Creating an aesthetically pleasing home screen for your phone or tablet has become an art in itself, and an entire ecosystem packed with widgets, themes, wallpapers, launchers, and custom ROMs has built up to support it. Sometimes, it can be tough to find a winning combination of elements to create a beautiful and enduring home screen that provides both form and function.
For this reason, we have decided to open up a call for gorgeous, well-decorated home screens of all shapes and sizes. Each month we will select the very best home screen configuration(s) and completely break it down into its component parts, providing you with all the necessary information to create your own awesome home screen.
Of course, the creator(s) behind the winning home screen(s) will also be rewarded -- with an Android Police t-shirt of their choosing.
How to Win
The rules for this contest are very simple.
Step 1: Upload a screenshot of your home screen to imgur. If you have more than one screen upload a max of 3 pages.
Step 2: Post a link in the comments, and add the name of the ROM you are using (if any), the name of the custom launcher (if any), a list of all your widgets, a list of all the apps in your notification bar, and the name of your wallpaper. You can add whatever other information you feel like, but be sure to provide links to everything.
The winner(s) will be selected by the AP team and notified prior to the publication of the monthly feature.
The monthly home screen challenge is open to all users, but in order to receive a free t-shirt, you must live in one of the following countries:
- Korea (Republic)
- New Zealand
- Puerto Rico
- United Kingdom
- United States
Example A - Tablet
To start things off, we've decided to provide a couple of examples of what the monthly home screen break down will look like, using a fairly basic configuration.
The first widget we see here is one of my personal favorites, Beautiful Widgets, available from the Android Market for $2.89. The clock skin is called Naked Honey, and the weather skin is called Vos Neon, both of which are available for download from Beautiful Widgets' interface.
Next up is Honeycomb's standard Bookmarks widget, which displays a scrollable list of thumbnails for webpages you've bookmarked.
Finally, we have a basic calendar widget, appropriately named Simple Calendar Widget. It's a super clean, non-invasive widget that tells you the date, as well as the week's scheduled events. Best of all, it's available absolutely free from the Market.
The wallpaper pictured is called Wave Live Wallpaper. It's a simple LWP, featuring soft, undulating waves, and customizable colors. The speed of movement is completely under the user's control, and ranges from imperceptibly slow to extremely quick, making it a versatile wallpaper that can be as busy (or as unobtrusive) as you choose. It, too, is available for free from the Android Market. There is also a "full version" available, which gives the user the option of vertical waves, periodic color shifts, or shake-based color shifts, adding an extra touch of versatility for a modest $1.00 fee.
Example B - Smartphone
The widget on top of Home Screen 1 is called Fancy Widgets and it basically combines a clock, calendar, and weather information into a 4x1 bar. The free version limits you to one widget style and for $2.99 you get more customization options.
The second widget on Home Screen 1 is simply the widget that comes with Google Reader. I like to stay on top of all the breaking tech news, so I have created a widget out of this specific folder.
Home Screen 2 is occupied by a large 4x2 widget which features my currently playing track. This widget comes with PlayerPro Music Player, which I find to be a fantastic alternative to the stock music player. The trial version of PlayerPro lasts for 7 days, after which you must pay $4.50 for the full version.
Finally, on Home Screen 2 I have a widget of my currently playing podcast. This widget comes with the DoggCatcher Podcast Player, which costs $6.99 and is a great way to listen to all your daily podcasts.
There are two items in my notification bar. Firstly, I use the Battery Indicator notifier to have an exact gauge of my phone's remaining battery life.
Secondly, the cross-platform IM app Trillian, places an icon in the notification bar.
I like to keep things simple and dark, so I am using a black painted fence as my wallpaper.
I am using the default Samsung TouchWiz launcher.
Now that you've seen a quick, basic example of how each month's feature will look, start designing your perfect home screens and show us what you've got!