29
May
unnamed (5)

If you're reading this story on a Widows PC (Vista or later), do me a favor. Minimize your browser and any other windows so that just the desktop is showing. Hold down the control button. Then scroll your mouse wheel up about a dozen times. Congratulations, you've just replicated the effect of Giganticon without even installing the app.

unnamed

Giganticon has one purpose, and one purpose only: it makes the app icons on your homescreen enormous. Technically it's a widget - place a Giganticon widget on your homescreen in the standard way, and it will open up a menu letting you select any app. Tap that sucker, and a mega-sized version appears in the defined space.

Giganticon will pull down relatively high-resolution app icons from the Play Store (which of course won't work if you've side-loaded or installed via Amazon). Different icons can be substituted for a more customized look. The effect looks surprisingly good, even on a Nexus 10 - Giganticon widgets download app icons at up to 512x512 resolution. The only widget size is 2x2, so those with Gingerbread or Froyo may need a 3rd-party launcher to get the desired effect.

unnamed (3) unnamed (2) unnamed (4)

While customization junkies are always happy for another bit of visual flair in their toolbox, there are more practical applications for this, uh, application. A homescreen filled with Giganticons could be useful for a kids-only tablet, or people with poor eyesight, or maybe that Nexus 7 you got for your great-grandmother who only uses four apps anyway. For Android 4.2 users, the app also includes lockscreen widgets. Giganticon is a free download.

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Tony

    Sweet trying it, also Nova launcher can make everything up to 30% bigger which is what I use(stretches the icons but still looks good). Wish stock android didn't have tiny icons that waste so much screen space and were bigger by default, least android lets me customize.

  • Michael Ta

    Sweeet. I can use this to prank my whole family.

  • Tomáš Petrík

    Might be good to include the information for Windows users on how to restore the original icons size ;)

    • Geoff Johnson

      Huh? This is for Android. It doesn't matter what OS your desktop runs...

      • Dan009

        If you actually read the article, the author describes how to replicate the effect of this app on your Windows desktop.

      • Chris

        Perhaps if you learn to read the WHOLE article and not just bits and peaces that you want to hear you'll know he was talking about how you can get this same effect on a windows PC. (Vista and above)

        • John O’Connor

          not win8 (outside of a browser that is)

    • Jeremiah Rice

      Just hold control and scroll back down.

      • Mike Harris

        I'm on Windows XP (for work) and the scrolling thing to change the icon size doesn't work. I guess that's only a feature on newer versions of Windows.

        • Chris

          It seems to only work on Vista and above...

      • Tomáš Petrík

        Thanks Jeremiah, but:
        1: I did not do that, I just suggested it would be nice to know for those who did that.
        2: I know that by scrolling down you make the icons smaller - but you do not know how big or small they were before you conducted this experiment, so you can only guess how big you want to leave them now. In Firefox when you zoom, you have the shortcut Ctrl+0, which restores the original size. Is there anything like this for Windows desktop icons too?

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          From what I can tell, it's right click on the desktop -> View -> Medium icons.

          • Tomáš Petrík

            Oh, I was looking for a mouse/keyboard shortcut and I missed something this obvious. Thanks!

  • Haunter

    I can totally see this being useful for tablets and themeing (as mentioned above) purposes. I mean, when the barcode font first came about, I'm sure people thought "This is stupid" until one dude paired it with MinimalisticText and said "This would make an awesome calendar or clock!"

  • Michael

    I don't understand the apps icon...

  • misterE33

    This is actually pretty cool. I use my old phone purely as a radio and always just want a single giant button for the Music app, but its old launcher only lets the icon size go up so big.
    This could also be good for tablets where you just want a few things showing. The next step I'd like to see is the ability to create giant icons for folders (if it's not already supported)

  • Mark Copsey

    Really a cool app... :)

    • John Dem

      Agree.

  • Geoff Johnson

    What if you wanted to mount a tablet in your car? Instead of trying to find and click on the small stock icons now you can have super enlarged icons for common apps such as music.

    • Chris

      Not sure why you would want your tablet in your car..... theft, let alone no one wants a huge hole in the dash when you end up seling it....

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        But why sell it? It'll forever be much better than anything your car came with. I've seen plenty of mods of people using their Nexus 7s in their cars and being very happy with them.

        • Chris

          You must not be from america.

          Over time people get tired of their cars, or millage gets too high. (higher millage cars isn't that good) Gas prices raise and they need something thats better on fuel or they have a family now.

          and you've seen "plenty"? Let me guess, aa few ramdom pictures on the internet. No one you personnaly know?

