Giving Your Smartphone A New Look – A 101 Class On Hacking Your Phone

by Wirefly Buzz on January 24, 2014

Wirefly Friends - I recently got a new Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear from Verizon and love the phone. The giant 5.7" Blu-ray resolution screen is a real benefit - you can do production email on this phone and last week I read an entire Kindle book on a flight from Las Vegas to Washington.

However - I was a little disappointed with the fact that I didn't get any more application icons on my new giant screen and also the standard Samsung weather/clock widget took up way too much of the screen. So I decided to give my phone a new look - take a look at the results below.

BEFORE - An AT&T Note 3 with the stock Samsung User Interface is on the left with 8 icons on the home screen.

AFTER - My Verizon Note 3 is on the right running, Nova Launcher, special Nox icons and a weather clock widget from "One More Clock" with 20 icons on the home screen.

This is amazingly easy to do - I used two free apps and one paid set of icons to completely make over my phone. Here's how you do it.

Go to the Google Play store and get:

  • Nova Launcher from TeslaCoil Software - Start with the free version. Install it. Then go to the Nova Settings icon, select Desktop and tab and change the icon grid to 6 Rows by 4 columns. This package provides many more options for you to choose from.
  • One More Clock Widget from Xaffron Software - Start with the free version. Unpack the clocks which provide many multifunction widgets that are much more efficient about their use of screen real estate than the ones that Samsung supplies on the phone. I am using the one called "MyGBWeather" which includes battery level, date, current weather and the mountain scene changes to reflect the weather and time of day. There are lots of other great "looks" for your phone in this package.
  • Nox Icons - from KOVDEV. These cost a few dollars, but are well worth it. We recommend that you upgrade to the paid versions of Nova and One More Clock Widget and support these developers as well.


There are many other home screen customization tools out there like Apex and ADW which compete with Nova Launcher. We know that many of our Wirefly friends are really into phone customization - share your home screen with us and show the community what you have done with your phone.