Android Customization 101

How To: Set Custom Ringtones for Individual Chat Threads in Android Messages

Things tend to get noisy when you're in a big group chat, which is why the notification sound for that thread shouldn't be your standard, attention-grabbing ringtone. But you don't want to set the default notification sound to something too subtle, otherwise you'd miss messages that actually matter.

How To: Turn Your Pixel 5's Camera Cutout into a Notification LED

The Pixel 5's beautifully slim and symmetric bezels don't leave much room for extra hardware like a notification LED. But with the Ambient Display feature and an inventive app, you can turn the display cutout for the front-facing camera into an animated notification indicator.

How To: Get Android 11's New Media Controls on Any Phone

In Android 11, music player controls have been moved from the notification tray to the Quick Settings. The change frees up space for the new Conversations notification section. It also adds media output controls, making it possible to switch from your phone speakers to a Bluetooth device with only two taps.

How To: Get Completely Custom Themes for Any Samsung Galaxy Using Hex Installer

Samsung's stock Galaxy Themes system leaves much to be desired with its restrictive and expensive theme packs. Back in the day, the gold standard for Android theming was CyanogenMod Theme Engine. And while it no longer exists, a successor has emerged to fill the void.

How To: Remove the Calendar & Weather Widget from Your Pixel's Home Screen

Google's "At A Glance" widget gives you the current weather conditions and upcoming events from your Google Calendar in a handy spot right at the top of your home screen. But on Pixel phones, this widget is permanently embedded into the launcher, so you can't just long-press it to remove it.

How To: Permanently Disable the 'Software Update' Notification on Your Samsung Galaxy — No Root Needed

Updating your Galaxy to the latest software version is optional, but you wouldn't know that from the persistent notification and status bar icon that are constantly reminding you to. Thankfully, you're just an app away from hiding these eyesores without the need to update your phone.

How To: Permanently Remove the 'No SIM Card Inserted' Notification on Your Samsung Galaxy — No Root Needed

Your Galaxy's lock screen already lets you know there's no SIM card installed if it's missing on your device, so there's really no need to have a persistent icon for it on the status bar. If you want to hide the pesky symbol and accompanying notification for good, there's a nifty app you need to check out right now.

How To: Completely Change the Status Bar on Any Android Without Rooting

Despite Android's flexibility in regards to customization, the options available in stock Android are pretty barebones. It is only with the help of third-party apps that we can entirely transform sections of the UI to our liking. And thanks to a new app, we can modify another part of the OS, the status bar.

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