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

            I live in San Francisco, actually. Your sentence was pretty ambiguous - I thought you meant when you end up selling the tablet whereas you likely meant the car. Why not sell both at the same time? Or put back the original stereo when you do. Or depending on how you mounted it, you may just need to take the mount out.

            Theft: just pop it out of your setup, just like you would a fancy faceplate of an aftermarket stereo.

            And yeah, nobody I know personally has done such a mod because it's not an easy thing to do, but just because not everyone does it doesn't mean there's no reason anyone would.

          • John O’Connor

            Working on a few mods such mods with a "few good men" right now. Anyone who has ever wanted the full range of Android capabilities in their cars would be severely disappointed in the Android based car decks (seemingly only available for purchase out of China)

          • Freak4Dell

            Agreed. The Android-based stereos make a lot of compromises. Currently, a tablet is the best option for people who want a lot of features. Of course, there's drawbacks to tablets, too.

      • enomele

        That's like asking why you would replace the car stereo on your car. Theres always a chance of shit getting stolen. you would be able to put the stereo back.

      • Freak4Dell

        You do realize that the original stereo can be put back in less than 10 minutes, right?

  • icantremember

    This can be quite useful for those with low vision problems.

    • Ben

      Yeah, resizing icons is something that should be available natively for those with vision problems as an accessibility feature. I never really thought of it before but then I remembered a legally blind kid in the computer lab when I was in college using Windows 98 with super large text. That would be perfect for him to use a phone.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=708741524 Robb Nunya

      My mother in law, for example, would really like this. I've set her phone up with larger icons already with another app though. (She has a low-vision impairment)

  • Ben

    At first I thought "holy cats 512x512 is huge" and then I realized that you if you put two 2x2 widgets side by side on a 1080p phone like the SGS4 or HTC One, you're actually stretching it the full size. If you resized the widget, your image would be scaled and the effect would be lost to an extent.

  • ProductFRED

    *Windows PC. #corrections

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Fixed, thanks.

  • Smart_Tech_Flower

    This does absolutely nothing:

    If you're reading this story on a Widows PC, do me a favor. Minimize
    your browser and any other windows so that just the desktop is showing.
    Hold down the control button. Then scroll your mouse wheel up about a
    dozen times.

    (Don't you just love it when an "author" assumes everyone in the world is running the same 1 version of Windows that they are?)

    • mechapathy

      You kinda did the same thing when you said "this does absolutely nothing." Works for me. What version of Windows are you on?

    • Floflo

      It works in any version of Windows starting from Vista. If you are on XP or Me, well that's too bad!
      (psst you should upgrade)

    • Chris

      I'm on a mac so it does nothing for me...

      I know,. but it was given to me as a gift from my grandmother who past away almost two years ago and i don't have the funds to buy a new laptop. (Rather spend the money on things for my car like a new bluetooth radio/speakers, bills etc) Plus Windows 8 sucks.

      • mechapathy

        Windows 8 actually doesn't suck. I bought into all the scaremongering at first, but I've been running it as my primary OS for two weeks now, and I think it's pretty great. Fast, stable, the new Explorer (not IE) is great. It can be slightly confusing at first, but you get used to it. I haven't augmented it with classic shell or anything like that, and I spend most of my time in desktop, but still. I'm enjoying it.

        • Chris

          I messed around with it at Costco for a good 10 minuntes. clearly designed for touch and the desktop mode? Talk about horrible.

          not to say I hate windows.... I still think Windows 7 is microsoft's best with XP right behind it.

          • mechapathy

            It is designed for touch, but I'm using it without touch with no problems. I think my point though is that it takes more than 10 minutes to get used to it.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          I played with it for a few hours on my dad's machine and found it almost unusable by power users or anyone used to various keyboard shortcuts. The tweaks they made for touch users make it absolute PITA for those using a keyboard and mouse.

          I'll wait for Windows 8.1 to see if they fix any of these.

          • mechapathy

            Which edition of Windows 8? I'm on Windows 8 Pro, and I would consider myself a power user. The new explorer (perhaps it's different in Core) has a bunch of great features for power users. In desktop you can right-click in the lower-left corner (where the start button used to be) and get quick access to a whole bunch of administrative features. What were you missing?

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

            The most frustrating thing was going back and forth between regular and Windows 8 apps, losing the Start menu (I brought it back using Start8) and having to use the idiotic tiles, and the overall inability to use keyboard shortcuts in many places I'm used to them. I don't remember everything anymore since it's been a few months, but it was enough to turn me off.

