Zooper Widget and Minima Live Wallpaper

 

 

Often, when someone looks at my phone, they ask me how I got my home screen to look the way it does. So I thought I’d share my setup and how I created it. As a bona fide Android junkie, I’ve long embraced the practice of customizing the home screen to individual preferences, and I’ve spent a fair amount of time distilling mine into the ideal setup for how I use my phone. Admittedly, this isn’t for everyone, but there might be a useful nugget in there somewhere for other folks.

 

Rather than having multiple screens with widgets and app shortcuts spread amongst them, I wanted to have the information I most consistently use visible and keep quick access to a small set of apps. So, the time, my battery life, the weather, my agenda, and a single dock’s worth of apps.

 

Zooper Widget

Most of what you see is built using Zooper Widget Pro. I’ve used various widget apps, but I’ve been sticking with Zooper for a while now. There is a free version if you just want to try it out. While there are a variety of built in templates available, plus an entire ecosystem of widgets available for purchase from other users, I find the best results come from building them yourself. This way you can get exactly what you want, but of course, you have no one to blame but yourself if they don’t turn out to your satisfaction. For reference, you can find my three template files on Google Drive.

There isn’t anything too crazy in them, although I am somewhat pleased with the sun tracker. That horizontal line with a circle on it below the weather forecast indicates the sunrise, sunset, and sun’s progression throughout the current 24 hour period. That took some use of Zooper’s “Advanced Parameters” to move the indicators left/right in the screen. For the sun, the code looks like this:

[ox]0-180+(#DH#*(360/24))+(#Dmm#*(360/24/60))[/ox]

Repeat this for the sunrise and sunset (with adjustments to use the appropriate tags) and you end up with something like this.

A bit of Googling can find you some decent help with Zooper, but eventually, there is no replacement for an investment of time experimenting with the various features. Figuring out the positioning, parameters, and other odds and ends can be a bit MIMD boggling at times, but in the end, I think it is worth it.

Minima Live Wallpaper

My background uses Minima Pro. This live wallpaper has a variety of patterns and textures that are combined in generally geometric patterns that I find attractive. Plus I can set my color preferences and have a new background generated on a recurring basis. There are also some fun tilt effects that move the bits around as you rotate your device on its various axis, but these have never seemed to work quite right on my Nexus.

Other Bits

The icon set in my dock is Whicons, and I use Nova Launcher, which lets me hide the system bar.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.