pick up the phone to look! Again, look in settings and choose “sounds” and then choose the ringtones that you want to hear. Or, in your contacts widget on the device, choose a contact and then edit the details. Here, you can choose a specific ringtone for each person. Ringtones in your device’s library might be preloaded, downloaded from various sites or even personally made by you!

Your contacts list can become a personalized phone book with everything from photos of each contact to many different details such as email addresses, alternate contacts, and even personalized ringtones, etc., for each one. If you personalize each contact, your contacts list can become more valuable than a planner or an address book. There are even apps to help make this task simpler including but not limited to Android 4.0 or Ice Cream Sandwich.

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Your notifications can become a very pragmatic tool on your Android device. Rather than checking the phone or tablet throughout the day at random times, you can set your notifications to either flash a message on the screen or a personalized chime. Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and many other apps can be set to send notifications so you will know at a glance.

Rather than declining your incoming phone calls, you can choose to do so with a short text message that sends with the press of a button…the messages will say something short but informative like “Can’t talk…in a meeting” so your caller doesn’t think they just got cut off.

There are further customizations that can be made such as rooting.

What is rooting you ask?

Rooting is jailbreaking (subverting limits imposed by the manufacturer and/or carrier) for Androids and allows users to dive deeper into a phone’s sub-system. Essentially, it allows you to access the entire operating system and even more customization. You can run more apps, you can overclock or underclock your processor, and you can replace the firmware. That said, this could void your warranty and possibly brick your phone without proper research and instruction for your particular make and model. You need to be aware of the benefits as well as drawbacks when deciding to try this.

Personalizing your Android phone or tablet can become a way of life – there are many who do it constantly, changing features with the seasons or with their moods. A certain ringtone or screensaver tells everyone how you’re feeling or who you are. Becoming familiar with your device will enable you to make the device your own with a few simple changes. Enjoy!

Bio – This guest post is courtesy of MightySkins, an american owned, operated and manufactured company making skins for tablets, skins for phones and skins for laptops as well as many other devices.

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