Design

The Android Phone 8 Home Screen

Lifehacker reader Dave really likes the Windows Phone UI, but couldn’t give up the openness of Android. So he created this home screen, getting the best of both worlds.

Dave explains:

I really like the Windows Phone UI, but as a die-hard Android fan I won’t be closing down my OS by buying a Lumia. Instead I’ve been testing out the various Windows Phone-style launchers available on Google Play. Until recently I was using Launcher 7, which is very customisable but based on the older Windows Phone 7, but then I found WP8 Launcher, which allows for more choices of tile shape and size. Both launchers are essentially still in beta and there are advantages to either, but they’re both free, and definitely worth checking out.

I have made the important apps — Chrome, Facebook, and Gallery — nice and big, and have highlighted utilities such as Messaging, Calendar, Google Play, and Camera in orange, contrasting the standard blue theme (which you can change, but I like it anyway).

WP8 Launcher also allows you to mount any installed widget on a tile, however most of my widgets didn’t fit in with the white-on-blue/orange theme I was going for. The clock was achieved using Alarm Clock Plus‘s widget, and the calender by using Simple Calendar Widget‘s Simi Clock skin with a transparent background to display my next two notifications on a 3×1 tile. The remaining non-app tiles were made using transparent 1Tap Quick Bar widgets, allowing for instance “New Message”, “Redial”, “New Event”, “Search” “Sync All” and other settings buttons, as well as a network switches bar, media controls, a lock button, and a custom note.