          • mechapathy

            Yeah, I'll agree. Metro is a mess. I haven't seen any issues with keyboard shortcuts, but I won't say they don't exist. It does have issues, it feels confused at times, but I don't think it sucks. In terms of stability and compatibility, it's just as good as 7. I also really appreciate that I don't need to use robocopy anymore just to make sure that file copying actually works properly.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

            See, I haven't found a single reason to switch to Windows 8 yet. Windows 7 is stable and great, and I use Total Commander for file management, so I don't really care about the new file management UI. What am I missing out on?

          • mechapathy

            Total Commander still beats explorer in terms of raw functionality, so you're not really missing out there. Like I said, file copy is greatly improved- faster and more reliable. Power tools are now quickly accessible. Most system utilities such as task manager and resource monitor are much more detailed. I'm a gamer, so I want full DX 11.1 support as well. There are others that I'm not thinking of right now. Also, I'm kind of an OS junkie, so being on the latest version of something is just what I like to do. I don't run a business off my machine, so I don't really have any mission-critical apps or anything.
            Also, and this is clearly personal preference more than an absolute merit of the OS, but the sound design for 8 is awesome.

          • Jobeth Palacio

            The only thing it seems you're missing out is the ridiculously short boot/shutdown times.

            I have an Asus Taichi 21 (the one with a touch screen outside the cover, and an inside screen), and I would not survive Windows 7 with it. For desktops or even touchscreen laptops that don't convert into tablets, I would stick with Win 7 / Start8 mod.

            Those who say Windows 8 suck either never had it, or never had it on an x86 tablet / convertible.

          • Freak4Dell

            Completely agree. Windows 8 is slightly faster, but honestly, Windows 7 is plenty fast. It's not worth having to put up with the asinine changes that were made to the UX.

          • http://seancois.me/ Sebastian C.

            I agree that those caveats can be frustrating before you learn of third-party program solutions; Start8, being one that you've already mentioned. I recently purchased ModernMix and that took care of the hassle with switching between full-screen Modern UI apps and desktop apps. Decor8 also adds a nice touch of customization options.

        • Mike Harris

          I agree with your assessment. It takes a little getting used to, but it actually doesn't suck. I have a program (I think it's Classic Shell) that skips the stupid Metro Start screen and goes right into desktop, plus it adds back the Start menu. I have it installed on an SSD that I pop into my work laptop occasionally on weekends and I like it more and more. A lot of things still piss me off, but booting from a cold start in about 5 seconds is mind-blowing. And shutting down takes about 2-3 seconds.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Just clarified that it's Vista+.

  • http://kyandroid.blogspot.co.il/ Shay Levi

    This wallpaper!

  • Jeffrey Smith

    The Nook HD comes with a carousel widget that contains app icons (among other things). For apps downloaded from Google Play, the icons look horrible compared to icons for 'Nook apps'. I'm pretty sure there's a way to over-ride the icon used, so I could use the high-res Google Play image, but I haven't found it yet.

  • discovery

    Thank you for ruining my desktop -_-

  • Colin Richardson

    Hmm, I dont seem to be able to find the "Camera" app to make it big. Nexus 4: JB 4.2.2

  • Christopher Robert

    Is this like jitterbug for smart phones, so old people can see the icons?

  • navi16

    This is awesome, just like the feature in Linux..

  • Jobeth Palacio

    Window button + D minimizes to your desktop btw. I use Win 7 and 8, none of my apps are on desktop. I use the taskbar which is always on top and eliminates the necessity to minimize windows to see the desktop and search for the icon.

    On a more relevant note, I think the size of the icons do make a difference. On the macs I've played with, their icons are huge, which led me to believe that that's why most of my female friends prefer them.

    • bse88

      If you know what i mean....

  • Matthew Fry

    MY WINDOWS ICONS ARE HUGE WHAT DO I DO?

  • Mike

    Does anyone know where to get that wallpaper in the last two screenshots?

  • Guest

    I think this would be useful for those who are in the niche market of Android Mini PC's that are hooked up to the T.V. because a majority of Mini PC's run stock Android. Would be nice to have a larger high res. icon on a 60" T.V.

  • John O’Connor

    "If you're reading this story on a Widows PC (Vista or later), do me a favor. Minimize your browser and any other windows so that just the desktop is showing. Hold down the control button. Then scroll your mouse wheel up about a dozen times."

    Too bad this doesn't work on win8, maybe windows blue {cough} v8.1 will be more "accessible" for those who need this capability.

  • Dan

    This app is WAY more fun than it should be.

  • Brandon

    Would anybody happen to know what the name of the wallpaper (or where to find) in the picture with the large Play music icon

  • WeActOnImpulse

    I actually love the Visual flare of having huge icons. (thanks for the Windows trick)

Quantcast